He snapped his fingers on ‘The Addams Family,’ played the bongos for ‘Mission: Impossible’ and worked with everyone from Judy Garland to Linda Ronstadt. Emil Richards, the famed percussionist, vibraphone specialist and L.A. session player who performed with Frank Sinatra, George Harrison, Frank Zappa and scores of other greats and beat the bongos on the Mission: Impossible theme song, has died. He was 87. Richards died Friday, his daughter, Camille Radocchia Hecks, announced on Facebook. “My dad had a saying, ‘As in music, as in life,” she wrote. “He lived and loved as he played: fully, deeply, with endless creativity, humor, discipline and spirituality. He never missed a beat. As Emil would say, ‘Good Vibes!'” Richards, who considered Lionel Hampton to be a major influence on his career, was a session musician for the fabled Wrecking Crew in Los Angeles and played on thousands of recordings during his career. He worked with the likes of Shorty Rogers, Judy Garland, Charles Mingus, Elvis Presley, Peggy Lee, Nat King Cole, Stan Kenton, Julie London, Ella Fitzgerald, Dick Dale, Sam Cooke, The Carpenters, Marvin Gaye, Dave Mason, The Monkees, Harry Nilsson, Joni Mitchell, Linda Ronstadt, Burt Bacharach, Michael Jackson, The Beach Boys, Glen Campbell and… Read full this story
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