The Ritchie Family

The Ritchie Family

Profile:
After the group Honey And The Bees disbanded, Gwen Oliver and Cassandra Wooten joined the Philadelphia School Of Performing Arts where they met Cheryl Mason Jacks. The trio later met Richie Rome who would create the Ritchie Family, lending his name but adding a "T" to the name Richie.
The Ritchie Family's first album Brazil used session singers, The Sweethearts and musicians, tracks and vocals were recorded before a group was formed. The groups second album "Arabian Nights" was co-written & produced by Ritchie Rome and Jacques Morali and established Gwen Oliver, Cassandra Wooten & Cheryl Mason Jacks as its first official members.

In 1977 Richie Rome left and producer Jacques Morali took control of The Ritchie Family with his new partners: Henri Belolo, Phil Hurtt, and Horace Ott. The Ritchie Family's fourth album "African Queens" was released. Richie Rome was no longer involved with the project. They left 20th Century Records and moved to Marlin Records. "African Queens" was to be the final album for Cheryl, Cassandra, and Gwendolyn, who were unceremoniously replaced by the label.

Ednah Holt, Theodosia "Dodie" Draher & Jacqui Smith-Lee were to become the first line up in the second generation of revolving Ritchie Family members. Ednah left in 1978 and was replaced by Vera Brown, who became the group's lead singer. In 1979 The Ritchie Family left Marlin Records for Casablanca Records.

In 1980 they joined Village People for the movie Can't Stop the Music. The film was a resounding failure and still appears on many critics' "worst ever" lists; however the soundtrack album sold well in some parts of the world. By this time disco music had already reached its peak, at least in the US. Later, Dodie Draher would be replaced in 1982 by Linda James when the group moved to RCA Records.

After deciding to split, when group owner Jacques Morali discovered he had AIDS, the group continued as "Vera Brown and the Rich Girls" for one song called "Too Much Too Fast."

Vera Brown has since reformed The Ritchie Family, with former group mates Dodie Draher and Jacqui Smith-Lee. They have not recorded any new releases as of yet. The reformation does not include Gwen Oliver, Cassandra Wooten & Cheryl Mason Jacks who have no current plans for a reunion.
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The Ritchie Family Discography

Albums

LPV-1682 The Ritchie Family Brazil (Album) 20th Century Records LPV-1682 Venezuela 1975 Sell This Version
SPK1-7106 The Ritchie Family Arabian Nights (Album) Marlin SPK1-7106 Spain 1976 Sell This Version
AVS-4523 The Ritchie Family African Queens (Album) Marlin AVS-4523 Argentina 1977 Sell This Version
ABL. 17016 The Ritchie Family Life Is Music (Album) Marlin ABL. 17016 Canada 1976 Sell This Version
104.8083 The Ritchie Family American Generation (Album) Marlin 104.8083 Brazil 1978 Sell This Version
9109 627 The Ritchie Family Bad Reputation (Album) Casablanca 9109 627 UK 1979 Sell This Version
0060.325 The Ritchie Family Give Me A Break (Album) Casablanca 0060.325 Germany 1980 Sell This Version
MAL-MILP 10067 Ritchie Family* I'll Do My Best (Album) RCA Victor MAL-MILP 10067 Greece 1981 Sell This Version
MAL-MILP 10068 The Ritchie Family All Night All Right (Album) RCA Victor MAL-MILP 10068 Greece 1983 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

ABE. 1723 The Ritchie Family I Want To Dance With You (Dance With Me) (Single) 20th Century Records ABE. 1723 Canada 1975 Sell This Version
6198 121 The Ritchie Family Brazil (Single) Henry 6198 121 Portugal 1975 Sell This Version
TPJB 1148 Riccardo Cocciante, The Ritchie Family Riccardo Cocciante, The Ritchie Family - L'alba / Brazil(7", Promo) RCA TPJB 1148 Italy 1975 Sell This Version
TCD-2 Fantastic Four / The Ritchie Family Fantastic Four / The Ritchie Family - Alvin Stone (The Birth & Death Of A Gangster) / Brazil(7", Promo) Westbound Records, 20th Century Records TCD-2 US 1975 Sell This Version
06SP 106 The Ritchie Family Best Disco In Town (Single, Maxi) RCA Victor 06SP 106 Japan 1976 Sell This Version
SPBO - 7100 The Ritchie Family El Manisero / Let's Pool(7", Promo) RCA SPBO - 7100 Spain 1976 Sell This Version
ESP-556 The Ritchie Family / Vicki Sue Robinson The Ritchie Family / Vicki Sue Robinson - The Best Disco In Town / Turn The Beat Around(12", Pro) RCA ESP-556 Spain 1976 Sell This Version
AB.828 The Ritchie Family Istanbul(7", Single) Able Records AB.828 Canada 1976 Sell This Version
YD 470 The Ritchie Family / El Diablo (4) The Ritchie Family / El Diablo (4) - The Best Disco In Town / You Belong To My Heart (7", Jukebox) Derby, VIP (2) YD 470 Italy 1976 Sell This Version
2058 837 The Ritchie Family Life Is Music / Lady Luck (Single) T.K. Disco 2058 837 UK 1977 Sell This Version
DBR 10002 The Ritchie Family African Queens (Part 1/Part 2) (Single, Maxi) Philips DBR 10002 Italy 1977 Sell This Version
CBS 5476 The Ritchie Family Quiet Village / Voodoo (Single, Maxi) CBS CBS 5476 France 1977 Sell This Version
DBR 9206 The Ritchie Family Lady Luck / Disco Blues(12") Derby DBR 9206 Italy 1977 Sell This Version
YD 493 Bus Connection / The Ritchie Family Bus Connection / The Ritchie Family - Supertango / African Queens Part I (Nefertiti, Cleopatra And The Queens Of Sheba)(7", Jukebox) Bus Production, Derby YD 493 Italy 1977 Sell This Version
0030.156 The Ritchie Family I Feel Disco Good (Single) Metronome 0030.156 Germany 1978 Sell This Version
DE 3016, DE. 3016 The Ritchie Family American Generation (Single, Maxi) Metronome DE 3016, DE. 3016 Italy 1978 Sell This Version