(CelebrityAccess) – Beloved American vibraphonist and percussionist Emil Richards has passed away at the age of 87.
We learned of his death through a tribute posted on Twitter by Michael Giacchino.
Born Emilio Joseph Radocchia in Hartford, CT, in 1932, Richards began playing the xylophone at age six. In high school, he performed with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. He later studied with Al Lepak at the Hartt School of Music in Hartford, before graduating in 1952. After being drafted, he belonged to an Army band in Japan and played with Toshiko Akiyoshi.
As a sought-after session musician, Richards often recorded for movies and television. His credits include playing bongos on the theme song for the television program Mission Impossible, as well as numerous film scores including Close Encounters, Jaws, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Jurassic Park.
Over the course of his illustrious career, he also recorded for artists including Frank Sinatra, Frank Zappa, Doris Day, Judy Garland, Nelson Riddle, Steely Dan, and Sarah Vaughan.
A cause of death has not been released.