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The links on the upper left side of this page are primarily concerned with my music and career.

It features a biography, music samples, a section on my Dad, "The Silver Fox". The road section features information about recent or upcoming shows. There's a merchandise section, where you can buy CDs, and photos. There's also a full length video section, a guestbook area, and finally a weblog, which I try to update frequently.

I will also be addressing some of the questions that I'm often asked during my travels. So, with that in mind, enjoy the site and carry on...
$CRjr

MY FAVORITE ARTISTS/BANDS

Charlie Rich
"I don't think I ever recorded anyone who was better as a singer, writer, and player than Charlie Rich," said Sam Phillips, "it's all so effortless, the way he moves from rock to country to blues to jazz." Well, I couldn't agree more. What I like best about my father's music is the soulfulness that he imparts in every song, the musicianship which is second to none, the way he bridges the passagio and sings in head voice while remaining soulful. The way he slips into the costume that's appropriate for the songs, the way he imparts synaesthesia with the use of his vowels, the poetic delivery and phrasing that he employs, his use of contrast and/or humor in his inflections to make a point, his attitude on the rockers, his utter believability in all things musical, the pain of loss in songs about rejection, the joy he feels in the upbeat things. What gets me is that despite having countless producers, musician's, and studios to work with, on nearly every track he recorded he imparts his own musical genius. No, it's not bias, I just have good taste;)
The Beatles
I first read of The Beatles on a pamphlet that we had laying around the house back in 1962. The pamphlet was a mail piece from Capitol Records. I think it was a Record Club promo piece. I remember vividly the effect it had on me. I could tell they were something special, even though the little insert about them was small. One rather vague picture of a young group from England that was setting the world on fire. I remember it emitted excitement. Their whole attitude was refreshing and exciting. The next "big thing" I remember about The Beatles is when they played the Ed Sullivan Show. It was a historic moment, and we all crowded in front of the television set to watch it. Now we kids had a band we could call our own. Something special just for us. I remember my Dad bringing us home a Beatles wig. It was great. We'd get in front of the mirror and play air guitar along with the songs. As the years went by I grew to love the music even more than the image. It's hard to explain to younger generations exactly how special The Beatles were, but they were special. No other band has even come close to the phenomenon that was The Beatles, much less the musical force. They changed the world.
Vince Gill
Vince Gill is the consummate musician/artist. He has a beautiful voice, never strained or forced. He has a soulfulness that's all his own. Who couldn't like Vince Gill. No attitude, no pretense, just a solid down to earth talent. Again, this is my list, and my opinion, but I would put Vince at right up at the top of my list for favorite country artists. My country list would be as follows:
  1. Hank Williams: Primarily due to his sheer talent, as well as his influence on several generations of artists to follow him.
  2. Charlie Rich: I feel that when judged by pure talent, musicianship, singing ability, and writing skills, he was superior.
  3. Vince Gill: I would argue the same qualities as Charlie, albeit with different cultural/musical influences.
  4. George Jones: Maybe the best "traditional country singer". His vocal chops and range are second to none.
  5. Merle Haggard: Beautiful songs, a great voice, and probably the most imitated with regard to vocal styling.
Merle Haggard
Merle Haggard I spent several years out on the west coast after my second recording deal. I just sort of got stuck there. Anyway, that's where I discovered Merle's brand of Bakersfield, California country. My favorite songs of his are "My Favorite Memory Of All", "Are The Good Times Really Over For Good", and "That's The Way Love Goes".
James Taylor
James Taylor was so different when his first album came out. After a plethora of rock bands, his singer/songwriter style was a breath of fresh air. His songs were so unassuming, yet profound at the same time. He has a very American folksy sound without sounding like he's a product of the "folk" generation.
Hank Williams Sr.
Hank Williams was and is country music. When I was about 8 years old, my father brought home a Hank Williams album. I fell in love with his music. I remember each and ever song on the album to this day. "Your Cheatin' Heart", "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry", "Hey Good Lookin'", "Why Don't You Love Me". There wasn't a filler on the album. Of course ,it was his greatest hits, or one of the many compilations, but it was all good. My father used that very album to learn the songs for his album of "Charlie Rich Sings The Songs Of Hank Williams". I suppose the closest in spirit and style we have to Hank today would be Alan Jackson, and that ain't bad.
Roxy Music
Roxy Music This band didn't get the recognition they deserved in America, but in England and all throughout Europe they were huge. In 1972, when I had my first label deal, I discovered Roxy. The lyrics were better than anything else that I heard on the radio. More intellectual, more clever. The music was not about "chops" or musical dexterity, it was about communication. They painted pictures by the use of imagery that had previously been more akin to classical orchestrations, but they used rock instruments. How very cool indeed. My favorite album of theirs is "For Your Pleasure". The first side, anyway. The second side is filler, but the first side is so perfect in scope, theme, and continuity that it's still one of the greatest rock albums ever made.
Aretha Franklin
Retha' She is the Queen of Soul, no doubt about it. I saw her blow away the other "divas" on a show where all the other female singers dared to show up. I saw her sit in for Pavorotti on the Grammys one year, and NAIL an operatic piece. She made it her own. It was incredible, and was my favorite moment of any of the Grammy shows I've seen. I saw her live twice, and she is simply more soulful than a human has a right to be. I love Aretha.
Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix was the greatest rock guitarist of all time. He has influenced rock guitarists and blues guitarists more than anyone else. His stuff sounds as fresh today as ever. "It's almost like he was from another planet", said Paul McCartney.
Neil Young
Neil Young would never make it on "American Idol", or "Star Search", or "You Can Be A Star". Thank God. Never one to bow to conventional approaches to music, Neil Young is an innovator. The innocence and sincerity of his voice belie the fact that he uses his falsetto as a means of intimate communication. Always fresh, never afraid to try new avenues of musical experimentation, Neil Young is truly an original.

Still more stuff...

  1. Being taken seriously.
  2. How my father became a star.
  3. So, you wanna' be a country star?
  4. Who do you like better, Garth or Gershwin?
  5. You'll eat what you're served...
  6. The Media: Out with the old, in with the new.
  7. It's great exposure.

Thoughts on some of the people I've played with or known.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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