Formerly a member of the Bobby Hankins Show, Ricchio established himself as a premier steel guitar player, toured as a solo act and fronted his own band for many years. Members of his band included – Mike Ricchio, Glen Ostrander, Jerry Howard, Sharon Morris and many others.
Al and his band appeared at many state and county fairs opening for acts like Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, Brenda Lee, and Billy Crash Craddock. In addition to performing with national acts, Ricchio wrote many songs that he sold to country music stars who recorded them for their albums.
Tommy Cash once dropped in to hear Ricchio’s band at Messingham’s Second Base in Cedar Falls and was so impressed with his talent and personality that he invited Al and his family up to his suite for drinks after hours.
Ricchio also had a long time friendship with national recording star Marvin Rainwater.
Ricchio later changed his band name from the Silver Spurs to the Country Class. Jerry Howard from Oelwein was his bass player, along with his son Mike Ricchio. Glen Ostrander from Cedar Rapids was the drummer.
Update: September 11, 2015: Al’s daughter, Barb Richio found some classic songs that feature Al’s vocals and his band. Check it out here. Thank you Barb!
Ricchio passed away in 1995 and his wife passed in 1981. Together, they raised a family of nine children who were forever influenced by their dad’s love of music.
His grandsons are following in Al’s footsteps by playing in local bands. Curt Faist is a guitar player. Anthony, TJ Ricchio and Zack Stowe are also playing in bands.
Don’t forget Mike Ricchio, he passed away today but he told me of many times playing on the road with his dad.
He was the most amazing and funny grandpa any lillte brats could imagine. Every time we came over he would look at us, smile and say is it poker time or jam time? Good or bad days he was always their to make us smile and imagine the most amazing day about to unfold:) love and miss you soo much grandpa <3 <3 <3
Played drums for Al a number of times. I was moved by his voice more than his playing. He had the kind of voice that, if all the stars would have lined up, would have put him in a Nashville recording studio and on the road as a major act. Warm and smooth and so easy on the ear. Such a nice guy…and playing with his son, Mike, was a blast.
I miss my parents soooooo much! I remember them practicing in the garage, it was so nice growing up with music all around you! Music is forever in my soul.
I am Alex’s niece from Wisconsin. I loved going to visit my family in Oelwein. Every trip included live music. I especially loved his song “Rolling On”. What a great man and musician!