Johnny Richards

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Johnny Richards
Ralph Burns, Edwin A. Finckel, George Handy, Neal Hefti, Johnny Richards, and Eddie Sauter, Museum of Modern Art, New York, N.Y., ca. Mar. 1947 (Gottlieb 856).jpg
Clockwise from left: Eddie Sauter, Edwin Finckel, George Handy, Johnny Richards, Neal Hefti, and Ralph Burns at the Museum of Modern Art, New York c. 1947[1]
Born 1911
Toluca, Mexico
Died 1968
New York
Cause of death
brain tumor
Nationality American
Other names Juan Manuel Cascales
Known for Composing and teaching

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 and early 1960s: the Cuban Fire! and Kenton's West Side Story are probably the best known of those albums.

Biography[edit]

Richards was born in Toluca, Mexico, as Juan Manuel Cascales, to a Spanish father (Juan Cascales y Valero) and a Mexican mother (Maria Celia Arrue AKA Marie Cascales), whose parents were Spanish immigrants to Mexico. He entered the United States on August 4, 1919 at Laredo, Texas, along with his mother, three brothers (also professional musicians) and sister:

Siblings:

Richards' father, Juan Cascales y Valero, immigrated earlier, crossing the border at Laredo, Texas, on June 4, 1919.[3] The family lived first in Los Angeles, California[4] and later in San Fernando, California, where Joe, Johnny, and Chuck attended and graduated from San Fernando High School. In 1930 Richards was living in Fullerton, California, and attending Fullerton College.[5]

Richards worked in Los Angeles, California from the late 1930s to 1952. In 1952 he moved to New York City. He had been arranging for Stan Kenton since 1950 and continued to do so through the mid-1960s. He also led his own bands throughout his career. 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.[6] Reviewers have deemed his style as being influenced by Duke Ellington and Pete Rugolo.[7]

Selected discography[edit]

  • As a leader
    • Something Wild, Something Else (Fresh Sounds, 1956 and 1959)
    • Mosaic Select (Mosaic, 2005) compilation

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Portrait of Ralph Burns, Edwin A. Finckel, George Handy, Neal Hefti, Johnny Richards, and Eddie Sauter, Museum of Modern Art, New York, N.Y., ca. Mar. 1947 - William P. Gottlieb, accessed January 2011
  2. ^ U.S. Department of Labor, Immigration Service, Laredo, Texas, receipt #106831/14989 and United States of America Declaration of Intention #11261, certification No. 23 103364, dated November 21, 1941, Los Angeles, California
  3. ^ Database: Border Crossings from Mexico to U. S., 1903–1957
  4. ^ 1920 United States Federal Census, Los Angeles Assembly District 74, Los Angeles, California; roll T625_115; page 2B; Enumeration District 429, image 140
  5. ^ 1930 United States Federal Census, Fullerton, Orange, California; roll 181, page 3B, Enumeration District: 33, Image 311.0
  6. ^ MUSICMATCH Guide: Johnny Richards
  7. ^ Johnny Richards at AllMusic