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History of the Wrecking Crew Musicians
by Alex Cosper (3/27/15)

The Wrecking Crew was a group of recording industry session musicians who played on many hits in the 1960s. Based in Los Angeles, the group consisted mainly of professional musicians with formal training in jazz and classical music. They could play multiple styles and were heard on various television theme songs such as "Batman" and "Hawaii Five-O." The group also recorded commercial jingles and was used by producer Phil Spector in the early 1960s to help create his famous "wall of sound."

Some of the members of the Wrecking Crew made up the house band for the TV series The T.A.M.I. Show in 1964. Many of the members played for various artists, such as Jim Gordon, who played drums for Derek and the Dominoes as well as Frank Zappa. Jim Keltner went on to tour and play drums with Ringo Starr's All Star Band and Traveling Wilburys. A documentary film about the Wrecking Crew was released in 2008. It was directed by Wrecking Crew member Tommy Tedesco's son, Denny. Tommy Tedesco is known as "The King of L.A. Session Guitarists."

Here are the musicianss who played with the Wrecking Crew on various hit records:

Conducter/Arranger: Jack Nitzsche

Vocals: Ron Hicklin Singers

Guitar: Bill Aken, Doug Bartenfeld, James Burton, Glen Campbell, Al Casey, Jerry Cole, Mike Deasy, John Goldthwaite, Rene Hall, Carole Kaye, Barney Kessel, Don Peake, Bill Pitman, Ray Pohlman, Howard Roberts, Irv Rubins, Louie Shelton, Billy Strange, Tommy Tedesco, Al Vescovo, P.F. Sloan

Keyboards: Al De Lory, Larry Knechtel, Mike Melvoin, Don Randi, Dr. John, Mike Rubini, Leon Russell

Bass: Max Bennett, Chuck Berghofer, Jimmy Bond, Red Callender, Carole Kaye, Larry Knechtel, Joe Osborn, Bill Pitman, Ray Pohlman, Lyle Ritz

Drums: John Clauder, Hal Blaine, Jim Gordon, Jim Keltner, earl Palmer, Joe Porcaro

Percussion: Frank Capp, Gary L. Coleman, Julius Wechter, Joe Porcaro

Harmonica: Tommy Morgan

Saxophone: Gene Cipriano, Steve Douglas, Jim Horn, Plas Johnson, Jay Migliori, Nino Tempo

Trombone: Lou Blackburn, Richard "Slyde" Hyde, Lew McCreary

Trumpet: Bud Brisbois, Roy Caton, Chuck Findley, Ollie Mitchell, Tony Terran

Here are examples of popular recordings that feature the Wrecking Crew:

The Byrds - Mr. Tambourine Man
Nancy Sinatra - These Boots are Made for Walkin'
Sam Cooke - Twistin' The Night Away
Frank Sinatra - Strangers In The Night
The Partridge Family - I Think I Love You
The Mamas & The Papas - California Dreamin'
Jan and Dean - Surf City
The Association - Windy
The 5th Dimension - One Less Bell to Answer
The Beach Boys - California Girls
The Beach Boys - Good Vibrations
The Monkees - Last Train to Clarksville
Paul Revere & The Raiders - Kicks
Cher - Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves
John Denver - Thank God, I'm a Country Boy
Sonny and Cher - And the Beat Goes On
Ronettes - Be My Baby
Righteous Brothers - You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling
Simon & Garfunkel - Bridge Over Troubled Water


See also:

History of Classical Music
How to start a music project
Tips on how to produce music
Job of a live sound engineer
Affordable ways to promote music online





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