Joseph Ronald Ricci was born on June 29, 1938 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and passed away on February 17, 2008 at the age of 69.
After attending local schools, he entered the military in 1955 and served until 1958. It was during this time that he honed his skills entertaining troops in the special services and upon his discharge he entered the world of music, where he would leave his indelible mark under the professional name, Ricci Mareno.
While still in Philadelphia, Ricci flourished as a songwriter and record producer finding success with Frankie Avalon, Fabian and Al Martino.
In 1967 he moved his family to Nashville, TN where he went to work for Combine Music with fellow songwriters Dolly Parton and Kris Kristofferson. Ricci soon garnered writing success with recordings by Waylon Jennings, Brenda Lee, Jimmy Dean, Dottie West, Tom Jones, Connie Smith, Eddy Arnold and Charlie Rich. Over the next twenty years, Ricci produced over 36 hit records and 50 albums for Columbia, ABC, Mercury, Dot and others, including 4 number one records on Tommy Overstreet. During this time, Ricci was awarded SESAC's Country Music Writer of the Year, Producer of the Year and over 100 awards of all descriptions.
In the 1980s and beyond, Ricci turned his attention towards the ever growing video and TV market, producing shows with Randy Travis, Gene Watson, Roy Acuff and many members of the Grand Ole Opry. Friends remember him as a wonderful storyteller with a keen sense of humor.
Always willing to help out those in need, his home at times was filled with musicians and writers from around the world, hoping to capture some of his golden touch. With a guitar close at hand, he was quick to weave his brand of country music into lyrics that now have a timeless place in history.
He was preceded in death by his father, Mareno.
Ricci is survived by his wife, Suzette; his children: Patti, Dennis, Tracy, Suzie and Stephanie; his mother, Vicky; his sister, Pat; and his twelve grandchildren: Allison, Rachel, Joey, Brian, Adam, Nicholas, Grace, Mychael, Hailee, Jonathan, Christian and Zachary.
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