Biography
Folk musician Fritz Richmond was the premier jug and washtub bass player of the psychedelic era. An odd distinction, to be certain, but his work with the Jim Kweskin Jug Band was instrumental in preserving and popularizing the roots music of the pre-World War II era. Born John B. Richmond, Jr. in Newton, MA, on July 10, 1939, he was in middle school when he assembled his first washtub bass, purchasing a washtub at Sears Roebuck and then stringing it with the cord from a set of Venetian blinds. With friends John Buz Marten and John Nagy, Richmond then formed the traditional folk trio the Hoppers, regularly playing the Boston coffeehouse circuit before he was called to serve in the Korean War. His military duties included helicopter repair, leading to the discovery that discarded steel flight control cable worked even better with the washtub bass. After his tour of duty ended in 1962, Richmond landed in Cambridge, MA, joining local folkies the Charles River Valley Boys before teaming with singer Geoff Muldaur at the popular Club 47. He co-founded the Jim Kweskin Jug Band in early 1963, learning to play the jug from the vintage 78 blues records Kweskin accumulated before landing in Cambridge. Despite the implicit novelty of the jug, Richmond proved himself a virtuoso talent, wringing genuine emotion and energy from the unusual instrument. Upon signing to Vanguard, the Jim Kweskin Jug Band emerged as a media sensation, appearing regularly on national television and issuing several well-regarded LPs. With his trademark granny glasses (worn to disguise the fact that playing the jug left him cross-eyed), Richmond launched one of the essential fashion accessories of the folk-rock boom, and he also suggested that young singer/songwriter John Sebastian name his fledgling band the Lovin' Spoonful. After Kweskin abruptly dissolved his group in the spring of 1968, Richmond relocated to Los Angeles and signed on as a staff engineer with Elektra Records. In 1977 he settled in Portland, OR, playing with the Metropolitan Jug Band and leading Fritz Richmond's Barbecue Orchestra. He also toured with Sebastian and Muldaur, appeared on NPR's A Prairie Home Companion and contributed one of his washtub basses to the Smithsonian Institute. Richmond died of lung cancer on November 20, 2005. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi



 
Videos
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Fritz Richmond "Jug Band Waltz" with Filé Gumbo
Fritz Richmond's Barbecue Orchestra - "My Old Man"
Rag Mama -- Tom Rush & Fritz Richmond
Jug Band
Doug Fritz Richmond
Jim Kweskin & The Jug Band with Sippie Wallace and Otis Spann: Jug Band Blues (full album)
'' jim kweskin's jug band '' - garden of joy - 1967.
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