The Ritchie Family was a female disco vocal group from Philadelphia formed in 1975 by Jacques Morali who also founded The Village People. The original members, who are not related, consisted of Cassandra Ann Wooten, Gwendolyn Oliver, and Cheryl Mason Jacks (Cheryl Mason-Dorman), with a number of personnel changes. The Ritchie Family got its name from Richie Rome (and added a T) who served as a producer, arranger, and songwriter for the group.
The Ritchie Family made its chart debut in 1975 with "Brazil," a mostly-instrumental disco version of the extensively-covered Ary Barroso-penned song of the same name which became a hit for Xavier Cugat in 1943. This song, which features an intermittent chorus of "you got me where you want me," topped the Hot Dance/Disco chart and also became a Top 20 hit on both the Pop/Rock and R&B charts. The Ritchie Family's hits also included "I Want To Dance With You (Dance With Me)" (1975), "Life Is Music" (1977), and "The Best Disco In Town" (1976). The latter song, which is a disco medley of various pop and R&B hits, also topped the Hot Dance/Disco chart.
By 1978, all original members of The Ritchie Family had been replaced, and the group also went through two more lineup changes (in 1979 and 1982) before disbanding in 1984. The group continued its hits through 1983 on the R&B charts and appeared with The Village People in the 1980 movie, "Can't Stop The Music." Original members Cassandra Wooten and Cheryl Mason-Dorman recently reformed The Ritchie Family with new member Renee Guilory-Wearing and are currently touring.
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The Ritchie Family
- Brazil 1975
(This instrumental song was previously a hit for Xavier Cugat (1943, sung version).)
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