Together with Tommy Tedesco and Billy Strange he was one of the busy number one studio guitarists of Los Angeles during the nineteen-sixties. Among others he recorded for the Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, The Mamas and Papas, Dean Martin and countless surf bands. He even replaced Brian Wilson on electric bass on tour in 1964 and 1965.
From 1966 on he became a country and pop star, releasing classics like Gentle On My Mind, By the Time I Get To Phoenix, Wichita Lineman, Galveston, True Grit, Rhinestone Cowboy, Southern Nights and many more. From 1968 till 1972 he was also a TV-star, hosting The Glen Campbell Good-Time Hour. Glen Campbell also acted in movies from time to time. In 1969 he was starring with John Wayne in the True Grit.
On his new album Meet Glen Campbell brings together songs by bands and artists as diverse as Travis, U2, Velvet Underground, Green Day, Tom Petty, John Lennon and Jackson Browne. With this album he also returns to Capitol records, the company he left in 1981.
There’s a positive review of the music documentary The Wrecking Crew on the Variety website. The documentary features some of the Los Angeles studio musicians who recorded many of the hits of the nineteen-sixties.
The film features legendary musicians such as Carol Kaye, Plas Johnson, Tommy Tedesco, Earl Palmer, Hal Blaine, Don Randi and stars like Nancy Sinatra, Cher, Brian Wilson and Glen Campbell.
Denny Tedesco, son of the late studio guitar master Tommy Tedesco, made a movie called The Wrecking Crew about the great studio musicians of the sixties who worked in the Los Angeles music studios.
It features studio legends Carol Kaye, Plas Johnson, Hal Blaine, Don Randi and many more. Stars like Cher, Nancy Sinatra, and Micky Dolenz (the Monkees) are featured, too.
The documentary will be shown in March at the Buffalo Niagara Film Festival and at the SXSW in Austin, Texas. In April it will be shown at the Nashville Film Festival. You can find further information on the Wrecking Crew Movie Homepage.
There’s some confusion about how to call the electric bass. Many people call it “bass guitar”. Let’s look at the basics: the electric bass is shaped like a guitar, has four strings and is tuned like a string bass. Nowadays there are also electric basses with five and six strings.
Until the late nineteen-sixties the electric bass was called by many “Fender bass”, because Fender was the first company to market electric basses on a large scale. During the late sixties the term “electric bass” became also common. The term “bass guitar” is a little bit confusing, because there’s also an instrument called “Danelectro bass guitar”, which is a six string guitar tuned one octave down.
In the fifties and sixties the Danelectro bass guitar was often used in combination with a string bass and was responsible for the “click” sound that you can hear on many country songs. For example on Patsy Cline’s “Crazy”. Usually the Danelectro doubled (playing unison) the string bass or the electric bass. The combination of string bass and electric bass was also popular in the sixties. A good example is “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’”. Chuck Berghofer is on string bass, Carol Kaye on electric bass.
There are at least two famous songs that use a Danelectro and on which Carol Kaye also played: on the Richie Valens hit “La Bamba” you can hear Rene Hall on the Danelectro, Carol Kaye played the rhythm guitar. On “Wichita Lineman”, Glen Campbell plays a wonderful solo on a Danelectro he borrowed from Carol Kaye, while Kaye herself played the electric bass. And you can hear Carol Kaye playing the Danelectro on “The Beat Goes On” by Sonny and Cher.