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The Wrecking Crew was a nickname coined by the drummer Hal Blaine after the fact for a group of session musicians in Los Angelesmarker, Californiamarker, who earned wide acclaim in the 1960s. They backed dozens of popular singers, and were one of the most successful "groups" of studio musicians in music history.

The Wrecking Crew's members typically had backgrounds in jazz or classical music, but were highly versatile. The talents of this group of 'first call' players were used on almost every style of recording, including television theme songs, film scores, advertising jingles and almost every genre of American popular music, from The Monkees to Bing Crosby. Notable artists employing the Wrecking Crew's talents included Bobby Vee, The Partridge Family, The Mamas & the Papas, The Carpenters, John Denver and Simon & Garfunkel.

The figures most often associated with the Wrecking Crew are producer Phil Spector (who used the Crew to create his trademark "Wall of Sound"), and Beach Boys leader Brian Wilson, who used the Crew's talents on many of his mid-60s productions including the songs "Good Vibrations", "California Girls", the acclaimed album Pet Sounds, and the original recordings for SMiLE.

Members of the Wrecking Crew played on the first Byrds single recording, Mr. Tambourine Man, because Columbia didn't trust the skills of Byrd musicians except for Roger McGuinn. On the basis of the success of the single, further recordings of the Byrds were conditional on the success of the single. Subsequently, all the Byrds played on their subsequent recordings. Spector used the Wrecking Crew on fifth Leonard Cohen fifth album, Death of a Ladies' Man.

The Wrecking Crew were inducted into the Musicians Hall Of Fame on November 26, 2007.


Members of 'The Wrecking Crew' included:

Glen Campbell later achieved solo fame as a singer-guitarist in the 1960s and 1970s, and Leon Russell and Mac Rebennack (as Dr. John) both went on to be a successful songwriters and had hit singles and albums. Otherwise, the best-known 'members' of this unofficial group are bassist/guitarist Carol Kaye (one of the few women instrumentalists to achieve success in the recording industry at the time) and drummer Hal Blaine, who has played on tens of thousands of recording sessions, including Sinatra, and is believed to be the most recorded drummer in history. Among his vast list of recordings, Blaine is credited with having played on at least forty U.S. #1 hits and more than 150 Top Ten records.

Al Casey worked for many years as a session musician. Jim Gordon also drummed on many well known recording sessions and was the drummer in the group Derek and the Dominos.

Guitar Player magazine cites Wrecking Crew member Tommy Tedesco as "the most recorded guitarist in history".

The Wrecking Crew worked long hours and 15-hour days were not unusual, although the rewards were great — Carol Kaye has commented that during her peak as a session musician, she earned more per year than the President.

The Wrecking Crew were featured in the 95-minute 2008 film The Wrecking Crew directed by Tommy Tedesco's son, Denny Tedesco. The film has screened at several festivals, but has not yet been commercially released.

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