By Craig Michaels
The union of this musical dynamic duo began in 1971 at the Mission Inn in Riverside. Richard Byford was the resident singer at the Glennwood Tavern, an English pub in the Mission Inn. Mary Avery came in one night with a choir group from the University of California Riverside. The group asked if Mary could sing a couple of songs with Richard and two have been making beautiful music together ever since.
Richard is a singer/songwriter/musician from the United Kingdom with hit records in several countries. As a graduate from the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art, Richard is known as a folk singer in the pubs and folk clubs of England. Currently he is hosting a weekly internet radio talk-show called “On the Village Green”. Adding to his busy schedule, Richard also books talent through his agency called Byway Entertainment, which he has operated for over 30 years!
Mary was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and raised in Riverside, California. She attended the University of California Riverside where she received her BA in Music. As part of the duo, Richard & Mary, she performed on television, radio, concert venues, clubs and cruise ships. As a soloist, she has also done selected theatrical roles as a singer/dancer. When not appearing with Richard & Mary, she teaches piano and voice.
Their repertoire of folk & original songs and stories from the road is pieced together from over 40 years of touring and performing. During the 70’s and 80’s Richard & Mary toured many countries around the world and had charted records in Europe and the UK with several of Richard’s original songs. One of the highlights of their long career was representing the United States at the closing ceremonies of the World Trade Expo in Seville, Spain in 1992, performing to over one hundred thousand people.
While Richard and Mary could just sit back and look in the rear view mirror to relish in their accomplishments, they have done just the opposite. These two talented musicians have decided they are not done, “I have a lot of material that I have written in the past two or three years and although we are obviously older than a lot of the songwriters today we feel that there are still important things to say and we still have the passion to perform,” remarks Richard.
“Keeping The Dream Alive” is a very fitting title for the new CD which the duo has recently completed. The collection of 8 new original songs and 3 spoken word presentations set to music can be described as “refreshing!” Buyers will also be treated to a bonus Track: “In The Land of the Shifting Sands” which is dedicated to the previous Chairman of The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, the late Richard Milanovich.
The public is invited to join Richard and Mary along with their family and friends for the CD release party (also Richards Birthday) at Woody’s Burgers Backroom in Palm Springs, Sunday January 26, from 6pm to 10pm. For more info you can call: (760) 230-0188. If you want to purchase the Keeping the Dream Alive CD, you can go to: http://richardandmaryshow.com.
Written by: Craig Michaels