Category Archives: Russ

Russ involvement / experience

Sax Players of the Pop and Rock Era

Russ: If you like saxophone stuff as I do, you’re in for a treat. I’d like to present a little synopsis about sax players that were big in the field of  Pop Music or Rock n Roll – from the early 1950s to the end of the 70s. 

Each of these musicians will have recorded at least one Signature Sax Solo or tune, and their creative musical passages are etched in our memories.

Lots of information on each of these artists can be found elsewhere, but here are some of their distinctive sounds for your listening pleasure.

Included (in order by first name) are:

Bill Justis, Boots Randolph, Clarence Clemons, Clifford Scott, Danny Flores, David “Fathead” Newman, Don Wilkerson, Earl Bostic, Gene Barge, Grady Gains, Herb Hardesty, Jesse Powell, Jimmy Forrest, Joey D’Ambrosia, Junior Walker, Justin Gordon, King Curtis, Lee Allen, Noble “Thin Man” Watts, Paul Desmond, Phil Woods, Plas Johnson, Raphael Ravenscroft, Red Prysock, Rusty Bryant, Rudy Pompilli,
Sam Butera, Sil Austin, Stan Getz, Steve Douglas, Steve Gregory

Sorry if I’ve missed one of your favourites. Let me know. In order by date of birth…

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notesLine1912-1965   / from Oklahoma / played with Lionel Hampton

BosticBeechlerEarl Bostic

Flamingo / 1951


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Harlem Nocturn / 1951

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Red Sails In The Sunset / 1951

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1917-1988 / California USA / played the twin saxes with Billy Vaughn

JustinGordonJustin Gordon

Billy Vaughn - Sail Along Silvery Moon /

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notesLine1920-1980      /  Missouri / played with  Duke Ellington

JimmyForrestJimmy Forrest

Night Train /  1951

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notesLine– / played with Bill Haley & His Comets

JoeyD'AmbrosiaJoey D’Ambrosia

Bill Haley and His Comets – Shake Rattle and Roll / 1954

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notesLine1924-1976    /  Pennsylvania USA  / played with  Bill Haley & His Comets

HaleynRudyRudy Pompilli

Bill Haley and His Comets – Rudy’s Rock  /  1956

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notesLine1924-1977    /   San Francisco /   played with the  Dave Brubeck Quartet    

PaulDesmondBrubeck, Paul Desmond

Dave Brubeck Quartet – “Take Five”  /  1961

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notesLine
1924 — / played with Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, The Cadillacs

JessePowellJesse Powell

The Bobbettes – Mr. Lee / 1957

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notesLine1925    /    Louisiana USA / played with   Fats Domino, Dave Bartholemew’s Band

HerbHardestyHerb Hardesty

Fats Domino – Blue Monday” / 1955

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Fats Domino – I’m Walkin”   / 1955

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notesLine1926-1982 / Alabama USA / arranged music for Sun artists Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash and Charlie Rich, who discovered him

BillJustisBill Justis

Raunchy / 1957


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1926 — /  Virginia, USA / played with Fats Domino, B Diddley, LaVern Baker, Ray Charles among others.

GeneBargeGene Barge

The Church Street Five – A Night With Daddy “G” / pt 1 & 2 / 1961 /

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notesLine1926-1993   /   North Carolina USA / played with  Tiny Bradshaw Band

RedRed Prysock

 Hand Clappin’”    1955

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notesLine1926-2004   /   Florida  / played with  Lionel Hampton

NobleNoble “Thin Man” Watts

This man was considered “one of the most incendiary fire-breathing tenor sax honkers” of the 1950s

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Hard Times (The Slop) by Noble “Thin-Man” Watts / 1957 / used the Flutter-tongue technique  /


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notesLine1927-1991    /    Pennsylvania  / played with  Woody Herman

StanGetzStan Getz

Stan Getz & Charlie Byrd – Desafinado” / 1963

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Girl From Ipanema” w/ Astrud Gilberto  /  1963

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notesLine1927-1994    /    New Orleans / played with   Dave Bartholemew, Fats Domino, Little Richard

LeeAllenLee Allen

Fats Domino – “I Can’t Go On” / 1955

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walkinLP
Lee Allen – Walkin’ With Mr. Lee” / 1958

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Little Richard – Lucille / It may not be Lee Allen miming the sax solo in this video, but is sure is him on the recorded track

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notesLine1927-2007    /    Kentucky  / played with  Roy Orbison, and many others

BootsBoots Randolph

Yackety Sax” / 1958

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notesLine1927-2009        New Orleans    Tommy Dorsey, Louis Prima

SamSam Butera

Keely Smith & Louis Prima / with Sam Butera & The Witnesses / Just A Gigalo/I Ain’t Got Nobody” / 1956

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notesLine1928-1993    /   Texas  / played with  Lionel Hampton, Bill Doggett

CliffordScott
Bill Doggett / Honky Tonk part 2” / 1956

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notesLine1929-2001    /    Florida  / played with  Roy Eldridge

silAustinSil Austin

Slow Walk”  /  1957

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notesLine1929-2006    /    California  /   played with The Champs

DannyFlores-Chuck_RioDanny Flores

Tequila  /  1959


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1929 — / West Virginia USA / played with Tiny Grimes and Stomp Gordon

RustyBryantRusty Bryant

Rusty Bryant & The Carolyn Club Band – All Night Long / Pt 1 & 2 /

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notesLine1931 —   /    Louisiana USA / played with  Peggy Lee, Nat King Cole and many more

plasJohnsonPlas Johnson

Henry Mancini – “The Pink Panther”  /  1964

pinkPanther
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notesLine1931 —      /  Massachusetts  / played with  Billy Joel, and with many jazz artists

PhilWoodsPhil Woods

Billy Joel – Just The Way You Are”  /  1977


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notesLine1931-1995   /  Michigan  / played with  The Rhythm Rockers

JuniorJunior Walker

Jr. Walker & The All-Stars - Shotgun / 1965

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Jr. Walker & The All-Stars – How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You / 1966

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1932-1986 / Los Angeles USA / played with Amos Milburn, Ray Charles

DonWilkersonDon Wilkerson

Ray Charles – I Got A Woman / 1954

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Ray Charles – This Little Girl Of Mine / 1955

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Ray Charles – Hallelujah I Love Her So / 1956

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notesLine1933-2009    /    Texas  / played with  Ray Charles

DavidFatheadDavid “Fathead” Newman

Ray Charles – Unchain My Heart”  / 1961

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notesLine1934-1971   /  Texas  / played with  Lionel Hampton, The Coasters

KingCurtisKing Curtis 

The Coasters – “Yakety Yak” / 1958

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King Curtis – Soul Serenade”  / 1964

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1934 — / Texas USA / played with Little Willy John, Sam Cooke, James Brown, Ray Charles, Little Richard

GradyGainsGrady Gains

Little Richard – Keep A-Knockin’ / 1957

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notesLine1938-1993 / California USA / session saxophonist with the Wrecking Crew, played with the Beach Boys, Jan & Dean, Duane Eddy, the Ventures, to name a few.

steve-douglas2Steve Douglas

Duane Eddy – Forty Miles Of Bad Road / 1959


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Duane Eddy – Peter Gunn / 1959


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notesLine1942-2011  / Virginia, USA / played with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

Clarence-Clemons-and-Bruc-007Clarence Clemons & Bruce Springsteen

You’re A Friend Of Mind / Duet with Jackson Browne

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notesLine1942    /    Suffolk, UK  / played with  Pink Floyd

DickPerry2Dick Perry

Pink Floyd – “Money” / 1972

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Pink Floyd – “Us And Them” / 1972

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notesLine1945    /    London, UK  / played with  George Michael

SteveGregorySteve Gregory

George Michael and Wham – “Careless Whisper” / 1984

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“The Sax Guy” (this is a joke)

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notesLine1954-2014    /   Stoke-On-Trent, UK

RaphaelRaphael Ravenscroft 

Gerry Rafferty – “Baker Street” / 1975



–o–

Sources: http://tamingthesaxophone.com/blues-saxophone

plus some of our loyal and very supportive followers, per comments below…