Song Thoughts: Behind Closed Doors: Charlie Rich

Growing up, our house was always filled with music. My mother filled the house with The Ray Conniff singers, Broadway musicals, and classical composers to include Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, and Tchaikovsky. My grandmother with her Saturday night Lawrence Welk show, Liberace, and other pianists. However, not all of my musical influences hailed from the maternal side of my family. My father chimed in with Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Charlie Rich, and a weekly viewing of Hee Haw featuring Buck Owens and Roy Clark. In fact, it was my father who gave me the very first album (which was actually on cassette tape) I would call my own. Charlie Rich’s 1973 album Behind Closed Doors.

Behind Closed Doors was an award winning, popular album for Charlie Rich. It earned the Country Music Association (CMA) Award for Album of the Year. The single “Behind Closed Doors”, written by Kenny O’Dell, was the CMA’s Single of the Year. Rich was crowned Male Vocalist of the Year by the CMA for his performance on the album and went on to earn a couple of Grammy Awards. Not a bad album to begin a collection!

The reason I liked the album so much was the fact that my father gave it to me. I didn’t even know who Charlie Rich was at the time. He just handed it to me one day out of the blue. 

“Here. I know you like music, so here is an album you can call your own and listen to as much as you want.”

“Wow…thanks! It’s not even my birthday or anything.”

“I know, but the Silver Fox is better than all that Ray Conniff crap.”

“The what?”

“Silver Fox. That’s what they call Charlie Rich,” my dad said very matter-of-factly as he began to walk away.

“Why?” I asked to the back of his head.

“Because his voice is smooth and he has silvery hair I guess,” my father replied as he kept walking into the other room.

And now I owned my first album! I didn’t care that it was a country album by an artist I had never heard of; it was mine. I listened to the album in its entirety over and over. This Charlie Rich fella’s voice was smooth all right! My favorite songs on the album were “Behind Closed Doors” and “The Most Beautiful Girl”. At the time, my ten year old mind had no idea what people did behind closed doors, I just really liked the song. And I had no reference for a wife walking out on her husband. The melodies of the songs and Rich’s talent as a vocalist were what interested me. It was just good music. I wore that cassette  out. When CDs arrived on the scene in the Eighties, I bought it and today it is in my Apple Music  playlist. Behind Closed Doors is a timeless classic and, thanks to my father, was a big part of my musical education. Which has since evolved into listening to more Silver Fox and another song to add to the favorite list, “Feel Like Going Home”. This song whispers of those “good ‘ol days” that ride in on  natsukashi filling my soul with nostalgic remembrance.. And with the smooth tones of the  Silver Fox, it is always an easy, welcoming  ride.

And I still remain. 

© 2023 Gregory Vessar. A Thousand Miles from Kansas. All Rights Reserved.

“Behind Closed Doors” Charlie Rich.
“Feel Like Going Home” Charlie Rich
Categories: Family, Memoir, MusicTags: , , , , ,


  1. Magic. I played one of his greatest hits album on a loop when I was alone in Japan for my 1st month there. I picked it up in NZ just before I left for Japan. So glad I did! It’s still a go-to.

    Liked by 1 person

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