Charlie Rich (December 14, 1932 - July 25, 1995) was an American musician and pianist. A multi-Grammy Award winner, his eclectic-style of music was often hard to classify in a single genre, playing in the rockabilly, jazz, blues, country, and gospel genres. In the latter part of his life, Rich acquired the nickname "The Silver Fox" in reference to his full head of gray hair. Charlie Rich's pioneering contribution to early rock n' roll has been recognized by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. Rich's son, Charlie Rich, Jr., is also a musician.
Rich was born in Colt, Arkansas to rural cotton farmers, beginning a professional musical career while in the U.S. Air Force in the early 1950s. His first musical group, called the Velvetones, played jazz and blues and featured his fiancÃ©e, Margaret Ann, on lead vocals. Rich left the military in 1956 and tried to farm five acres in Tennessee. He began performing clubs around the Memphis area, playing both jazz and R&B. It was during these hard times he began writing his own material.