How Prolific Session Musician Carol Kaye Created Some of Music’s Most Iconic Guitar and Bass Lines

Music writer Polyphonic, who creates incredibly informative video essays introduced a lot of people (myself included) to the incredible Carol Kaye. Kaye was a rare female in the world of session musicians, but she made a name for herself very quickly with her prodigious ability to play both guitar and bass. Kay worked with Phil Specter as an original member of the Wrecking Crew, developing the iconic the “Wall of Sound”.

Some the artists with whom Kaye played were Sam Cooke, Tina Turner, The Beach Boys, Sonny and Cher, Nancy Sinatra and Frank Zappa and in doing so, she created some of the most iconic rock guitar and bass lines. When she left session music, Kaye turned to television, playing theme music on such shows as Hawaii Five-0, Mission: Impossible and The Brady Bunch.

In that time the late 60s and early 70s saw Kay do a lot of work for TV soundtracks. She played on the theme song of ‘The Brady Bunch’. Her bass is also present in the ‘Hawaii Five-0’ theme song. My favorite of her TV work comes from ‘Mission Impossible’, where she played bass on the original theme song from the 1960s show …her other TV credits include ‘M*A*S*H’, ‘Hogan’s Heroes’, ‘The Addams Family’ and many more.

Here’s an amazing hour-long documentary about Carole Kaye’s incredible career.