Charlie Rich, the soulful, silver-haired balladeer who topped the country music charts through the songs "Behind close up door Doors" and also "The most Beautiful Girl" in 1973, died Tuesday. He was 62.

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Rich died in a motel in this southeastern Louisiana city, where he and also his wife, Margaret, had stopped because that the night during a expedition to Florida, coroner Vincent Cefalu said.

Nicknamed the "Silver Fox" because of silky hair the went white when he was 23, Rich had been off the charts because that the previous 15 years.

His heyday was the mid-1970s, once he to be voted the nation Music Association"s entertainment artist of the year in 1974 and male vocalist of the year in 1973.

"Behind close up door Doors" and "A an extremely Special Love Song" were liked albums that the year in 1973 and 1974, respectively. Rich"s last song on the charts was "You Made it Beautiful" in 1981. His critical No. 1 solitary was "On mine Knees," a duet v Janie Fricke in 1978.

Born into an Arkansas farm yard family, rich was affected by jazz and also blues throughout his years studying music in ~ the university of Arkansas. In the at an early stage 1950s, the Air force sent him come Oklahoma, and also one that his first groups to be The Velvetones, which had a jazz-blues sound.

When he was discharged indigenous the waiting Force, Rich moved to West Memphis, Ark., and continued performing, making his method to Sam Phillips" Sun documents in Memphis, Tenn.

Rich created songs, arranged music and played piano because that Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash and also others, do a surname in rockabilly.

Rich"s an initial hit song was "Lonely Weekends" in 1959. Others adhered to through the 1960s, yet he soared in the 1970s with an urbane, smooth-voiced sound that became dubbed "countrypolitan," enabling Rich come grab fans from the likes of candid Sinatra.

In 1972, Rich"s fight "I take it It ~ above Home" was nominated because that a Grammy. His other hits included "Every Time friend Touch Me (I get High)" and also "I Love my Friend." He had actually a extremely regarded gospel album in 1974, "Silver Linings."

After the demise of Sun, rich went to job-related for Groove Records, a subsidiary of RCA, in 1963. ~ stints in ~ two smaller sized labels, the signed v Epic documents in Nashville in 1968.

Rich fought alcoholism throughout much that his career. He lived in Memphis and had stopped in Natchez, Miss., the night before he passed away to visit a son, his wife told the Hammond everyday Star.

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The Erie County clinical Examiner"s Office has completed that is autopsy on the 69-year-old victim, identify her fatality was a suicide resulted in by drowning, Park Police Capt. Christopher Rola stated Monday.