Five For Friday: Carol Kaye (One LADY, Multiple Acts)

If you’ve listened to popular music in the last 60 years, chances are good you’ve heard bassist Carol Kaye. It’s estimated she’s played on over 10,000 recordings over the years, some on guitar, but most on the bass guitar. Here is a very small sample of her work, cherry-picked from a more extensive list.

  1. The Beach Boys, "Good Vibrations": Brian Wison called Carol "the best damn bass player in the world." This was released in October 1966 and was an immediate hit, reaching #1 on the Hot 100 by the beginning of December.

  2. Nancy Sinatra, "Sugar Town": This was an earworm for my father late in his life. I remember him walking around the house singing it, except he thought the name of the song was "Sugar Fly." I would have used "These Boots Are Made For Walkin’," except it wasn’t Carol who played the bass line, it was double bassist Chuck Berghofer. "Sugar Town" peaked at #5 on the Hot 100 in December 1966 and at #1 on the Easy Listening chart in 1967.

  3. Joe Cocker, "Feelin’ Alright": Joe released his cover of this Traffic tune in 1969, reaching #69 on the Hot 100. A re-release in 1972 rose to #33. From his 1969 album With A Little Help From My Friends.

  4. Henry Mancini & Doc Severinsen, "Willow Weep For Me": Mancini and Severinsen (best known as the leader and trumpet player of the NBC Orchestra for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson) joined forces on the 1973 album Brass On Ivory, and Carol was there to provide the bass.

  5. Billy Goldenburg, "Theme From Kojak": One of Carol’s best-known bass lines is the one that she created for the theme song from the 1973-78 TV series Kojak, which starred Telly Savalas. This was the theme that was used in all but the last season of the show.

I have a feeling we’ll be returning to Carol Kaye very soon. That’s Five For Friday for March 26, 2021.

Five For Friday: Duane Allman, Part 2 (One Guy, Multiple Acts)

As promised last week, we’ll spend a second week looking at the career of Duane Allman, lead and slide guitar extraordinaire for the Allman Brothers Band as well as a session musician whose career as both was covered by the two anthology albums Duane Allman: Anthology (1972) and Duane Allman: An Anthology, Volume 2 (1974).

  1. Otis Rush, "You Reap What You Sow": From Otis’s first album, 1969’s Mourning In The Mourning (Otis had been recording sincls since 1955), produced by Nick Gravenites and Mike Bloomfield of the Electric Flag. The song was written by Bllomfield, Gravenites, and Paul Butterfield, and Mark Naftalin (former Butterfield sideman) is playing keyboards.

  2. Ronnie Hawkins, "Matchbox": Canadian-American artist Hawkins was partly responsible for the start of The Band. On this Carl Perkins classic from Hawkins’s 1970 eponymous debut, Duane plays slide guitar and King Biscuit Boy (Richard Newell) plays harmonica.

  3. Herbie Mann, "Push Push": An important figure in jazz fusion, this was the title track from Mann’s 1971 album. Duane plays the guitar solo on this track.

  4. Boz Scaggs, "Waiting For A Train": Before Boz went yacht rock, he was a rock/country/blues singer who had spent time with Steve Miller. This Jimmie Rodgers song is from Boz’s 1969 eponymous second album. That’s Duane on dobro.

  5. Sam Samudio, "Goin’ Upstairs": Better known as Sam the Sham, 1971’s Sam, Hard And Heavy was the only album released under his real name. "Goin’ Upstairs" is a John Lee Hooker jam that closed out the album. Duane’s slide guitar is prominent on this.

Duane Allman, your Five For Friday, March 19, 2021.

Five For Friday: Ringo Starr (One Guy, Multiple Acts)

Ringo Starr might be considered a living legend, both for his work with The Beatles and work afterward. At one time or another, he worked with John, Paul and George and on various other musicians as well. Today, I want to focus on his work as a sideman rather than his work as a solo act and with The All-Starr Band.

  1. Howlin’ Wolf, "I Ain’t Superstitious": From 1970’s The London Howlin’ Wolf Sessions. Charlie Watts from The Rolling Stones played drums on the rest of the album.
  2. Harry Nilsson, "Kojak Columbo": From Harry’s 1975 album Duit On Mon Dei. He also appears as a vocalist on the final track, "Good For God."
  3. George Harrison, "All Those Years Ago": On George’s 1981 album Somewhere In England. Both Ringo and Paul appear on this track (Paul and Linda and Denny Laine were backup singers), giving fuel to the rumors that The Beatles were getting back together.
  4. Paul McCartney, "So Bad": From Paul’s 1984 album Pipes of Peace. This was the B side to the title track of the album, and reached #23 in the US.
  5. The Beach Boys, "California Calling": From their 1985 eponymous album. Ringo is credited as playing drums and tympani on this track.

Ringo Starr, your Five For Friday, March 5, 2021.

Five For Friday: Craig Chaquico (One Guy, Multiple Acts)

Craig Chaquico (cha-KEE-soh) got his professional start at 17 backing Grace Slick and Paul Kantner in 1971 and has worked with them and Jefferson Starship (or just Starship after 1985) before going on to a successful solo career. Let’s take a look at where he’s been.

  1. Grace Slick & Paul Kantner, "Earth Mother" From Slick & Kantner’s 1971 album Sunfighter. He was introduced to Paul Kantner by Jack Traylor, who was Craig’s English teacher. Later Craig would play with Traylor’s band Steelwind, who released the album Child of Nature in 1973.
  2. Jefferson Starship, "Keep On Dreamin’": Jefferson Starship, the re-formed Jefferson Airplane, went on tour in 1974. Craig decided he’d go back to school after the tour, but Kantner asked him to stay on with the band. He stayed with the band through 1991 (which became Starship after Kantner left in 1985) and eleven albums. When he left, the band split up.
  3. 3rd Force, "We Should Be Together": Craig signed with Higher Octave Records in 1990 and stayed with them through 2005. He appeared on several albums with labelmates 3rd Force. "We Should Be Together" is from 3rd Force’s eponymous 1994 debut album.
  4. Craig Chaquico & Russ Freeman, "Samba Del Luna": From their 1998 joint project From The Redwoods To The Rockies. Russ Freeman is the guitarist from The Rippingtons. This track gets considerable play on Smooth Jazz stations.
  5. Craig Chaquico, "Acoustic Planet": Title track for his second solo album from 1994. His most recent album is 2012’s Fire Red Moon on Blind Pig Records.

Craig Chaquico, your Five For Friday, February 26, 2021.

Five For Friday: Steve Lukather (One Guy, Multiple Acts)

Steve Lukather is best known as the lead guitarist for the band Toto, but he’s done a lot of side projects besides that as well as a few solo albums. Here’s a quick five to give you an idea.

  1. Toto, "Rosanna": 1982’s "Rosanna" was Toto’s second Top Ten single, no doubt helped by this video featuring the lovely Cynthia Rhodes. It reached #2 on the Hot 100 and #8 on the Mainstream Rock survey.
  2. Los Lobotomys, "The Bomber": From 1994’s Candyman, which is a Los Lobotomys album in the US and UK, but a Lukather solo album in the rest of the world. "The Bomber" is a medley that was originally done by the James Gang on their 1970 album Rides Again. It was originally comprised of the song "Closet Queen," Ravel’s "Bolero," and Vince Guaraldi’s "Cast Your Fate To The Wind." A distant relative of Ravel got wind of it, and claimed a copyright violation, so it was rather artlessly eliminated from further copies of the album. Lukather’s version ties the first and third songs together seamlessly.
  3. Larry Carlton and Steve Lukather, "Room 335": Larry Carlton invited Lukather to join him on a tour of Japan, and whie their styles are different, the two of them collaborated on several other occasions, maybe because, as this video shows, they had great fun working together. "Room 335" is a Carlton song (Carlton is known as "Mr. 335," a moniker earned by his preference for playing the Gibson ES-335, which he uses here).
  4. Kenny Loggins, "Forever": From Kenny’s fifth solo album, 1985’s Vox Humana. Steve plays the guitar solo.
  5. Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band, "Africa": Steve has toured with Ringo’s All-Starr Band since 2012, and typically does this, "Rosanna," and "Hold The Line" from Toto’s catalog in their shows.

Steve Lukather, your Five For Friday, February 19, 2021.