Chuck Rainey

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Word to all electric bassists: if you don’t know Charles Walter Rainey III, put down your instrument! Along with James Jamerson, Carole Kaye, and Jerry Jemmott, Mr. Rainey steadfastly established the electric bass in the recording studio beginning in the 1960s and is among the instrument’s most fervent and innovative practitioners.

When Quincy Jones, for whom Rainey often worked under, proclaimed that the development of the electric bass was among the most significant events in 20th Century music – he was referring to Chuck and the above referenced bass guitar icons.

Among the most recorded electric bassists in the history of popular music, Mr. Rainey’s tone, along with his rhythmic and harmonic genius, knows no boundaries. In addition to scores of television and film soundtracks, you’ve heard Chuck’s signature bass artistry enhance the work of Steely Dan, Aretha Franklin, Laura Nyro, Lena Horne, Donald Byrd, the Pointer Sisters, Tom Jones, Tim Buckley, The Rascals, Al Kooper, Diana Ross, Ray Charles, Paul Simon, Bette Midler, Peggy Lee, Robert Palmer, Marvin Gaye, Lowell George, Dionne Warwick, and Rickie Lee Jones – just to skim the surface. Bass loving vinyl collectors be advised to seek out Chuck’s groovy debut solo gem entitled The Chuck Rainey Coalition (1972 / Skye Records).

Coda: Huff Post - Tom Semioli: Eleven More Bass Players Who Belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame