In 1950, Joe joined the Mello-Larks, a popular vocal group that appeared regularly on Broadway Open House, the first late night TV show, starring Jerry Lester, and ran through 1952. Besides performing with the group, Joe wrote most of the vocal and orchestra arrangements. Later the Mello-Larks went on to do more than a thousand network TV shows including The Perry Como Show, The Mel Torme Show, and The Colgate Comedy Hour and played in nightclubs and theaters such as Radio City Music Hall and the Copacabana in New York City, The Palmer House and The Black Orchid in Chicago, and The Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas. During that time, the group also recorded for Epic records. In 1957, the Mello-Larks joined the cast of Club 60, an afternoon music/interview TV show that ran nationally five days a week.
In 1958, Joe left the Mello-Larks, moved to Chicago, and formed The Joe Eich Singers, a group that toured the major clubs in the Midwest including The Playboy Clubs. During this time until 1966 he also composed, arranged and produced industrial shows and commercials for many companies including Sears, Roebuck, Seven Up, Kraft Foods, and Jolly Green Giant. It was in Chicago while attending an acting workshop that he met his future wife, Barbara. They were married in Los Angeles in 1969.
Joe moved to Los Angeles in 1966 where he continued to write, arrange, and perform. His vocal group toured with singer Al Martino, with the Guy Lombardo Orchestra, and with big band soloists such as Tony Martin, Helen O'Connell and Helen Forrest. He has appeared in several commercials and films and can still be seen today on some reruns of the TV show, Mama's Family.
Joe was born in Swea City, Iowa in 1928. His family lived in Greenwood, Kossuth County, Iowa until the early 1940's when they then moved to Bancroft. Joe attended St. John's Catholic School and graduated from St. John's High School in 1945. He went on to study at McPhail School of Music in Minneapolis, Minnesota for three years before joining the Claude Thornhill Orchestra. He is preceded in death by his parents Joseph H. Eich and Theresa Rapp Eich and by his sisters Mary Stryker Klocke and Elizabeth (Betty) Waddle. He is survived by his wife, Barbara and seven nieces and nephews: Lynn Harrington, (Dennis); Laura Hatzenbuhler, (Jerry); Doug Stryker, (Lori Angelo); Tom Stryker (Cathie); Jim Waddle; Kathy Finnerty; Nancy Korbitz.
A graveside service will be held Saturday, September 18, 2021, at 11:00 AM at St. John's Catholic Cemetery in Bancroft with Deacon David Penton officiating.