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Basses Wild: Carol Kaye

July 28, 2011

“Basses Wild” is an opportunity for Girl Germs to showcase a female bass player in a band that we might not normally get to play on the show – a “wild card,” if you will (get it?). This monthCarol Kaye we’re featuring Carol Kaye. When you think of female bassists, names like Kim Deal and Kim Gordon immediately come to mind (and rightfully so). Despite being about as prolific and as ubiquitous as they come, Kaye has never really gotten the props she deserves. Born in 1935, Kaye has been an active session bassist since the ’60s (after stints as a guitar teacher and jazz guitarist). You’ve probably heard thousands of the songs on which she’s played: The Beach Boys’s Pet Sounds and Brian Wilson’s Smile project, singles by Elvis, Nancy Sinatra and the Righteous Brothers and TV themes such as M*A*S*H, The Love Boat and The Cosby Show. And that’s just to name a few.

Unfortunately–as sometimes happens in the music world–Kaye’s male collaborators (which include Frank Zappa, Phil Spector and Simon & Garfunkel) have often stolen the thunder of her exceptional work. But none of them would ever deny her talent; in fact the First Lady of Bass has a reputation not only as being one of the most friendly and down-to-earth people to work with in the biz, she’s still lauded as an insanely talented musician. Quincy Jones even wrote in his 2001 autobiography that women like Kaye “could do anything and leave men in the dust.” We couldn’t have said it better.

Listen to her!

Check out another Girl Germs fave, Laura Veirs, performing her tribute song to Kaye:

Carol Kaye

Find out how to get a Skype-based guitar or bass lesson from Kaye here. (OMG!)

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 29, 2011 5:05 pm

    Much respect to Carol Kaye. Check out one of the smoothest bass lines:


  1. Girl Germs Episode 11 – Basses Wild | Fancy Pants Gangsters - Twin Cities Netcast Network

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