Unknown musicians in recorded music

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Unknown musicians in recorded music

Post by Wildcat445 on Sat Oct 04, 2014 12:39 pm

I have mentioned the drummer for the Billy Vaughn orchestra on occasion.  I personally feel that this unknown person is the best drummer who ever recorded a note.  The also unknown drummer for Hank Thompson's Brazos Valley Boys is number two.  Buddy Harman, a studio drummer for RCA records, closely allied with Chet Atkins, Bob Moore and Floyd Cramer comes in number three.  Billy Vaughn's drummer is a master at the rim shot, a technique as antique as an accoustic phonograph.  His effort was never obtrusive, but he was the star of the show.  "Mexicali Rose" from the album "LaPaloma" from 1959 is an example of one of his better performances.

I have a Frankie Carle album with a guitarist on it.  Frankie Carle NEVER used a guitar in his recordings.  It does not sound like Chet Atkins, although it is on a 1960 RCA record.  Little Roy Wiggins normally was the steel guitar player on most pre-Nahsville Sound Eddy Arnold recordings, but not always.  Who was the second person?  I recently found a Fats Domino record, "When My Dreamboat Comes Home" with a sax player who sounds suspiciously like Boots Randolph, but I can't find any evidence that Randolph ever played for Fats Domino.  Jim Reeves had his own band, "The Blue Boys", but never used them on his recordings, using the RCA house band instead.  Later records listed the artists who performed on them, but the earlier ones do not.  It seems to me that this is unfortunate, especially for musical trivia buffs like me.

I found this video of the Billy Vaughn orchestra

.  I suspect that this is the original drummer.  He looks old enough.  Notice the set he is playing.  Really simple.  Just a snare and some cymbols.  This is not a good shot of the drummer, but is typical of what I am talking about.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9af3k-vIY58
Here is a video of "Pearly Shells." Billy Vaughn is introduced by Dick Dale, formerly of the Lawrence Welk orchestra. I had heard that Dick played with Billy Vaughn after the LW show closed. Now we have evidence. Billy Vaughn was more than a sax player, apparently.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58WUsZCjYSs
WC

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Re: Unknown musicians in recorded music

Post by willy3486 on Sat Oct 04, 2014 11:33 pm

Another musician that is outstanding that almost no one knows about is Carol Kaye. There is a documentary on her on youtube at


She helped to make a lot of the music from the 50s on famous. The Sonny and Cher song the beat go on is a really interesting story.

Also for anyone who has heard about the RCA studio being torn down I heard on the local news they sold it . So it sounds like that bit of history whill hopefully be saved.
Thanks wildcat for the story.

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Re: Unknown musicians in recorded music

Post by Wildcat445 on Sat Oct 04, 2014 11:47 pm

I was there one time. The accoustics in the studio were so good that your ears popped like on an airplane. It was in 1965, and my mom had won a contest on a local radio station to see a "live" studio recording session by Eddy Arnold. Eddy Arnold was hot in 1965 and recorded 15 albums that year! "I Want To Go With You" was the song he recorded that day. We later got a 45 of the song as part of the contest deal. It had a greenish-blue label and was marked "Not for sale." We thought it was a big deal. There were many no-name artists who made up the Nashville Sound and made the famous artists sound good. I just feel these nameless artists deserve more recognition than they receive.

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Re: Unknown musicians in recorded music

Post by willy3486 on Sun Oct 05, 2014 12:05 am

Being so close to Nashville and also living there for a few years I have heard lots of stories of the musicians famous and not so famous. I am even fairly closely related to 3 really famous musicians by blood and marriage. I also have friends who have won grammys I think they are called. I always get those and the oscars mixed up.

Back in the 80s I lived there in Nashville. I went to a tech college there and it had a older crowd which was great. One woman who worked a RCA in the main office  I remember use to come in and  tell us the latest stories on musicians. I heard how the Judds got famous. I also heard who the nice ones and unfriendly ones were. One girl about my age was working for Ronnie Milsap. We got to talking one day and old radios came up. He collects them as well. I never met Ronnie but we did converse back and forth with each other through her a few times.

One time I was at a office party. The woman I worked for had a huge houseboat and she had a party during the summer on it. She was the best person I ever worked for. Anyway I was up on the top deck and was talking to some friends. Then Billy Bob Thorton walks over, or at least I thought he was Billy Bobs twin. He gets to talking and come to find out he wasn't Billy Bob. He goes into stories about how people are asking for his autograph all the time. While we are talking this odd little fellow comes over, dark black hair down his back. Anyway we were all talking about if we worked for the lady or where we worked. This little guy was asked and I will never forget what he said. He said it like he was ticked off we dared to ask and he said " I don't work ! I am a studio musician! " Yeah, we all looked at each other like you said it not me fellow. Seriously though these folks work hard and get little recognition for their work while the "artists" get all the fame and glory.

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Re: Unknown musicians in recorded music

Post by Wildcat445 on Sun Oct 05, 2014 1:26 am

I attended school in a one-room schoolhouse until I was in 9th grade. Then I got to drive to town to the "big" high school there. The town was about 2500 people, and there were only about 100 students total in the upper four grades. We had a little rag-tag band of about 20 or 25 kids. The instruments looked like they had survived the Civil War and the band director was about as old. She decided to do the town a favor and retire. The school hired a young man not long out of college to take over this pitiful operation. He could play any instrument he picked up, so each member of that band got personal attention. Mr Harris decided to start a dance band. He LOVED Billy Vaughn music and arrangements, so he built this dance band as a carbon copy of the Billy Vaughn Orchestra. We had a buck-toothed girl named Becky who played the bells like Billy Vaughn did. We had four part sax harmony with the occasional bass clarinet thrown in. The first two or three years, members of the community who were out of school had to be recruited to play in the dance band, since there were not enough high school kids good enough to suit Mr. Harris. My mom played trombone for awhile, until I got good enough to replace her. We had a kid named Tom who was a regular Pee Wee Hunt on the trombone, and Mr. Harris featured him a lot. We had a girl named Susie who played soprano sax who was especially good. Within five years, Mr. Harris had taken a bunch of no-talent kids and turned them into one of the premier dance bands in the area. We played for any special occasion, and took the money we earned and bought more and newer instruments and music. The superintendant of the school, Mr. Beanblossom, let us have a '55 Ford bus the school had replaced as our first official dance band bus. We played mostly Billy Vaughn and Hank Thompson arrangements, and we thought we were hot stuff. And we were for a bunch of farm kids in the middle 1960's.

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