Saturday, April 24, 2021

Rusty Young - Member Of Poco Passed Away On April 14th, 2021


Rusty Young in 2018
Rusty Young was born and raised in Colorado. He began playing lap steel guitar at age 6, and taught guitar and steel guitar lessons during his high school years.  As a child his parents took him to country music bars that they loved. This is where he was captivated by the sound of steel guitar players. 

It only made sense that as a teen, he began playing country music in those late night bars.  

After finishing school Young played in a well known Denver psychedelic rock band "Boenzee Cryque". 

Buffalo Springfield
By the late 1960's one of Rusty's former guitar students became the road manager for Buffalo Springfield. Richie Furay and Jim Messina needed a steel guitarist for the Furay's song "Kind Woman". He suggested that they hire Young.


The group must have liked him because after Buffalo Springfield disbanded in 1968  Rusty Young became a founding member of Poco in 1968 along with Richie Furay and Jim Messina, 

The Troubadour
Drummer George Grantham and bass player Randy Meisner rounded out the original Poco lineup. The group Poco was initially put together to perform at a high-profile show at the Troubadour in West Hollywood. 

But they had such a great sound, and really cliched as a group. 

The band's membership fluctuated over the years. When Furay left the group, Young took on more song writing responsibility, along with Paul Cotton and Timothy B. Schmit.  

Rusty with pedal steel,
banjo, and dobro
Rusty Young was the band's steel guitar player, although through the years he played a variety of other stringed instruments including banjo, dobro, and mandolin. 

Young’s pedal steel work along with the group’s rustic signature sound and helped create a prominent place for the steel guitar among roots-conscious California rock bands. 

In a 2014 interview with Goldmine magazine, referring to Mr. Furay’s compositions:

“I added color to Richie’s country-rock songs, and that was the whole idea, to use country-sounding instruments. I pushed the envelope on steel guitar, playing it with a fuzz tone, because nobody was doing that.  I played the pedal steel through a Leslie speaker, much as a Hammond B3 organist would, causing some listeners to assume he was indeed playing an organ." 

After Jim Messina, and Richie Furay left the group Rusty Young emerged as one of the group’s frontmen, along with the newcomer Paul Cotton.

Rusty Young - Crazy Love
Mr. Young would go on to write and sing the lead vocal on his best known and most popular song “Crazy Love,”  This became the band’s biggest hit, and reached No. 1 on the Billboard adult contemporary chart and No. 17 on the pop chart in 1979.. 

Rusty Young also wrote and sang lead on “Rose of Cimarron,” another of Poco’s more enduring recordings from the ’70s, and orchestrated the 1989 reunion of the group’s original members for the album “Legacy,” which, like the 1978 platinum-selling “Legend,” yielded a pair of Top 40 singles.

2013 - Steel Guitar Hall of Fame 

In 2013 he was inducted into the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame. He announced his retirement that same year,  but it turned out to be short lived.  

Poco - Legend LP

A few shows were booked into 2014 including three farewell shows in Florida. One of those shows was a performance in a recording studio in front of a live audience for a DVD document of the band's live show. Young said there could be some one-offs in the future after that, but the band would not be actively touring as before. 

Young and Nashville bass player Jack Sundrud wrote and recorded music for children's story videos as the "Session Cats". 

Waitin' For The Sun 

Young continued to do guest performances with former members of Poco and other country rock artists. Young released his first solo album in 2017 on Blue √Član Records, Waitin' For The Sun. 

In 2019 Rusty Young released his first new music since Waitin' for the Sun. 

The new tune, "Listen to Your Heart", was released digitally and benefited a local Steelville, Missouri animal charity, Santana's Hope for Paws (Friends of Steelville, MO Pound) Animal Shelter. 

Norman Russell Young, better know to the world as Rusty, one of the founding member's of Poco,  beloved by his fans, died of a heart attack on April 14, 2021 at the age of  75 years old. 

Click on the links under the pictures for sources. Click on the links in the text for further information.
©UniqueGuitar Publications 2021 (Text Only)

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Miss Carol Kaye - The Most Heard Bass Guitar Player That Most Of Us Never Heard Of Turned 85


1960's Artists

For those of us who grew up listening to the music of the 1960’s and ‘70’s there are a few consistencies that we may not be aware of. 

One of those was the fact that most of the recorded music of that era featured a group of professional session players that recorded the instrumental music for the popular singers of the day. 

Though recording took place in New York City, Detroit, Nashville and Memphis, much of the hit recordings of this era were done in several Los Angeles studios by a group of talented musicians nicknamed “The Wrecking Crew”. 

Carol Kaye
The other fact is that many of those songs featured a pretty young blonde woman named Carol Kaye, who played the bass guitar on almost 10,000 of those recordings.  Many of these songs became hit records. 

Carol Kaye is indeed a legend and an American treasure. You may have never heard her name but I guarantee that you have heard her distinct bass guitar lines. Ms. Kaye recently celebrated her 85th birthday. 

Carol Kaye In The Studio
Carol Kaye can be heard on such diverse recordings as "Soul Reggae" (Charles Kynard),"Homeward Bound" (Simon and Garfunkel), "California Girls", "Sloop John B", "Help Me, Rhonda", "Heroes and Villains" (The Beach Boys), "Natural Man" (Lou Rawls), 

Carol playing a
Fender Jazzmaster
"Come Together" (Count Basie), "Feelin' Alright" (Joe Cocker), "I Think He's Hiding" (Randy Newman), "Games People Play" (Mel Torm√©), "Goin' Out Of My Head/Can't Take My Eyes Off You" (The Lettermen), "Little Honda" (The Hondells), "Hikky Burr" (Quincy Jones & Bill Cosby & TV theme), 

Kaye Playing a 12 String Guild 
"I'm a Believer" (The Monkees), "Indian Reservation" (Paul Revere & the Raiders), "In the Heat of the Night", "I Don't Need No Doctor", "America The Beautiful", "Understanding" (Ray Charles), "It Must Be Him" (Vikki Carr), "Little Green Apples" (O.C. Smith), "Midnight Confessions" (The Grass Roots),

Carol Kaye

"Mission: Impossible Theme" (Lalo Schifrin), "Mannix Theme" (Lalo Schifrin), "Out of This World" (Nancy Wilson), "Wichita Lineman" "Galveston" "Rhinestone Cowboy" (Glen Campbell), "River Deep - Mountain High" (Ike & Tina Turner),"Scarborough Fair/Canticle" (Simon and Garfunkel), "Sixteen Tons" (Tennessee Ernie Ford), "Somethin' Stupid" (Frank and Nancy Sinatra), "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" (Nancy Sinatra), "This Diamond Ring" (Gary Lewis & the Playboys), "The Twelfth of Never" (Johnny Mathis), 

Kaye With A MusicMan
Bass and Amplifier
"The Way We Were" (Barbra Streisand) "Soul & Inspiration" on which she played bass, and "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" on which she played guitar (The Righteous Brothers), "Carry On" (JJ Cale), she played on many of the songs from Pet Sounds (The Beach Boys, 1966). 

Carol Kaye played on The Neil Young album and was featured on the LP Music from Mission: Impossible (Lalo Schifrin, 1967). She backed up Frank Sinatra on many of his later hit songs. 

Playing A Fender
 Precision Bass

Other TV themes that feature her bass guitar lines include Cannon, The Streets of San Francisco, Mission: Impossible, M*A*S*H, Kojak, Get Smart, Hogan's Heroes, The Love Boat, McCloud, Mannix, It Takes a Thief, Peyton Place and the previously mentioned Cosby Show. She is credited with performing on the soundtracks of Hawaii Five-O, The Addams Family and The Brady Bunch along with Ironside, Room 222, Bonanza, Wonder Woman, Alias Smith & Jones, Run for Your Life and Barnaby Jones. 

Carol Kaye played 12-string guitar on several Sonny and Cher hits, as well as on Frank Zappa's album Freak Out! 

Carol Smith nee Kaye was born on March 24, 1935. Her career as a musician has spanned 50 years. 

Carol Kaye Through The Years 
She began playing guitar in her early teens and after some time as a guitar teacher, began to perform regularly on the Los Angeles jazz and big band circuit. She started session work in 1957, and through a connection at Gold Star Studios. 

She began working as a guitar player for producers Phil Spector and Brian Wilson. After a bassist failed to turn up to a session in 1963, she switched to that instrument, quickly making a name for herself as one of the most in-demand session players of the 1960s. into playing on film soundtracks in the late 1960s, particularly for Quincy Jones and Lalo Schifrin. Carol Kaye authored a series of tutoring books such as How To Play The Electric Bass. She became less active towards the end of the 1970s, but has continued her career until retiring in her 70's.

How To Play The
 Electric Bass by Carol Kaye
She also taught guitar and bass and gave lessons to thousands of students, including notable players John Clayton, Mike Porcaro, Alf Clausen, David Hughes, Tony Sales, Karl E. H. Seigfried, Roy Vogt and David Hungate. 

During an interview she was asked if she was ever upset by being a ‘no-name’ background player, and not enjoying the fame acquired by the big name bands and singers that she backed up. Her reply was no. She got to be home, and enjoy her family, raise her children, and not have to travel. 

She was born in Everett, Washington, to professional musicians Clyde and Dot Smith. Her father was a jazz trombonist who played in big bands. In 1942, he sold a piano in order to finance a move to Wilmington, California. Her parents moved, but divorced soon afterwards when she was young. Music was the one thing the that united their family. When she was 13 Carol received a steel string guitar as a gift from her mother and she quickly took to the instrument. So much so that she began teaching professionally the following year. 

In the 1950’s Kaye played bebop jazz guitar with several groups on the Los Angeles club circuit, including Bob Neal's group, Jack Sheldon backing Lenny Bruce, Teddy Edwards and Billy Higgins. 

She played with the Henry Busse Orchestra in the mid-1950s, and toured the US with them. 

It was in 1957 that record producer Robert "Bumps" Blackwell heard her play and invited her to do a recording session for Sam Cooke's arrangement of "Summertime" on which she played guitar. This was a wake up call. She realized that she could make significantly more money with session work than playing in jazz clubs, so she decided session work was going to be her full-time career. 

1959 Tommy Dee With
 Carol Kaye and The Teen Aires
Then in 1958, she played acoustic rhythm guitar on Ritchie Valens' "La Bamba", which was recorded at Gold Star Studios, Hollywood. Through Gold Star, she began to work with producer Phil Spector, playing electric guitar on Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans' "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" and The Crystals' "Then He Kissed Me", and acoustic guitar on The Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'". 

Along with several other musicians including drummer Hal Blaine and guitarist Glen Campbell, her work with Spector attracted the attention of other record producers and she found herself in demand as a regular session player. In 1963, when a bass player failed to show for a session at Capitol Records in Hollywood, she was asked to fill in on the instrument. 

She quickly discovered that she preferred playing bass, and found it was a key component of a backing track and allowed her to play more inventively than the relatively simpler guitar parts she had been playing until then. From a pragmatic viewpoint, it was easier to carry a single bass to sessions instead of carrying and swapping between the three or four guitars that session players had to carry with them depending on the song.  

After Wrecking Crew bassist Ray Pohlman left studio work to become a musical director, Carol Kaye became the most in-demand session bassist in Los Angeles. This was all during a time when session work was considered to be an all ‘boys club’. So it was it unusual for women to be experienced session players. However she is remembered by players at those sessions being generally good humored and united by the music. 

Kaye At A Brian Wilson
Recording Session For Smile
Through her work with Phil Spector Carol Kaye caught the attention of The Beach Boys' Brian Wilson, who used her on several sessions, including the albums Beach Boys Today, Summer Days (and Summer Nights!!), Pet Sounds and Smile. Working with him was unlike other sessions, since she was free to work out her own bass lines, Wilson always came in with a very specific idea of what she should play. By Pet Sounds, Wilson was asking musicians such as Kaye to play far more takes than typical sessions, often running over ten passes of a song, with sessions stretching well into the night. 

Kaye is often credited for creating the bass line on the Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations" single, although it is not her bass heard on the recording.

Brian Wilson remembers Kaye as one of the session players hired for the many sessions devoted to the song: "The bass part was important to the overall sound. I wanted Carol Kaye to play not so much a Motown thing, but a Beach Boys-Phil Spector riff". 

By 1969 Kaye said she was exhausted and had become disillusioned from doing session work, saying that the music had "started to sound like cardboard". At the same time, many newer rock bands disapproved of using session players, preferring to play the instruments themselves. 

So Carol set about reinvented herself by writing books and performing mostly soundtrack work for films and television. She regularly collaborated with Quincy Jones. 

In the early 1970s, she toured with Joe Pass and Hampton Hawes, and continued to do sessions. In 1973, she played on Barbra Streisand's single "The Way We Were", which was cut live.  

In 1976, she was involved in a car accident, and semi-retired from music. In 1994, Kaye underwent corrective surgery to fix injuries stemming from the accident, and resumed playing and recording.  

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Carol Kaye
Carol Kaye is a little miffed that a popular TV series, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel's character, 'Carol Keen'  seems to have captured her image. In an interview last year she said, "I am not a cartoon!"

She collaborated with Fender to produce a lighter version of the Precision Bass that reduced strain on her back and made it more comfortable to play. In 1997, she collaborated with Brian Wilson again, playing on his daughters' album, The Wilsons, while in 2006, Frank Black asked her to play on his album Fast Man Raider Man. 

Carol Kaye's Equipment
Through most of her early career Kaye's main instrument was the Fender Precision Bass, though she also used the four and six Danelectro basses on occasion. 

By the 1970s, she sometimes used the Gibson Ripper Bass.

It was lighter, and featured twin humbucking pickups as well as a 3 band active preamp/EQ.  

Kaye with Ibanez
Bass and Guitar
She uses Thomastik-Infeld JF344 flatwound strings with a high action and preferred to use guitar amplifiers in the studio when playing bass, including a Fender Super Reverb (to get more treble), an older Fender Bassman with 4 ten inch speakers, a brown Fender Deluxe amp, and a Versatone Pan-O-Flex amplifier. 

Kaye primarily uses a pick, or plectrum, on both guitar and bass, rather than plucking the strings with her fingers. During her peak recording years Carol put a piece of felt between the strings behind the bridge on her Precision bass to enhance the sound and reduce unwanted overtones and undertones.  

If you view the videos below you will note that she puts masking tape on her Ibanez bass for this same purpose.

Kaye with 1946
Epiphone Emperor

She also played an Ibanez RG321 guitar as well as an Ibanez RT150. Very Early in her career Carol Kaye used as series of Jazz style guitars including a 1946 Epiphone Emperor, a 1955 Gibson ES-175, and many other instruments.

Click on the links under the pictures for sources. Click on the links in the text for further reading.
©UniqueGuitar Publishing 2021 (Text Only)

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

All The Vocal Groups From Television, Cartoons, Radio, Movies, And Film - THE UNIQUE VOCAL MUSIC BLOG


This is not my church choir
but they look quite nice
I was always fascinated with music since my childhood. This was especially true with vocal music long before I learned to play guitar. I joined the children’s choir at my church. We had a great vocal music program in the school I attended. I later joined a church choir, and even took voice lessons. 

This is why as of today I am changing this blog’s theme to:


I find that participation in a vocal music group can be fun, and a comfort to those that don’t want to stand out in the crowd. It is also wonderful to join in the blending of voices by harmonization. 

The TM Studios Jingle Singers 
Throughout my life I always wondered about those amazing folks that sang the vocals for movies, television themes, and even commercials. And what about those short little jingles that reminded us which radio or television station we were listening to.

I found out in the United States there were only a handful of professional choral groups that were hired for this purpose. 

Perhaps the most famous, and most heard were The Ron Hinklin Singers.

The Ron Hinklin Singers
The Ron Hicklin Singers were a group of Los Angeles studio singers contracted and organized by, who else but Ron Hicklin! In Los Angeles studio circles in the 1960s through 1980s,  

They were the vocal equivalent of and they often worked with  the Los Angeles session instrumentalists known as The Wrecking Crew, by performing backup vocals on thousands of songs, TV and movie themes, and as lead (while remaining anonymous) singers on thousands of radio and television commercials. 

The Core Group usually consisted of Ron Hicklin, lead tenor, Tom Bahler, tenor, John Bahler, tenor, Jackie Ward, alto, Sally Stevens, soprano, Gene Morford, bass. 

Thurl Ravenscroft
However, this core group was often augmented with other specialist vocalists such as the deep bass voice of Thurl Ravenscroft, who provided the voice of Kellogg's Tony the Tiger of Frosted Flakes cereal for 50 years, and the vocalist for "You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch"!). Also Mitch Gordon, Jim Haas, Andra Willis, and Linda Dangcil. 

Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid 
This group performed themes for many major motion pictures in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. These included the song South American Getaway, written by Burt Bacharach for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Dear Old Dad, for the movie Death Game, 

They also sang a song called Savior Like a Shepherd Lead Us written by William Batchelder Bradbury for the movie Mosquito Coast and the music for Rosemary’s Baby. 

Flipper the TV Show
The Ron Hinklin Singers also sang the theme songs for such major TV shows as Love, American Style, with lead vocalist John Bahler, Batman, Flipper, That Girl, Happy Days, for which Hicklin himself sang lead, Laverne & Shirley, along with lead vocalist Cyndi Grecco, Wonder Woman, with John Bahler singing lead, and Angie, along with lead vocalist Maureen McGovern. 

They also sang many commercial vocals, including campaigns for Kawasaki ("Kawasaki, let the good times roll"), Datsun ("Drive a Datsun, then Decide") and the McDonald's commercial ("You Deserve a Break Today"). 

I am sure you have heard many, many radio and television jingle such as “1360 WSAI” or whatever station you listened to. That was the Ron Hinklin Singers doing those short jingle packages for the last four decades. 

The group also sang on recordings that were credited to such artists as The Brady Kids aka The Brady Bunch, Cher ("Dark Lady"), the band Climax featuring Sonny Geraci. They were featured on recording attributed to The Ray Conniff Singers, The Percy Faith Orchestra and Chorus, The Anita Kerr Singers Jackie Ward sang alto on the group's Dot Records recordings which were usually done in Nashville. 

They also provided backing vocals for Gary Lewis & the Playboys, Mark Lindsay ("Arizona"), The Henry Mancini Orchestra and Chorus, The Monkees ("I'm a Believer"). 

The Partridge Family

Except for Shirley Jones, and David Cassidy, the Ron Hinklin Singer were essentially the voice on The Partridge Family songs. 

They backed up Gary Puckett & The Union Gap. Paul Revere & the Raiders, Ringo Starr ("Oh My My"), even Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps on the 1959 Crazy Times album. 

Without the entire group, The Bahler Brothers can be heard performing tenor harmonies on: Hugo Montenegro's The Good, the Bad and the Ugly theme. Jimmy Webb’s "MacArthur Park", "Suicide Is Painless", Johnny Mandel's theme to the 1970 film M*A*S*H. Member Jackie Ward also had a hit on her own as Robin Ward with the 1963 hit "Wonderful Summer". 

Hoyt Curtin
Of course those of us that are my age grew up watching cartoon shows produced by Hanna-Barbera, such as Huckleberry Hound, Quick Draw McGraw, Yogi Bear, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, and many others. These theme songs were written by one man named Hoyt Curtin, who had been previously employed writing music for companies, and trade show. The vocal ensemble hired to perform was The Randy Van Horne Singers. 

Randy Van Horne Singers
Randy Van Horne's career began in the late 1940s as a Los Angeles studio musician. He formed his first musical group, the Encores, in the early 1950s with three other musicians. After The Encores broke up in the late 1950s he went on to create the Randy Van Horne Singers. The group was known for its easy style of music and remained predominantly a studio musical group. 

However, the Randy Van Horne Singers did make occasional television performances, such as on The Nat King Cole Show in 1957. 

The group became most famous for recording the theme songs for several high-profile Hanna-Barbera cartoons when they were hired by Hanna-Barbera's music composer, Hoyt Curtin, to complete the theme songs. 

Aside from this the group also continued to record for commercials and radio station spots and jingles. Many of the jingles were actually written by Randy Van Horne. 

The Randy Van Horne Singers
The Randy Van Horne Singers officially disbanded in the early 1970s but Van Horne reunited the group after 2000 with many of the original members. They are currently led by Alan Wilson since 2018. 

The Anita Kerr Singers or The Jordanaires sang background on just about every Nashville hit in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The group contributed backup vocals on Patsy Cline's first studio album. 

A few years later, Kerr and her singers performed five times a week with Jim Reeves on his national radio program at WSM. The quartet's roster at this time featured tenor Gil Wright, baritone Louis Nunley, alto Dottie Dillard, and Kerr herself as both soprano and arranger. Singers and arranger soon began hiring the group to contribute to between twelve and eighteen recording sessions weekly. 

The Anita Kerr singer  backed Faron Young, Chet Atkins, and Webb Pierce on SESAC radio transcription sessions,. They were invited to record their own songs for SESAC. Between 1959 and 1963, the group recorded sixty SESAC tracks. 

In 1960, under the pseudonym "The Little Dippers," they recorded a hit single, "Forever", for the University label. Crediting herself as "Anita & Th' So-And-So's," 

Kerr multi-tracked her own voice to record the song Joey Baby, in 1961.  The Anita Kerr Singers continued to perform as backup singers in Nashville and can be heard on songs by Hank Snow, Brenda Lee, Perry Como, Pat Boone, Rosemary Clooney, Bobby Vinton, Roy Orbison, Willie Nelson, Floyd Cramer, Al Hirt, Ann-Margret, and many other artists. 

Under her RCA contract, Kerr also arranged and produced a series of albums for The Living Voices on the RCA Camden budget label. These Living Voices recordings included the Anita Kerr Quartet, with the addition of 4 other vocalists to form an octet. 

In 1964, together with Chet Atkins, Bobby Bare and Jim Reeves, the Anita Kerr Singers toured Europe. In the 1960s, Kerr composed and recorded numerous jingles for use by various American radio stations, including: Gene Autry's KMPC AM-710 in Los Angeles, California; WMCA AM-770 in New York City; WLS AM-890 in Chicago and at WGH AM-1310 in Newport News, Virginia.

After divorcing, Anita Kerr disbanded the Nashville version of her Anita Kerr Singers and relocated to Los Angeles. 

So there you go! And I hope you have by now realized that today is April the First.  

On April 2nd I will return to more guitar stories as The Unique Guitar Blog.

Click on the links under the pictures for sources and further information.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Henry Goldrich, Owner Of Manny's Music, Passes Away at 88


Manny's Music
When I was 16 years old our high school band took a trip to New York City. We were scheduled to visit famous landmarks in the city, but my friends and I had only one landmark in mind to visit:  Manny’s Music. 

We got in a little trouble, but it was worth it to visit the most well known music store in the city. In our minds it was better than a trip to Disneyland. I still have an old fuzztone that I bought from the store during that visit. One thing that stood out on that day was the prices for guitars were less than what the Cincinnati music stores were asking. It was a most memorable day

Manny Goldrich opened the store in 1935 on 48th street. The location was close to Broadway theaters, recording studios, 52nd street jazz clubs, music publishing firms, and even the Brill Building. Goldrich thought this would be an excellent location to sell music and musical instruments. And he was right. 

Manny passed away in 1968, but he had groomed his son Henry Goldrich to take over the business.  Henry had grown up at the store. After a stint in the Army during the Korean War, Henry returned to work at Manny's, then took over the business. 

Henry became know as the “Gear Guru to Rock Stars”. He passed away a few weeks ago on February 16th, at age 88. When asked what instrument he played, he said, “I play the cash register.” Henry Goldrich may not have played guitar or bass, but he certainly played an important role in rock by connecting famous musicians with cutting-edge equipment. 

Henry Goldrich 
“To these guys, Henry was the superstar,” his son Judd said. “He was the first guy to get gear they had never seen before.” Manny’s Music attracted many, many famous musicians who purchased guitars, amplifiers, keyboards, and other related equipment. 

Mr. Goldrich was in the good graces of all of the top manufacturers and distributors of guitars and music equipment, and always stocked his shop with the latest cutting edge gear. 

And though many artists would be provided with gear straight from manufacturers, artists preferred to go to Manny’s. 

His customer included Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. When Vox introduced the Wah-Wah pedal it was Mr. Goldrich who recommended that they purchase one. The same held true for Fuzztones, and other devices. 

Henry’s son, Ian Goldrich said that Hendrix would by scores of guitars of guitars and gear, and have Manny’s techs set them up. 

John Sebastian at Manny's
John Sebastian, founder of the Lovin’ Spoonful, recalled in an interview how Mr. Goldrich, in the mid-1960s, helped him select the Gibson J-45 that he used on early Spoonful recordings like “Do You Believe in Magic?” 

Goldrich sold James Taylor  Martin guitar early in Mr. Taylor’s career. 

Sting purchased the Fender Stratocaster from Goldrich to compose “Message in a Bottle” and many other hits for the Police. 

David Gilmour's Stratocaster
In 1970, Mr. Goldrich sold the Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour the 1969 black Stratocaster that he played on many of the band’s seminal recordings. That guitar sold at auction in 2019 for a record $3,975,000.

Pete Townshend of the Who would order expensive electric guitars by the dozens from Mr. Goldrich, who was not happy when he heard about Mr. Townshend’s penchant for destroying his guitars onstage for theatrical effect. “It was good business,” Ian Goldrich said, “but my father was annoyed that Pete was breaking all the guitars he was selling him.”.

Richie Havens, Oscar Brandt,
and Henry Goldrich
50th Anniversary of Manny's
Though the rock stars that were his customer often wore wild clothing, Goodrich always dressed conventionally in a sport coat and kept a blunt demeanor that put his customers at ease. His son said, “He had a gruff personality; he treated them all the same. He’d tell Bob Dylan, ‘Sit in the back and I’ll be with you in a minute.’” 

In 1985, on the busiest day of the year, Black Friday, the store was packed when Mick Jagger and David Bowie walked in to shop. This halted sales from excited customers. An unhappy Goldrich asked them what they were doing there today of all days. 

He sold Mick and David what they wanted and quickly sent them on their way. 

Guns N’ Roses wanted to shoot part of a music video at the store. Goldrich allowed it, but said he was not shutting down the store. 

Harry Chapin - Taxi
Henry Goldrich adviced Harry Chapin that his song, “Taxi” was nice but too long and it would never be a hit. 

Paul Simon bought his first guitar at Manny’s, Goldrich told him Simon and Garfunkle was a lousy name for their act. But he also gave some great advice to new and upcoming musicians and groups, to not squander their new found wealth because their fame may not last forever. 

Henry Goldrich became close friends with many musicians, Mr. Goldrich once described selling the violinist Itzhak Perlman an electric violin. When Mr. Perlman tried bargaining, Mr. Goldrich parried by asking if he ever reduced his performance fee. “He said, ‘It’s different, I’m a talent,’” Mr. Goldrich recalled. “I said, ‘I’m a talent in my own way, too.’” 

Then there was the store’s Wall of Fame, which includes thousands of autographed publicity photos of famous customers that constituted a Who’s Who of popular music. These were placed along the walls of the store. Many of them were inscribed to Mr. Goldrich.  

He had to stop his employees from stacking merchandise in front of them. 

Old Yellow
Henry routinely purchased used instruments for resale, and on this day someone brought in a full set of instruments repainted with new, bright colors. Among them was an unremarkable Danelectro guitar that had been painted bright yellow.  His son Ian recalls “It wasn’t a factory color, in fact now that the guitar has aged, you can see it probably came from the factory as black. It had one lipstick pickup in it, all stock parts, just the color was different." The other repainted instruments were eventually sold, but “the yellow guitar” hung around the store. 

Goldrich was well-known for his strict policy of forbidding customers to try out new guitars unless they were serious about buying them. Henry’s “show us your money” approach was fair enough; no shopkeeper wants his wares damaged pre-sale. 

Old Yellow On Display
But where did that leave customers looking to test out new amplifiers or effects pedals, who actually needed a guitar to play. Henry realized Old Yellow was a good-playing guitar, and paid nothing for it  and wasn't going to sell it. So when somebody wanted to try out an effects pedal or an amplifier he wouldn’t let you pull down a new Strat out of the showcase; he said ‘Here, this is the tryout guitar.’ It didn’t matter if you were some kid from Cincinnati or Joe Walsh from The Eagles: if you were in the market for a new amp or effects unit or amp, you played Old Yellow. 

It is currently in a display at Sam Ash Music in NYC.

The guitar passed through countless famous (and not-so-famous) hands over the ensuing decades. Ian Goldrich stated “Everybody who played it said it played really well,”  “My father tells the story of George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan and John Sebastian sitting in the back of the store so it’s got to be in the mid-70s or something like that, and they’re all passing this guitar around when George offered my father $200 to buy it. And my father turned him down!” 

Eventually, however, “Old Yellow” met an abrupt end of sorts. “It fell off a guitar stand and the headstock broke off,” Ian says. “That was the end of that.” Despite being damaged beyond repair, the guitar remained in a glass display through the ‘80s and ‘90s as a totem of years past. Currently Old Yellow resides at Sam Ash Music on 34th street in New York City.

Manny's closed in 2009

In 1999, Mr. Goldrich sold Manny’s to Sam Ash Music, a rival store, which largely retained the staff until Manny’s closed in 2009, as Music Row began to disappear.  

Guitarist and collector extraordinaire, Joe Bonamassa, was able to save the huge sign that hung in front of Manny's. It is on display at the Songbird Museum until Joe decides to move it. 


Mr. Goldrich died on Feb. 16 at his home in Boca Raton, Fla. He was 88. His son Ian, who confirmed the death, said his father had been in frail but stable health.

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