He was born in New Delhi, India, where his parents Albert and Coral were civil servants. When Richard was a child the family – including Richard's two younger brothers Peter and Clive, and their three sisters – moved to Kurseong, near Darjeeling, to run a tea plantation. He attended a boarding school until March 1954, when, after his father's death, he moved with his brothers, sisters and mother to the UK. They settled in Norbury, Croydon, where Richard attended Heath Clark Grammar School. Inspired by Bill Haley, he learned guitar and formed a skiffle group, the Fabulous 5, which included his younger brothers.
He entered a talent contest at the Classic Cinema in Kings Road, Chelsea, where he won a contract to sing an advertising jingle for Cadbury's Drinking Chocolate, which was played frequently on Radio Luxembourg. He was signed by management team Philip Waddilove and Michael Barclay, who changed Sarstedt's name to Eden Kane – "Eden" because of its biblical associations at a time when Adam Faith was a top pop star, and "Kane" because Citizen Kane was Barclay's favourite film – and the song was released as the B-side of a single, "You Make Love So Well", by Pye Records in August 1960.
He then won a recording contract with Decca Records, and his first recording for the label, "Well I Ask You" – written by Les Vandyke, arranged by John Keating, and produced by Bunny Lewis – reached no.1 on the UK Singles Chart in August 1961. It was followed by three more top ten hits in the UK over the next year, "Get Lost" (no.10), "Forget Me Not" (no.3) and "I Don't Know Why" (no.7). Together with a backing band, the Downbeats, who comprised Roger Retting, Ben Steed, Roger St. Clair and Bugs Waddell, he toured widely around the UK with such stars as Cliff Richard, Billy Fury and Helen Shapiro. His brother Peter was the band's road manager, later joining on bass with brother Clive joining on guitar.
His fifth single for Decca, "House to Let", failed to chart, and later releases for the label were equally unsuccessful. He left Decca and joined Philips subsidiary Fontana in 1963. Like many of his teen idol peers, Kane sought to stave off chart oblivion by hitching a ride onto the beat boom bandwagon, and his next release, originally titled "Do You Love Me" (c/w "Comeback") was reissued with a new title "Like I Love You", to avoid confusion with the UK hit covers by Brian Poole & the Tremeloes and the Dave Clark Five of the Contours' US hit of the same name, and some momentum was lost. His third single for Fontana, "Boys Cry" (no.8) returned him to the charts in January 1964, but it was to be his last hit. He made several television appearances on shows with newly successful groups such as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, and toured Australia with Roy Orbison, Del Shannon and the Searchers. Success in Australia led to him hosting a TV series in the country, and at a stopover in Los Angeles he met American journalist Charlene Groman, sister of Stefanie Powers, and they married several years later.
After his chart success in Britain dried up, he moved to live in California, working as a record producer. His brothers, Peter and Clive (the latter as Robin Sarstedt), both achieved chart success in the UK in the late 1960s and 1970s, and the three brothers recorded an album as the Sarstedt Brothers, Worlds Apart Together, in 1972. On 20 June 1973, the brothers made their first joint appearance as a group at Croydon's Fairfield Halls. Eden, Peter and Robin went on to win a joint BASCA Award for composing and songwriting.
Eden Kane has since recorded for Bell, Monarch, HMV and Festival (the last two being Australian releases). He has also occasionally joined "oldies" tours in the UK with Marty Wilde, John Leyton, Brian Hyland and others, notably as part of the "Solid Gold Rock and Roll" package. He was a contract actor on the Star Trek team and made several appearances in the TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager under his real name Richard Sarstedt.
As of 2014, he has a CD, entitled Y2Kane, available on his website. He continues to live in Los Angeles with his wife, the journalist Charlene Groman, and their family."Well I Ask You" – 1961 – Number 1
"Get Lost – 1961 – Number 10
"Forget Me Not" – 1962 – Number 3
"I Don't Know Why" – 1962 – Number 7
"Boys Cry" – 1964 – Number 8