Executive producer, lead vocalist, bassist, co-songwriter, musical director, bandleader, & business manager for “FreeWorld” since 1987. Lead vocalist, 12-string guitarist, bassist, mandolinist, sitarist, harmonica player, & songwriter for “Kaleidoscope” since 1997. One of several bassists for the “Herman Green & the Green Machine” jazz quintet since 1992, and Heartsong Church bassist, vocalist & multi-instrumentalist since 2006.
Official endorsee of Modulus Graphite Basses, Taylor Acoustic Guitars, DR Strings, SWR Bass Amplification Systems, & DigiTech Effects Processors.
CEO – SwirlDisc Records & Déjà Vudu Music.
Appointed by Shelby County Mayor A.C. Wharton to the Board of the Memphis & Shelby County Music Commission in 2005. Further elected to serve on the Executive Board of the MSCMC as an At-Large Officer in 2006 & 2007 and as Vice-Chairman in 2008, while also serving as the Chairman of their Musician’s Advisory Council from 2004 – 2007. Re-appointed by Mayor Mark Luttrell; February, 2011 & February, 2013.
National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) member since 1991. Elected to the Board of Governors in 1997, 1999, 2003, 2007 & 2010, while also serving as 1st Vice-President from 2001-2003 and as Secretary/Treasurer from 2005-2007. Membership Committee Co-Chairman, 1999-2003; Premier Player Awards Committee Chairman, 2001-2003.
Eighteen time NARAS Premier Player Award nominee: Premier Bassist, 1996-2000, 2002-3; Premier Band, 1995 & 1997-2003: Premier Harmonica Player, 2003; Premier Multi-Instrumentalist, 1993; Premier Producer, 2000. Premier Player Award winner; 2003 – Premier Bassist.
Voted “Best Bassist” by The Flying Saucer/Memphis Flyer Readers poll; May, 2002.
“FreeWorld” full length CDs released and distributed by Select-O-Hits nationally & internationally in July, 1994 (“FreeWorld”); July, 1996 (“You Are Here”); August, 1999 (“Diversity”); January, 2003 (“Live from Memphis”); October, 2008 (“From The Bluff”); October, 2012 (“Yesterday, Today… Tomorrow” CD, w/ “Eventually Everything Will Happen” companion DVD); January, 2017 (“Back To Memphis” w/ Levon Helm); & October 2017 “What It Is”).
“FreeWorld” received a coveted Brass Note on the Beale Street Walk of Fame, and had October 6, 2012, declared as “FreeWorld Day” in the city of Memphis by Mayor A.C. Wharton.
“FreeWorld” honored with the “Memphis Sound Award” at the Memphis Charitable Foundation’s annual Blues Ball; December, 2012.
Two independent European tours with “FreeWorld”; 1993. One independent tour of the U.S. Virgin Islands; 2008.
Four “FreeWorld” songs included on the soundtrack for the independent film “Nothing but Flowers”, June 2002; and “Paco T.” used in the Indie Film Shorts Festival presented by Last Train to Memphis Entertainment for the Library Channel, WYPL-18; November, 2006. Live FreeWorld performance featured on the internationally syndicated radio program “Beale Street Caravan” (2.4 million weekly listeners); May 2007, October 2008, & July 2009. FreeWorld songs & interviews included in WKNO-TV “Live from Beale St. New Year’s Eve”, December, 2010.
“FreeWorld” performed on the nationally syndicated Food Network TV program “The Bobby Flay Show” in June, 2004, appeared on ESPN’s “50 States in 50 Days” series in August, 2005, and performed on the Travel Channel’s syndicated TV series “5 Takes – USA” in November, 2006, as well as numerous appearances on local TV & radio shows, including “Live at 9”, “Good Morning Memphis”, George Klein’s “Memphis Sounds”, & Memphis Mayor A.C. Wharton’s “ACTV”. FreeWorld’s 25th Anniversary Rockumentary DVD “Eventually Everything Will Happen” featured in regular primetime rotation on WKNO-TV Memphis (+ simulcast statewide), 2013-14; Memphis in May Beale Street Music Festival (Main Stage), 2014 & 2017.
- Producer of debut CDs by regional acts “Yamagata” – 1999; “The Memphis Jones Revolution” – 2000; & “Retrospect” – 2001.
- AMMA National Award winner in the Pop Category for “Smoke the Prophets”; August, 2006.
- International Folk Alliance Conference panelist; February, 2007 & 2009.
- Selected to serve on the Beale Street Brass Note Walk of Fame Committee; March 2009-present.
- Founding Board Member of the 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization “Memphis Music Matters”; April, 2009-present.
- Beale Street Merchant’s Association Special Merit Award given to FreeWorld honoring 20 years of Performing Memphis Music on Historic Beale Street; December, 2007.
- Beale Street Merchant’s Association “Entertainer of the Year” Award won by FreeWorld; December, 2010.
FreeWorld, with special guests Marvell, Vaneese & Carla Thomas, paid tribute to Rufus Thomas with a special concert for the Center for Southern Folklore’s annual Memphis Music & Heritage Festival, with the show being listed as one of the “Top Three Memphis Concerts” in the Memphis Flyer’s year end wrap-up issue; December, 2011.
Performed or recorded with such notables as: Levon Helm, Little Feat, The Memphis Horns, Billy Preston, Richie Havens, The Meters, Bootsy Collins, Merl Saunders, Dr. John, Timothy Leary, John Sinclair, James Cotton, Willie Mitchell, Jim Gaines, Jim Dickinson, Alex Chilton, Jody Stephens & Richard Rosebrough (Big Star), Roland Janes, Dave Aron (Snoop Dogg, Sublime), Mojo Buford, Ace Cannon, Ivan Neville, Jorma Kaukonen & Jack Casady (Hot Tuna), Blues Traveler, Jon Fishman & Page McConnell (Phish), Widespread Panic, Rob Wasserman, The Derek Trucks Band, The Radiators, Melvin Seals (Jerry Garcia Band), The Grandmothers (formerly Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention), Stephen Perkins & Tony Franklin (Banyan), Los Lobos, John Blackwell (Prince), David Bryan (Bon Jovi), John Avila (Oingo Boingo), Eric Garcia (Bob Dylan), Fran McKendree (McKendree Spring), Ike Turner’s Kings of Rhythm, James Burton, Stan Perkins, Chad Taylor (Live), Tomasito Cruz (Arturo Sandoval), The Record Company, Needtobreathe, Mark Doyle (Little Richard), Rolando Briceno, The Bar-Kays, Ann Peebles, Don Bryant, Syl Johnson, Steve Cropper, J. Blackfoot, Marvell, Vaneese & Carla Thomas, The Masqueraders, Terryl Saffold (The Platters), Artimus Pyle (Lynyrd Skynyrd), “Jim Dandy” Mangrum (Black Oak Arkansas), George Porter Jr. & His Runnin’ Pardners, String Cheese Incident, Vince Herman & Leftover Salmon, Colonel Bruce Hampton & The Aquarium Rescue Unit, Todd Smallie (JJ Grey & Mofro), Greensky Bluegrass, Brian Stoltz, The North Mississippi Allstars, Galactic, Drivin’ & Cryin’, Marc Bolin (T-Rex), Elliott Ives & The Regiment Horns (Justin Timberlake), Ty Taylor (Vintage Trouble), Buddy Davis (Target), Afroman, Henry Gross, The Grass Roots, Big Ass Truck, Deep Banana Blackout, Shawn Lane, Phineas Jr. & Calvin Newborn, George Coleman, Samurai Celestial, Charlton Johnson (Count Basie Big Band), Gerard Harris (Kool & the Gang), Angelo Earl (Bar-Kays, George Clinton), Damian J. Sanchez (Glenn Miller Orchestra), Teenie Hodges, Howard Grimes, Ben Cauley, Astral Project, The Rebirth Brass Band, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, The Schwag, Robert Palmer, Jimmie Vaughan & Double Trouble, Susan Tedeschi, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Jonny Lang, Stacy Mitchhart, Little Jimmy King, Sonny Burgess & The Pacers, Pete Pederson, The Cate Brothers, Todd Snider, Lonnie Shields, Kenny Neal, Charles Bradley & his Extraordinaires, Rodd Bland (son of Bobby “Blue” Bland), Devon Allman (son of Gregg), Jimmy Pryor, Blind Willie Dineen, Eric Gales, Ana Popovic, Alexis Grace & Trenyce (American Idol), Patrick Dodd & Sarah Simmons (The Voice), Preston Shannon, Ruby Wilson (the “Queen of Beale Street”), Toni Green, Earl “the Pearl” Banks, Willie Covington, Ross Rice (Human Radio), Billy Gibson, Fred Sanders, Eric Hughes, Brandon Santini, James Govan & the Boogie Blues Band, Tony Thomas, Jothan Callins, Inner Circle, & touring members of the Broadway musical productions of “Jersey Boys”, “Wicked”, “Stomp”, “The Phantom of the Opera”, “Grease”, “Cats”, “Chicago”, “Celtic Women”, “All Shook Up”, “Wizard of Oz”, “The Drowsy Chaperone”, “Young Frankenstein”, “Shrek”, “Madagascar”, “War Horse”, “Spamalot”, “Hair”, “The Buddy Holly Story”, “Memphis”, The Bodyguard” & “Dirty Dancing”.
Complete, Chronological Discography:
- Moonlight Syncopators Social Sister, ©1987 Indie release (co-songwriter, bass guitar, backing vocals).
- Richard Cushing 12-String Dreams, ©1988 Indie release (producer, songwriter, 12-string guitar, harmonica, lead vocals).
- FreeWorld FreeWorld, ©1994 Hair Farmer Records (co-producer, songwriter, bass guitar, lead & backing vocals, shaker).
- CD Compilation Memphis in the Meantime, ©1994 Gravelsauce Records (co-songwriter, bass guitar, backing vocals).
- CD Compilation Maine Vocals, ©1995 Reversing Recordings (co-songwriter, bass guitar, lead & backing vocals).
- CD Compilation Memphis (Ain’t Like It Used To Be), ©1995 Memphibian Records (bass guitar, lead vocals).
- Klaudia & Rico At the Same Place Twice in Life, ©1996 Inside Memphis (sitar, mandolin).
- FreeWorld You Are Here, ©1996 Real Beale Records (co-songwriter, bass guitars, lead & backing vocals, shaker).
- Jeremiah Tucker & the Johnsons Gone to the Dogs, ©1996 MCB Records (backing vocals).
- The Trust Any Kind of Shelter, ©1997 Heavy Mellow Records (backing vocals).
- CD Compilation The Best of CDART.COM/Vol. 2, ©1998 Pendulum Records (co-songwriter, bass guitar).
- Becc Lester Circles of Angels, ©1998 Inside Memphis (fretless bass guitar).
- CD Compilation On Hold Music, ©1998 Pendulum Records (co-songwriter, bass guitar, lead vocals).
- Herman Green & the Green Machine Inspirations: Family & Friends, ©1998 Green Machine Records (bass guitar, lead vocals).
- FreeWorld Diversity, ©1999 SwirlDisc (co-songwriter, bass guitars, lead & backing vocals, 12-string guitar, sitar, mandolin, shaker).
- Yamagata Eveland, ©1999 Mempho Records (co-producer).
- The Memphis Jones Revolution The Memphis Jones Revolution, ©2000 Mempho Records (producer, harmonica, bass tech).
- Eddie Dattel Sketches & Revelations, ©2000 Inside Memphis (bass guitar).
- Carol Plunk A Piece of Me, ©2001 Indie release (fretless bass guitar).
- Retrospect Green Melody, ©2001 Ardent Records (producer, backing vocals).
- CD Compilation The Instrumental Memphis Music Sampler, ©2001 Inside Memphis (co-songwriter, bass guitar).
- The Memphis Music Community Living in a State of Love, ©2002 Indie release (co-producer, co-songwriter, bass guitar).
- Independent Film Nothing But Flowers, ©2002 Indie release (Soundtrack).
- Yamagata Connect, ©2002 Eveland Records (harmonica).
- FreeWorld Live from Memphis, ©2003 SwirlDisc (co-producer, co-songwriter, bass guitar, lead & backing vocals, shaker).
- Bobby Rush Undercover Lover, ©2003 Deep Rush Records (bass guitar).
- Ann Peebles Unreleased Demos, ©2003 Paul Brown Publishing Co. (fretted & fretless bass guitars).
- CD Compilation Wiskansin… And Beyond, ©2003 Trapdoor Records (co-songwriter, bass guitar, lead & backing vocals).
- CD Compilation The New Memphis Jazz Collection, ©2004 Icehouse Records (co-songwriter, bass guitar).
- CD Compilation Memphis Music Today – Vol. 1, ©2004 Response Records (co-songwriter, bass guitar).
- Belgian Reality TV Show DVD Wedding Bells in America, episode 2 – Mississippi Delta, ©2004 (harmonica).
- FreeWorld Save Our Soul, ©2005 SwirlDisc (co-producer, co-songwriter, bass guitar, backing vocals).
- Rusty Lemon Rusty Lemon, ©2005 Young Avenue Records (harmonica).
- Ross Rice Dwight, ©2006 (backing vocals).
- CD Compilation Fried Glass Onions – Vol. 3, ©2006 Inside Memphis (bass guitar, lead vocals, sitar, shaker)
- CD Compilation Wednesday Nights in Memphis, ©2007 Vexar Records (co-songwriter, bass guitar, lead vocals).
- FreeWorld From the Bluff, ©2008 SwirlDisc (co-songwriter, bass guitars, lead & backing vocals, sitar, shaker).
- CD Compilation Acoustic Rainbow #36, ©2010 PoetMan Records USA (songwriter, bass guitar, lead vocals).
- Dr. Herman Green The Best of the Green Machine, Vol.1, ©2011 Green Machine Records (bass guitar, lead vocals).
- Wing And A Prayer One Voice, ©2011 Heartsong Records (bass guitar, lead & backing vocals).
- FreeWorld Eventually Everything Will Happen, DVD ©2012 SwirlDisc (executive producer, interviewer, bass guitar, sitar, lead vocals).
- FreeWorld Yesterday, Today… Tomorrow, ©2012 SwirlDisc (co-songwriter, bass guitar, sitar, lead & backing vocals, shaker).
- CD Compilation Musicians for LeBonheur, ©2013 Angry Nerd Records (songwriter, bass guitar, lead vocals).
- Mike Watt Mouthful, ©2013 Memphodelia Music/Sony Records (“space harp”).
- Jimmy Stephens, Jr. Road Ready, ©2014 Ardent Records (harmonica).
- CD Compilation Musicians for LeBonheur, ©2014 Angry Nerd Records (songwriter, bass guitar, backing vocals).
- Dr. Herman Green The Many Shades of Green, ©2015 Green Machine Records (songwriter, fretted & fretless bass guitars).
- Agrelia’s Castle Elders and Ancestors, ©2015 Mysterium Music (sitar, rainstick).
- CD Compilation Musicians for LeBonheur, ©2015 Angry Nerd Records (songwriter, bass guitar, lead vocals, tambourine).
- Meanwhile in Memphis DVD The Sound of a Revolution, ©2015 Broken String Pictures (interviewee, performer).
- CD Compilation Vol. II After Bethel, ©2016 Del Rendon Foundation (bass guitar, lead vocals).
- FreeWorld & Levon Helm Back to Memphis, ©2017 SwirlDisc (executive producer, bass guitar, backing vocals).
- FreeWorld What It Is, ©2017 SwirlDisc (co-producer, co-songwriter, lead & backing vocals, fretted & fretless bass guitars, shaker).
1981 Graduate of Christian Brother’s High School, Memphis, TN.
1986 Magna Cum Laude Graduate from Memphis State University with a BS in Biology (Vertebrate Zoology
Currently a Medical Laboratory Technician III at IDEXX Laboratories in Memphis, TN. Previously held the position
of Senior Research Assistant in the Goldowitz Laboratory of Developmental Neurogenetics (Department of Anatomy
& Neurobiology, University of Tennessee Health Science Center), from 1989-2014.
Richard is also a proud & loving husband to Lori (for 30 years), & an active father to both Oliver (18 years) & Ian (16 years).