Fred Rich

Frederic Efrem Rich (January 31, 1898 – September 8, 1956) was a Polish-born American bandleader and composer who was active from the 1920s to the 1950s. Among the musicians in his band were the Dorsey Brothers, Joe Venuti, Bunny Berigan, and Benny Goodman. In the early 1930s, Elmer Feldkamp was one of his vocalists.

Rich was born in Warsaw, Poland. He was a pianist and formed his band in the 1920s. His theme songs were "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows" and "So Beats My Heart for You." Between 1925–1928, he toured Europe. He enjoyed a long stay at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. He began leading a studio band and recorded for Okeh, Columbia, Paramount, Camden, and Vocalion, often under the names Fred Richards, the Astorites, and the Hotel Astor Band. Rich and his band served as their house band for a time in the 1920s. In the late 1930s, he became musical director for radio stations. In 1942 he moved to a staff position with United Artists Studios in Hollywood, where he remained for most of his career.

Rich's band played for several network radio programs, including The Abbott and Costello Show.

Most of Rich's records are typical dance fare of the era. However, during the period between November 1929 and March 1931, there was a scattering of hot jazz versions of popular tunes, with notable solos by Bunny Berigan, Tommy Dorsey, Jimmy Dorsey, Joe Venuti, and Eddie Lang. These celebrated recordings include 'A Peach of a Pair" (October 29, 1930), "I Got Rhythm"(October 29, 1930), "Cheerful Little Earful" (November 19, 1930), and "I'm Tickled Pink with a Blue-Eyed Baby" (November 19, 1930).

As "Freddie Rich," he recorded dozens of popular-title piano rolls in the 1920s for the Aeolian Company, both for its reproducing Duo-Art system and its 88 note Mel-O-Dee label. Rich also contributed to the composition of a novelty song"I'm Just Wild About Animal Crackers". He has a number of song credits to his name, including "Blue Tahitian Moonlight," "Time Will Tell", and "On the Riviera." He also wrote scores for movies.

In 1945, Rich was badly injured when he suffered a fall. As a result, he suffered from partial paralysis. But despite this, Rich continued to lead studio bands into the 1950s. Fred Rich died on September 8, 1956 in California at the age of 58 after a long illness.

Birth and Death Data: Born January 3rd, 1898 (Warsaw), Died September 8th, 1956 (Beverly Hills)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1921 - 1939

Roles Represented in DAHR: leader, composer, piano, lyricist, songwriter

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 232 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor B-25175 10-in. 4/21/1921 I'm looking for a bluebird (To chase my blues away) Aileen Stanley Female vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-32272 10-in. 3/31/1925 Montmartre Rose Tommy Lyman Male vocal solo, with violin and piano instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BVE-34310 10-in. 1/8/1926 Too many parties and too many pals Tommy Lyman Male vocal solo, with violin and piano instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BVE-34311 10-in. 1/8/1926 If I ever cry (You'll never know) Tommy Lyman Male vocal solo, with violin and piano instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BVE-35701 10-in. 6/18/1926 I'm just wild about animal crackers Billy Murray Male vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor BVE-35712 10-in. 6/23/1926 I'm just wild about animal crackers Irving Aaronson ; Commanders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal quartet composer  
Victor BVE-35781 10-in. 7/16/1926 On the Riviera International Novelty Orchestra Orchestra, with male vocal solo composer  
Victor BVE-37535 10-in. 1/11/1927 Who do you love? Smith Brothers Male vocal duet, with piano composer  
Victor BVE-38152 10-in. 3/9/1927 Who do you love? Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor B-[Unnumbered 1925-03-31-01] 10-in. 3/31/1925 If you hadn't gone away Tommy Lyman Male vocal solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Victor PBVE-301 10-in. 4/29/1927 I still believe in you Art Hickman's Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor BS-023228 10-in. 5/15/1938 Donn' ama Carmen Lombardo ; Guy Lombardo ; Royal Canadians Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo lyricist  
Columbia 79904 10-in. 6/22/1921 I'm looking for a bluebird (to chase my blues away) Marion Harris ; Paul Biese Orchestra Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band composer  
Columbia 141030 10-in. 9/22/1925 You told me to go Fred Rich Hotel Astor Orchestra ; Billy Jones Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo leader  
Columbia 141031 10-in. 9/22/1925 Feelin' kind o' blue Fred Rich Hotel Astor Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Columbia 141032 10-in. 9/22/1925 Miami Fred Rich Hotel Astor Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Columbia 141204 10-in. 10/28/1925 I'm sitting on top of the world Fred Rich Hotel Astor Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Columbia 141205 10-in. 10/28/1925 I wouldn't be where I am if you hadn't gone away Fred Rich Hotel Astor Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Columbia 141206 10-in. 10/28/1925 When I dream of the last waltz with you Franklyn Baur ; Fred Rich Hotel Astor Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo leader  
Columbia 141419 10-in. 12/21/1925 Don't wake me up (Let me dream) Fred Rich Hotel Astor Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Columbia 141420 10-in. 12/21/1925 The monkey doodle-doo Fred Rich Hotel Astor Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Columbia 141421 10-in. 12/21/1925 Someone's stolen my sweet sweet baby Fred Rich Hotel Astor Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Columbia 141588 10-in. 2/2/1926 Poor papa Fred Rich Hotel Astor Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Columbia 141589 10-in. 2/2/1926 Bell hoppin' blues Fred Rich Hotel Astor Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Columbia 141590 10-in. 2/2/1926 In the middle of the night Fred Rich Hotel Astor Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
(Results 1-25 of 232 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Rich, Fred," accessed February 27, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/104098.

Rich, Fred. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved February 27, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/104098.

"Rich, Fred." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 27 February 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/104098

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