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I was wondering, if some saxophone solos have been in dispute about who recorded it and somebody else took credit for it, or mistakenly attributed with it. I remember reading a thread about something like that, but cannot find it.
 

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I was wondering, if some saxophone solos have been in dispute about who recorded it and somebody else took credit for it, or mistakenly attributed with it. I remember reading a thread about something like that, but cannot find it.
Probably the most famous solo of all time, Baker Street, has been disputed. That may be what you are thinking of.

Part of the reason being at different times several players were called on the session, for different takes and so there may have been various possibilities in the final mix. Raf Ravenscroft was of course credited.

There was a dispute over the authorship, as Raf claimed he came up with the line, but this was not true as Gerry rafferty had already decided on the riff.

Story: my friend Pete Horn was originally called on the session but couldn't make it due to having a cold, so got Raf to deputise for him. ha!
 

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TENOR, soprano, alto, baritone
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Misinformation in the music industry on this subject is deliberate and rampant. The reason is, a group may have a sax player but a 'hit man' does the solo (and gets paid handsomely because there will be no royalties in it for him), but in the interests of commercialization, the actual player is never made public. Its up to the discerning listener to try to identify the player in question. Album liner notes in pop music are no good for this purpose - they are part of the deception.
Since many pro players obviously know all of this, they have deduced that they can claim to have played solos they actually had nothing to do with, and they are at no risk because in order to prosecute them the actual player would have to be named, and that's not going to happen. The musicians involved are all under basically a 'gag order' by the labels - not really a judicial decree, more like 'You'll never work in this town again'. LOL But really, its serious business. One 'hit man', Plas Johnson, has done more sax solos than probably all the others combined. He was on hundreds of hit records, plus probably many more that never made it. I studied this player for 30 years before I knew who he actually was, and that was only because the internet started. He even made his own album and even then used a stage name. Part of this was because of the above reason but also it was the '50s and '60s, and Plas is Afro-American. Anyway his album is 'Sax 5th Avenue' by 'Johnny Beecher'. I saw some video on You Tube a few years ago were some washed-up sax player claimed he played the sax ride on 'Let's Go' by 'The Routers', which obviously was another Plas 'hit maker'.
Another famous fake was the Michael Brecker solo on the 'Average White Band's 'Pick Up the Pieces'. The Brecker Brothers did the horn parts on the whole album but yet there are those who insist the group's sax player took that solo. Funny, but he never played anything again that sounded remotely like it. I was working in a club the first time I heard the song, which was an instant hit, and I knew right then that the sax player did not come from Scotland. Once I found out the Breckers were on the record, the answer was obvious.
Basically you can't believe very much publicized info about who did what with whom for the simple reason that the truth is not 'out there'. OTOH we do know a lot of them; Pete Christlieb on 'Deacon Blues' for example. But if Steely Dan had a sax player in the group we might not even know that. It was always supremely important to the labels to keep these things secret to preserve the value of the artists and groups in question.
 

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SOTW Columnist/ Forum Contributor 2014, Disti
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Interesting topic.

BAKER STREET as Pete stated is a classic example.
THE HEAT IS ON
RETURN TO SENDER
HEATWAVE
SURFER’S STOMP
SPOOKY
YOUNG BLOOD

These are just a few Billboard Top 40 hits taking a quick look through our list.

A lot of interesting history about who played on which hit record and it has been a real job in getting the correct credits to as many as possible. We still have many in question, especially the mid 50’s era.

I have a list that you might like which contains some brief stories behind the session players and those who claim to have played the solo that we have found to date. And we (Steve D. Marshall-UK) are still updating the list.

Send a PM note to me with your email address and I will forward the 103 page list (THE HISTORY OF “TOP 40” SAXOPHONE SOLOS - 1955-2015) if you are interested. Glad to share. You might even have a song or know a name to add that we have missed.

I also have a 518 page PDF file which contains photos, bios and emails from some of the artists. Preface by Plas Johnson, Foreward by Dave “ Woody” Woodford & United Kingdom Foreward by Snake Davis.

I can send it by email but you may or may not be able to open it due to the size. So far we have had good luck getting it to open on the other end.
 

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I can send it by email but you may or may not be able to open it due to the size. So far we have had good luck getting it to open on the other end.
Instead of sending through email, send it by Wetransfer or Filemail. Or upload to Dropbox or Google Drive.
 

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One 'hit man', Plas Johnson, has done more sax solos than probably all the others combined. He was on hundreds of hit records, plus probably many more that never made it. ......He even made his own album and even then used a stage name. Part of this was because of the above reason but also it was the '50s and '60s, and Plas is Afro-American.
Interesting, and I suspect your analysis is correct. I think it's a real shame, not to mention a 'sham,' when the actual musicians who did the playing aren't credited. Plas did make a recording under his real name, but it wasn't until 1975 (released in '76 on Concord Jazz). I have the CD: "Plas Johnson-The Blues." Ray Brown, bass; Herb Ellis, guitar; Bobbye Hall, congas; Jake Hanna, drums; Mike Melvoin, keys.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes Pete, this is the one I was referring. Thanks.

Probably the most famous solo of all time, Baker Street, has been disputed. That may be what you are thinking of.

Part of the reason being at different times several players were called on the session, for different takes and so there may have been various possibilities in the final mix. Raf Ravenscroft was of course credited.

There was a dispute over the authorship, as Raf claimed he came up with the line, but this was not true as Gerry rafferty had already decided on the riff.

Story: my friend Pete Horn was originally called on the session but couldn't make it due to having a cold, so got Raf to deputise for him. ha!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If I remember correctly, there was even a dispute between the family of a passed player and other one due to the ownership of the recorded part of a hit. Cannot recall if it was Baker Street, really, but it happened here at SOTW.

Of course if more than one player is asked to record and the use of modification by the production of the tape goes on, well, somebody can get confused.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
PM sent with email. Thanks a lot.

Interesting topic.

BAKER STREET as Pete stated is a classic example.
THE HEAT IS ON
RETURN TO SENDER
HEATWAVE
SURFER’S STOMP
SPOOKY
YOUNG BLOOD

These are just a few Billboard Top 40 hits taking a quick look through our list.

A lot of interesting history about who played on which hit record and it has been a real job in getting the correct credits to as many as possible. We still have many in question, especially the mid 50’s era.

I have a list that you might like which contains some brief stories behind the session players and those who claim to have played the solo that we have found to date. And we (Steve D. Marshall-UK) are still updating the list.

Send a PM note to me with your email address and I will forward the 103 page list (THE HISTORY OF “TOP 40” SAXOPHONE SOLOS - 1955-2015) if you are interested. Glad to share. You might even have a song or know a name to add that we have missed.

I also have a 518 page PDF file which contains photos, bios and emails from some of the artists. Preface by Plas Johnson, Foreward by Dave “ Woody” Woodford & United Kingdom Foreward by Snake Davis.

I can send it by email but you may or may not be able to open it due to the size. So far we have had good luck getting it to open on the other end.
 

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SOTW Columnist/ Forum Contributor 2014, Disti
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I was wondering, if some saxophone solos have been in dispute about who recorded it and somebody else took credit for it, or mistakenly attributed with it. I remember reading a thread about something like that, but cannot find it.
Up to 2018 now. If you have an older copy send for an updated one. Over 500 pages.
 

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I read somewhere that Bobby Keys went and did the solo with Dion and the Belmonts for the Wanderer, and then the producers went and got another take of the solo just as Keys had played except in tune... any substance to that that anyone else can corroborate?

Interesting, and I suspect your analysis is correct. I think it's a real shame, not to mention a 'sham,' when the actual musicians who did the playing aren't credited. Plas did make a recording under his real name, but it wasn't until 1975 (released in '76 on Concord Jazz). I have the CD: "Plas Johnson-The Blues." Ray Brown, bass; Herb Ellis, guitar; Bobbye Hall, congas; Jake Hanna, drums; Mike Melvoin, keys.
I was recently gifted an album from a thrift store vinyl bin of a Plas Johnson album named "Positively", also on Concord and released in 1976. Similar lineup: Plas on alto and tenor; Ray Brown on bass; Herb Ellis on guitar; Bobbye Hall on congas; Jake Hanna on drums on six of the tracks and Jimmie Smith on the other four tracks; and Mike Melvoin on keys. It's a great album. I wonder if both albums were recorded in the same sessions at United/Western Studios in Hollywood, then divided up for separate releases.
 

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If I remember correctly, there was even a dispute between the family of a passed player and other one due to the ownership of the recorded part of a hit. Cannot recall if it was Baker Street, really, but it happened here at SOTW.

Of course if more than one player is asked to record and the use of modification by the production of the tape goes on, well, somebody can get confused.
Yes, unfortunately you are correct, and it is in connection to Baker Street. I am tired of recounting the story, so here's a link, please follow the thread through for comments on Baker Street and initially Pick up the Pieces: https://cafesaxophone.com/threads/joe-farrell.24556/
 

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SOTW Columnist/ Forum Contributor 2014, Disti
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I read somewhere that Bobby Keys went and did the solo with Dion and the Belmonts for the Wanderer, and then the producers went and got another take of the solo just as Keys had played except in tune... any substance to that that anyone else can corroborate
Research indicates;

#2 THE WANDERER—DION - BUDDY LUCAS - TENOR
“We had Bobby Gregg and Bucky Pizzarelli on guitar, Panama Francis and “Sticks” Evans on drums, Jerome Richardson—a monster player—played alto sax. Buddy Lucas played tenor sax and harmonica. Johnny Falbo played electric guitar on some of the blues things, and we had bunch of great musicians from the Apollo in Harlem”. Dion

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wanderer_(Dion_song)

No mention of Keys that we have found.
 

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Yes, unfortunately you are correct, and it is in connection to Baker Street. I am tired of recounting the story, so here's a link, please follow the thread through for comments on Baker Street and initially Pick up the Pieces: https://cafesaxophone.com/threads/joe-farrell.24556/
Just an additional updated note;

Reply from the recording studio engineer Richard Vernon;

“hi john......mike is certainly correct, raphael ravenscroft and no other played the sax solo on Baker Street.....i was present at the session at Chipping Norton Recording Studios so hopefully you can take my word for it.....the Bob Holness connection started as a joke and became an urban myth......al newman i’ve never heard of.
i hope this sets the record straight? (no pun intended).”
regards richard
Fri, Dec 7, 2018 11:25 am
 

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'Let's Go' by 'The Routers', which obviously was another Plas 'hit maker'.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Routers

https://www.waybackattack.com/routers.html

And to add to the credit confusion;

https://www.rockhall.com/inductees/steve-douglas

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxCIEHABB1M

From; https://www.facebook.com/WreckingCr...ven-douglas-kreisman-on-th/10153698308093023/

"The Wrecking Crew" is with Steven Bortz.
September 24, 2015 ·
Remembering saxophonist Steve Douglas who was born Steven Douglas Kreisman on this date September 24, 1938 in Los Angeles, CA.

The unmistakable sound of Steve Douglas’ honking saxophone can be heard on countless recordings by The Beach Boys, Jan & Dean, Duane Eddy ( with whom he got his start) and others. Among the most in-demand West Coast session players, Douglas was a key player in producer Phil Spector’s "wall of sound " recordings . Douglas played sax and percussion on most of Spector’s early-1960s productions, including all of The Ronettes’ and Crystals’ recordings and such epic singles as Ike and Tina Turner’s “River Deep - Mountain High” and The Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’.”

He played on every Beach Boys album from Surfin’ U.S.A. through Pet Sounds, as well as later recordings. He can be heard on many of Jan and Dean’s 1960s hits, including “Surf City” and “Dead Man’s Curve.” His hornwork also adorned recordings by such artists as Bobby Darin - Singer, Aretha Franklin, B.B. King and ELVIS PRESLEY.

Douglas played on such instrumental hits as the Routers’ “Let’s Go (Pony).”
Douglas was offered all the work he could handle and recalls once doing 18 sessions in a single week. In the mid-1960s, he spent two years as an A&R man at Capitol Records, where he produced Bobby Darin and others.

During the 1970s, in addition to session work, he began releasing albums under his own name.

He played on Mink DeVille’s first two albums and produced the third, "Le Chat Bleu". In 1981. Douglas’ "Hot Sax" album, released in 1982, includes his remake of “Peter Gunn,” which he’d originally recorded with Duane Eddy two decades earlier.

Douglas passed away on April 19, 1993 at the age of 54.

He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a sideman in 2003.
 

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SOTW Columnist/ Forum Contributor 2014, Disti
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Now up to 2019 if you would like a free copy of the PDF file "THE HISTORY OF TOP 40 SAXOPHONE SOLOS-1955-2019" via email. Just send a message to me with your email address. A lot of "sampling" in recent years.
 

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Just as a matter of interest John, I've got a cassette tape with a lot of out takes of Dion songs. The most memorable being the Buddy Lucas solo on the Wanderer. He plays it quite a bit higher than the released version. Also Dion sings it slightly different, I think it was the 2nd take, so they were feeling their way probably. At the start of the 2nd take you can hear Dion say something like "Look at these crazy words"


I haven't played it in years, I don't even know where it is, but it's somewhere in my collection. I've got a tape with out takes of the Everly Brothers as well. Not sure where that is also. I'll have to start looking.

Cheers Rob.
 

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So much history (known and unknown) and fun music back in the day Rob! That is interesting. Buddy Lucas was an inspiration to many of us.
 
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