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Album: Behind Closed DoorsReleased: 1973Charted:
This love song was written by Kenny O'Dell, a country music singer and songwriter from Oklahoma. It was first recorded by Charlie Rich, becoming the singer's first #1 hit on the country charts.
The song was written during the Watergate scandal and the lyrics were inspired by how the Congressional Committee, that was investigating Watergate at the time, had a number of non-public sessions. O'Dell explained to Bart Herbison of Nashville Songwriters Association International:
"They're always talking about no one know what goes on behind closed doors. Having the sessions, another session, behind closed doors. And I'm thinking, I like the title, 'Behind Closed Doors.'"
Asked how Charlie Rich ended up recording the song, O'Dell replied: "Well, Billy Sherrill was producing him and they were trying to get a huge hit, and things weren't working out very well…I took it to Billy and I had his ear at the time."
Charlie Rich ended up recording the song with O'Dell playing rhythm guitar. (Source of quotes The Tennessean
Country love songs didn't get much more suggestive than "Behind Closed Doors" in 1973 and some radio stations banned the record initially as being too racy for their listeners.
Charlie Rich won a Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance. In addition Kenny O'Dell was awarded the CMA and ACM Awards for Song of the Year.
The song featured in the 1979 film Every Which Way But Loose.
Other artists that have recorded the song include, Ronnie Milsap, Perry Como, Percy Sledge and Tom Jones. In addition Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton and Diana Ross have all recorded versions in which the genders were reversed.