Richard Tee

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Richard Edward Tee
Tee in 1990
Tee in 1990
Background information
Birth nameRichard Edward Ten Ryk
Born(1943-11-24)November 24, 1943
New York City, U.S.
DiedJuly 21, 1993(1993-07-21) (aged 49)
New York City, U.S.
  • Musician
  • singer-songwriter
  • Keyboards
  • vocals
Years active1967–1993
LabelsWarner Bros. Records

Richard Edward Tee (born Richard Edward Ten Ryk; November 24, 1943 – July 21, 1993) was an American pianist, studio musician, singer and arranger,[1] who had several hundred studio credits and played on such notable hits as "In Your Eyes", "Slip Slidin' Away", "Just the Two of Us", "I'll Be Sweeter Tomorrow (Than I Was Today)", "Crackerbox Palace", "Tell Her About It", and many others.


Tee was born in Brooklyn, New York [1] to Edward James Ten Ryk (1886-1963), who was from Guyana, and Helen G. Ford Skeete Ten Ryk (1902-1993), of New York. Tee spent most of his life in Brooklyn and lived with his mother in a brownstone apartment building.

Tee graduated from The High School of Music & Art in New York City and attended the Manhattan School of Music.[2] Though better known as a studio and session musician,[3] Tee led a jazz ensemble, the Richard Tee Committee, and was a founding member of the band Stuff.[1] In 1981, he played the piano and Fender Rhodes for Simon and Garfunkel's Concert in Central Park.[1]

Tee played with a diverse range of artists during his career, including Paul Simon, Carly Simon, The Bee Gees, Barbra Streisand, Roberta Flack, Aretha Franklin, Diane Schuur, Donny Hathaway, Peter Allen, George Harrison, Diana Ross, Duane Allman, Quincy Jones, Bill Withers, Art Garfunkel, Nina Simone, Juice Newton, Billy Joel, Etta James, Grover Washington Jr., Eric Clapton, Kenny Loggins, Patti Austin, David Ruffin, Lou Rawls, Ron Carter, Peter Gabriel, George Benson, Joe Cocker, Chuck Mangione, Pino Daniele , Tim Finn, Peabo Bryson, Mariah Carey, Chaka Khan, Phoebe Snow, Doc Severinsen, Leo Sayer, Herbie Mann and countless others.[1] He also contributed to numerous gold and platinum albums during his long career and joined Stuff led by bassist Gordon Edwards. Other members of the band included guitarist Cornell Dupree, drummer Chris Parker, and later guitarist Eric Gale and drummer Steve Gadd.[4]

After a 16-year relationship with Eleana Steinberg Tee of Greenwich, Connecticut, the couple were married in Woodstock, New York, by New York State Supreme Court Justice Bruce Wright. The couple moved to the Chelsea Hotel in 1988, and later to Cold Spring, New York.[2]

Tee died on July 21, 1993, in Calvary Hospital (Bronx) aged 49, after suffering from prostate cancer. He was survived by his mother Helen Ten Ryk of Brooklyn, six sons, and two stepdaughters.[2] He is buried in the Artist Cemetery in Woodstock, New York.


Tee used a diverse range of keyboards during his recording and touring career, notably the Hammond organ, piano, Hohner clavinet and synthesizers. His trademark sound, however, was his unique method of playing a Fender Rhodes electric piano and feeding the signal through an Electro-Harmonix Small Stone effect pedal phase shifter.


As leader[edit]

  • Strokin' (Tappan Zee/Columbia, 1979)
  • Natural Ingredients (Tappan Zee, 1980)
  • The Bottom Line (Electric Bird, 1985)
  • Inside You (Epic/Sony, 1989)
  • Real Time (One Voice, 1992)
  • The Right Stuff (P-Vine, 1993)
  • Real Time Live in Concert 1992 (Videoarts, 2012)

As guest[edit]

With George Benson

With Hank Crawford

With Cornell Dupree

  • Teasin' (1974)
  • Coast to Coast (1988)
  • Can't Get Through (1991)
  • Child's Play (1992)
  • Uncle Funky (1992)

With Steve Gadd

  • Gadd About (1984)
  • The Gadd Gang (1986)
  • Here & Now (1988)
  • Live at the Bottom Line (1988)
  • Gadd Gang (1991)

With Stuff

  • Stuff (1976)
  • More Stuff (1977)
  • Stuff It (1978)
  • Live Stuff (1978)
  • Live in New York (1980)
  • East (1981)
  • Best Stuff (1981)
  • Stuff Live in Montreux (2008)

With Grover Washington Jr.

With others


  1. ^ a b c d e Colin Larkin, ed. (1997). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music (Concise ed.). Virgin Books. pp. 1166/7. ISBN 1-85227-745-9.
  2. ^ a b c "Richard Tee, 49, Dies; Composer and Pianist". The New York Times. July 26, 1993.
  3. ^ Wynn, Ron. "Richard Tee Biography". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
  4. ^ "Richard Tee Profile". Retrieved January 25, 2016.

External links[edit]