Herb is best known for playing keyboards and saxophone on both recordings and live performances with The Electric Flag, Jimi Hendrix and The Buddy Miles Express. Raised in Omaha, Nebraska; Herbie was a member of a fine Rhythm & Blues Band, in the late 1950’s, made up of his siblings, called “The 7-Wonders”. In 1963-64, he formed “The New Breed” in North Omaha, which also included Stemsy Hunter, Hoshal Wright, Jerry Bennett, Hank Redd and Curly Martin; all of whom, except Jerry Bennett, attained national recognition as recording artists and touring musicians later in their careers. Bennett, however (the younger brother of the legendary lead guitarist for Bobby “Blue” Bland – Wayne Bennett) died quite young. All sources say Jerry Bennett, had he lived, would have been recognized as one of the finest guitarists EVER. In 1967, “The Electric Flag” was formed with Herbie on Keyboards & Sax, along with fellow Omaha natives Buddy Miles and Stemsy Hunter. They performed at The Monterrey International Pop Festival and at both Fillmore East and Fillmore West. Fine recordings exist and their appearance at Monterrey is documented in the fine film of that historic event. Later, while in The Buddy Miles Express, he performed alongside his brother, Bill Rich (on bass). The Buddy Miles Express, again – contained three Omaha, NE natives, Buddy Miles-Herbie Rich & Billy Rich. One of the finest RB-Rock ensembles ever to perform live and be captured on vinyl, this group is one of the prime examples of the excellent and professional musicians to come out of Nebraska in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Herbie was later on recordings and/or toured with Mike Bloomfield, Peter Strazza, Barry Goldberg, Mark Naftalin, Bill McPherson & Jim McCarty. He will be inducted into The Nebraska Music Hall of Fame, along with his brother, Bill Rich (who, in addition to his fine work in The Buddy Miles Express, has played bass for Taj Mahal for over 30-years). Herb met and married his wife Hilda in New Orleans in 1989. Later moving to Atlanta, GA they both became involved in the ministry. Their joint ministry involved taking the “church to where the people are” – places like large malls around Atlanta, to schools, nursing homes, homeless shelters and Half-Way houses. Both excellent vocalists, they let their musical talents aid in their ministry throughout the Atlanta, GA area. Just days before Herb’s death, he and Hilda recorded a number of selections to be presented to the NE Music Hall of Fame. The tracks are now being mixed to be forwarded to the Hall of Fame Archives and for distribution to family and friends.
Herb Rich passed away May 12, 2004 in Mableton, Georgia.