“The Most Beautiful Girl” is a song recorded by Charlie Rich and written by Bill Sherrill, Norris Wilson, and Rory Bourke. The country & western ballad reached #1 in the United States in 1973 on three Billboard music charts: the pop chart (two weeks); the country chart (three weeks); and the adult contemporary chart (three weeks), as well as in Canada on three RPM charts: the RPM 100 Top Singles chart, the Country Tracks chart, and the Adult Contemporary chart. Billboard ranked it as the No. 23 song for 1974.
The song was originally recorded as “Hey Mister” in 1968 by co-writer Norris Wilson. The song also uses a part of “Mama McCluskie”, also by Norris Wilson.
Rich’s B-side, his own I Feel Like Going Home, was later covered by Rita Coolidge and was released on her 1974 album Fall into Spring. British Pop star Engelbert Humperdinck included “The Most Beautiful Girl” on his 1973 album Engelbert: King of Hearts.
“The Most Beautiful Girl” was also recorded by Slim Whitman in the 1970s. Andy Williams released a version in 1974 on his album, The Way We Were. In 1975 ABBA singer Anni-Frid Lyngstad recorded a Swedish-language version called “Vill du låna en man?” (with Swedish lyrics by Stig Anderson) on her solo album “Frida ensam”. Sergio Franchi recorded the song in his 1976 DynaHouse album 20 Magnificent Songs. Country music boy band South 65 recorded an updated version of the song, titled “The Most Beautiful Girl (2001 Version)”, on their 2001 album Dream Large.
The song receives a very brief airing by Brenda Fricker in the film So I Married an Axe Murderer. Jason Alexander also offered a rendition as his character George Costanza on the Dec. 16, 1992 episode of the sitcom Seinfeld titled “The Pick,” where he bemoaned the loss of his girlfriend, Susan.