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Richie Kamuca

White Lightning

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Jsngry asked about the origin of Kamuca's surname. Kamuca told my late friend Gunter Nolte that he was the best Jewish-Hawaiian tenor player in Philadelphia (his home town). Actually, I believe Kamuca was part Hawaiian and that the name is probably Japanese/Hawaiian (Kamuka).

I can't vouch for the accuracy, but on p. 127 of Korst and Brand's "Shelly Manne the Sounds of a Different Drummer" appears the following: "One time the Men were ask to play Las Vegas, but when Shelly was told that the hotel would require Kamuca to go through the kitchen entrance, Richie being of Mexican descent, Shelly was shocked and refused the contract."

I had just read the book and this passage came to mind when I saw the query. The book does not cite references for specific chapters.

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