The Ballads of Charlie Rich

The Ballads of Charlie Rich

by Charlie RichCharlie Rich


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Germany's Bear Family is arguably the finest label in the world when it comes to reissues of seminal figures in country, blues, early rock & roll, and even Deutsch music. Along with their lavish, exhaustively annotated and compiled box sets, they issue single-disc compilations that are of equal quality. This single-disc set in its Ballads series complements two other releases by Charlie Rich on the imprint, Charlie Rocks and the box set Lonely Weekends: The Best of the Sun Years, 1958-1962. There are a whopping 33 cuts here, ranging from the original ballads cut for Sun, RCA, and Mercury's Smash labels between 1958 and 1966. On the surface, it would seem that everything here has appeared in one form or another in other compilations issued since Rich's death in 1995. But many of these tracks, at least in this form, have never been released before or were issued on unofficial recordings. All of the tracks here contain original studio versions or demos, before there were overdubs added. This is especially true of the RCA material, when large groups of backing singers and strings were added to Rich's takes ad nauseam. Some of the demos have noticeable mistakes, not necessarily on the part of Rich, but in his rhythm sections -- though to be fair there are a few by him as well. Check this alternate version of "Don't Put No Headstone on My Grave," originally issued by Sun. The take included here is damned by the rhythm section trying to play a slap-bass rockabilly version of the blues that just doesn't come close to the hard gospel-styled rhythm & blues in Rich's vocal and piano. They lag behind in their timing and then they do manage to be on time, but they are stiff. That said, Rich's singing is chilling and deeply emotive, even in the higher register where his voice cracks. His version of "Unchained Melody" is another awe-inspiring piece here and an unissued Sun alternate. One could go on and on with track picks, but it's the entire set that matters. Taken as a whole, it's a genuine revelation to anyone who's never heard anything but the Columbia material, and even for fans this is one of the most satisfying collections of his work out there -- as well as the only one that focuses exclusively on ballads.

Product Details

Release Date: 12/22/2009
Label: Bear Family
UPC: 4000127165169
catalogNumber: 16516
Rank: 117439

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Charlie Rich   Primary Artist,Piano,Leader,Vocals
Ed Bruce   Guitar
Ray Stevens   Leader
Scotty Moore   Guitar
Anita Kerr   Choir, Chorus
Martin Katahn   Cello
Will Ackerman   Organ
Byron Bach   Cello,Viola
George Binkley   Violin
Kenny Buttrey   Drums
Ray Edenton   Guitar
Fred Ford   Tenor Saxophone
Buddy Harman   Drums
Wayne Moss   Guitar
Floyd Newman   Saxophone
Louis Dean Nunley   Choir, Chorus
Billy Lee Riley   Bass
Brock Speer   Choir, Chorus
Henry Strzelecki   Bass
Brad Suggs   Guitar
Jerry Tuttle   Organ
J.M. Van Eaton   Drums
Cecil Brower   Violin
Dorothy Ann Dillard   Choir, Chorus
Al Jackson   Drums
Sid Manker   Guitar
Robert W. Stevenson   Bass
Faye Thompson   Choir, Chorus
Elbert Raymond "Dutch" McMillin   Saxophone
Solie Isaac Fott   Violin
Jerry Reed Hubbard   Guitar
Martin Willis   Tenor Saxophone
William Guilford Wright   Choir, Chorus
Kenneth Goldsmith   Violin
Velma E. Williams Smith   Guitar
Harvey Wolfe   Cello
James Wilkerson   Drums
Walter L. "Hank Sugarfoot" Garland   Guitar
Howard Ralph Carpenter   Violin,Viola
Sidney Maker   Guitar
Cecil Lee Tanner   Violin
Thomas Grady Martin   Guitar
Homer Louis "Boots" Randolph   Saxophone
Brenton Bolden Banks   Violin
Floyd T. Lightnin' Chance   Bass
Bob L. Moore   Bass
Lillian Vann Hunt   Violin
Charles R. "Charlie" McCoy   Guitar,Harmonica
Robert McGhee   Bass
Kelton D. "Kelso" Herston   Guitar
James L. Hall   Choir, Chorus

Technical Credits

Chet Atkins   Producer
Charlie Rich   Composer,Producer
Percy Faith   Composer
Bill Justis   Composer,Producer
Scotty Moore   Producer
Jack Clement   Producer
Colin Escott   Illustrations
Jerry Kennedy   Producer
Alex North   Composer
Carl Sigman   Composer
Hy Zaret   Composer
Sam Phillips   Producer
Don Bowman   Composer
R.A. Andreas   Illustrations
Sam Coslow   Composer
Mort Dixon   Composer
Harry Woods   Composer
Will Grosz   Composer
Andreas Merck   Photo Scanning
Hank Davis   Liner Notes,Reissue Producer,Illustrations,Tape Research,Biographical Information
Tilzer   Composer
Callendar   Composer
BRAGGS   Composer

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