Platinum album and Juno Award.

Anne is presenting me with a platinum album. And a giant Hippo. “There’s a Hippo in My Tub” went on to be one of Anne’s best selling records. I produced it and earned a Juno Award. Way cool!
Anne Murray and me in Los Angeles – 1985

Ontario Place

Notice the attachment to the piano on the left. In those days we used contact mics that were taped to certain places on the grand piano to get the best sound.
Gene MacLellan

Gene wrote Snowbird which was Anne Murray’s breakout hit. A very shy and talented guy. I worked with him at the Riverboat in Toronto.

Riviera Hotel Las Vegas – 1981

I opened the curtains in my room at the Riv and this what I saw. It blew my mind. My name in lights! Awesome!
Roman at the O’Keefe Centre – 1985

Roman (my son) was impressed with my keyboard set up. He is now my best friend and closest ally.  On the left, Roman has his hand on a Kurzweil K250 digital piano. There’s a Yamaha DX7 above that and there’s a Roland Jupiter-8 on the right. George Benson’s keyboard player showed me how to program a bunch of really cool sounds into the DX7.

Wayne Gretzky, me and Ed Mio

Wayne actually showed up to lot of concerts in different cities. This pic is backstage in Vegas at the Riviera. I guess he liked Anne.
Kikki Piccata (Allison Lynn) and me.

I spent four years at the Second City in Toronto. Two years as Nunzio, the character you see here, and two years as Carlo Cannoli the piano player. It was a gas.

Johnny Bower, the China Wall

During his years as the goalie for the Leafs he was described as the China Wall because he was almost unbeatable. And in those days…No face mask! Wow!
Keith Carlock of Steely Dan.

Not only is Keith Carlock an unbelievable drummer, but he’s truly a sweet guy. He lays down a groove that you could drive a Hummer through. Phat!!

Pat Riccio Jr., Rachel Riccio and Pat Riccio

In the backyard of my parents townhouse on Sandhurst Circle in Scarborough.
My Dad’s Mom Gracia Morra Riccio – 1957

My Grandmother had grace and strength. She raised 5 children in the 1920’s and 30’s. Times were tough and family values were number one.

1st recording session at Sound Canada – 1966

This session was with Mar Sallam, a band that Prakash and I put together with Joey Miquelon and Paul Beedham. We did a few gigs and eventually hired a singer named Valentine Kelly. He was an ex boxer with a beautiful voice. The band broke up and Prakash went with George Olliver. I went into the studio as a producer at Arc Sound, and then ended up with the Anne Murray road show.
Kid Carson, me and Jim Short at my airport send off – 1965

Back then, Jim Short was the funniest guy in the world. Kid was still finding himself, but ended up with the lead role in Toronto’s production of Hair. Playing the lead role proved Kid a great actor and a competent singer. I actually played piano for a number of people that auditioned for the musical.

At the airport – 1965

All these people came to the airport the day I left for Halifax to play keyboards on Music Hop, a CBC TV show. It was quite scary leaving home for the first time.
Pat Riccio, Russ Chapman, Pat Riccio Jr. and Prakash John – 1965

You can actually see the pride on my Dad’s face that his son is embarking on a musical career. Or is that relief?

Ken Tobias, Barry Gittens, Pat Riccio Jr. – 1965

Barry and I became very close friends. He even drove his Mini Cooper to Scarborough and stayed for a few weeks in 1965. We used to tease Kenny and played tricks on him every chance we got.
20 year old Brian Ahern and 17 year old Pat Riccio Jr. – 1965

Brian Ahern hired me to play keyboards on “Music Hop” a CBC TV show that featured cities across Canada. This was Halifax. Brian produced all of Anne Murray’s hits in the late 60’s and early 70’s. This pic was taken the first day I arrived in Halifax. I shared an apartment above Offman’s Furs on Quimpool Rd with Ken Tobias and Moe Leif.

Tim Baker, Prakash and me. The Tall Cool Ones – 1962

Prakash played the Bass notes on a Cello. We only knew 3 songs.
Even back then Prakash displayed remarkable musical ability. Tim is now the head chef at a hotel in Wingham Ontario. Prakash is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and me…..I teach piano. Very Cool!
Dave Pinn, Tim Baker, Prakash and me. – 1962

As you can see, Prakash has a real Double Bass and the “Tall Cool Ones” had graduated to white shirts and added a drummer.

12 year old Pat Riccio Jr.

This picture was taken at Ellesmere school in Scarborough in 1959. Huge rink with 12 inch boards. I spent hours and hours there.

Pat Riccio Sr.

The Pat Riccio Quartet on CBC radio circa 1954.

Harold Holmes on Bass, Billy McCant on drums, my Dad, and Herbie Helbig on piano.  Herbie was the piano player on the Polka Dot Door kids show for ten years.
A Canadian Talent Library album.

That’s Ed Thigpen on drums, and Doug Watson on bass.

Jammin’ in the 1940’s.
The small Pat Riccio Combo

My Dad did tons of these kind of gigs. Mostly wedding receptions. I learned a lot about music doing these gigs. That’s Billy McCant on drums from the original Pat Riccio Quartet and that’s my sister Sandy as “the Girl singer”.

Official Sax and Headshot.

Dig that “crazy” sport jacket!
Pat Riccio Quartet Live!

Official head shot.
Conducting the Pat Riccio Orchestra. circa 1977

Pat Riccio voted best Alto Sax player by CBC radio 1947.
Pat Riccio Orchestra best Dance Band in 1960.

My dad was a regular at the Palais Royale in Toronto and the Jubilee pavilion in Oshawa.

The Amazing Harold Holmes!
%d bloggers like this: