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Mon May 05, 2003 5:08 pm

It's not that Duke Bardwell was bad, but rather that he was in WAY over his head. Burton, Tutt, Schiff, and Harding were among the best players in the business backing a major artist at that time. And JB is a bonafide guitar great. As far as Elvis' studio bands goes, I've always loved the sound of the June '70 Nashville group.

Re: Best / worst musicians with Elvis?

Tue May 25, 2010 12:55 pm

They're all good musicians... or they would have NEVER played with Elvis
But I have to admit that Duke Bardwell on bass ain't good... Charlie Hodge's vocal accompainment (as heard on the Complete CBS Tapes is... well, AWFUL)
And I dislike piano player Tony Brown! He didn't follow Elvis' unrehearsed songs like Glenn D. Hardin used to do... We missed a lot of opportunities to hear new Elvis' live songs because of him, not being able to follow Elvis' improvisations!

Re:

Tue May 25, 2010 1:01 pm

elvis-fan wrote:By instrument, my favs are:

Lead guitar: Hank Garland / James Burton

Bass guitar: Bill Black / Bob Moore

Piano: Floyd Cramer / Dudley Brooks

Drums: DJ Fontana / Bob Lanning


Wot - no Scotty ?

Re:

Tue May 25, 2010 1:46 pm

R.R.Police wrote:The vocal group Voice takes the cake, I think.
A group of mediocre singers who added no value to the show.
Mr Burton is a fine musician, but technically he couldn't hold a candle to contemparary guitar players like Alvin Lee (who played Hendrix' shirt off at Woodstock) or Eric Clapton. So I think he is a bit overrated.

The best, and most important musician to me, has to be Ronnie Tutt.
Although he sometimes drums too much, the Presley-Tutt coopereration on numbers like Suspicious minds and Polk salad Annie is very enjoyable.
It looks like Tutt's drumming is literally absorbed by the performer in front of him.


Burton played in a certain style with Elvis. Have you seen/heard when James have a guitar battle with Bruce Springsteen on the Roy Orbison "Black and white night" movie? The man is very fast when he wants to.

//Björn

Re: Best / worst musicians with Elvis?

Tue May 25, 2010 2:19 pm

I would take elvis-fan's list and add Scotty Moore...the guy who helped create the sound that started it all...and also add Boots Randolph.

Re: Best / worst musicians with Elvis?

Tue May 25, 2010 8:48 pm

JimmyCool wrote:They're all good musicians... or they would have NEVER played with Elvis
But I have to admit that Duke Bardwell on bass ain't good... Charlie Hodge's vocal accompainment (as heard on the Complete CBS Tapes is... well, AWFUL)
And I dislike piano player Tony Brown! He didn't follow Elvis' unrehearsed songs like Glenn D. Hardin used to do... We missed a lot of opportunities to hear new Elvis' live songs because of him, not being able to follow Elvis' improvisations!

Why is this 7 year-old topic being revived?

I missed it the first time around, but this is what I would have said then:

see-see-rider wrote:First of all I'd like to say that I don't want to put anybody down in a personal way. Since most of us don't know any of the musicians personally this meant to be simply about the music, not the human being.

Oh, of course.

see-see-rider wrote:My "award" for the worst musician with Elvis goes to Duke Bardwell. It's as simple as this. Bardwell is the only musician that worked with Elvis and never really seemed to fit into the band IMO. His dreadful playing prevents me from listening to many of Elvis' 1974 and early 1975 concerts more than I probably would with Jerry Scheff playing. I think his playing is awful and sometimes I've got the impression that he simply couldn't follow the "concept" of an Elvis show that simply existed of improvisation and watching and following Elvis. Larry Londin is another case but at least he was a cool drummer somehow. What do you think?

Some of finest musicians with Elvis IMO were the members of the so-called "Nashville A-team" in the 1960: Hank Garland, Boots Randolph, Floyd Cramer, also of course Scotty Moore, DJ Fontana, The Jordanaires. Other great musicians include Hal Blaine - the most "successful" drummer in rock history that has played on 40 #1 hits and another 150 top ten hits - Billy Strange, Al Casey, almost the whole Band that played with Bob Dylan during the mid-sixties and of course "Alabama Wild Man" Jerry Reed who provided some of the best guitar picking on any of Elvis' 60ies' records.

Also, his 1970ies' TCB band was outstanding feat. names like JD Sumner And The Stamps, the wonderful and soulful Sweet Inspirations, "technicians" like Ron Tutt and great session players like Jerry Scheff and of course "guitar hero's guitar hero" James Burton.

The latter wins the award for the "best musician" who's worked with Elvis IMO. Not only is his playing outstanding (I would easily put him in a list of the 10 best guitar players of all time), he was also a great band leader who provided a range of skills that made him able to play ANYTHING Elvis wanted him to play. Most of Elvis' records of the 70ies wouldn't have the sound they have without JB on lead guitar. Putting Elvis live band together in 1969 also makes him one of the most important musician in his career next to people like Scotty Moore and Bill Black.

Beyond getting a laugh out of excessive praise for the Stamps Quartet, or the denigration of the great Larrie Londin, the point or purpose of this topic seems mainly to cause Duke Bardwell grief.

---

Duke Bardwell was a rock 'n' roll musician hired to be in Elvis' band at a time when rock was less than half of what Presley was doing. Someone else should have been chosen, but Elvis made the decision, and it was Elvis who kept him in the band from Jan 26, 1974 to Apr 1, 1975 -- almost 190 performances.

Presley could have hired almost anyone for the slot during that time. But he did not.

Further, at the Oct 14, 1974 CS in Lake Tahoe, Bardwell was unexpectedly thrust to center stage by a fatigued star and apparently brought down the house with his rendition of John Prine's "Please Don't Bury Me." How many other members of the Presley band could have done as well or better?

No doubt this is the ONLY time a John Prine song was heard at an Elvis Presley concert. Duke picked up "Please Don't Bury Me" from this LP:

Image

Sweet Revenge (Atlantic, 1973)

Ironically, almost all the musicians on this Prine album had a huge Presley connection, too:

Grady Martin - guitar, dobro
Bobby Wood - keyboards
Johnny Christopher - guitar
Cissy Houston - backing vocals
Mike Leech - bass, upright bass
Jerry Shook - harmonica
Reggie Young - guitar
David Briggs - organ, piano


---

Finally, many consider Scotty and Bill among the least skilled of the players who backed Presley, and yet they played on some of the greatest recordings of the 20th century.

Skill is a relative term, especially when it comes to popular music.

Re: Best / worst musicians with Elvis?

Tue May 25, 2010 8:53 pm

Great post Doc.

Re: Best / worst musicians with Elvis?

Tue May 25, 2010 9:02 pm

midnightx wrote:Great post Doc.

Thanks.

Duke is one of my favorites of the musicians who played with Elvis in the 1970s, for many reasons.

Re: Best / worst musicians with Elvis?

Tue May 25, 2010 10:49 pm

Worst? Lance LeGault. His tambourine playing during the sit-down portions of the '68 Special drives me crazy!

Best is too hard for me to choose - Scotty Moore, James Burton, Ronnie Tutt, Hank Garland, Boots Randolph, DJ Fontana, Bill Black, etc. There's a heck of a lot of talent there!

Re: Best / worst musicians with Elvis?

Wed May 26, 2010 12:44 am

I'm with the doc on Dook. A dude.

Elvis didn't use crap musicians. Ever. EVER.

They were all good great and unreal.

Re: Best / worst musicians with Elvis?

Wed May 26, 2010 1:12 am

Shawn1968 wrote:Worst? Lance LeGault. His tambourine playing during the sit-down portions of the '68 Special drives me crazy!


Not really fair to include non-musicians, is it ?

Re: Best / worst musicians with Elvis?

Wed May 26, 2010 1:19 am

ColinB wrote:
Shawn1968 wrote:Worst? Lance LeGault. His tambourine playing during the sit-down portions of the '68 Special drives me crazy!


Not really fair to include non-musicians, is it ?

Lance is a musician, as well as an actor.

In fact, LeGault is also seen playing guitar during the "Little Egypt" segment of the NBC-TV Special.


Lance LeGault was born as William Lance Legault on May 2, 1935 in Chicago, Illinois. LeGault grew up in Chillicothe, Illinois and graduated from Chillicothe Township High School in 1955.

Lance began his acting career as a stunt double for Elvis Presley; he appears in the 60s Presley vehicles Girls! Girls! Girls! (1962), Kissin' Cousins (1964), Viva Las Vegas (1964) and Roustabout (1964). With his tall, lean, compact build, strong, intense and commanding screen presence, and highly distinctive low, deep, gravel voice, LeGault has been frequently cast as various stern and severe military types in both movies and television programs, alike. His most memorable film roles include "Iago" in the Shakespearean rock opera Catch My Soul (1974), evil pimp "Burt" in the offbeat French Quarter (1978), vicious hired-killer "Vince" in Coma (1978), formidable card sharp "Doc Palmer" in the made-for-TV Western The Gambler (1974), the austere "Colonel Glass" in the hilarious Stripes (1981), steely prison guard security chief "Lieutenant Barnes" in the terrific Fast-Walking (1982) and the strict "Reverend Bates" in Nightmare Beach (1988).

LeGault had recurring parts on several TV shows in the 80s: outstanding as the cunning and antagonistic "Colonel Roderick Decker" on "The A-Team" (1983), ramrod "Colonel "Buck" Greene" on "Magnum, P.I." (1980) and rugged cowboy bounty hunter "Alamo Joe Rogan" on "Werewolf" (1987). Among the many TV shows Lance has had guest spots on are "Land of the Giants" (1968), "Gunsmoke" (1955), "Wonder Woman" (1975), "Barbary Coast" (1975), "The Rockford Files" (1974), "The Incredible Hulk" (1978), "Battlestar Galactica" (1978), "The Dukes of Hazzard" (1979), "Dallas" (1978), "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century" (1979), "Voyagers!" (1982), "Dynasty" (1981), "Knight Rider" (1982), "Airwolf" (1984), "Murder, She Wrote" (1984), "MacGyver" (1985), "Major Dad" (1989), "Quantum Leap" (1989) and "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (1987).

Outside of his acting gigs in both films and TV shows, LeGault has also worked as a lounge and nightclub singer (he even recorded a self-titled album in 1970). In addition, Lance has done voice work for cartoons and video games as well as the narrator of the tour audiotape for Elvis Presley's Graceland Mansion and Museum in Memphis, Tennessee.

Lance LeGault lives on a ranch in California.


http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0499223/bio

Re: Best / worst musicians with Elvis?

Wed May 26, 2010 1:31 am

James Burton and Bill Black - I loved Bill Black's on-stage persona. Those two are probably the favourites for me.

The worst? I have no idea, not noticed any bad musicians yet.

Re: Best / worst musicians with Elvis?

Wed May 26, 2010 2:00 am

UPDATE

A sample of albums by Lance LeGault -->

Image

Lance LeGault (T-A 5002, 1970)

Tub Thumper
Little John Du Pree
Somebody
Big Truth
Take Your Hate
Voodoo Gram
Tub Thumper (Instrumental Fade)

The Big Wind
Louisiana Piano
Shake It Off
Decision
Mojo Marie
Cajun Man
Tub Thumper (Reprise)


Interesting 1968 TV Special connection -->

The T-A ("Talent Associates") label was started by Steve Binder, who recruited Dennis Lambert to do A&R. They signed Jimmy Seals and Dash Crofts, who made their first two albums for the label before they signed with big-time Warner Bros. Lambert also signed a Canadian group called the Original Caste (nee the North Country Singers from 1966-69), and co-wrote their big hit "One Tin Soldier." Both the group and lead singer Dixie Lee Innis went on to make several more albums after T-A closed.

The only other artist to have an album on T-A was Lance LeGault, a popular actor on TV and in films. Legault was born in Chicago, but made a name as a "Cajun" actor who did stand-ins for Elvis Presley in the early 1960s. He was also a regular on the TV show "The A Team."

http://www.bsnpubs.com/bell/ta.html




Image

Sweet Mystery (Shock 433205, 1985)

Sweet Mystery
Mornin' Time
Sufferin' Love
My Lady
Foolin' Me

Put What You Can
New Orleans
Through To Her
Think What You're Doin'
Woman From Houma



Anybody got these?

Re: Best / worst musicians with Elvis?

Wed May 26, 2010 2:09 am

[quote="Shawn1968"]Worst? Lance LeGault. His tambourine playing during the sit-down portions of the '68 Special drives me crazy=quote]
I agree..

Re: Best / worst musicians with Elvis?

Wed May 26, 2010 2:11 am

I'll take Lance's tambourine playing over JD's dive-bombing any day of the week.

Re: Best / worst musicians with Elvis?

Wed May 26, 2010 2:16 am

midnightx wrote:I'll take Lance's tambourine playing over JD's dive-bombing any day of the week.

you what I think it may have been..I think that the mono mixes with the tamborine make it sound bad,it may have not been his playing but the way it sounds in the recording that makes it kind of annoying...in my opinion

Re: Best / worst musicians with Elvis?

Wed May 26, 2010 2:22 am

joshferrell wrote:
midnightx wrote:I'll take Lance's tambourine playing over JD's dive-bombing any day of the week.

you what I think it may have been..I think that the mono mixes with the tamborine make it sound bad,it may have not been his playing but the way it sounds in the recording that makes it kind of annoying...in my opinion

Not more annoying than the dive-bomb and "Amen" sequence derailing I Got A Woman for 3 years.

Re: Best / worst musicians with Elvis?

Wed May 26, 2010 2:24 am

midnightx wrote:
joshferrell wrote:
midnightx wrote:I'll take Lance's tambourine playing over JD's dive-bombing any day of the week.

you what I think it may have been..I think that the mono mixes with the tamborine make it sound bad,it may have not been his playing but the way it sounds in the recording that makes it kind of annoying...in my opinion

Not more annoying than the dive-bomb and "Amen" sequence derailing I Got A Woman for 3 years.

I guess that's true..

Re: Best / worst musicians with Elvis?

Wed May 26, 2010 2:43 am

joshferrell wrote:
midnightx wrote:I'll take Lance's tambourine playing over JD's dive-bombing any day of the week.

you what I think it may have been..I think that the mono mixes with the tamborine make it sound bad,it may have not been his playing but the way it sounds in the recording that makes it kind of annoying...in my opinion


I always laugh while watching the first sit-down perfomance of the '68 Special when Elvis sings off-the-cuff the line "If you're looking for trouble..." and Lance follows it with five tambourine hits. Elvis stops and gives him this look like "are you crazy?"

Re: Best / worst musicians with Elvis?

Wed May 26, 2010 4:47 am

midnightx wrote:
joshferrell wrote:
midnightx wrote:I'll take Lance's tambourine playing over JD's dive-bombing any day of the week.

you what I think it may have been..I think that the mono mixes with the tamborine make it sound bad,it may have not been his playing but the way it sounds in the recording that makes it kind of annoying...in my opinion

Not more annoying than the dive-bomb and "Amen" sequence derailing I Got A Woman for 3 years.


What do you mean?

Re: Best / worst musicians with Elvis?

Wed May 26, 2010 4:50 am

Oh boy.

Re: Best / worst musicians with Elvis?

Wed May 26, 2010 5:36 am

In my opinion it has to be the musicians who weren't with him but who ruined his performances. Bergen White and his Strings spring immediately to mind with the mess they made of 'EP Boulevard' overdubs.

Phil

Re: Best / worst musicians with Elvis?

Wed May 26, 2010 6:00 am

on the TODAY recent blue cd release from christmas today Duke Bardwell gets a caution from Elvis to 'make sure you play it right'!!! :roll: :?

Re: Best / worst musicians with Elvis?

Wed May 26, 2010 6:01 am

All this talk about Duke Bardwell and NO ONE gives a nod to Jerry Scheff? His bass playing is totally unique with his stop/start style. The guy can keep a tune MOVING! There are not many bass players out there that you can listen to and know it's them. (including his work on The Doors LA Woman) As a bass player in an ETA band who plays most of his parts note for note and rhythm for rhythm, I can tell you, it aint easy jack! Check out his solo on Polk Salad Annie in On Tour or his solo from Omaha on the CBS tapes. He has some of the fastest hands I've ever seen on a fretboard. Do I sound a little partial? I probably am....he's the man. See photo for one of my proudest moments when my wife and I met the backbone of the TCB band......Jerry and Ronnie!
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