Re: Sinatra Show - March 1960 -> Name The Band!

Sun Aug 24, 2008 12:25 am

Very good idea Doc, I waited for someone to open a discussion about this subject. Because of personal taste and ability, I mainly concentrated here on the piano player situation. All I can say is it ain't the late and great Bill Miller as quoted in Tunzi's Elvis Session III book. Although he was Sinatra's pianist since 1952 and for 46 years long, the one we can see on your photo isn't the one who delivered such wonderful piano playing for Ol' Blue Eyes like the part in Sinatra's One For My Baby rendition for example.
After resolving the musicians question at the Memphis concerts in 1961 , if we succeed to put names on these faces, it'll be another new step in knowledge of Elvis music career.
Many thanks to all of you who try it so hard !

Re: Sinatra Show - March 1960 -> Name The Band!

Sun Aug 24, 2008 12:47 am

Thank you! I do what I can.

Now ... if that earlier post is image of Joe Comfort, it doesn't appear to be JC on bass with Elvis.

As for Mitch Miller on piano, it's unlikely despite the physical similarities -- Miller HATED rock and roll, and Presley was its PRIME avatar.

And it seems Bill Miller also sat this one out.

Maybe someone can Google some answers for us.

Re: Sinatra Show - March 1960 -> Name The Band!

Sun Aug 24, 2008 3:24 am

Okay, here's the reply I received from Riddle's family, via his official site www.nelsonriddlemusic.com.

The first pic posted is of him. No name was attached to the email.

"Yes, that is Nelson; however, I do not recognize anyone other than Elvis in the other photo."

Pity about the second bit re the other people. The hunt continues ...

Re: Sinatra Show - March 1960 -> Name The Band!

Sun Aug 24, 2008 3:28 am

General Sarnoff wrote:
elvislennon wrote:
Scott wrote:Technology must surely be able to restore the kinescopes to watchable quality? A proper DVD release of this would be cool.


Not really, you can't do much to kinescope at all.

Matthew wrote:Let the producers of the Sullivan set have a crack at it, I'm sure they could come up with some good results.


They can make it a little better but they have said alot can't be done about it.


**Ahem**....

-Kevin


Indeed. I suggest sitting down to watch the fabulous Sullivan boxed set ...

Re: Sinatra Show - March 1960 -> Name The Band!

Sun Aug 24, 2008 4:54 am

cartoonland wrote:My guess? Mitch Miller piano.


Definitely not Mitch Miller. Miller was the A&R man at Columbia Records at the time, so he wouldn't be working for an artist on another label (Sinatra was with Capitol Records at the time). Furthermore, Sinatra had worked with Miller during his stay at Columbia and did not hold him in high esteem.

Re: Sinatra Show - March 1960 -> Name The Band!

Sun Aug 24, 2008 5:10 am

Scott wrote:Okay, here's the reply I received from Riddle's family, via his official site http://www.nelsonriddlemusic.com.

The first pic posted is of him. No name was attached to the email.

"Yes, that is Nelson; however, I do not recognize anyone other than Elvis in the other photo."

Pity about the second bit re the other people. The hunt continues ...


Kudos to them for replying anyway. Nice try Scott.

Re: Sinatra Show - March 1960 -> Name The Band!

Sun Aug 24, 2008 5:45 pm

I'll send the picture to Scotty and DJ but I don't have high hopes that they'll know who they were or remember.

Re: Sinatra Show - March 1960 -> Name The Band!

Sun Aug 24, 2008 6:30 pm

JamesVRoy wrote:I'll send the picture to Scotty and DJ but I don't have high hopes that they'll know who they were or remember.


IIRC, Scotty has been asked before but didn't remember the line up.

Re: Sinatra Show - March 1960 -> Name The Band!

Tue Aug 26, 2008 3:55 am

JamesVRoy wrote:I'll send the picture to Scotty and DJ but I don't have high hopes that they'll know who they were or remember.

Anything yet?

I have also put the word out to at least one Elvis expert.

Re: Sinatra Show - March 1960 -> Name The Band!

Tue Aug 26, 2008 4:02 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:
JamesVRoy wrote:I'll send the picture to Scotty and DJ but I don't have high hopes that they'll know who they were or remember.

Anything yet?

I have also put the word out to at least one Elvis expert.


Nothing from Scotty yet. Not sure when Gail will get the email but then she'll have to print the picture for him. Karen and DJ were out of town and due back today her daughter told me so it could be a bit.

Re: Sinatra Show - March 1960 -> Name The Band!

Tue Aug 26, 2008 10:44 pm

JamesVRoy wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:
JamesVRoy wrote:I'll send the picture to Scotty and DJ but I don't have high hopes that they'll know who they were or remember.

Anything yet?

I have also put the word out to at least one Elvis expert.


Nothing from Scotty yet. Not sure when Gail will get the email but then she'll have to print the picture for him. Karen and DJ were out of town and due back today her daughter told me so it could be a bit.


DJ doesn't know who they are.

Re: Sinatra Show - March 1960 -> Name The Band!

Tue Aug 26, 2008 11:27 pm

JamesVRoy wrote:DJ doesn't know who they are.

Uh-oh, not a good sign.

Re: Sinatra Show - March 1960 -> Name The Band!

Wed Aug 27, 2008 1:40 am

I'm quite sure it's not Nelson Riddle playing piano and having watched a Youtube clip, I'm also sure that neither bass player is Joe Comfort.

One pianist's name that does keep coming up with regard to this period is a guy called Jimmy Rowles, a kind of genius accompanist (similar to Miller) who worked here, there and eveywhere during the 50s / 60s / 70s.

There are a few pictures of him in later life but none that I can find from this period. The pictures that I have found from later life do not rule him in or out ... but it might be him?

He certainly worked with Nelson in August of 1960 and is known to have played behind Sinatra and (especially) Peggy Lee.

Rowles also sometimes worked with a bass player named Red Mitchell (see below), another great wandering accompanist of the time.

I'm probably completely wrong with these suggestions but it would seem likely that the mystery players are more likely from Sinatra's camp than Elvis'.

Why would Elvis require two bass players anyway?
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Re: Sinatra Show - March 1960 -> Name The Band!

Wed Aug 27, 2008 1:49 am

It's a long shot, but I've emailed Nancy Sinatra's management via her website - there was no email for Nancy herself.

She was just a kid, but you never know - she might remember a name or two, or recognise someone from the picture.

Stay tuned.

Re: Sinatra Show - March 1960 -> Name The Band!

Wed Aug 27, 2008 1:58 am

Scott wrote:She was just a kid, but you never know - she might remember a name or two, or recognise someone from the picture.

She was just a few months shy of twenty -- her recall should be decent. But whether she had eyes for anyone other than Elvis is open to question.

Re: Sinatra Show - March 1960 -> Name The Band!

Wed Aug 27, 2008 1:59 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:
Scott wrote:She was just a kid, but you never know - she might remember a name or two, or recognise someone from the picture.

She was just a few months shy of twenty -- her recall should be decent. But whether she had eyes for anyone other than Elvis is open to question.


A long shot, as I said. Still, it's better than sitting here doing nothing, eh?

Re: Sinatra Show - March 1960 -> Name The Band!

Sun Aug 31, 2008 12:48 am

Hey, this has been a fun topic to research!

According to the Bob Moore website, it’s definitely Bob on acoustic bass.

So why two bass players?

This extract from The Bass Book by Bacon. Moorhouse supplies the answer:

“By 1957 Fender basses were being seen more frequently on stage … around the same time the bass guitar began to infiltrate American studios, too. Duane Eddy’s instrumental hit “Rebel Rouser”, recorded in March 1958, featured two bass players: Jimmy Simmons plays double-bass to give depth and tone to the bassline while Buddy Wheeler plays the same notes on electric bass guitar, adding a percussive, attacking edge – what Eddy’s producer Lee Hazlewood called “click bass”. This technique turns up on other records made around this time, notably in Nashville where it was termed “tic tac bass”, for example Presley’s “Stuck On You” (March 1960) with Bob Moore on double-bass and session guitarist Hank Garland on six-string elctric bass, Patsy Cline’s “I Fall To Pieces” (November 1960) with the tireless Bob Moore on double-bass and Harold Bradley on Danelectro six-string bass …”

So Hank played on the studio performance but that’s not Hank in Miami, nor does it look like Grady Martin: they both have a sort of “Bill Black body shape”.



The mystery bass player in the clip looks like a young, slim guy (hair parting on his left).

How about maybe Jerry Kennedy or Harold Bradley?

The piano player also remains a mystery and he’s not any of the following:
Bill Miller
Nelson Riddle
Jimmy van Heusen
Floyd Cramer
Marvyn Hughes
Pig Robbins
Owen Bradley
Henry Strzelecki

Also my previous thoughts regarding Rowles and Mitchell are probably incorrect.

It's interesting that Scotty remembers the two unknown musicians as being supplied by the NR Orchestra. Why would Elvis turn up for this big show with only half a band?

The pianist does still look (bizarely) like Mitch Miller but I agree that it’s most unlikely to be him (although some websites insist that he is in the show, the same websites that say Dean Martin’s also in the show).

Can anyone take this further?

The two photos are from angelfire.
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Re: Sinatra Show - March 1960 -> Name The Band!

Sun Aug 31, 2008 1:43 am

Nice work.

Re: Sinatra Show - March 1960 -> Name The Band!

Mon Sep 01, 2008 1:31 am

Okay, how about Jimmie Haskell?

He would work with Elvis the following month on the "GI Blues" soundtrack and had already done lots of work with Ricky Nelson.

Are we getting warmer, do you think?
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Re: Sinatra Show - March 1960 -> Name The Band!

Mon Sep 01, 2008 2:51 am

Many thanks to everybody's contribution to this thread, very much appreciated!

Re: Sinatra Show - March 1960 -> Name The Band!

Mon Sep 01, 2008 9:10 am

George Smith wrote:Hey, this has been a fun topic to research!

According to the Bob Moore website, it’s definitely Bob on acoustic bass.



I've said it before and I'll say it again, Bob Moore was not at that gig in Florida. Just for confirmation I called him earlier tonight and he reaffirmed it. The only live (non studio) appearance he performed with Elvis was in Hawaii in 61 for the Arizona benefit.

Re: Sinatra Show - March 1960 -> Name The Band!

Mon Sep 01, 2008 11:37 am

Well, I'd put my money on it being Mitch Miller or Haskell.

Re: Sinatra Show - March 1960 -> Name The Band!

Mon Sep 01, 2008 12:05 pm

Dear James

Thanks for your re-affirmation that it's not Bob at the Timex Show. It's great that you're able to talk to these guys directly.

I've noticed an error in my earlier post: my info on Bob Moore's "appearance" did not come from Bob's own website but from his son's tribute site: http://www.angelfire.com/tn2/bobloyce/elvis.html and if you follow the link to the Elvis Sessions you'll see the Miami listing too.

However, if Bob himself says he wasn't there then that's good enough for me.

This is the pic the website uses: maybe this will help us to identify who is playing acoustic bass.

Anyone got any further thoughts?
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Re: Sinatra Show - March 1960 -> Name The Band!

Mon Sep 01, 2008 2:12 pm

George Smith wrote:Dear James

Thanks for your re-affirmation that it's not Bob at the Timex Show. It's great that you're able to talk to these guys directly.

I've noticed an error in my earlier post: my info on Bob Moore's "appearance" did not come from Bob's own website but from his son's tribute site: http://www.angelfire.com/tn2/bobloyce/elvis.html and if you follow the link to the Elvis Sessions you'll see the Miami listing too.

However, if Bob himself says he wasn't there then that's good enough for me.

This is the pic the website uses: maybe this will help us to identify who is playing acoustic bass.

Anyone got any further thoughts?


That's OK, if I remember correctly, Stevie used to have him as being in Memphis at Ellis too. He'd heard it said so many times he started to wonder if he was.

Re: Sinatra Show - March 1960 -> Name The Band!

Mon Sep 01, 2008 2:17 pm

I think if it was Mitch miller, we'd have at least heard something about it by now, in one form or another, as Miller is/was quite famous in his own right.

And, as I recall, he wasn't very fond of Elvis. I have an old article somewhere where Miller slams him.

Then again, Frank soon changed his mind about E.