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 3, 1898 (Warsaw), Died September 8, 1956 (Beverly Hills)
Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1921 - 1939
Roles Represented in DAHR: leader, composer, piano, lyricist, songwriter
= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.
Recordings (Results 1-25 of 243 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|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Rich, Fred," accessed July 5, 2022, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/104098.
Rich, Fred. (2022). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved July 5, 2022, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/104098.
"Rich, Fred." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2022. Web. 5 July 2022.
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