Fritz Richmond on washtub bass

John Byrne Cooke


Image No. 63-12-23: Fritz Richmond on washtub bass

Club 47, Cambridge, Mass., December 1963

When he got out of the Army in 1962, Fritz played first with the Charles River Valley Boys and later with the Jim Kweskin Jug Band, as well as backing and recording with many other performers. Able to coax a two-octave range from his washtub bass, in his lifetime Fritz was uncontested as the best washtub bass player in the world. (He died in 2005.) One of his tubs is in the Smithsonian Institution. On this snowy night in Cambridge, Fritz and I stopped by the Club 47 to see who was playing. Before long, Fritz donned his trademark Vicks-bottle-blue-lensed granny glasses and joined in. (The section of stovepipe by the tub is one of Fritz's wind instruments.)

Jamming at the 47 Fritz Richmond and Mel Lyman

Geoff Muldaur and Paul Arnoldi Maria D'Amato Maria and Jenni Muldaur Geoff Muldaur on washboard
Lovebirds Onstage Jim Kweskin Jug Band