Richie McCrae

Richie McCrea

 

 

DATE OF BIRTH: July 11, 1936

PLACE OF BIRTH: Newark, NJ

INSTRUMENT: piano, Hammond organ

 

Richie McCrae is a graduate of Newark's Arts High School, which has produced artists of world renown since it opened its doors in 1931 as the first school of its kind in the country. One of his classmates was Connie Francis. An only child, McCrae credits his mother with getting him interested in music. He first began playing piano on an old upright that had been left in a coldwater flat his family was renting in Newark. He took his first lesson from a church teacher as a 12-year-old and continued studying through high school. McCrae began performing professionally as a teenager and got his first break playing in the R&B band of Paul Farano & Pearl Reeves, appearing in clubs all over the Northeast and also at the Jersey shore. He then joined Perry & The Harmonics, a Chicago-based group that toured the country and recorded for Mercury. The band put out what is now regarded as an unsung soul/jazz gem of the 1960s  -- "Do the Monkey with James." McCrae left the group and the music business in 1978 for a day job. He resumed playing professionally in 2002 and released his first CD -- "Get Here" -- in 2006.

NEWARK CLUBS: Lyric Bar, Key Club, Front Room, Nite Cap Club, Orbit Lounge


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