For half a century, Emil Richards has remained among the busiest percussionists in the business.

Mingus, Como, Garland, Shearing, Ray Charles, Basie…  he’s played with them all.  And more.

From jazz clubs, to movie sound stages, to record dates and even the classroom, Mr. Richards continues to make his presence matter.

In the studio and on the road, Emil was Sinatra’s vibraphonist of choice.

Not long ago, I had the pleasure of moderating a panel discussion of Frank’s Reprise years, part of a four-day celebration of Sinatra, staged in Los Angeles.

In this candid moment from our seminar, you see, screen-center and tucked behind the mike, the great Johnny Mandel.  On your left is Emil, sharing his thoughts.

Emil Richards will do the same for us when we open Chapter Ten of “The Sinatra Songbook”, Saturday, October 6th at 6pm and Sunday October 7th at 8am (both eastern time) on



So, let’s advance our survey of the albums that build a great Sinatra library.

A SWINGIN’ AFFAIR (1957) The album opener, Night and Day, sets the tone for this brassy continuation of the  Songs for Swingin’ Lovers riff.

Arranger-conductor, Nelson Riddle said that Sinatra was partial to that opening Cole Porter track.  Stars Fell on Alabama, I Got Plenty O’ Nothin, I Wish I Were in Love Again and Lonesome Road are equally strong.  Just a great show.

A Swingin’ Affair further validates the argument that the Sinatra-Riddle collaboration may be the greatest musical match of all time.  Can you think of another as significant?


“Getting to know you” is what it’s all about.  Click on CONTACT at the upper-right and check-in.  I’m all for enriching the forum with your thoughts about the music we play.  I look forward to hearing from you.


…to be continued.