Kenny Rich was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1947. He moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1950 where he took up the guitar at the age of 11, when his Uncle Herb a country singer taught him a few guitar chords.
He played in local bands around town and formed a group with his good friend Tim Hinds called the Road Runners . After graduation in 1965 he hit the road playing in small clubs, bars and concert halls with a group of musicians called the Jayhawkers. They scored a regional Hit with a song called “To Have A Love” and were signed to a Record deal with Deltron Records. The group opened for Simon and Garfunkle, Sonny and Cher, The Birds, McCoy’s, The Yard Birds, Bob Seger, and many more groups of the era.
The group was disbanded because of the Vietnam War draft, so he joined a local Flint group in 1967 called The Pack, also known as The Fabulous Pack. It consisted of Mark Farner, Don Brewer, Craig Frost, Herm Jackson and Kenny Rich. Mark, Don and Craig would later become Grand Funk. They recorded a single for Capitol Records, which was a Jimi Hendrix song “Fire”. The flip side was a Dick Wagner tune "without a woman".
In 1969 Motown was forming a new Record Label called “Rare Earth” Kicking the label off was the group Rare Earth. Kenny was with a group by the name of My Friends, at the time and was approached by Motown for the new label. They were signed to a 2 album recording deal iIn January of 1971. Soon after, Motown released the groups first single, two of Kenny’s songs “I’m An Easy Rider” and “Concrete and Clay” while the group worked on the rest of the album.
In a sad turn of events in the summer of 1971 the Albums producer Tom Baird accidentally drowned right in the middle of the Project. The group was stopped dead in their tracks when Motown didn’t assign another producer. The group couldn’t book studio time and the project ground to a halt. The reasons for all of this would become very clear later on, when by the end of October 1971 Motown abruptly closed both the Hitsville Studio, and studio B, all their offices and moved the whole 0peration to California.
All the groups were caught scratching their heads. There was just a note on the door of the studio, Closed. The Funk Brothers who played on all those huge Motown Hits were discarded like dirty diapers along with the rest of the groups and musicians. It was all chronicled later in the documentary "Standing In The Shadows Of Motown". That documentary still airs on TV today.
After the Motown fiasco, Kenny built a recording studio at his home north of Detroit and formed his own Record and publishing Co. He met a fellow songwriter, musician and kindred spirit Bill Perry and together they played, collaborated and recorded their music until Bill's unexpected death from a heart attack in 1999. He was only 49 years old.
In 2007 Kenny moved back to Grand Rapids MI where he grew up and still has family. He still writes songs and records. His latest effort is the Album Fightin’ Man, which is a combination of works both old and new. Its release date is set for May 12th, 2011 and will be available on all the music download sites. The title track Fightin’ Man is a tribute to all of our armed forces, Past and Present.