This week in 1973: During a Washington press conference, Vice President Spiro Agnew stated that the worst of Watergate was over; West Point ended its tradition of giving the silent treatment to honor code violators; After being found guilty in an antitrust suit, IBM was order to pay Telex $325.5 million; and a singer from Colt, Arkansas, had his 12th hit record.
According to songwriter/record producer Norro Wilson, "We all have — or have had — the most beautiful girl or guy — because everybody is the most beautiful in the world to somebody." In addition to being basic philosophy — that statement was also the basic building block for one of country music's most successful songs for the year 1973: "The Most Beautiful Girl" by Charlie Rich.
The opening lines: "I woke up this morning / Realized what I had done" came from co-writer Rory Bourke.
Norro commented, " I thought that the jilted man in the song would have to describe the woman he was looking for, but then we decided that to characterize the female would limit the appeal of the song. Thus: everybody has — or has had — the most beautiful girl or guy at one time or another."
"The Most Beautiful" came to light after Norro Wilson pitched a song titled "Hey Mister" to producer Billy Sherrill, and later pitched him another song titled "Mama McCluskey." The two pulled some lines from "Hey Mister" and put them in "Mama McCluskey" and changed the title of the song to "The Most Beautiful Girl." Somewhere in the middle of this, Charlie Rich heard the finished tune, liked it, recorded it and the rest is music history from 1973.
Charlie Rich's Epic Records single "The Most Beautiful Girl" entered the country music charts Sept. 22, 1973 — 18 days after Rich's "Behind Closed Doors" was certified a gold single. One week later, "The Most Beautiful Girl" entered the pop charts and wound up at the top of both country and pop music lists.
Charlie Rich placed 45 songs on the country music charts between 1968 and 1981, including nine No. 1's. Twelve of those 45 country chart tunes also charted on the pop charts. Charlie Rich died in 1995 at age 62.
Join Doug Davis weekday mornings at 6:35 a.m. and 11:35 a.m. for "Story Behind The Song" on "The Pig"-103.9 and 98.5. To listen on the internet, go to the "My Pig Radio" Facebook page and click on the "My Pig Radio" logo.
Doug Davis & The Good Ole Boys will perform at 10:00 a.m. today at Alzheimer's Alliance.