Nobody Knows – Tony Rich Project | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#1) & R&B (#11); 1996

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

Tony Rich’s brother Joe originally penned Nobody Knows as a country song, and, indeed, a version by Kevin Sharp went all the way to #1. And although this rendition was true to the original spirit of the song, by early 1997 Kevin’s Nobody Knows was looked upon as a country cover of a very successful R&B hit by the Tony Rich Project. The Tony in question was Joe’s brother, who got his professional start in the music business when John Salley of the Detroit Pistons heard one of Tony’s demo tapes. Salley just happened to have a production company, and through his connections Tony ended up as a staff songwriter/producer for LaFace Records. Finally, Tony got the green light to record his own album. Two months after Nobody Knows entered the Hot 100 it was in the Top 10 where it stayed for six months. Tony even earned a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist, all thanks to his brother’s “country” song.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2023 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Tony Rich

Lyrics Written by:

  • Joe Rich
  • Don DuBose