The Most Beautiful Girl

Composed by B. Sherrill / N. Wilson / R. Bourke

Song Review by

Charlie Rich is one of those soulful performers that could sing the phone book compellingly. His voice transcends the country music genre much as his crossover repertoire and style do. He's a soul singer, like other great country stylists George Jones and Merle Haggard. Teaming up with legendary countrypolitan producer/writer Billy Sherrill for the 1973 LP Behind Closed Doors, the pair produced some major genre-bending hits for the heyday of AM radio -- the title cut and the poignant and memorable classic "The Most Beautiful Girl."

Written by Sherrill with Rory Bourke and Norro Wilson, "The Most Beautiful Girl" was chart-topper in both country and mainstream pop circles. It dated back to 1968 when Wilson, now a well-regarded producer in his own right, played as a performer in Chicago, staying at the home of Bourke, who was his record promoter but aspired to be a songwriter. After a night of whooping it up, Bourke awakened Wilson with a hot cup of coffee and a song he had started that he wanted help with. They wrote the song as "Hey Mister, Did You Happen to See the Most Beautiful Girl in the World?" Getting it finally into the hands of Sherrill, the producer shortened the unwieldy title, tweaked it, and recorded it withRich.

The tale of heartbreak reads like a traditional honky tonk lyric, but the sophisticated melody is haunting and atypical for country music: "I woke up this morning/And realized what I had done/I stood alone in the cold grey dawn/I knew I'd lost my morning sun/I lost my head and I said some things/Now come the heartaches that the morning brings/I know I'm wrong and I couldn't see/I let my world slip away from me/So, hey, did you happen to see/The most beautiful girl in the world?/ And if you did, was she crying, crying?"

Sherrill pushes all the right -- though predictable -- buttons, with strings, backing singers, wistful pedal steel, and a seamlessly smooth sound. But really, not much is needed beyond the remarkably expressive voice of the very aptly named Rich, who came up at Sun Records but croons like the best blue-eyed soul singers, an almost overwhelming melancholy always present in his voice.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Behind Closed Doors 1973 Epic 2:43
25 All-Time Greatest Hits 1976 Varèse Sarabande 2:43
No Image 1978
Golden Love Songs, Vol. 6 1987
Various Artists
Arcade Music
American Originals 1989 Columbia 2:43
No Image 1990
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 2:34
Columbia Country Classics, Vol. 4: The Nashville Sound 1991
Various Artists
Columbia 2:42
No Image 1992 Warner Bros.
Schmuse Songs, Vol. 2 1992
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution
The Oldie Collection, Vol. 2 1992
Various Artists
Columbia 2:39
Country Music Classics, Vol. 19 1970-1975 1993
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:42
No Image 1995
Various Artists
Risky Business
No Image 1995
Various Artists
Columbia 2:44
Super Hits 1995 sbc 2:42
The Very Best of Charlie Rich [K-Tel] 1995 K-Tel Distribution 2:49
48 No. 1 Country Hits 1995
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution
For the Good Times [K-Tel] 1996
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:49
50 Number One Country Hits 1996
Various Artists
Good Music/MCA
Entspanne! 1996
Various Artists
Feel Like Going Home: The Essential Charlie Rich 1997 Legacy / Columbia/Legacy 2:42
Billboard Top Soft Rock Hits: 1973 1997
Various Artists
Rhino 2:45
Most Beautiful Girl: 20 Greatest Hits 1997 DJ Specialist 2:57
The Seventies Generation: 1973 1997
Various Artists
St. Clair / Retro Music 2:51
#1 Hits: The 70's Decade 1998
Various Artists
St. Clair / Number 1 Hits 2:51
#1 Hits of 1970-1974 1998
Various Artists
GNP/Crescendo 2:41
Selection of Country Love Songs [1998] 1998
Various Artists
Golden Sounds 2:45
Country Number Ones 25 Chart-Toppers 1998
Various Artists
Country Stars 2:54
No Image 1998
Various Artists
Wonderful Music Of
No Image 1998
Various Artists
Razor & Tie
16 Biggest Hits 1999 Legacy / Sony Music Distribution 2:42
Country Greatest, Vol. 2 1999
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 2:50
Billboard Top Soft Rock Hits: 1970-1974 1999
Various Artists
Rhino 2:55
Classic Country: Early '70s 1999
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:44
Rock N' Roll Hits of the 70's:  #1 Hits of the 70's 1999
Various Artists
Madacy 2:50
Rich Sounds of Charlie Rich 2000 Platinum Disc 2:53
Ultimate Collection 2000 Hip-O 2:41
I Love You Because: Famous Country Love Songs 2000
Various Artists
Goldies 2:53
Best of the 70's: Hits of 1973 2000
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:47
Rock N' Roll Hits of the 70's 2000
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:50
Come Sundown [Direct Source] 2000
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:47
The Best of the 70's, Vol. 2 2000
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:47
Best of the 70's [Direct Source 6 CD Box] 2000
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:47
Good Old Country: Men of Country 2000
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:52
Men of Country [2000] 2000
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:52
AM Gold: #1 Hits of the '70s - '70-'74 2000
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:44
70's Pop Hits 2001
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 2:44
Number One Hits of the 50s, 60s and 70's 2001
Various Artists
Goldies
That's Country [Golden Stars] 2001
Various Artists
Golden Stars 2:51
Singers & Songwriters: Early '70s [2001] 2001
Various Artists
Time/Life Music
Number 1 Hits 50's 60's & 70's 2002
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:51
The Number 1 Country Collection 2002
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:48
Country Legends [Columbia River] 2002
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:41
She's a Lady [Startel] 2002
Various Artists
Startel
Summer Country: 41 Classic Country Hits for a Modern World 2002
Various Artists
Telstar
Elite: Country 2002
Various Artists
Rajon Entertainment Pty Ltd.
Ultimate Country Super Hits [Sony Box Set] 2002
Various Artists
Immediate / Sony Music Distribution 2:42
Country Love Songs [K-Tel] 2002
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:49
Country Ballads [EMI] 2002
Various Artists
Virgin 2:42
Nothing but Number 1's of the Seventies & Eightes 2002
Various Artists
Dominion Entertainment / K-Tel 2:49
Extreme 70's [1] 2003
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 2:42
Back to Back 2003 K-Tel Distribution 2:51
Heart Full of Country 2003
Various Artists
Capitol/EMI Records / Capitol 2:42
Country's Greatest [2003] 2003
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 2:50
#1 Country [K-Tel] 2003
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:51
Inolvidables de la Radio, Vol. 2 2003
Various Artists
WEA International 2:49
Hits of the 70's [Pegasus] 2003
Various Artists
Pegasus 2:53
Triple Value: Country 2003
Various Artists
Rajon Entertainment Pty Ltd.
To Mother With Love [K-Tel UK] 2003
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:44
Oldies: Forever Young 2004
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 2:36
Songbook of Love 2004
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:45
Straight from the Heart [Box Set] 2004
Various Artists
Universal Special Products 2:43
Extreme 70s 2004
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 2:42
Greatest Hits [w/Ray Price] 2004 Platinum Disc 2:53
Lifetime Of Romance: Secret Rendezvous 2004
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:44
Disco de Ouro, Vol. 2 [Ouver] 2005
Various Artists
Ouver
The Ultimate Country Collection [Universal International] 2005
Various Artists
Universal International 2:57
Gentlemen of Country [St. Clair] 2005
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:52
Country No.1's 2005
Various Artists
Pegasus (Pinnacle) 2:48
Very Best of Charlie Rich [Prism] 2005 Prism Platinum
Country Hit Parade 2005 Direct Source 2:51
The Great Charlie Rich 2005 Rajon Entertainment Pty Ltd.
Top 20 of Country 2005
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:46
K-Tel Presents: Country Guys 2006
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution / Brentwood/K-Tel 2:53
I Will Always Love You [K-Tel] 2006
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:53
No Image 2006
Various Artists
Bcd
No. 1 Hits of the 70's [Pegasus] 2006
Various Artists
Pegasus (Pinnacle)
100 Biggest Hits from the 70's 2006
Various Artists
BMG
Greatest Ever! Country 2006
Various Artists
Greatest Ever / Union Square Music 2:43
30 #1 Country Love Songs 2006
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:50
Legends of Country: Classic Hits from the '50s, '60s & '70s 2006
Various Artists
Shout! Factory 2:44
True Women [Echo Bridge DVD/CD] 2006
Various Artists
Echo Bridge Home Entertainment 2:50
30 #1 Country Hits of the 1970s 2007
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:50
No Image 2007 KRB
Superstars of Country [Time Life] 2007
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:41
70s #1 Country Hits 2007
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:50
No Image 2007
Various Artists
K-Tel / K-Tel Distribution 2:49
Country's Most Beautiful Songs Ever 2008
Various Artists
ABC Music/Warner Music 2:42
Top of the Pops Collection [43 CD] 2008
Various Artists
EMI
No Image 2008
Various Artists
Euro Trend / MCP
70's Number One Hits 2008
Various Artists
TGG Direct 2:51
Romancing the 70s: Precious and Few 2008
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:43
The Pop Years: 1974-1975 2009
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 2:40
The Collection: The Hits of 1973 2009
Various Artists
Sony Music 2:41
The Best Year of My Life: 1974 2009
Various Artists
Sony Music
No Image 2009
Various Artists
Commercial Canada 2:42
The  Pop Years: The 70s 2010
Various Artists
Crimson / Crimson Productions / Zoom
The Country Box [Universal] 2010
Various Artists
Universal 2:42
Romancing the '70s 2010
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:43
Pure...Country 2010
Various Artists
Sony Music 2:40
Country's Got Heart [Box Set] 2011
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:44
A  Rich Anthology 1960-1978 2011 Raven 2:43
Pure... Crooners 2011
Various Artists
Sony Music 2:42
Rollin' with the Flow: RCA and Epic Country Hits 1968-1979 2011 T-Bird Americana 2:40
No Image 2011
Various Artists
Sony Music Entertainment 2:42
Music of Your Life 2012
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:44
Legends of Country 2013
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:41
Pure... 70s 2013
Various Artists
Sony Music 2:41
The Greatest Ever: Country 2014
Various Artists
Bellevue Publishing / Wienerworld 2:53
The Party Mix: '70s Classics 2014
Various Artists
Crimson
100 Hits: Country Greats 2014
Various Artists
100 Hits 2:43
No Image 2016
Various Artists
Sony Music 2:41
Classic 45's: Classic Country 2016
Various Artists
Edsel
101 Most Beloved Pop Masterpieces
Various Artists
Warner Strategic Marketing 2:55
30 Stars: Country
Various Artists
Sony Music 2:42
Best of Country Songs
Various Artists
Warner Bros.
Country Hits [USM Media]
Various Artists
USM Media 2:41
Country Music of Your Life
Various Artists
Rhino / StarVista 2:43
De Pre Historie: 1974, Vol. 1
Various Artists
Eva 2:34
No Image
Various Artists
LM
Hold Me Close
Various Artists
Sony Music 2:40
La  Légende Country
Various Artists
Sony BMG
No Image
Various Artists
Les  Plus Grands Moments du Country
Various Artists
CBS Records
Romantically Yours
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:43
Teardrops: 40 of the Best Love Songs Ever
Various Artists
Prism Leisure Corporation (UK)
The  Country Store Collection Masterpieces
No Image
Various Artists
Legacy
The  Sound of Nashville
Various Artists
Sony Music
Ultimate... Country
Various Artists
Sony Music 2:42
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