14 December 1932, Colt, Arkansas, USA, d. 25 July 1995, Hammond, Louisiana, USA. One of Richs country hits was Life Has Its Little Ups And Downs, and the ups and downs of his own life were dramatic. Richs parents were cotton farmers and he heard the blues from the pickers and gospel music from his parents, as his father sang in a choir and his mother played organ. Rich himself developed a passion for Stan Kentons music, so much so that his friends nicknamed him Charlie Kenton. He played piano and saxophone and studied music at the University of Arkansas. While in the US Air Force, he formed a small group in the vein of the Four Freshmen, the Velvetones, with his wife-to-be, Margaret Ann. After the forces, they bought a farm, but following bad weather, he opted for playing in Memphis clubs for $10 a night. At first, Sam Phillips felt that Rich was too jazz-orientated for his Sun Records label, but arranger Bill Justis gave...
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