carole kaye


legendary bad ass bass player Carol Kaye played on the songs:

California Girls, I’m a Believer, Witchita Lineman, Midnight Confessions, Sixteen Tons, These Boots Are Made For Walkin, Homeward Bound, Then He Kissed Me, Johnny Angel, La Bamba, Needles and Pins, The Beat Goes On, You’ve Lost That Lovin Feeling, Hikky Burr, the Get Smart theme, the Kojak theme, the Mission: Impossible theme and million other seminal songs of the 1960s and 70s.


On this day in music history: February 26, 1966 - “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’” by Nancy Sinatra hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 1 week. Written and produced by Lee Hazlewood, it is the first chart topping single for the daughter of pop vocal legend Frank Sinatra. Signed to her fathers’ label Reprise Records in 1961, Sinatra records and releases fifteen singles over the next four years with little to no success. In 1965, she is paired with producer Lee Hazlewood (Duane Eddy, Dean Martin), who sets about writing and producing a hit for her. Recently divorced from singer and actor Tommy Sands, Hazlewood talks to Nancy about that relationship and its aftermath, and uses it as the inspiration to write what becomes her signature song. The track is recorded at Western Recorders in Hollywood, CA on November 19, 1965 with members of The Wrecking Crew which include Hal Blaine, Carol Kaye, Chuck Berghofer, Billy Strange and Tommy Tedesco. Hitting the airwaves shortly before Christmas in 1965, and released in early January of 1966, “Boots” quickly takes hold on radio. Entering the Hot 100 at #74 on January 22, 1966, it leaps to the top of the chart five weeks later. The song has an enduring impact on popular music and culture. Nancy Sinatra’s original version is featured in numerous films and TV programs over the years (“Full Metal Jacket”, “Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery”, “China Beach”, “CSI”), and is covered many times by various artists. “The Boots Are Made For Walkin’” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.


Quincy Jones ‎– Theme From The Anderson Tapes

A&M Records ‎– D32Y3804 – Originally released in 1971. Quincy Jones ‎– Smackwater Jack. Bass – Carol Kaye, Chuck Rainey. Bass Trombone – Alan Raph, Dick Hixon, Tony Studd. Double Bass – Bob Cranshaw, Ray Brown. Drums – Grady Tate, Paul Humphries. Electric Piano – Bob James, Jaki Byard, Joe Sample. Flugelhorn – Freddie Hubbard, Marvin Stamm. Flute, Saxophone Tenor – Hubert Laws. Guitar – Arthur Adams, Eric Gale, Freddie Robinson, Jim Hall, Joe Beck. Guitar, Harmonica, Whistle – Toots Thielemans. Organ – Jimmy Smith. Percussion – George Devens, Larry Bunker. Piano – Monty Alexander, Bobby Scott. Piano, Harpsichord – Dick Hyman. Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone – Jerome Richardson. Synthesizer – Paul Beaver. Tenor Saxophone – Pete Christlieb. Trombone Tenor – Garnett Brown, Wayne Andre. Trumpet – Buddy Childers, Ernie Royal, Eugene Young, Joe Newman.

Carol Kaye - possibly the most impressive resumé ever. 

This lady has worked along with such a big list of musicians, that I’ll list a few names just to give you an impression on how awesome she is .

Associated with : The Beach Boys, Phil Spector, Frank Sinatra, Joe Cocker, Ray Charles, Frank Zappa, Simon & Garfunkel, The Monkees and many others.


On this day in music history: July 12, 1965 - “California Girls” by The Beach Boys is released. Written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love, it is the fourteenth single release by the legendary pop/rock band from Hawthorne, CA. Following his retirement from The Beach Boys grueling touring schedule, Brian Wilson uses the time to explore and expand his creative genius, moving into one of the most prolific periods of his life. After taking LSD for the first time in early 1965, Wilson comes up with a chromatic run of chords while sitting at the piano, drawing inspiration from classical composer Johann Sebastian Bach. Quickly coming up with a melody, it evolves into what comes “California Girls”. Brian’s cousin and band mate Mike Love helps him complete the lyrics. The basic track featuring members of The Wrecking Crew including Hal Blaine (drums), Al de Lory (organ), Leon Russell (piano) and Billy Strange (tambourine), is recorded at United Western Recorders in Hollywood, CA on April 6, 1965. The songs orchestral prelude, initially discouraged by Brian’s father Murry as being “excessively complex” becomes one the most distinctive and most instantly recognizable parts of the composition. Another stand out feature of “California Girls” is its bass line, played by musician Carol Kaye on the session. The rest of The Beach Boys overdub their vocals on to the finished track, two months later on June 4, 1965 at CBS Columbia Square. Released in the mid-Summer of 1965, the song is an immediate smash, entering the Hot 100 at #72 on July 24, 1965, and peaking at #3 on August 28, 1965. “California Girls” breaks new musical ground for The Beach Boys, becoming one of their best loved and popular songs, as well as becoming an early marker for Brian Wilson’s work on the landmark albums “Pet Sounds”, “Smile” and the single masterpiece “Good Vibrations”. Nearly twenty years after the original recording, a cover version by Van Halen front man David Lee Roth (also featuring Carl Wilson on backing vocals), matches the peak position of The Beach Boys original, peaking at #3 on the Hot 100 on March 2, 1985. The Beach Boys recording of “California Girls” is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 2010.

Why yes I would love to talk about bass gear!
Currently i’m running different combinations of these 4 boxes depending on the venue/application.

Univox U1246 bass:
Paired with the 1x15 gets me good solid low end but not much headroom which makes it great for Lou Barlow/Lemmy style dirty bass tones at “reasonable volumes”. Before the amp starts to break up it sounds perfect for really thumpy/muted vintage style bass tones ala Carol Kaye.
Pairing it with the 2x15 gets me a bit of additional headroom but mostly lets me move more air with the same tones in a medium to large venue as long as there’s a mic on the cab.

Fender Supertwin:
I think the Supertwin was a massive failure of Fenders R&D department. Did they even have an R&D department in 1976? The thing is that they sound sooo good and with the graphic eq it’s possible to get a ton of tones! But…
Not when it’s in a combo format! The standard open back, twin sized cabinet is way too small for 180 tube watts!
After trying the speaker out into closed back 4x12 and 2x12 cabs I knew i had to get it out of that little open backed cab!
And it is sooo good for bass. Fenders 1x15 Studio Bass combo from the same era is essentially the same amp with no distortion or bright switch and modified eq frequencies.
Through the 1x15 it’s got a huge bottom end - I usually only set the bass around 3. It can get plenty of mids and a nice detailed top end. Surprisingly modern until I start pushing the speaker hard. I usually don’t crank it too much because i’ve legit blown speakers rated at double the amps output rating. I use this combination for small and medium sized venues where I need headroom and power.
Paired with the 2x15 the bottom end begins to fill a whole room and I can push the amps power section harder for some mild breakup. This amp really does sound and react much like a 180 watt SVT probably would. I’ve used it through an Ampeg 8x10 and it sounds unreal!

So with these 4 boxes i have “all my basses covered” and the best part is that i spent zero dollars on bass specific amps! I mostly use both amps and the 1x15 for guitar and the 2x15 was recently given to me!
Sorry for all the exclamation marks!


On this day in music history: April 23, 1969 - “With A Little Help From My Friends”, the debut album by Joe Cocker is released. Produced by Denny Cordell, it is recorded at Olympic and Trident Studios in London circa early 1968. The first album by the Sheffield, UK born rock vocalist features musical support from musicians such as Jimmy Page, Steve Winwood, Albert Lee, Henry McCullough, as well as L.A. studio veterans like Carol Kaye, Paul Humphrey and vocalists Merry Clayton, Madeline Bell and Brenda & Patrice Holloway. It spins off two singles including a cover of the Dave Mason penned “Feelin’ Alright” (#69 Pop) and the title track (#68 Pop), whose striking rearrangement with provide Cocker with his commercial breakthrough. The single release of “With A Little Help From My Friends” is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 2001. The song is also used as the theme song for the long running series “The Wonder Years”. The album is remastered and reissued on CD in 1999, with two additional bonus tracks added. It is remastered again and reissued as a hybrid SACD disc in 2015. “With A Little Help From My Friends” peaks at number thirty five on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold In the US by the RIAA.


On this day in music history: July 20, 1963 - “Surf City” by Jan & Dean hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks. Written by Brian Wilson and Jan Berry, it is the biggest hit for the Southern California based surf music duo. The song is initially written by Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys with the title “Goody Connie Won’t You Come Back Home”. When he has trouble finishing it, he gives the song to his friends Jan Berry and Dean Torrence who complete the lyrics and melody. Wilson also sings background vocals on the finished record. Recorded at United Western Recorders on March 20, 1963, the track also features members of the famed studio band The Wrecking Crew including Billy Strange, Ray Pohlman, Carol Kaye, and Glen Campbell (guitars), Bill Pitman (bass), Hal Blaine and Earl Palmer (drums). Released by Liberty Records on May 27, 1963, it quickly becomes a smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #68 on June 13, 1963, it streaks to the top of the chart five weeks later. “Surf City” is the first surf record to reach number one on the US pop singles chart.


Trying to decide on a bass rig for next weekend. The band in which I play bass ( is opening for YO LA TENGO so it’s got to be correct.
The mid 90s hartke stack on the left is my brothers but he lets me steal the 215 or 410 when I need them.
So far I’m really into the supertwin/412 combo. It can nail both Lemmy and Carol Kaye tones and I’m equally in to both of those things… The supertwin sounds great through the 212 as well but I don’t think it’s got quite enough volume.
Picked up the ampeg scr-di today so I can reduce my reliance on stubborn sound men who refuse to mic my rig and I refuse to plug my passive bass direct into a board… It’s pretty nice but let me be very clear: the stuff they keep labelling “scrambler” lately has absolutely nothing to do with the actual ampeg scrambler. It is a nice neutral bass od but they should cut out this nonsense of calling it a scrambler.
The rest of the pedals tbd.


Bugaloo” | Carol Kaye | Album: Picking up on the E-String (1995)