By Ray Bennett
Country music songwriter Margaret Ann Rich, widow of singer Charlie Rich, died Thursday at her home near Memphis, TN, following a struggle with Alzheimer’s Disease. She was 76.
Charlie recorded several of her songs including “Life Has Its Little Ups and Downs” and “Field of Yellow Yellow Daisies.” Many other artists recorded her work including Tom Jones, Kris Kristofferson, Rita Coolidge, Bobby Blue Bland and Ricky Van Shelton, who had a country No. 1 with “Life Has Its Little Ups and Downs.”
Margaret Ann and Charlie were married in 1952 and raised four children in Benton, Arkansas, and Memphis. Known as the Silver Fox, Rich, who died in 1995, always credited his wife for much of his success.
Two of Margaret Ann’s songs, “A Sunday Kind of Woman” and “Nothing In the World”, were on Rich’s platinum selling album “Behind Closed Doors,” which won the Country Music Association Best Album Award in 1973. She also had songs on his album “A Very Special Love Song” that won the same award the following year.
A graduate of the Arkansas State Teachers College, Margaret Ann was a founding member of the Memphis branch of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and a member of the Screen Actors Guild.
She is survived by her brother Jimmy Greene; son Charlie Rich Jr. and wife Teri; daughter Laurie Rich Lee and husband Keith; sisters-in-law Libby Ann Armstrong and Barbara Ann Rivers; grandchildren Maggie Yelverton and husband Brooks, Wesley Karber and wife Bethany, Cole Lee, Erica Rivas, Michael Wittenbach, and Leslie Wittenbach; and great grandchildren Parker and Suzi Yelverton, and Lila and Mabyn Karber.
The funeral will be in Memphis on July 26.