Rick Dougherty joined the Limeliters in 1991, and left the group in 2004. He is a seasoned professional with over 20 years of experience as a guitarist, songwriter, performer and director but he is best known for his clear tenor voice. Even as a boy he was singled out while singing on the playground and asked to be a soloist with the boys choir at his church.
Rick played piano at home, but in high school he began playing guitar with a particular interest in finger-styles, and within a year he was appearing in local coffee-houses in Pasadena. By the time he left the City College he was playing ragtime guitar and had been given a citation by the music department as one of its most promising students.
In 1973 his family moved to San Francisco, and Rick went on the road playing concerts, hotels and coffee-houses across the western states. He picked up bass along the way and studied orchestration and arranging with Dave Wheeler in Columbus, Ohio, while teaching guitar and theory to private students.
Rick missed the West Coast, however, and in 1983 he returned to the Bay Area and won a vocal scholarship to Sonoma State University where he became assistant director in the Opera department. He also continued to write arrangements and perform with the jazz ensembles. In 1986 he received the Award for Outstanding Solo Performance from the National Association of Jazz Educators (NAJE) at the Berkeley Collegiate Jazz Festival.
He graduated with honors in 1987 and began working with several of the opera companies in the Bay Area as a technical and stage director. In 1991 he was invited to be director for the Bear Valley Music Festival where he has worked with Gwendolyn Jones, John Garrison and Evelyn de la Rosa in productions of "Carmen," "La Traviata," and "The Abduction from the Seraglio." In the past seven years, he has directed 23 operas in the Bay area.
Despite his newfound directing career, Rick never lost his love of harmony singing and in 1986 he helped form "Cafe Society," a vocal trio that performed swing music from the 30's and 40's using many of Rick's arrangements. In 1993 he joined the a capella jazz quintet Syncopation. He also performs in opera, including "Die Fledermaus" and "Candide." Rick has also given workshops on singing at Camp Harmony (San Francisco Folk Music Club), the Sonoma County Folk Festival and was a staff artist and workshop leader at the California Traditional Music Society New Year's Camp in 1991.
In 1991 Rick was invited to join the "The Limeliters" and performed with the group until 2004 for audiences across the United States. He is included on one Limeliters album, Until We Get it Right
In early 2004, together with Bill Zorn, Rick left The Limeliters and briefly joined a new group with Glenn Yarbrough called "The Folk Reunion." By 2006, he was a regular with The Kingston Trio, along with fellow former Limelter Bill Zorn, and long-time KingstonTrio member George Grove.
Last update: November 6, 2006