Behind Closed Doors

Album: Behind Closed Doors (1973)
Charted: 16 15
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Songfacts®:

  • 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.

Comments: 4

  • Papa Mac from GeorgiaYep, Charlie was a great piano player, although he didn’t play on “Behind Closed Doors”. That was Pig Robbins-great session player in Nashville.
  • Jennifur Sun from Ramonawhat a voice and what a piano player. RIP Charlie
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyPer: http://www.oldiesmusic.com/news.htm {03-31-2018}...
    Singer/songwriter Kenny O'Dell, best remembered for "Beautiful People" (#38 in 1967, also a #37 hit in a cover version by Bobby Vee) died Tuesday (March 27th, 2018, though some reports say a day later) at a health care facility outside of Nashville at the age of 73...
    Born Kenneth Gist, Jr. in Antlers, Oklahoma, he also wrote "Next Plane To London" by the Rose Garden and Charlie Rich's "Behind Closed Doors". He was the Songwriter of the Year in 1984 for the Nashville Songwriters Association and was inducted into their Hall of Fame in 1996...
    May he R.I.P.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyAs noted above, "Behind Closed Doors" was composed by Kenny O'Dell; he also wrote two other songs that peaked at #1 on Billboard's Hot Country Singles chart, "Trouble In Paradise, which Loretta Lynn took to #1 for one week in 1974, and the Judd's "Mama He's Crazy", it reached the top spot for one week in 1984...
    In 1967 the Rose Garden took his penned "Next Plane To London" to #17 on the Top 100 chart...
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