My Designs Part 3
Richard Knight, Jr. – My Designs Part 3: The third installment in my long gestating solo album is here. I'm having a blast exploring multiple music genres as a writer and performer with the different songs for My Designs and this new crop - four songs and an instrumental - will make that abundantly clear. This line-up includes disco funk, bossa nova, goth metal, a heartbreak ballad, and an instrumental I'm labeling "jazz noir."

Listen - My Designs Part 3

CREDITS

Music, Lyrics, Vocals, Piano (on "Three Times Makes it True"): Richard Knight, Jr.
Produced by Richard Knight, Jr.
Arranged and Engineered by Curtis Allen Hager
RKJ Vocals Produced by Mark MacLean
Mastered by Gary Cobb
Guitar: Steve Dollinger
Backing Vocals on "I'd Like to Rest": Katie Wiseman
Backing Vocals on "Bird of Paradise": Katie Wiseman, Emily Hager and Teresa Bowen
Additional Guitar on "Golden": Chris Nyqvist
Cover Photo: Kim Shade

My Designs Part 2
Richard Knight, Jr. – My Designs Part 2: This is the second group of songs for my forthcoming solo recording -- my first in over 35 years. The first set of five songs were released on July 16, 2018 on the occasion of my birthday (see below). All of these 11 recordings were produced by my longtime collaborator, Mark MacLean. For this second group of releases, Curtis Allen Hager has joined the musical team as arranger extraordinaire on several of the songs. We purposely wanted to record a variety of styles from my songwriting catalog and will do that as we continue working on the third group of songs. Those, too, will be made available digitally once they’re ready. Eventually, we’ll have enough for a full length release.

Listen - My Designs Part 2

CREDITS

Music and Lyrics by Richard Knight, Jr. except "Daddy Was a Thin Man" Music by rkj, Lyrics by Brian Daly
Produced by Mark MacLean
"It Still Is the Same For Me" and "I've Been a Haunting For You" Arranged and Engineered by Mark MacLean
"Love Is Possible," "On," "Daddy Was a Thin Man," "I'm Night" Arranged and Engineered by Curtis Allen Hager
Mastered by Gary Cobb
Photography: Kimberly Shade

Musicians:
Vocals, Piano: Richard Knight, Jr.
Background Vocals, Keyboard and Musical Enhancements: Mark MacLean
Guitar: Steve Dollinger
Orchestral Enhancements and all Other Instruments: Curtis Allen Hager

My Designs Part 1
Richard Knight, Jr. – My Designs Part I: The five initial songs of this, my first solo recording in over 35 years, were released on July 16, 2018 on the occasion of my birthday. The recordings were produced by Mark MacLean. We purposely wanted to record a variety of styles from my songwriting catalog and will do that as we continue working on the next group of songs. Those, too, will be made available digitally once they’re ready. Eventually, we’ll have enough for a full CD and/or vinyl and will release them all together.

Listen - My Designs

CREDITS

Music and Lyrics by Richard Knight, Jr.
Produced and Engineered by Mark MacLean
Co-Arranged by Richard and Mark
Mastered by Gary Cobb
Photography by Kimberly Shade

Musicians:
Vocals, Piano – Richard Knight, Jr.
Background Vocals, Keyboards and Musical Enhancements – Mark MacLean
Guitar – Steve Dollinger
Trumpet – Glenn Morimoto
French dialogue on “My Designs” – Jennifer Estlin
Bass on “Imagine Me and Marcus” – Geoff Lowe

The Faraway Nearby The Faraway Nearby Sheet Music
A 3-disc (or download if you prefer) compilation of all 61 of rkj’s piano solos. CD version includes lavishly illustrated 24-page booklet. Available now! The Faraway Nearby sheet music book: Play along with the CDs! The sheet music – in alphabetical order – of all 61 of rkj’s piano solos are collected in this sheet music folio, along with background notes on each piece and the transcriptions. 210 pages, coil bound for easy page turning. Available now!
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Listen - The Faraway Nearby

Archival Releases

Night of the Hunter CD cover Cries In Whispers Group photo
The original 13 track release from 1990 remastered (with one alternate, never before released track substitution) plus a second disc of 12 bonus tracks of unreleased recordings, demos, and live recordings. Available as a download or 2-disc CD version (the latter includes a 24-page full color booklet).
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Listen - cries in whispers/Night of the Hunter

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Cries In Whispers 30th Anniversary CD cover Cries In Whispers Sheet Music
The original 10 track release from 1987 remastered plus a second disc of six unreleased recordings and one re-mix. Available as a download or 2-disc CD version (the latter includes a 16-page full color booklet). cries in whispers Deluxe 30th Anniversary Edition: The sheet music for all ten songs from the original 1987 release plus lyrics and five bonus songs.
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Listen - cries in whispers

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Knightklub - Mixed Emotions - 35th Deluxe Anniversary Edition CD cover
The original nine track release from 1985 remastered plus a second disc of 12 bonus tracks of unreleased recordings, demos, and live recordings. Available as a download or 2-disc CD version (the latter includes a 24-page full color booklet).
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Listen - Knightklub/Mixed Emotions

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I'm a Radio Lad cover
I'm a Radio Lad: A whopping 42 track, 40th anniversary collection of songs from my first five years in the recording studio. Style-wise, the selections include ballads, new wave dance tracks, hard rock, art songs, funk, and even a couple of novelty numbers. The four tracks from my debut EP "Four Songs" are here, along with a quartet of selections from my first band, The Radio Lad Organization, recorded live in performance. Rare piano/vocal demos and other odds and ends are also part of this comprehensive overview. The digital version is being released on my birthday, July 16th and the 2-disc CD set (which includes a full color, 20 page booklet) will arrive soon.

Listen to a sampling of RKJ early recordings (1979-1984)

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Produced By

Wait Until Dark cover
Kirsten Gustafson - Wait Until Dark: I had the great privilege of producing this pop/jazz flavored recording for the critically acclaimed jazz singer Kirsten Gustafson. Kirsten puts her stamp on an assortment of songs from multiple genres, many of them receiving the jazz treatment for the first time. My original song “For One Alone,” a standard receiving a lush orchestral treatment from arranger Curtis Allen Hager, is among the 11 selections.
Lust for Samba 20th Anniversary CD cover Samba Bamba Caricatures
A 2-disc, 20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition of the debut CD from Samba Bamba, the wacky "Sergio Mendes meets the B-52's" 8-piece Latin-flavored, retro crazy band in which rkj plays front man Monty "Sugarloaf" Mattachine. The first disc includes 13 songs - eight rkj originals and five covers with Samba Bamba's unique arrangements - remixed and remastered from the 1997 CD, a bonus, never before released recording among them. The second disc features eight previously unreleased cover songs recorded in 1995. This Deluxe Edition also includes a lavishly illustrated, full color 20-page booklet detailing the history of Samba Bamba.

Listen - Samba Bamba

Scrooge & Marley cover
Scrooge & Marley Soundtrack: In addition to co-writing and co-directing the 2012 LGBTQ themed holiday movie "Scrooge & Marley," I also produced the accompanying soundtrack. The 20 track collection includes my original song, "Christmas Eve is Coming Soon," the theme song for the film as well as other original songs and holiday themed contributions from renowned recording artists Matt Alber, Betty, Amber de Laurentis, The Plush Interiors, Jen Zias, Kirsten Gustafson, and The Joans. A symphonic suite of the film's score by the composer Lisa McQueen is part of the line-up as is "Amazing," the gorgeous end credit song written especially for the film by Grammy award winning Marsha Malamet, Liz Vidal and Stephan Oberhoff and hauntingly performed by Jason Gould is included. Available in digital and CD versions. Add this to your holiday collection!

Archive

Beginning in 1976 and for about the following 25 years I wrote hundreds of songs, over 60 piano solos (or “musical essays” as I like to call them), a couple of musicals, and a batch of other musical pieces that don’t fall in any particular category. I entered my first recording studio in 1979 and in the subsequent years recorded my music with several different groups of musicians, releasing the end results under different group names, depending on the project.

rkjmusic.xyz was created to be a place for everything to do with my music. Through it, I’m re-releasing both my solo and group recordings, the majority long out of print and many never before publicly available, along with new editions of my songs as the transcribing, digitizing and remixing work progresses. I explored a lot of different musical genres throughout my writing and recording years and it’s been wonderful to go back and rediscover things I’d long forgotten.

Wandering through my musical past has also inspired me. I left a lot of songs on the table, as it were, and so I’ve returned to the studio to begin recording anew. Of course, in this day and age the definition of “studio” has changed which has made it a lot easier to creatively explore. I am thrilled that Mark MacLean, my longtime collaborator, is back as my producer and fellow musical traveler.

I hope you enjoy the music as much as I enjoyed writing and playing it and half as much as my fellow musicians and I did recording it – then and now. I thank them – and you – for listening.

Richard Knight, Jr.

Musical History

Music Releases:

1982 Four Songs (7” EP) (mixed genres)
1985 Knightklub – Mixed Emotions (LP) (new wave-artsy)
1987 cries in whispers — cries in whispers (cassette) (new wave-artsy)
1990 cries in whispers – Night of the Hunter (cassette) (alternative-artsy)
1990 Fever Dreams: 15 Years at the Piano (cassette/CD) (piano solos)
1991 Easdale – The Moon Spinners (cassette/CD) (new age goth trio)
1992 Four on the Floor – Bitch Queens (12” dance single) (industrial dance)
1996 Sharkskin – Break on Through (CD) (“jazz noir” covers and original)
1997 Samba Bamba! – Lust for Samba (CD) (Latin flavored originals and covers)
2001 Now At Last (CD) (piano standards and original)
The Show Biz Kids from Hell! (CD) (audio version of the musical comedy cabaret act)
2002 Like Honeysuckle in the Wind (CD) (piano standards and original)
2003 Christmas Eve Is Coming Soon (CD) (holiday standards and original with guest vocalists)
2012 Scrooge & Marley soundtrack (CD/download) (holiday standards and originals)
2017 The Faraway Nearby (CD/download) (3 CD archive of rkj’s 61 piano solos)
cries in whispers – 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (CD/download) (2 CDs)
Samba Bamba – Lust for Samba/20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (CD/download) (2 CDs)
2018 My Designs, Part I – rkj’s first solo recordings in over 35 years (download)
2019 My Designs, Part II – six additional songs for rkj’s forthcoming solo album (download)
2020 Kirsten Gustafson/Wait Until Dark (Download/CD) (rkj produced recording of pop jazz songs)
I’m a Radio Lad (Download/CD) (2 CDs) 40th anniversary collection of rkj’s early studio recordings, 1979-1984
Knightklub – Mixed Emotions – 35th Anniversary Deluxe Edition
2021 My Designs, Part III – four additional songs and one instrumental for rkj’s forthcoming solo album (download)
cries in whispers – Night of the Hunter 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition

Music Perfomances:

1982 – 1990 Multiple club appearances in Chicago and surrounding areas with original music groups of various configurations and musical styles (band names: radio lad organization, radio lads, knightklub, cries in whispers, easdale)
1986 – 1988 Limelight House Band (founder, leader of 10-piece nightclub band)
1991 – present Solo piano gigs
1992 – present Show Biz Kids from Hell (comedy cabaret duo)
1994 – present Samba Bamba! (founder, leader of 8-piece Latin flavored band)
1995 – 1997 Sharkskin (founder, lead singer of 5-piece “jazz noir” group)
1998 – 2000 Richard Knight Society Band (founder, leader of 8-piece corporate group)

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