Hey everyone welcome back
Continuing on with “The List” of my most influential bass players, it's no coincidence that it just happens to be Women’s History month and I bring to you the one and only Carol Kaye!
I was first introduced to Carol as a young child listening to 45's on my parents jukebox in the basement. This was well before I ever picked up an electric bass. Not really having any childhood friends left me to spend hours in that basement listening to the same dozen 45's over and over again. While some may find it a sad existence, that jukebox and those early records were my world. It would be several more years before I officially met Ms. Kaye while taking bass lessons at my local music store. Still wasn't doing much better in the “friends” department in case you're keeping track :)
My dad taught me early on how to read music. My bass teacher was a bit surprised that I could get through Mel Bay's book one for bass rather quickly. So, at one lesson my teacher comes down with “Electric Bass Lines Book One” by Carol Kaye. We start going through the material. Page 1, Page 2, page 3 etc. and the teacher (Greg Piontek was his name) stops me and asks me “Do you have this book? How are you picking this up so fast?”
So, I tell him that I have heard all of these songs before, These are all on my parents jukebox. Mr. Piontek laughs and tells me that my dad has good taste!
So, who is Carol Kaye?
Carol Kaye started as a session musician for Capitol Records in 1963. The legendary Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys described Carol as “The best damn bass player in the world”.
Carol Kaye was the house bass player for the Legendary Wrecking Crew
Just to give you an example of some of the “Hits” and musicians that Carol recorded bass for;
Beach Boys, Ray Charles, TheRighteous Bros., Johnny Mathis, Nancy Sinatra, Sam Cooke, Glen Campbell, Lou Rawls, Jan & Dean, Henry Mancini, The Lettermen, Paul Revere & Raiders, Monkees, Buckinghams, April & Nino,Sonny & Cher, Chris Montez, Andy Williams, Quincy Jones, Joe Cocker, Ike &Tina Turner, Mel Torme, Bobby Darin, Frank Zappa, Wayne Newton, Herb Alpert, O.C. Smith, Don Ho, Al Martino,
Numerous movie and TV credits including MASH, Mission Impossible, Brady Bunch, Addams Family, Cannon, McCloud, Room 222, 1st Bill Cosby, Ironside, Kojak, Hawaii 5-O, Wonder Woman, Soap; Thomas Crown Affair, Sweet Charity, Airport,In The Heat Of The Night, Plaza Suite, The New Centurions, Pawnbroker, Guess Who's Coming To Dinner, Change Of Habit, Le Mans, Walk Don't Run, On Any Sunday to name a few.
(There are so many recordings that I had to change font size!)
Whipped Cream - Herb Alpert
Spanish Eyes - Al Martino
Good Vibrations, Help Me Rhonda, Sloop John B, I Get Around, Wouldn't It Be Nice (dano), Calif. Girls, God Only Knows, Pet Sounds lp, Heroes & Villains, Caroline No, Surf's Up, Child Is The Father Of The Man, Do You Like Worms?, Smile lp, Cabinessence, Fire sessions, I Was Made To Love Her, Let Him Run Wild - Beach Boys
Little Green Apples, Hickory Hollar - O.C. Smith
Goin' Out Of My Head/Can't Take my Eyes Off Of You medley, Hurt So Bad, Shangrila,
When I Fall in Love, More, Theme from Summer Place, etc. - Lettermen
Something Stupid - Frank & Nancy Sinatra
Boots, Sugar Town, You Only Live Twice theme, etc. - Nancy Sinatra
Feelin' Alright - Joe Cocker
The Way We Were - Barbra Streisand
Tell Her You Love Her, The World We Knew (OD dano fuzz on "World"), How Do You Keep The Music Playing, etc. - Frank Sinatra
Hold Me Thrill Me etc. - Mel Carter
Godfather Theme, Love Story, Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You, etc. - Andy Williams
In The Heat Of The Night, I Don't Need No Doctor, America The Beautiful, Eleanor Rigby, I Chose To Sing The Blues, Here We Go Again, Don't Change
On Me, Feel So Bad, Understanding etc. - Ray Charles
Romeo & Juliet Theme (A Time For Love), Willow Weep For Me, Godfather Theme, others & Doc Severinson lp etc. - Henry Mancini
Mercy Mercy Mercy etc. - Buckinghams
Indian Reservation etc. - Paul Revere & Raiders
Light My Fire - The Doors
and so much more.
If I could meet Ms. Kaye today, I would kindly say thank you for being my friend and keeping me company in that basement. Hats off to you and the entire Wrecking Crew!
Yes, the picture below is indeed the original jukebox with the old 45's still in it