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Johnny Richards (November 2, 1911 – October 7, 1968) was a jazz arranger and composer in the mid-20th century United States. He was a pivotal arranger for some of the more adventurous, boisterous Stan Kenton big band performances on recordings in the 1950s.

Richards was born in Querétaro, Mexico, as Juan Ricardo Cascales, to a Mexican father and a French mother. He immigrated, along with his family, and his family settled in Schenectady, New York, in 1912.[1]

He worked in Los Angeles, California from the late 1930s to 1952. In 1952 he moved to New York City and became the head arranger for Stan Kenton.[2] He also led his own bands in this period. In addition, he wrote the music for the popular song Young at Heart (1953), made famous by Frank Sinatra and others.

Richards died October 7, 1968, in New York, New York, of a brain tumor.[3] Reviewers have deemed his style as being influenced by Duke Ellington and Pete Rugolo.[4]

Selected Discography

  • Under Charlie Barnet:
    • The Capitol Big Band Sessions (Capitol, 1948-1950)
  • Under Stan Kenton:
    • Cuban Fire (Capitol, 1956)
    • Back to Balboa (Capitol, 1958)
    • West Side Story (Capitol, 1961)
    • Adventures in Time (A Concerto for Orchestra)(Capitol, 1963)
  • As a leader
    • Something Wild, Something Else (Fresh Sounds, 1956 and 1959)
    • Mosaic Select (Mosaic, 2005) compilation

External links


  1. ^ Todd Selbert, pp. 15-16, liner notes to "Mosaic Select: Johnny Richards"
  2. ^ Todd Selbert, pp. 15-16, liner notes to "Mosaic Select: Johnny Richards"
  3. ^ MUSICMATCH Guide: Johnny Richards
  4. ^ Johnny Richards at Allmusic


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