Vintage Music Productions

Fred Rich

Fred Rich and His Orchestra (1926-1938) VMP 0141 [Vintage Music Productions CD] Classic early recordings, including four recently discovered tunes and rare performances from Vitaphone and Paramount shorts. Features Bunny Berigan, Jack Teagarden, Joe Venuti, Eddie Lang, Miff Mole, Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, Adrian Rollini, Tony Parenti and many others. The music, on this compact disc, has been digitally restored using Dynamic Spectrum Sound. Dynamic Spectrum Sound is an exclusive and proprietary restoration technique that removes unwanted noise, while preserving the authentic sound of the original recordings, as intended by the artist. Liner notes by Jeff Hopkins. Order No. 56344

1. Poor Papa [Feb 2, 1926]
2. Bell Hoppin' Blues [Feb 2, 1926]
3. The Blue Room [May 19, 1926]
4. Hugs And Kisses [Sep 10, 1926]
5. Tuck In Kentucky And Smile [Oct 15, 1926]
6. It All Depends On You [Feb 15, 1927]
7. She's Got "It" [May 20, 1927]
8. Some Sweet Day [Mar 29, 1929]
9. I Get The Blues When It Rains [Mar 29, 1929]
10. Singin' In The Rain [May 10, 1929]
11. Collegiate Love [Feb 7, 1930]
12. Accordion Joe [Feb 7, 1930]
13. Wasting My Love On You [Sep 17, 1930]
14. Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone [Feb 9, 1931]
15. At Your Command [Jun 15, 1931]
16. The Hour Of Parting [Jun 15, 1931]
17. Little Girl [Aug 1931]
18. It's The Girl [Aug 1931]
19. You Call It Madness [Nov 1931]
20. China Boy [Vitaphone 1934]
21. Until Today [Paramount 1936]
22. You Can't Pull The Wool Over My Eyes [Paramount 1936]
23. Tiger Rag [Paramount 1936]
24. The Volga Boatman [May 3, 1938]

It is unlikely that Fred Rich ever performed in the type of venue that has been most associated with early jazz. In the hotel ballrooms and broadcast studios, where Fred Rich made his career, there was nothing so "sporting" or "primitive" as to be mistaken for a Red Onion or Funky Butt Hall. But unlike so many other bandleaders made comfortably nameless by the lure of Tin Pan Alley and all the assembly line sessions that ARC could offer, Fred Rich endeavored to produce something musically significant. In doing so, he employed the talents of such future legends as Miff Mole, Benny Goodman, Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, Artie Shaw, Bunny Berigan, Adrian Rollini, Sylvester Ahola, Joe Venuti and Eddie Lang (just to name a bunch). Of course, not all of Fred Rich's music can be characterized as jazz. Much of it cannot even be described as hot. Nevertheless, it is testament of his contribution to the idiom that Fred Rich has his own entry in the heavily guarded pages of the New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, as well as such discriminating resources as Feather and Gitler's Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz and Chilton's Who's Who of Jazz.

Little is known of Fred Rich's youth. He was born Frederic Efram Rich, in Warsaw Poland, January 3, 1898. Just after the turn of the century, his family emigrated to the United States and settled in New York City. While still a boy, he began studying piano, and sometime during his teens, he began playing professionally, as a movie house pianist. Later, he attended the Damrosch Conservatory of Music.

In 1922, Fred Rich and his band began their residency at the Astor Hotel, in New York. Two years later, he made his first recording, while sitting in with Jack Denny's band. As a sideman, Fred Rich also did three sessions with Ken "Goof" Moyer, in 1926. He led his own session, for the first time, in September 1925. From then until 1931, he recorded prolifically for numerous labels.

In January 1928, Fred Rich left the Astor Hotel and went on tour, in Europe. While there, he led three recording sessions, in London (Feb 1928), and a performance at the Wintergarden, in Berlin (also Feb 1928). Previous to this, he is said to have led another tour to Europe, in 1925 and 1926. However, given his recording schedule and the reality of transatlantic travel during the 1920s, it is difficult to figure out when he would have had the opportunity.

In late 1928 or early 1929, Fred Rich was hired to be the music director for newly-created CBS radio. This was a position that he would hold for the next decade.

During the 1930s, Fred Rich's recording activity tailed off precipitously. After 1931, he led only three more sessions, including his last, in 1940 (which, incidentally, featured Roy Eldridge and Benny Carter). In the same period, however, Fred Rich reached more listeners than ever, through frequent radio broadcasts. From 1930 to 1932, his band performed weekly, on "The Friendly Five Footnotes" (NBC/CBS), featuring Joe Venuti and Eddie Lang. Other regular appearances included "The George Jessel Show" with Vera Van (CBS 1934), Lucky Strike's "Your Hit Parade" (NBC 1935-1937), "Peter Pfeiffer" (CBS 1935), "Freddie Rich's Penthouse Party" (CBS 1935-1936), "The Flying Red Horse Tavern" (CBS 1935-1936) and Harry Rich's syndicated radio show, "It's Florida's Treat" (1937-1938). Fred Rich and his band also made a number of film appearances, including "Mirrors" (Vitaphone 1934), "Song Hits On Parade" (Paramount 1936) and "Freddie Rich And His Orchestra" with Nan Wynn (Warner Brothers 1938).

In 1938, after ten years with CBS, Fred Rich resigned his position as music director. His broadcast appearances, however, continued with "Tommy Riggs and Betty Lou" (NBC 1939-1940), "The Abbott And Costello Show" (NBC 1943-1945) and "The Camel Comedy Caravan" (CBS 1943).

Fred Rich joined the staff at United Artists, in 1942, and in the next several years, provided music scores for numerous movies, including "Stage Door Canteen" (1943), "Jack London" (1943) and "A Walk In The Sun" (1945). For the 1944 film, "A WAVE, a WAC and a Marine" (in which he and his band also appeared), Fred Rich received an Academy Award nomination for best score.

In 1945, Fred Rich was seriously injured in a fall that left him partially paralyzed. While he continued to work for several more years, his injuries eventually forced him to retire from United Artists, in 1950 or 1951.

Fred Rich died, in Beverly Hills, September 8, 1956. He was just 58 years old.


With Fred Rich (piano, director) * Bunny Berigan (trumpet, vocals) * Red Nichols (trumpet) * Leo McConville (trumpet) * Tommy Gott (trumpet) * Hymie Farberman (trumpet) * Mike Mosiello (trumpet) * Joe Lindwurm (trumpet) * Bill Moore (trumpet) * Tommy Dorsey (trumpet, trombone) * Miff Mole (trombone) * Jack Teagarden (trombone) * Jerry Colonna (trombone) * Ray Stilwell (trombone) * Jack Lacey (trombone) * Charlie Butterfield (trombone) * Earl Kelly (trombone) * Artie Shaw (clarinet, saxophone) * Jimmy Dorsey (clarinet, saxophone) * Tony Parenti (clarinet, saxophone) * Fred Cusick (clarinet, saxophone) * Ted Klein (clarinet, saxophone) * Ted Klein (clarinet, saxophone) * Elmer Feldkamp (clarinet, saxophone, vocals) * Goof Moyer (clarinet, saxophone, mellophone) * Benny Carter (saxophone and/or trumpet) * Babe Russin (saxophone) * Fletcher Hereford (saxophone) * Rudy Adler (saxophone) * Adrian Rollini (bass saxophone) * Jimmy Johnston (bass saxophone) * Joe Venuti (violin) * Phil Oliwitz (violin) * Al Duffy (violin) * Carl Kress (banjo, guitar) * Eddie Lang (guitar) * Roy Smeck (guitar) * Dick McDonough (guitar) * Frank Signorelli (piano) * Irving Brodsky (piano) * Walter Gross (piano) * Cornell Smelser (accordion) * Charlie Magnante (accordion) * Jack Hansen (brass bass) * Hank Stern (brass bass) * Joe Tarto (brass bass, string bass) * Ted Hurst (string bass) * Ray Bauduc (drums) * Stan King (drums) * Helen Rowland (vocals) * Dick Robertson (vocals) * Irving Kaufman (vocals) * Scrappy Lambert (vocals) * Paul Hagan (vocals) * Bill Coty (vocals) * Artie Dunn (vocals) * The Rollickers (vocals).

Ordering Information

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Order No. 56344

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FREDDIE RICH * FREDDY RICH * FREDDIE RICH'S RADIO ORCHESTRA * a.k.a. HOTEL ASTOR ORCHESTRA * a.k.a. THE ASTORITES * a.k.a. FRANK AUBURN ORCHESTRA * BERNARD BERIGAN ("BUNNY") * IRVING MOLE ("MIFF") * SALVATORE MASSARO (a.k.a. "EDDIE LANG") * ERNEST NICHOLS ("RED") * ERNEST LORING NICHOLS ("RED") * HAROLD LAMBERT ("SCRAPPY") * IRVING RUSSIN ("BABE") * KEN MOYER ("GOOF") * VINCENT VAN TUYL (a.k.a. IRVING KAUFMAN) * FRANK HARRIS (a.k.a. IRVING KAUFMAN) * HARMONY * COLUMBIA * BANNER * OKEH * HIT OF THE WEEK * VITAPHONE * PARAMOUNT * ASSOCIATED TRANSCRIPTION SERVICE * CD * CDs * COMPACT DISC * COMPACT DISCS * 78 * 78s * 78's * 78 RPM * 78RPM * RECORD * RECORDS * RECORDING * RECORDINGS * TRANSCRIPTIONS * EARLY JAZZ * HOT DANCE MUSIC * HOT JAZZ * CLASSIC JAZZ * TRADITIONAL JAZZ * DIXIELAND JAZZ * HISTORIC JAZZ * SWING * TERRITORY BAND * TERRITORY BANDS * VOCALIST * VOCALISTS * CHARLESTON * BLACK BOTTOM * FOX TROT * LINDY HOP * JITTERBUG * HOTEL DANCE BAND * HOTEL DANCE BANDS * POPULAR DANCE BAND * POPULAR DANCE BANDS * SWEET DANCE BAND * SWEET DANCE BANDS * 1920s * 1920's * 1926 * 1927 * 1928 * 1929 * 1930s * 1930's * 1930 * 1931 * 1932 * 1933 * 1934 * 1935 * 1936 * 1937 * 1938