Gary Richrath

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Gary Richrath
Gary Richrath.jpg
Gary Richrath, 1980.
Background information
Birth nameGary Dean Richrath
Born(1949-10-18)October 18, 1949 [1]
Peoria, Illinois [1]
DiedSeptember 13, 2015(2015-09-13) (aged 65) [1]
Genres Hard rock
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter, producer
Instruments Guitar, vocals, slide guitar
Years active1970–2015
Associated acts REO Speedwagon, Richrath

Gary Dean Richrath (October 18, 1949 – September 13, 2015) [1] was an American guitarist, best known as the lead guitarist and a songwriter for the band REO Speedwagon from 1970 until 1989.

Contents

Early life

Richrath was born in Peoria, Illinois on October 18, 1949 to Curtis and Eunice Richrath, [1] and grew up in East Peoria, Illinois. [2] Originally playing saxophone in the school band, he took up guitar as a teenager, becoming self-taught. [3] He graduated from East Peoria Community High School in 1967. [3]

By 1968, Richrath was in a band called Suburban 9 to 5. [3]

As lead guitarist and songwriter for REO Speedwagon

Richrath wrote, performed on and sang on some of REO Speedwagon's early hits, including "Golden Country" (1972), "Ridin' the Storm Out" (1973), "Find My Fortune" (1973), "Son of a Poor Man" (1973), "Wild as the Western Wind" (1974), "(Only A) Summer Love" (1976), "Flying Turkey Trot" (1976), "Only the Strong Survive" (1979) “In Your Letter” (1980) and "Take It On the Run" (1981). [4] In 1977, he and other members of the band took over production, which resulted in the band's first platinum album. Along with playing lead guitar, Richrath also sang lead vocals on "Find My Fortune" (1973), "Wild as the Western Wind" (1974), "Dance" (1975), "Any Kind of Love" (1976), "Only a Summer Love" (1976), "Breakaway" (1976) and "Tonight" (1976).

Solo career

Richrath left the band in 1989, [3] [5] and, with his new band named Richrath, released the album Only the Strong Survive in 1992. [3]

Later years

On November 22, 2013, REO Speedwagon and Styx announced a benefit concert titled "Rock to the Rescue" to raise money for families affected by a tornado in central Illinois. The concert was held on December 4, 2013 in Bloomington, Illinois. Richrath reunited with the band for a performance of "Ridin' the Storm Out" to end their set at the sold-out concert. [6] Richrath stayed on stage to help with the encore of "With a Little Help From My Friends" along with REO Speedwagon, Styx, Richard Marx and others. [7] Families affected by the storm and first-responders sat near the stage at this concert.

Death

Richrath died on September 13, 2015 with news of his death confirmed by his former REO Speedwagon bandmate Kevin Cronin. [8] He was 65 years old. Speaking to the Songfacts website in 2017, Cronin disclosed the cause of Richrath's death - "He had some stomach problem or something and he went in the hospital to get treated for a stomach ailment and there were complications and he didn't make it." [9]

Discography

REO Speedwagon

Richrath

Related Research Articles

REO Speedwagon Rock band from the United States

REO Speedwagon is an American rock band from Champaign, Illinois. Formed in 1967, the band cultivated a following during the 1970s and achieved significant commercial success throughout the 1980s. The group's best-selling album, Hi Infidelity (1980), contained four US Top 40 hits and sold more than 10 million copies.

<i>Hi Infidelity</i> 1980 studio album by REO Speedwagon

Hi Infidelity is the ninth studio album by the band REO Speedwagon, released on November 21, 1980. The album became a big hit in the United States, peaking at number one on the Billboard 200. It went on to become the biggest-selling rock album of 1981, eventually being certified 10 times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. Of the four singles released, "Take It on the Run" went to number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100, and the band got their first of two number one hits with "Keep On Loving You".

Keep On Loving You (song) 1980 single by REO Speedwagon

"Keep On Loving You" is a soft rock power ballad written by Kevin Cronin and performed by American rock band REO Speedwagon. It features the lead guitar work of Gary Richrath. The song first appeared on REO Speedwagon's 1980 album Hi Infidelity. It was the first REO Speedwagon single to break the top 50 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, reaching the number-one spot for one week in March 1981. The single was certified Platinum for U.S. sales of over one million copies. It peaked at number seven in the UK Singles Chart. "Keep On Loving You" has been a mainstay on 1980s soft rock compilations and has appeared on dozens of 'various artists' compilation albums, as well as several REO Speedwagon greatest hits albums.

<i>R.E.O./T.W.O.</i> 1972 studio album by REO Speedwagon

R.E.O./T.W.O. is the second studio album released by the Illinois-based rock band REO Speedwagon, released in 1972. Under the leadership of guitarist Gary Richrath, this album continued the musical direction set on 1971's REO Speedwagon with Richrath's own compositions carrying the record.

<i>You Can Tune a Piano, but You Cant Tuna Fish</i> Album by REO Speedwagon

You Can Tune a Piano, but You Can't Tuna Fish is the seventh studio album by REO Speedwagon, released in 1978. It was their first album to be co-produced by lead singer Kevin Cronin and lead guitarist Gary Richrath. The album was REO's first to make the Top 40, peaking at No. 29. The album sold over 2 million copies in the US, which led it to being certified 2× Platinum.

Take It on the Run 1981 song performed by REO Speedwagon

"Take It on the Run" is the fifth track on the REO Speedwagon album Hi Infidelity. It was released as a single in 1981 and reached number five on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It also reached number 19 in the UK Singles Chart. The song was written by lead guitarist Gary Richrath. "Take It on the Run" was the follow-up single behind the group's number one hit, "Keep on Loving You". The single went gold on April 17, 1981. "Take It on the Run" has appeared on dozens of 'various artists' compilation albums, as well as several REO Speedwagon greatest hits albums.

<i>Live: You Get What You Play For</i> 1977 live album by REO Speedwagon

Live: You Get What You Play For is a live album by rock band REO Speedwagon, released as a double-LP in 1977. It was recorded at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas, the Convention Center in Indianapolis, Indiana, Kiel Auditorium in Saint Louis, Missouri and Alex Cooley's Electric Ballroom in Atlanta, Georgia. It peaked at number #72 on the Billboard 200 chart in 1977. The song "Ridin' the Storm Out" reached #94 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart. The album went platinum on December 14, 1978.

Kevin Cronin Lead Singer, guitarist, and occasional keyboardist of rock band REO Speedwagon

Kevin Patrick Cronin is the lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist, and occasional pianist for the American rock band, REO Speedwagon. REO Speedwagon had several hits on the Billboard Hot 100 throughout the 1970s and 1980s, including two chart-toppers written by Cronin: "Keep on Loving You" (1981) and "Can't Fight This Feeling" (1985).

East Peoria Community High School is a four-year public high school located in East Peoria, Illinois, and is the only school of East Peoria Community High School District 309. As of 2018, the school has 983 students enrolled. East Peoria Community High School has several feeder schools: Central Junior High School, Parkview Middle School, and Robein Elementary School.

<i>Good Trouble</i> 1982 studio album by REO Speedwagon

Good Trouble is the tenth studio album by REO Speedwagon, released in 1982 as a follow-up to Hi Infidelity. It was the second-best selling album in the band's history, subsequently tied with Wheels Are Turnin', peaking at #7 on the Billboard charts. The single "Keep the Fire Burnin'" gave the band a #7 hit on Billboard's Pop Singles Chart and a #2 hit on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, their highest-charting hit on this chart.

<i>R.E.O. Speedwagon</i> (album) 1971 studio album by REO Speedwagon

R.E.O. Speedwagon is the debut studio album by American rock band REO Speedwagon. Released in 1971, it was the only album recorded with singer Terry Luttrell, who would go on to join Starcastle. Kevin Cronin joined the band for R.E.O./T.W.O. This album concluded with a progressive rock song unlike the later arena rock songs that made them famous.

<i>Lost in a Dream</i> (REO Speedwagon album) 1974 studio album by REO Speedwagon

Lost in a Dream is the fourth studio album by REO Speedwagon, released in 1974. It peaked at number 98 on the Billboard 200 chart in 1975, It was the second album to feature Mike Murphy on vocals. The title track was written by Murphy and future bassist Bruce Hall, who would join the band in 1978. The title track was featured on the compilation A Decade of Rock and Roll: 1970-1980. The album was in print on CD format in 1992 for two months before being quickly deleted.

<i>Nine Lives</i> (REO Speedwagon album) 1979 studio album by REO Speedwagon

Nine Lives is the eighth studio album by REO Speedwagon. It peaked at number #33 on the Billboard 200 chart in 1979. The album went gold on December 5, 1979. The title Nine Lives was chosen because the album was the band's ninth, including their live album, and it also featured nine songs. It was the last REO album to prominently feature a more hard rock sound. The group would turn to more pop-oriented material with 1980's Hi Infidelity. In 2013, the album was released on CD by UK-based company Rock Candy Records, with expanded liner notes and photos.

<i>R.E.O.</i> (album) 1976 studio album by REO Speedwagon

R.E.O. is the sixth studio album by REO Speedwagon, released in 1976. It peaked at number 159 on the Billboard 200 chart in 1976. It marked the return of Kevin Cronin to the band after a four-year absence. Five of the songs were featured on the band's subsequent live album, Live: You Get What You Play For. Many fans refer to the album as C.O.W. due to the background of the cover art.

<i>Ridin the Storm Out</i> 1973 studio album by REO Speedwagon

Ridin' the Storm Out is the third studio album by REO Speedwagon, released in 1973. It peaked at number 171 on the Billboard 200 chart in 1981, and reaching platinum status in 1989. It was the first album to feature Mike Murphy on vocals. The sessions started out with Kevin Cronin, but he left the band before the album was finished, due to creative differences. The title track would later become a hit for the band on their live album, after Cronin had returned to the band. The song refers to the band being stuck in a harsh winter blizzard after a show in Boulder, Colorado, at a bar named Tulagi's.

"157 Riverside Avenue" is a song by REO Speedwagon from their first album, REO Speedwagon, released in 1971. It was written by all five band members at the time, Terry Luttrell, Gary Richrath, Gregg Philbin, Neal Doughty, and Alan Gratzer. The title refers to the Westport, Connecticut address where the band stayed while recording that album.

Terry Luttrell is an American rock singer/musician best known as lead vocalist for both REO Speedwagon (1968–1972) and Starcastle (1973–1979).

Dont Let Him Go 1981 single by REO Speedwagon

"Don't Let Him Go" is a song written by Kevin Cronin. It was originally released as the opening song for REO Speedwagon's #1 album Hi Infidelity. It was also released as a single, reaching #24 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. "Don't Let Him Go" has appeared on several REO Speedwagon greatest hits albums.

In Your Letter 1981 song performed by REO Speedwagon

"In Your Letter" is a song written by Gary Richrath that was first released on REO Speedwagon's 1980 album Hi Infidelity. It was released as the fourth single from the album and just made the Top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at #20. It also reached #26 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. It also had some chart success in Canada, reaching #34.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "Gary Richrath Obituary - East Peoria, IL". Legacy.com . Retrieved 2018-01-30.
  2. Bruch, Thomas (2015-09-15). "Promoter Jay Goldberg 'in shock' over Gary Richrath's death". PJStar.com . Peoria, Illinois. Retrieved 2018-01-30.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 Luciano, Phil (2015-09-14). "Ex-REO Speedwagon guitarist and East Peoria native Gary Richrath dies at 65". PJStar.com . Peoria, Illinois. Retrieved 2018-01-30.
  4. Steve Turner (January 28, 1983). "REO Speedwagon climbing back to No. 1". The Ledger . Retrieved 2010-07-21.
  5. Shane Harrison (June 13, 2006). "Where are they now?". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution . Retrieved 2010-07-21.
  6. Video of Gary Richrath's performance with REO Speedwagon in December 2013 Retrieved 9-19-2015.
  7. Video "Rock to the Rescue Benefit Concert" Retrieved 9-26-2015.
  8. "Gary Richrath of REO Speedwagon dies". Music-News.com. Retrieved 2015-09-18.
  9. "Kevin Cronin of REO Speedwagon". Songfacts.com. 2017-06-16. Retrieved 2017-08-24.