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Good Grief
by Emil Richards
Emil Richards (1932 to 2019) was an American recording and session percussionist. Emil Richards born Emilio Joseph Radocchia on September 2nd 1932 in Hartford, Connecticut, USA. He started playing the xylophone at the age of six, and while in high school performed with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. He then studied with Al Lepak at the Hartt School of Music in Hartford, graduating in 1952. After being drafted into the US Army, he was part of a military band in Japan, playing with Toshiko Akiyoshi while there. He moved to New York City in 1954, where he played with artists such as Charles Mingus, Ed Shaughnessy and Ed Thigpen, while assisting the likes of Perry Como, the 'Ray Charles Singers' and Mitchell Ayres on studio recordings. Richards was a member of a group led by George Shearing for about three years, then moved on to Los Angeles to work with Don Ellis and Paul Horn. He led his own band, the 'Microtonal Blues Band', and spent a great deal of time with composer and inventor Harry Partch. He accompanied George Harrison on tour as a sideman, and recorded with Frank Sinatra, Frank Zappa, Doris Day, Judy Garland, Nelson Riddle, 'Steely Dan' and Sarah Vaughan. He often worked as a studio musician for movies and television - his credits included playing bongos on the theme song for the television programme "Mission Impossible", providing finger snaps for the theme to "The Addams Family", and xylophone work on the opening theme of "The Simpsons" cartoon. Richards once led a band alongside Joe Porcaro, and also released one solo album, "The Wonderful World of Percussion". He is thought to have lost much of his original mastered material in the 2008 Universal fire, but retained an impressive collection of ethnic and other percussive instruments built up over time (he donated a large number of these instruments to a drum museum in Oklahoma in 1992). Emil Richards died in Los Angeles on December 13th 2019, aged 87. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/emil-richards-dead-legendary-percussionist-la-session-player-was-87-1263412
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Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emil_Richards
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† REST IN PEACE †
Hundreds of very talented musicians pass away each year, some without much recognition at all. On "Rest In Peace", I aim to give them a fitting 'send-off', with a decent Tribute. I hope you will join me in marking their passing.....
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