In June 2010 I was listening to one of my favorite recording artists, Charlie Rich. (1932-1995)
Most people remember him as a country star in the 1970’s, I think of him as a rock and roll star, who then became a country star. The early hits he recorded at Sun Studios in Memphis are nothing less than spectacular. Wanting to hear more of his work that I was’nt as familiar with I searched itunes. Clicking on every song to hear the samples. I then clicked on “Midnite Blue” from an album titled “Three of A Kind”. This particular album featured Charlie Rich, Jim Reeves, and Don Williams. The song had these beautiful vibe to it, medium tempo and an interesting concept in the lyrics. I thought to myself “this is a song I would love to cover”. After having decided to cover this, I wanted to see who else had covered it. Turns out no one but Charlie Rich himself had covered it. The version I had heard was actually his remake of his own song “Midnite Blues” he had recorded at Sun Studios in 1962. The original had this AMAZING opening bass/drum combo, and I was hooked.
I immediatley contacted my producer, Sean Power, and decided on a route to take this song. I very much wanted to combine both versions, but really tap into that 1962 take. I wanted to make this song extra special, so after talking to my producer I reached out to Charlie Rich Jr. In the email I explained to Charlie Jr. that I was a long time fan of his fathers, and would love nothing more than for him to play on this track. After a few days Charlie Rich Jr. got back to me and was beyond happy to play on this track. Lucky for me he lives about 30 minutes from my producers studio in Nashville. It killed me that I couldn’t be there myself to talk and record with Charlie. He cut solos far better than I could even imagined.
“The Midnite Blues cut is totally awesome. I’ve never heard a better cover of
any of my Dad’s songs. Period. I know he would have loved it and I certainly
do.” ~Charlie Rich Jr.
I released my cover of the song on December 14th, 2012. Tt would have been Charlie Rich’s 80th birthday, and the songs 60th Anniversary year. I wanted to do all I could to honor the song, and the Rich family! Charlie Jr is one of the coolest, kindest men I have ever had the pleasure knowing. He was generous with his time, and kind with his words. A true gentleman! I only hope I did the song and family justice with my take on it.
One of the biggest honors I have had in recording is knowing Charlie Jr. was on one of my songs, a song his father wrote! The song is the type of song you can drive fast to, a real Rock and Blues cocktail!