Richard “Kozz” Kosinski
From the age of five, Richard was taught to read, write, and play classical music by his mother Alice, a pro piano teacher. By age 11 he performed many piano recitals and received membership and two high awards from The Detroit Musicians League’s Honor Society for his live performances of music by Chopin (Polonaise Op. 40 No. 1) and Schubert (Impromptu in A Flat Major). By age 7, Richard’s father Walter, a professional piano tuner/technician, started training him to be a piano tuner. As a teen Rich was both a capable piano tuner as well as a great piano player.
At age 13 , in 1961, Richard joined a group of teen musicians as keyboardist in his first band The Fortunaires. The band placed in the top 5 in the Michigan State Fair Battle of the Bands two years in a row. Meanwhile the band was playing four nights a week at popular local teen night clubs -- packing them in. They appeared a number on times on local DJ Robin Seymour’s weekly TV show “Swingin’ Time”. Robin later became the manager of Sunday Funnies. The band also recorded a number of songs released through local labels, but yielded no hits.
By age 16 and now attending Fordson High School in Dearborn, Michigan, Richard and The Fortunaires were performing in upscale Detroit Show Bars like The Roostertail, Club Gay Haven, Club Cliché, Military Inn, and many others. The band ultimately became house band, backing up acts like Sam the Sham, Johnny Rivers, Danny and the Juniors, The Coasters, and others.
During this time in1964 Rich was also doing a great deal of studio recording, playing piano and other keyboards for producer John Rhys on hit records like “Oh How Happy” by The Shades of Blue, “Just Like Romeo and Juliet”, and “Shabby Little Hut” by The Reflections.
In 1965 Richard joined a new band called The Sand Pipers who went on to win The Montgomery Ward Talented Teen Contest, and 2nd place in the Michigan State Fair Battle of the Bands, and even toured Europe for three weeks. They played Detroit area teen-age night clubs named The Mump, The Chatterbox, The Bypass, The Pumpkin, and many others.
By 1968 Richard joined a new band The Sunday Funnies who were signed under the Motown Records’ Rare Earth Label. In 1971 Producer/Manager Andrew Loog Oldham (Rolling Stones) was hired and in 1971 and 1972 Andrew produced at Hitsville two Sunday Funnies Albums:“Sunday Funnies” and “Benediction”. Both albums, although having light sales, were played extensively on radio stations worldwide. Kozz co-wrote, sang, and played on most songs on both albums. The band was working and toured with artists like Three Dog Night, The James Gang, Deep Purple, Ike and Tina Turner, Alice Cooper, Bob Seger, and Brownsville Station.
Throughout this exciting musical time Richard still managed to go to college; Henry Ford Community College for 2 years, Lawrence Institute of Technology 1 year, and Eastern Michigan University for 3 years majoring in Math and Science.
Sunday Funnies eventually broke up in 1974 and Kozz (Richard’s new nickname) moved his wife Anna and four year old daughter Rachel to California in 1975.
Kozz never forgot the piano tuning skills his father taught him, so when he got to Hollywood he applied for a piano tuning job at Studio Instrument Rentals Rehearsal Studios on Vine Street in Hollywood, tuning an old Baldwin grand piano for Carol King’s rehearsal. Carol was always complaining about that piano but this time there was no complaint, only a compliment. Kozz did a stellar job and was hired as the official SIR tuner. This was a great opportunity for him to be around the music industries’ most exclusive music circles. Kozz became “Piano Tuner to the Stars” with clients like The Hollywood Bowl, Universal Amphitheater, The Greek Theater , The Grammies, Country Music Awards, Academy Awards, ABC TV, Solid Gold and more. He tuned pianos and other keyboards for artists like Stevie Wonder, Liberace, Lionel Richie, The Eagles, E Street Band, Rick Wakeman,, The Rolling Stones (Nicki Hopkins) , Chicago, Grateful Dead, America, Jerry Lee Lewis, Stone Canyon Band, Steve Allen, Dr. John, Carol King, Barry Mann, Mariah Carey and others.
In 1975, Kozz auditioned and got the job as touring and recording keyboardist for Native American Band Redbone and played keys on their Tower of Power /War Tour and many other gigs.
Two years later he auditioned and took keyboardist singer Michael McDonald’s vacant spot with ABC RECORDS' band The Big Whakoo. Kozz recorded two albums with The Big Whakoo’s million dollar ABC record deal. The first album entitled “Big Whakoo” was recorded at ABC Studios with veteran producer Roy Haley (Simon and Garfunkles’ Bridge Over Troubled Water). The second album "Berkshire" was recorded at Village Recorders with Fleetwood Mac (Rumors) engineer Ken Kalait. The band played gigs including opening for The Kinks at Winterland in San Francisco and James Taylor / Carly Simon at The Bitter End in New York. One song "Mother of Pearl" co written by Kozz and former Steely Dan member David Palmer wound up on the James at 16 TV show.
In 1979 Kozz had a tragic accident. While on a tuning job at a large L.A. arena a mic was plugged in to an open fader which caused a 20,000 watt PA to feedback at decibel ratings of over 140 db. Kozz said, “By the time I dropped my gear to the floor to cover my ears the damage was done. In those few seconds my hearing was destroyed. All I heard was ringing, buzzing, and swishing, and very little external real sound.” The doctors said, “Your hearing could come back in a few years but no volumes over 100 db which is not very loud. And ... No live bands. No headphones. For a few years..... During this time (1979-1982) Kozz turned his focus from music to business and formed Sun Glo Transparents, Inc., a decal manufacturing company. As Director of Operations and Production Manager with brother in law Tom Byrne their successes included the rainbow decal which sold over 600,000 copies. You may have seen them on the rear windows of cars.
By 1982 Kozz’s hearing recovered and he got back into music and songwriting. He invested in the latest studio gear and electronic equipment and started scoring local radio ads and writing songs with singer songwriter Darwun St. James and Guitarist David Kitay In 1984 Darwun was signed to Polygram Records by Russ Reagan. Kozz and Darwun co-wrote and produced the album. One song "Tear Me Up" was on the soundtrack album of the movie “Thief of Hearts”, and got a favorable review in People Magazine. Unfortunately, Russ Reagan left Polygram at this time and the Darwun album was shelved and never released.
Kozz then collaborated with veteran songwriter/producer Willie Hutch where he played keyboards and was credited on records by The Temptations, The Four Tops, Aretha Franklin, as well as 2 Willie Hutch solo albums.
He also composed the themes and underscore for three TV shows: Trial Watch, Bachelor Party, and Totally Hidden Video. Kozz also partnered with Guitarist David Kitay and together sought film and TV work. After doing several very low budget adult films, they scored three Warren Miller Ski Films; “Steep and Deep”, “Beyond the Edge”, and “White Winter Heat”.
In 1986 Kozz landed an amazing opportunity to work as composer/engineer for Tyrell - Mann Music Group (veteran producer/music supervisor Steve Tyrell and songwriting legend Barry Mann). He composed cues for many major network TV shows: First and Ten, Teen Wolf, Snoops, Frank's Place, Man of the People, Rick Moranis in Gravedale High, The Famous Teddy Z, Linc’s, CBS Storybreak; Raggetty Ann and Andy, Spiral Zone (co-wrote Theme and co-scored 65 episodes), The New KRRP, Network Special Movie “My Past My Own“, and co-scored the films The Nightstalker and The Pound Puppies Movie: The Legend of the Big Paw.
In 1990 Kozz also received THE ACADEMY OF MOTION PICTURES AND TELEVISION ARTS AND SCIENCES OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD for the Co-Score on "Cartoon All-Stars To The Rescue" (National simulcast on CBS, NBC, ABC in 1990 with intro by President George Bush.)
Kozz’s career was now in full swing. He performed on and is credited on "Stand Up to the Night" by Bonnie Raitt and The Boxing Ghandhi's debut album.
In 1989 Kozz and producer Michael Portis formed a commercial music company Portis-Kosinski Music. The company first started underscoring Mitsubishi Motors TV dealer spots, later graduating to Mitsubishi national brand TV spots and creating the Mitsubishi Jingle. By 1990 Kosinski and Portis were scoring National TV 30 second spots for dozens of clients including Yamaha Motorcycles, Reebok, Hallmark, Sharp Copiers, Wilson Sporting Goods, Kellogg’s, Macy’s, University of Nevada, Hilton, Nordstrom’s, National Dairy Board, Acura, Kawasaki Motorcycles, Sears, Baskin Robbins, Uniglobe, Amnesty International, Hanes and many more. Also composed music scores for the in-theater Theatrical Film Trailers for The Firm,
Interview with the Vampire, Just Cause, Nixon, Natural Born Killers, The Relic, and Twister. Kosinski also co-wrote songs and additional score for The Running Kind /MGM 1990
Kozz also underscored, on his own, TV spots including; Carstar, Yukikaze, Pleasant Holidays, Hyundai Sonata, Mattel Barbie, Fox Children's Network, and Fox Power Rangers.
Then, In 1993, Kozz shared the prestigious GEORGE FOSTER PEABODY BROADCASTING AWARD as Composer for the seven one minute spots in the winning Fox Children's PSA’s with Producer/Director Nicki Noxin The following year, in1994 the pair (Nicki and Kozz) shared the CHICAGO FILM FESTIVAL AWARD for Fox Children’s PSA’s In 1994 Kosinski co-composed with world music innovator John Zeretzke, the 21 minute ballet score "Cloud" commissioned and performed by the Royal Danish Ballet in Copenhagen, Denmark with Choreographer Laura Dean, The Queen attending the premiere. He also co-composed musical scores later for the New York Ice Theatre, The Ohio Ballet (at the N.Y.’s Joyce Theater), The Aspen Music Festival, Ballet de Monterrey, the Albany Berkshire Ballet, Loyola Marymount and Columbia University.
At the same time, Kozz and David Kitay landed the music underscore for TV show Mad About You. Kozz did a few shows but was previously contracted to a another job: Scoring 137 episodes of The Fox Cubhouse, a daily children's show for producer Nicki Noxin.
In 1991 Koz, world music innovator John Zeretzke, and producer Michael Portis did the score for the film Subspecies for Charlie Band at Full Moon Productions. The resultant music was magic and merited a Subspecies Sountrack Album which Richard Kosinski co- produced.
As it turns out, the Kosinski/Zeretzke collaboration with Director Ted Nicolaou results in Film Scores for 1993 Subspecies 2:Bloodstone, 1994 Subspecies 3:Bloodlust, 4:Bloodstorm,1994 Leapin’ Leprechauns, 1994 Spellbreaker, 1997 The Darkest Knight-DragonWorld 2,
In 1996 Kozz scored the ABC Premiere After School Special: Fast Forward. It won The Humanitus Prize
Kozz Scores T.G.I.F Magic ABC One Hour Special 1997
Kosinski also composed Main Titles and Film Scores for 1996 Magic in The Mirror, 1996 Magic in The Mirror 2:Fowl Play, 1996 Mystery Monsters,1997 Vampire Journals. 1998 Space Patrol, 2000 The Item, 2000 The Horrible Dr. Bones, 2000 Totem, 2000 Killjoy.
In 1997 Kozz met producer Phil Gurin and Kozz wound up Scoring several special shows: The World’s Most Incredible Animal Rescues 1-2&3 1997 2000,The Greatest Christmas Moments of All Time !997 &1998, Extreme World Records 1998, and On Thin Ice 1&2 2000.
From 1997-2000 Kosinski went on to become staff writer for Pfeifer Music Partners where he wrote music for several TV and Radio spots.
In 1999 Kozz with lyricist Scott Richardson spent 2 years creating Doggie Music:For You and Your Dog To Enjoy Together a CD of dog themed songs with real dog voices mixed in .
In 2001 Koz got the job of writing, performing, and casting songs for a Wallen- Davidson project Willobe Woods for a new musical show. An album of topical songs was completed (The Moon in My Room) with a cast of characters from the show. A video was shot and music scored. But the project never was sold.
2002 Koz met Bob Racer who hired him to do some music for the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Kosinski scored Reagan 101 2003 , The Dress Room 2003, The Map Room 2005 and the Ronald Reagan 2004 Memorial DVD.
Additional Music Composer Credits 2002 -2013 JULES SYLVESTER'S WILD ADVENTURES TV Series 2002, Discovery Network, Theme Music, Underscore for 10 one-hour episodes DREAM JETS 2003, PBS/National Geographic , Theme and Score (two-hour special) UNCOMMON SENSE: THE ART AND IMAGINATION OF NANCY WILLARD 2003, Direct Cinema Limited, Main Title & Score Composer NOW SHOWING 2003 Video Score MADE ME LAUGH 2004 Video Score MISS MATCH TV Series 2004, David Kitay Productions NBC, Co-composed various cues FLYING IN STYLE 2005, The Fine Living Channel, Theme and Score Composer FROSTBITE Feature Film 2005, 20th Century Fox Score and several source score cues. THE ETRUSCAN MASK 2007, Score This film earned the Best Film Prize at the 2007 International Horror And Fantasy Film Festival in Estepona, Spain. SECOND WIND Video Feature 2009 Score Composer THE OPIUM EATER Video Feature 2010 Score Composer KILLER EYE: HALLOWEEN HAUNT Video Feature Film 2011 Score (co-composer) LATELY Short 2013 Score Composer
From 2006-2016 Kozz worked as head engineer/studio manager/commercial traffic manager for a the syndicated radio talk show The Norman Goldman Show . He ran a 3 hour live radio show 5 days a week programming shows on Nex Gen, Live Board Op, Audio Editor (Pro Tools), and managed music imaging , production, and studio maintenance.
Richard is semi-retired.He still performs live with a number of bands,writes songs, and scores projects.