Cathy Richardson

Catherine E. Richardson (born February 21, 1969) is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and narrator from the Chicago suburbs in Illinois. She is the lead singer for the band Jefferson Starship[1] and her own Cathy Richardson Band, and has performed the Janis Joplin parts for Joplin's former band Big Brother and the Holding Company.[2]

Cathy Richardson
Cathy Richardson in 2008
Cathy Richardson in 2008
Background information
Birth nameCatherine E. Richardson
Born (1969-02-21) February 21, 1969 (age 53)
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • actress
  • narrator
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • piano
Years active1990–present


Richardson grew up in west suburban Burr Ridge, Illinois,[2] and graduated from Hinsdale Central High School in Hinsdale, Illinois.[3] Before starting her music career, Richardson worked as an auto mechanic and as a cashier at her father's gas station.[2] She started her music career full-time in 1990. She was introduced to Jim Peterik who mentored her and helped with her first two albums. She has also co-written songs with Peterik, and is a fairly frequent guest in his all-star World Stage concerts.[3]

Richardson appeared as a guest on Noggin's puppet series Jack's Big Music Show. In the pilot episode, she played the voice of one of the main characters.[4]

The Cathy Richardson Band was voted Best Local Band in the Chicago Tribune readers poll of 1999 and best in WFLD's "Best & Worst of Chicago" viewer poll in November 2000.[5]

She portrayed Janis Joplin in the 2001 original off-Broadway run of Love, Janis[6] and much of the touring performances.[2] She also sang Janis' vocal parts for Big Brother and the Holding Company during many of their recent live shows.

In 2004, Richardson and art director Bill Dolan were nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Recording Package for the Cathy Richardson Band album The Road to Bliss.[7]

In 2008, Richardson became the new vocalist for San Francisco band Jefferson Starship[1] and appears on the 2008 release Jefferson's Tree of Liberty and as vocalist with Jefferson Starship on PBS's 2011 60s Pop, Rock & Soul television show, performing "White Rabbit" and "Somebody to Love".[8]


Studio albumsEdit

  • Moon, Not Banana (1993) Jessica Records
  • Fools on a Tandem (1995) Jessica Records
  • Snake Camp (1998) Bloody Nurse Records
  • Buzzzed (2001) Bloody Nurse Records
  • The Road to Bliss (2003) Cash Rich Records
  • Delusions of Grandeur (2006) Cash Rich Records

Live albumEdit

  • All Excess... Live @ The Park West (1996) Jessica Records

Compilation albums featuring tracks by Cathy RichardsonEdit

  • Songs of Janis Joplin: Blues Down Deep (1997) House of Blues Records (song "Try Just a Little Bit Harder")
  • Jim Peterik and World Stage (2000) Jim Peterik and Cathy Richardson (songs "Diamonds For Stones" and "From Here To Hereafter")
  • Sweet Emotion: Songs of Aerosmith (2001) (song "Last Child")
  • Here Come the Irish (2003) Written by John Scully and Jim Tullio, vocals by Cathy Richardson (Cathy is featured on the song "Here Come the Irish")
  • Judgement Day, Songs of Robert Johnson (2004) (song "Preachin' Blues (Up Jumped the Devil)")
  • Folksongs of Illinois, Vol. 4 (2011) (Cathy is featured on the Woody Guthrie song "Old Chy-Car-Go")

Download Only SingleEdit

  • What I Am (2015) Chance Music (available through ITunes)

Side project albums and guest appearancesEdit

The JulepsEdit

Cathy Richardson along with members of The Insiders

  • Kickbutt City, USA (1998)

Joel HoekstraEdit

  • Undefined (vocals on track "Spank Me") (2000)

Jefferson StarshipEdit


  • The Other Side (2010)
  • Macrodots Two (2015)


  1. ^ a b Soeder, John (October 21, 2008). "Revamped Jefferson Starship sets course for Cleveland, with Paul Kantner at helm". The Plain Dealer. Cleveland, Ohio. Archived from the original on December 4, 2011. Retrieved March 23, 2011. Additional , December 3, 2011
  2. ^ a b c d Kilian, Michael (April 26, 2001). "Janis Joplin's stand-in reaches the big time". Chicago Tribune (online ed.). Chicago. Archived from the original on October 19, 2017. Retrieved May 10, 2017.
  3. ^ a b Manson, Ken (February 14, 2011). "Cathy Richardson, Whose Range Embraces Janis Joplin and Grace Slick, has Ties All Over the Area". Patch. Archived from the original on August 26, 2019. Retrieved August 30, 2020.
  4. ^ "The Plan Was to Become a Rock Star: The Barn Speaks with 'Local Gal' Cathy Richardson".
  5. ^ Flick, Larry (January 26, 2002). "Continental Drift". Billboard. p. 18. Retrieved May 10, 2017.
  6. ^ Simonson, Robert (December 3, 2001). "Beth Hart Joins Love, Janis Nov. 29-Dec. 31". Playbill (online ed.). Archived from the original on June 16, 2018. Retrieved May 10, 2017.
  7. ^ "Complete list of 46th annual Grammy winners and nominees". Chicago Tribune (online ed.). Associated Press. July 12, 2008. Archived from the original on February 4, 2017. Retrieved May 10, 2017.
  8. ^ "'60s Pop, Rock & Soul (My Music): Airs Saturday, August 24, 2013 at 11:30 p.m. on KPBS TV". San Diego, California: KPBS Public Media. August 23, 2013. photograph caption. Archived from the original on June 11, 2013. Retrieved May 10, 2017. Above: San Francisco supergroup Jefferson Starship, originally known as Jefferson Airplane, offer their era-defining anthem "Somebody To Love" and "White Rabbit" in "60s Pop, Rock & Soul." Pictured left to right are Paul Kantner, Cathy Richardson, David Freiberg and Marty Balin.

External linksEdit