The Rich Bobinski Orchestra
The Legacy Continues

"Come Dance With Us"

IN MEMORIAM


It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of a member of our band.



We are saddened to share the news that "Richie" (as he was fondly called) Rich Gawronski of Naugatuck CT, Accordionist and Sound Engineer for The Rich Bobinski Orchestra passed away on Saturday, January 30, 2016.  Rich first played with Walter Solek when he moved to Connecticut from Pennsylvania.  Following that he played with The Rich Bobinski Orchestra, The Jimmy Sturr Orchestra and The Dick Pillar Orchestra.  When Dick Pillar retired, Rich went full time with The Rich Bobinski Orchestra.  He was a very talented musician, great friend and a true gentleman.

Please click on this link for the obituary and arrangements.

Gallery Photo
Gallery Photo


       

Richard Bobinski Biography

 

Richard J. Babinski was born in Waterbury, CT on January 18, 1939 to Mr. and Mrs. Robert Bobinski.

 

Rich began playing the trumpet when he was about nine years old after seeing a Harry James movie. His first instructor was Polish and it was not long before he had Rich playing music from the instructor's collection of Polish music.

 

He and his brother Bob started their own band shortly after they were out of high school and played at local weddings and clubs under the name of Bob Bobinski and his Orchestra. Around 1955 they changed the name to Bob & Rich and the Harmony Kings Orchestra and they made a couple of connections and started to travel. Their first job on the road was in Prospect Hill in Brooklyn, NY and from then on, the road trips kept coming.

 

Rich recorded two albums with his brother, the first one was entitled "Johnny's

Wedding Day" for Cardinal Records and the second was "Young Lovers" on the Tric Record Label.

 

In 1967, Rich took over the band on his own as the Rich Babinski   Orchestra and shortly after, the band recorded its first album entitled "Kiss Me I'm Polish" which started their climb to the top. About three and a half years later the band recorded their second album entitled "Down by The Water" which took off. In 1976 Rich released his third album on the DATA label entitled "The Premier of Polkas" which became an instant success overnight. The new styling of the Bobinski Orchestra with the addition of the violin was accepted by Polka fans everywhere.

 

1976 was also the year that Rich started his own radio show, "The Polka Hoe­ Down Show", which was heard every Sunday evening on WIOF Radio, 104 FM from Waterbury, CT.

 

The Rich Babinski Orchestra was voted the #1 Band for 1976 and 1977 by the

United States Polka Association. Polka Hall of Fame member Ray Henry enjoyed Rich's music so much that he wrote the song "Happy Guy" as a birthday present   for him.

 

At the height of his band's popularity in 1978, Rich retired the band so that he could take care of his mother. After his mother passed on, Rich decided to start the band again in 1991 and made two more recordings. The first was entitled "Playing With My Band" and the second was "Thanks For Being My Friends."

 

Rich lived in Union City, CT most of his life and his love for people as well as   Polka music always showed no matter where he performed. Some of his greatest songs include: "Kiss Me I'm Polish," "Down By The Water", "Baa Baa Polka",  "Skinny Minnie", "Playing With My Band", "Thanks For Being My Friend", "Elenora Oberek" and the #1 top song for the year 1977 as named by the United States Polka Association - "Hoe Down Hank".          He and his band also received many other awards from the different organizations he played for.

 

Rich kept playing with his band until he died at the young age of 62 on March 4, 2001.

 

Band member Marty Swiatek continued the band as Marty Swiatek and RBO as per the wish of Rich.  In 2010 June Ingram took over the band as The Rich Bobinski.

 

Orchestra and continues till this day to play to large enthusiastic crowds.