Richie Pratt

Olathe High School
Class of 1961

(March 11, 1943 — Feb. 12, 2015)

Direction from football coach Dick Martin and music director Warren George earned Richie a full football scholarship to the University of Kansas, where he studied music. He was a starting tackle, KU All-Time Letterman 1963-65, as well as a percussionist with the concert band and orchestra. Richie was drafted to play football for the New York Giants, but his career ended after a second-season injury. He then became a first-call percussionist and performed with the American Symphony Orchestra, the Joffrey Ballet, and Alvin Ailey. He also performed in several Broadway hits, including Raisin; and was the drum soloist in Broadway’s smashing tribute to Duke Ellington – Sophisticated Ladies. He has accompanied many jazz musicians, including Lionel Hampton and Benny Goodman, and played in a backup band for vocalists Nancy Wilson, Aretha Franklin, Barry White, the Temptations, and many others.