Herb Ohta, Jr. Appreciation of History
Stacks Image 3500

Lyle Ritz

Lyle Ritz was assigned to an Army Band at Ft. Ord, California as a Tuba player in 1953.  During that duty, he studied String Bass.  At his release of duty from the military, he moved to Los Angeles.

As a new arrival, he worked in many local clubs.  Later, he worked with big bands such as Les Brown and Les Elgart.

Lyle recorded two Jazz ‘ukulele LP’s by Verve Records in the late 1950’s: “How About Uke” and “50th State Jazz”.

Lyle played with jazz woodwind man Paul Horn in his quartet, and with jazz guitarist Barney Kessel.  He did some location work with Andy Williams in Japan and Monaco, Nancy Sinatra in Canada and Lake Tahoe, and Ray Conniff for two South American tours.

Later as a studio bass man in Los Angeles working on both acoustic upright bass and Fender electric bass, Lyle played on more than 5000 recording sessions backing up many of the artists active in the 60’s and 70’s.  He contributed the bass lines to Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass’ hit “Taste Of Honey”, Beach Boys’ “Pet Sounds”, and Sonny and Cher’s hits.  He also recorded artists such as Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Ray Charles, Tina Turner, Linda Ronstadt, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Chet Baker, and the Righteous Brothers.

Lyle Ritz also played on motion picture and television sound tracks with Nelson Riddle, Burt Bacharach, Mike Post, and John Williams.  For the film “The Jerk”, Lyle played the ‘ukulele for Steve Martin on the track: “Tonight You Belong To Me”. 

Lyle is currently a Hawai’i resident and has focused on the ‘ukulele, recorded CD’s for Roy Sakuma Productions and Flea Market Music, and performs in the Annual ‘Ukulele Festival produced by Roy and Kathy Sakuma, as well as many appearances in the Hawai’i, Japan, and the mainland.

Note: This profile and photo was given to Herb by Roy Sakuma for this website.