Carol Kaye

Carol Kaye (* as Carol Smith, March 24, 1935 in Everett, Washington) is an American bassist and guitarist and teacher for these instruments.

Early years

Father Clyde Smith played trombone in military bands, mother Dot was a ragtime pianist. Carol grew up with two other siblings, and the whole family moved in December 1941 to Wilmington (Los Angeles, California). Her mom bought her daughter a 1948 guitar for $ 10, a year later she played it already so good that she could appear in public as a semi- professional. Of the revenue from these she bought a Gibson Super 400 As a professional Jazzgitarristin they began in 1954 in the bebop style, played exclusively with the plectrum and was among the cast of Jack Sheldon, Billy Higgins, and most recently at the Henry Busse Orchestra ( until 1955 ). Here also played the double bass player Al Kaye, whom she married in 1954; from the marriage resulted in two children. The marriage lasted only briefly, so that the young mother of income reasons, played with the Teddy Edwards Jazz Group. During an appearance in the group " Beverly Caverns Night Club" she was approached by music producer Bumps Blackwell.

Studio musician

Bumps Blackwell was looking for session musicians for recordings with the unknown Sam Cooke. In December 1958, she played in the recording session for Sam Cooke instead of René Hall rhythm guitar with an Epiphone Emperor, a typical jazz guitar. Was leveled George Gershwin Evergreen Summertime ( Pt. 2), a slower version for the later LP Sam Cooke. This had, who in turn had discovered Ritchie Valens a recording contract with Keene Records, which included Bob Keane. Through this relationship chain Kaye is heard on the La Bamba recorded on 23 September 1958 acoustic guitar. The Valens La Bamba was hit again in the Gold Star Studios. On 2 / 3 March 1959 she accompanied Sam Cooke at the Hit Wonderful World. Obviously the only time on record was released in her name - misspelled - in the title Three Stars with Tommy Dee & Carol Kay & the Teen - Aires ( April 1959 ). In 1961 she married David Fireman, but in 1964 separated again.

When Chris Montez for the dance plate Let's Dance on May 5, 1962 entered the Gold Star Studios, he was shocked by the female Bassgitarristin Carol Kaye. " I really wanted to have someone who can play Richie Valens material. " Kaye countered: "I have played bass on his LP. " That convinced him, and the result was a million seller. Since its inclusion in the Gold Star Studios was created, Kaye came in contact with Phil Spector, who immortalized the most of his music productions of the wall of sound here. The first recording of Kaye for the Wall of Sound was Zip -a -Dee- Do- Dah Bob B. Soxx for & the Blue Jeans on 24 August 1962. Here she played a Danelectro bass next to Jimmy Bond ( bass) and Wallick Dean ( Fenderbass ). Since then she has participated in numerous Spector productions.

Wrecking Crew

In 1963, a bassist was absent in the Capitol Studios Hollywood, the trained guitarist Kaye took a Fender Precision Bass and jumped in; she used the plectrum even with the bass guitar. Until then, many music producers and engineers were of the opinion that the bass - as with the double bass - rather than feel to hear. However, the striking stop the bass strings with the plectrum brought clarity and transparency in the bass lines.

This session was the beginning of their membership of the Wrecking Crew, a loose community of studio musicians in Los Angeles, who accompanied big hits of plate Stars on demand. In this way they played for the Beach Boys for the first time at Fun, Fun, Fun (recorded on January 1, 1964; still guitar), then bass guitar for Help me Rhonda (22 March 1965), Sloop John B ( December 29, 1965 ), Would not it be Nice (11 April 1966) and for the concept album Pet Sounds (November 1, 1965 to April 13, 1966 ). Also on one of the most elaborate single hits, Good Vibrations by the Beach Boys, they can be heard (mixture: September 21, 1966).

Carol Kaye took part in recording sessions for million sellers such as Rhythm of the Rain by the Cascades ( November 1962 ) and You've Lost That Lovin ' Feelin ' the Righteous Brothers ( August-November 1964). Here played alongside Kaye ( Fender bass ) as well as bassist Barney Kessel (6 -string bass) and Ray Pohlman ( bass). On November 19 1965 she was booked as a bassist for the recording of Nancy Sinatra's These Boots Are Made for Walkin '. Mountain High Kayes with penetrating bass lines - On March 7, 1966, the final product of the Sound of Wall, namely Ike & Tina Turner's River Deep was born. For Little Willie John played some bass passages ( April 1966 ), but only on the CD Nineteen Sixty Six (November 2008 ) published. The Monkees hit I'm a Believer ( 15 and 23 October 1966) was created with their participation, revitalize its distinctive bass line in the intro of the recorded on December 13, 1966 The Beat Goes on by Sonny & Cher and characterize the entire song. Frank & Nancy Sinatra duet Somethin 'Stupid was well with their ownership takes (1 February 1967). She was booked for the Electric Prunes LPs Mass in F Minor ( December 1967 ) and release of Oath ( November 1968 ), Jimmy Smith LP Livin ' it up! ( 13 to 14 May 1968) and Cannonball Adderley Quintet LP Accent on Africa ( 13 to 14 June 1968). For Ray Charles, she was repeatedly employed, such as Eleanor Rigby (July 1968), Understanding ( August 1968 ) or Do not Change on Me ( April 1971 ). You can hear Kaye Campbell's Wichita Lineman Glen on (May 1968) and Galveston (27 November 1968), Paul Revere & the Raiders Indian Reservation (3 December 1970) Barbra Streisand or first number -one hit The Way We Were ( sold 2 million ), in 33 takes, September 12, 1973.

Tamla Motown

Is disputed their participation in Motown productions, because essential and regular bassist James Jamerson was here by the Funk Brothers. Kaye claimed to have played on big Motown hits, but this was actually only the case with remakes of hits on the soundtrack LP TCB Taking Care of Business for a television program of the Supremes / Temptations ( December 1968 ). Kaye played a few times even with Motown recordings, if they took place in Hollywood, such as when Brenda Holloway hits, the Temptations LP In a Mellow Mood ( April 1967 ) or the Four Tops LP On Broadway ( April 1967 ).


Carol Kaye came as Jazzgitarristin in the Californian pop music and turned over to the bass guitar. With this instrument they played in more than 10,000 recording sessions and made the pick for bass guitar presentable. She was listening to a variety of number-one hits, without her name was known as a session musician to a wider audience. She was considered a pillar of the studio musician community in Los Angeles.

In 1969 she published her book "How to Play the Electric Bass", the first of many textbooks, which she has since written; the influence of the book was substantially responsible for ensuring that the term Fender bass was replaced by electric bass. In 1969 she began her work as a musician for film and television music, such as the case of two bandits.