Born Henry Earl Sinks in Levelland, Texas in 1940.
He now calls himself "Snake Richards"
In 1958 he went to Nashville with his pal Bob Montgomery, where they worked as songwriters with Acuff-Rose. Earl Sinks took the lead vocalist position spot in The Crickets after Buddy split with the band in late 1958 until going solo in 1960. He would record under the names of Earl Sinks, Sinks Mitchell, Earl Richards, Earl Henry, and Earl "Snake" Richards.
Following his split with The Crickets, he became a session musician and harmony singer, working with such artists as Mel Tillis, Charlie Pride, Faron Young and others.
"Every time I started to get a record that would reach a certain (sales) level, I'd get scared to death. I'd gotten married and had babies, and I didn't want to go on the road," Sinks said.
During that time period, he also wrote and produced songs with Bob Montgomery; the team was responsible for such hits as "Honey" and "Little Green Apples." Their songs were recorded by such acts as the Everly Brothers, Brenda Lee, Lawrence Welk and Gladys Knight.
In 1963, Sinks tried Hollywood, where he made appearances in such television shows as "Cheyenne," "Sugar Foot" and "Route 66." He also starred, as Earl Richards, in such films as "That Tennessee Beat," "White Lightning Road," "Girl From Tobacco Row" and "Forty Acre Feud."
He also wrote songs for artists such as Sue Thompson, Everly Brothers and The Newbeats.
When Nashville filmmaker Ron Ormond started looking for a star for his low-budget films in the mid-1960s, he asked Smiley Wilson who might be good, and Smiley recommended his son-in-law Earl. At this time, Earl was singing on the Warner Brothers record label as well as appearing in some of the W.B. TV shows, such as Cheyenne, Sugarfoot and Surfside Six. In his first Ormond film, "Girl From Tobacco Row", Earl found himself with a nickname. He told "The Tennessean" newspaper..... "Ron gave me that name, and from then on, all the jocks (deejays) started calling me Snake Richards," said the actor who also starred in Ormond's White Lightnin' Road and later in That Tennessee Beat.
By the 1970s, Richards was tuned in more to the business end of things and created Ace of Hearts and became a producer, notably on several of John Anderson's early albums. "It was great being an entertainer, playing the sessions and writing the songs, but I'm glad I gradually drifted over to the business side and still making a living on it," Richards said. When asked about a rumor concerning his purchase of a Kentucky racetrack? "Yes, I bought Dueling Grounds Racetrack back in the early 1970s," Richards said. "I kept it for two years and was glad when I sold it."
Earl and wife Rita Faye, live in Goodlettsville, TN, most of their children are now in the entertainment/music scene.