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Don Randi on BBC Radio!

Don Randi, author of You’ve Heard These Hands, was Spencer Leigh’s guest on BBC Merseyside’s On the Beat. They spoke about Don Randi’s musical background and the many people that he worked with as a member of The Wrecking Crew. Listen to the podcast below to learn more!

>>Listen<<

00140980With that, Don Randi begins his introduction to You’ve Heard These Hands: From the Wall of Sound to the Wrecking Crew and Other Incredible Stories, a fascinating look at the life and musical times a keyboard musician, composer, arranger, music director, and record producer who has thrilled music lovers for years, even if they weren’t aware of it.

Randi played keyboards on over a thousand popular recordings and was a member of the remarkable “Wrecking Crew” of studio musicians during the explosive pop music era of the 1960s and early 1970s. Nancy Sinatra, the Beach Boys, the Jackson 5, Elvis Presley, Sammy Davis Jr., Neil Diamond, and Linda Ronstadt are among the many music greats Randi has worked with and writes about in You’ve Heard These Hands.

For many years, only music industry insiders, close friends, and jazz fans who visit Randi’s nightclub, The Baked Potato, have heard him tell some of the amazing, heartfelt, and hilarious personal stories in this collection. Now everyone can discover the in-studio, behind-the-scenes, and on-tour tales from the man whose hands we’ve heard playing on our favorite hit tunes. You’ve Heard These Hands will capture the attention and emotion of its readers, who won’t be able to resist sharing Randi’s stories with their friends.

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You’ve Heard These Hands

You’ve Heard These Hands

From the Wall of Sound to the Wrecking Crew and Other Incredible Stories

by Don Randi with Karen “Nish” Nishimura


A veteran musician and master story teller presents the stories behind the songs!


Website

“I’m Don Randi and you’ve heard my hands.”

With that, Don Randi begins his introduction to You’ve Heard These Hands: From the Wall of Sound to the Wrecking Crew and Other Incredible Stories (Sept. 2015, Hal Leonard Books, $24.99), a fascinating look at the life and musical times a keyboard musician, composer, arranger, music director, and record producer who has thrilled music lovers for years, even if they weren’t aware of it.

Randi played keyboards on over a thousand popular recordings and was a member of the remarkable “Wrecking Crew” of studio musicians during the explosive pop music era of the 1960s and early 1970s. Nancy Sinatra, the Beach Boys, the Jackson 5, Elvis Presley, Sammy Davis Jr., Neil Diamond, and Linda Ronstadt are among the many music greats Randi has worked with and writes about in You’ve Heard These Hands.

For many years, only music industry insiders, close friends, and jazz fans who visit Randi’s nightclub, The Baked Potato, have heard him tell some of the amazing, heartfelt, and hilarious personal stories in this collection. Now everyone can discover the in-studio, behind-the-scenes, and on-tour tales from the man whose hands we’ve heard playing on our favorite hit tunes. You’ve Heard These Hands will capture the attention and emotion of its readers, who won’t be able to resist sharing Randi’s stories with their friends.

$24.99
6.0″ x 9.0″
280 pages
9781495008825
Hal Leonard Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Corporation

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

DON RANDI is a composer, arranger, music director, and keyboard musician. As part of the legendary “Wrecking Crew” group of studio musicians, he made hundreds of hit records in the 1960s and 1970s. He founded The Baked Potato jazz club in Los Angeles in 1970 and has owned it ever since, and he has released 20 jazz albums of his own, including the 1980 Grammy-nominated New Baby and the 2013 Acoustimania. He lives in Agoura Hills, Calif.

 

KAREN “NISH” NISHIMURA is an independent writer and an entertainment producer behind many digital advertising campaigns and promotions, including projects for Disney Online, Sony Pictures, Mattel, and CBS. A passionate jazz lover, she met Don Randi at The Baked Potato and eagerly agreed to become his biographer. She lives in Los Angeles.

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Don Randi Interviewed on the Cue Castanets Blog

Don Randi, author of the upcoming book You’ve Heard These Hands, recently visited Cue Castanets!, a blog dedicated to “Musings on Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound and similar music.” Randi talks about his upcoming book and also about his many hours in the studio with Spector.


00140980Don, first off; do you remember what was your very first session with Phil Spector? Were you already onboard at his first LA session, ‘He’s a Rebel’ in 1962, with what would be become known as the Wrecking Crew?

We were actually called the Wall of Sound. We weren’t the Wrecking Crew yet – the Wrecking Crew name came three years later, maybe four years later. Originally, we were the Wall of Sound – for Phil – that was the sound the other producers wanted. That made us so in demand. And I think the first record was ‘He’s a Rebel’, – that was right at the beginning of me recording with Phil.

I was hired by sax player, Steve Douglas. Steve, who went to high school with Phil, actually introduced me to Phil Spector a few years before that recording session. And I knew Steve Douglas because he played with me occasionally in a jazz band that I had.

How did Spector in general strike you in the studio? I’ve heard that he worked you guys hard, letting you play on and on for hours before recording actual takes?

Yes, he did work us really hard. I would love to say I was the only piano player but there were three or four of us, and sometimes five! Sometimes only two, but most of the time there were three or four of us playing piano; five guitar players, two basses – one acoustic and one electric bass, one drummer and some percussion. And then of course the horns. So it was interesting because that was basically the band and we all fit in one room at Gold Star Studios.

Is it true what Hal Blaine writes in his book about Spector always letting the tape roll while you guys were warming up before actually recording takes? If so, there must be tons of tapes in the Spector tape vault.

I don’t think he let it run all the time, it was not a constant thing. I know he had tape echo running along with the Gold Star echo chamber but I don’t think there was another tape running.

A few session takes has been floating around amongst collectors. They give the impression that there was a good, friendly vibe on those sessions, jokes flying back and forth?

Oh absolutely! That was the start of us getting called the “Wrecking Crew.” The tag meant the guys in the session were always messing around, “Be careful, or they’ll wreck your date!” Which happened later on because we would take time-outs. We had to! We would just have to lighten it up because we were working so hard. Especially with Phil! And not a lot of people realize that he appreciated a great joke too. Phil was one of us.


Check out the rest of the interview over at Cue Castanets blog!