For those who have an interest, this project has been completed (276 pages) and I am now looking for a publisher. In the meantime, I would like to get the CD set and/or book (includes music CD) out to the sax world so that we can continue to update the text. I will burn the CD set at home and am tring to keep the cost down. Please send a postal m/o or cashiers check. Sorry but I am not set up to accept charge cards.
The photos in the B&W "book copy" are good but not as clear as the CD so keep that in mind. You might want to think about using the CD to print a copy which includes a lot of color photos then having a local print shop bind it for you. Depending on your home printer memory, you will only be able to print 5-6 pages at a time due to the memory that the photos use.
If you can't open the text CD (MS Word) or if the music CD does not play on your equipment, I will refund your money. I have tested it locally and have heard from friends via email and to date there has been no problems with the CD set. When you order please send your typed name and address (to tape on the envelope) and email address in case I need to contact you for an order delay.
THE HISTORY OF TOP 40 SAXOPHONE SOLOS 1955-1998
© registration Library of Congress June 23, 2003
By John Laughter
Contact John Laughter - JSAXL@aol.com for mailing/ordering information.
Two CD set with text in MS Word-photos and bios-$10.00 plus postage.
Postage: U.S and CANADA $1.00
A local print shop can make a copy of book (B&W) with a plastic spiral binder and color front and back cover for $29.00 plus postage. Allow 2 weeks. Includes music CD. If the print shop raises the cost over the next few months I will post the info.
Postage: U.S. and CANADA $6.00
The New Sound
The year was 1955. The new Top 40 hits of Fats Domino, The El Dorados, Billy Vaughn, Bill Haley and the Comets, and Pat Boone were filling the airwaves and jukeboxes across the globe. Teenagers were tuning in and dancing to the new beat. In 1956, Little Richard, Johnny Dankworth, The Dells, Lord Rockingham’s XI, Ken MacIntosh, The Cadillacs, The Five Satins, Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, and Bill Doggett also joined in and were recording the new Top 40 hits. It was an exciting time for many teenagers. International popular music was about to change forever, and one unique sound that was common to many hit records was the versatile styles of the saxophone.
Who were the musicians who inspired many of us to learn to play the sax during the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s? Where are they today?
Unfortunately, for many years in the world of pop music most session musicians were never given credit on the LP covers or CD liner notes. In some cases, had it not been for the studio musicians, the record might not have become a hit for the singer. Even in some recordings that used the singer’s own band, credit was not always given to those who made it happen.
In most historical documents there is room for error and misinformation. I have used Internet resources, email responses, and various books to confirm as many dates, names, and songs as possible. However, as I concluded the research and prepared this book to be published, I knew that an updated edition would follow in the future as more songs, names, and corrections surface.
If you have additional information to add to the future editions, please contact me at JSAXL@aol.com and I will add your updates to the text. I hope we will one day have a complete and comprehensive account of these musicians.
The majority of the listed hits contain an obvious solo. However, a few of the hits have a dominant sax line in the background but no solo per se. According to the contributors the background sax line was a vital part of the song so it was added.
Let’s take a trip and go back in time. Do you remember that song and solo that inspired you to pick up the saxophone?
John Laughter is performing a great service for the many unheralded and unrecognized sax soloists who played on hit records over the decades. For many years the record companies excluded the names of all musicians on their records. There are albums that I played on where the commentary on the back cover speaks about the artist and tunes, then proceeds to describe the recording technique and equipment - nothing about the musicians.
My own documented discography would not be as long and as accurate as it is were it not for Stuart Colman, a producer, record collector, and writer for a rock magazine. Players who solo on many records just don't have the time, even if they have the details to keep up with this.
So, many thanks to John Laughter for his efforts in digging out and publishing this information.
Dave “Woody” Woodford
John Laughter has done the near impossible with this book. This is more than a simple list of guys who played sax solos on hit records. John has created a saxophone player's rock & roll rosetta stone. What you have here is a history of rock & roll from the point of view of the true “unsung heroes” of the art form... the sax soloists.
In these pages you'll find the most complete history ever recorded of the great Rock & Roll Gunslingers, from Plas Johnson and King Curtis (two of my personal heroes) to my favorite contemporaries like Lenny Pickett and Crispin Cioe. You'll also find biographies and pictures placed throughout this book, letting you get more personally acquainted with some of these great players.
This book is much more than an answer to questions like “Who played the sax lines on Baker Street and Spanish Harlem” or “Who played that wild natural 7 on the V chord of Wooly Bully?” This is a rock, blues or r&b sax player’s master class.
Any musician or non-musician who wants to find out what made (and still makes) rock & roll “ROCK” should read this book, get the cds, listen to the solos and learn what made all of these “gunslingers” special.
Dave “Woody” Woodford
United Kingdom Forward
This fantastic database of solos and soloists will be as useful and interesting to us the players as to you the sax fans and you the students and future generation of soloists. Exhaustive and thoroughly researched, with its biographies and photos it is fascinating and educational reading, as well as a great source of reference. Hats off to all the players and enthusiasts who got together to make it happen!
Happily for all of us, the world is full of sax nuts, and now the next time someone grabs me after a show and says “Hey, what year was it when you played that solo with so and so on such and such a record?” or “Do you know what mouthpiece Kenny G used on tenor?” I can simply direct them here!
This guy John Laughter must be truly sax-mad! Most of us soul sax players can’t remember what day of the week it is or what music college we went to, never mind what records by what artists we played on, and record companies rarely bothered crediting the unsung heroes in sleeve notes, so we know what a lengthy and frustrating labour of love it must have been to collate all this information!
GUEST ARTISTS-Alphabetical Order
A very special thanks to the following artists for contributing their talent and CD tracks.
1. Joey Arminio & The Family- “American Outlaw”
2. Andy Brush-“Simply Simpo”
3-4. Ed Calle-“Strut” and “Smood Dude” from his CD titled Twilight on Concord Records, PO Box 845, Concord, Ca 94522
5. Timmy Capppello-“Wiggle”
6. Dan Cipriano-“Beneath Sullivan Street”
7. Andrew Clark- “Cut Off” from his CD titled Jaywalking on Papasax Records, PO Box 5484, Bradford, Ma 01835
8. Chris “Snake” Davis-“You’re The One” from his CD titled Snakebites on Skin Records via Ruth Hopkins, 27 Mayfield Rd, Halesowen, West Midlands, B62 9QW, UK.
9-10. Sax Gordon-“Hubcap Pete” and “Have Horn Will Travel” from his CD titled Have Horn Will Travel on Bullseye Blues & Jazz/ Rounder Records, One Camp Street, Cambridge, Mass. 02140
11. Joe McGlohon-(co-written by Steve Bassett)-“Reggae Gone Shuffle”
12. Jack Prybylski-“Mandalay Bay” from his CD titled Soho Strut
13-14. Tom Timko-“Breakfast At Nat’s” and “Barnacle Bill” from his CD titled Tom Timko And The Horn Dogs on Ratamacue Records, PO Box 279, West Long Branch, NJ 07764
15-16. Chris Vadala-“Out Of The Shadows” and “Club Contrafact” from his CD titled Out Of The Shadows on Usroots Records, Canada
17. Don Wise-“Blue Shoes” from his CD titled Genuine Snake via Wamco Productions, PO Box 2772, Knoxville, Tn 37901