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Red Richards

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b. Charles Coleridge Richards, 19 October 1912, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA, d. 12 March 1998, New York City, New York, USA. After playing classical piano as a child, Richards was moved to turn to jazz after hearing Fats Waller. He played in and around the city of his birth for several years as both soloist and band pianist. In the late 40s and early 50s he worked with several leading jazz musicians including periods in bands led by Tab Smith and Sidney Bechet. During the 50s he worked in the USA and in Europe, playing with diverse artists including Mezz Mezzrow and Frank Sinatra, but spent most of this decade in Muggsy Spanier’s band. After a brief stint with Wild Bill Davison he teamed up with Vic Dickenson to form a band they named the Saints And Sinners. This band remained in existence until the early 70s, after which Richards returned to New York where he worked in various clubs as soloist and leader of small groups. Towards the end of the decade he began touring internationally, an activity he continued throughout the 80s, sometimes as soloist but also as a member of the Savoy Sultans led by David ‘Panama’ Francis. Richards’ best work has always been heard in his role as a band player where he adds swing and drive to any rhythm section. He collapsed and died on stage in New York in March 1998.

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Birth Name:

Charles Coleridge Richards


19 October 1912 in Brooklyn, NY

Years Active:

'40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s