Music History

Music History Biographies

Music History Of The Week

Music History Calendar

Keith Richards

On 18/12/1943: Keith Richards was born in Dartford, Kent. His maternal grandfather was Augustus Theodore "Gus" Dupree who toured the UK with his jazz bug band Gus Dupree and his Boys. He would get Keith interested in guitar and give him his first guitar. Gus would tease Keith by putting his guitar on a tall shelf and told him if he could reach it he, could have it. Keith tried all kind of ways to get to it, before finally reaching it by putting books and cushions on a chair. He was then taught the song "MalagueƱa" by his grandfather. Richards would listen to recordings by Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington Scotty Moore and others. Richards went to Wentworth Primary School, which was also attended by Mick Jagger, who was his neighbour until 1954.
In 1955, he began to attend Dartford Technical High School for Boys and sang in a trio of boy sopranos. As a choirboy, he sang at Westminster Abbey for Queen Elizabeth II.
In 1959, Richards was expelled from the school for truancy and transferred to Sidcup Art College. There he would meet Dick Taylor. At the college, Richards would devote more time to the guitar.
Richards met Jagger again on a train when Jagger was heading to class at London School of Economics. Richards spotted that Jagger was carrying albums from Chess Records and they reignited their friendship. Jagger was singing in the band "Little Boy Blues and the Blue Boys" with their mutual friend Dick Taylor. Richards joined the band. The Blue Boys would disband after Brian Jones invited Mick and Keith to meet Ian Stewart at the Bricklayers Pub.
In 1962, Richards left Sidcup Art College and moved into a flat with Jagger and Jones. In the same year, Jagger, Richards, Jones, Stewart and Dick Taylor started performing under the name The Rolling Stones.
In 1963, The Rolling Stones signed with Decca Records. Their manager Andrew Loog Oldham dropped the s from Richards name. He would be known as Keith Richard till the late 1970s. The Rolling Stones would become one of the biggest bands in the world. Richards and Jagger would start writing songs together from 1963. A lot of their early songs were actually recorded by other artists such as "That Girl Belongs to Yesterday" performed by Gene Pitney and "As Tears Go By" which was Marianne Faithfull's debut single. Richards would act as the bandleader.
In 1965, The Rolling Stones had their first international number one with the song "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction".
In 1966, Richards was the producer and director on "Today's Pop Symphony", which was one of Andrew Loog Oldham's side projects.
In 1967, the Rolling Stones released the album "Their Satanic Majesties Request" with the whole band being credited as producer. In the same year, Richards sang on the Beatles 1967 TV broadcast of "All You Need Is Love".
In 1968, Richards played bass with John Lennon, Eric Clapton, Mitch Mitchell, Ivry Gitlis and Yoko Ono as the Dirty Mac for The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus TV special
Since 1974, Richards and Mick Jagger have co-produced the Rolling Stones and other artists work under the name the Glimmer Twins.
In 1974, Richards appeared on Ronnie Wood's debut solo album "I've Got My Own Album to Do". In the same year, as well as performing with Wood, he appeared as a guest at a Faces concert.
In 1975, Richards appeared as a contributor to Ronnie Wood's second solo album "Now Look".
In 1976 and 1977, Richards played on and co-produced John Phillips's solo recording "Pay Pack & Follow".
In 1978, Richard released his first solo single with his cover of "Run Rudolph Run" and "The Harder They Come".
In 1979, Richards toured in the US with the New Barbarians who had been put together by Ronnie Wood. In the same year, Richards and Wood contributed on Ian McLagan's album "Troublemaker".
In 1981, he played on Max Romeo's album "Holding Out My Love to You".
In 1985, he played on Tom Waits' album "Rain Dogs".
In 1986, Richards produced and played on Aretha Franklin's cover of "Jumpin' Jack Flash".
In 1987, Richards formed the "X-pensive Winos" with co-producer Steve Jordan. The band included guitarist Waddy Wachtel, saxophonist Bobby Keys, keyboardist Ivan Neville and Charley Drayton on bass. In the same year, the Chuck Berry film "Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll" was released which featured Richards as musical producer and band leader. Berry and Richards would clash during the filming. On another occasion, Richards was punched by Chuck Berry backstage at one of Berry's concerts.
In 1988, Richards and his band X-pensive Winos released his debut solo album "Talk is Cheap".
In 1991, he featured on guitar and vocals on Johnnie Johnson's album "Johnnie B. Bad".
In 1992, Richard and X-pensive Winos released their second album "Main Offender". In the same year, he appeared as a co-writer and performer on Tom Waits' album "That Feel". He also appeared on Charles Mingus tribute album "Weird Nightmare".
In 1993, Richards was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
In 1994, Richards appeared as part of a duet with George Jones on the album "Bradley Barn Sessions".
In 2001, Richards guitar and vocals featured on the Hank Williams tribute album "Timeless".
In 1997, he played alongside Levon Helm on Scotty Moore's album "All the King's Men".
In 2004, Richard appeared on a song in the Toots & the Maytals' album "True Love". It would win a Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album.
In 2005, Richards appeared on Hubert Sumlin's album "About Them Shoes".
In 2006, Richards slipped of a branch of a dead tree and injured his head. The accident delayed the Rolling Stones European tour for six weeks. Richards gave thanks to the New Zealand surgeons for the cranial surgery they performed on him. In the same year, Arkansas governor Mick Huckabee gave him a pardon for a 1975 reckless driving citation.
In 2007, Richards appeared in the film "At World's End" from the Pirates of the Caribbean series.
In 2009, Richards recieved the Rock Immortal Award at Spike Tv's Screen awards ceremony.
In 2011, Richards added guitar and vocals to the Tom Waits album "Bad As Me".
In 2012, he joined the 11th annual Independent Music Awards judging panel.
In 2015, Richards released his third solo album "Crosseyed Heart".
Richards has produced artists such as Aretha Franklin, Johnnie Johnson and Ronnie Spector.

The Music History Calendar is written by the Blues Rock artist Marshland Pete
If you would like more, come join our Music News and History Facebook Group Community