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.