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Download The Wrecking Crew: The Inside Story of Rock and Roll's Best-Kept Secret Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Wrecking Crew: The Inside Story of Rock and Rolls Best-Kept Secret Audiobook, by Kent Hartman Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (232 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Kent Hartman Narrator: Dan John Miller Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2012 ISBN: 9781452678061
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If you were a fan of popular music in the 1960s and early '70s, you were a fan of the Wrecking Crew—whether you knew it or not.On hit record after hit record by everyone from the Byrds, the Beach Boys, and the Monkees to the Grass Roots, the 5th Dimension, Sonny &  Cher, and Simon & Garfunkel, this collection of West Coast studio musicians from diverse backgrounds established themselves as the driving sound of pop music—sometimes over the objection of actual band members forced to make way for Wrecking Crew members. Industry insider Kent Hartman tells the dramatic, definitive story of the musicians who forged a reputation throughout the business as the secret weapons behind the top recording stars.Mining invaluable interviews, the author follows the careers of such session masters as drummer Hal Blaine and keyboardist Larry Knechtel, as well as trailblazing bassist Carol Kaye, who went on to play in thousands of recording sessions. Listeners will discover the Wrecking Crew members who would forge careers in their own right, including Glen Campbell and Leon Russell, and learn of the relationship between the Crew and such legends as Phil Spector and Jimmy Webb. Hartman also takes us inside the studio for the legendary sessions that gave us Pet Sounds, Bridge Over Troubled Water, and the rock classic "Layla," which Wrecking Crew drummer Jim Gordon cowrote with Eric Clapton for Derek and the Dominos. And the author recounts priceless scenes such as Mike Nesmith of the Monkees facing off with studio head Don Kirshner, Grass Roots lead guitarist (and future star of The Office) Creed Bratton getting fired from the group, and Michel Rubini unseating Frank Sinatra's pianist for the session in which the iconic singer improvised the hit-making ending to "Strangers in the Night."The Wrecking Crew tells the collective, behind-the-scenes stories of the artists who dominated Top 40 radio during the most exciting time in American popular culture. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “It makes good music sound better.”

    New York Times

  • [The Wrecking Crew] has the . . . potent excitement of a collection of greatest hits. It makes good music sound better. Janet Maslin, The New York Times
  • “Hartman’s book is a great tour through the California music scene of the 60s and 70s and a great introduction to how the music business functioned back then. This story has all the makings of a great HBO series.”

    Hollywood Reporter

  • “Hartman makes a compelling case for the skill of his subjects, who often fabricated the crucial hooks that brought their clients fame. Some chapters, such as one about the recording of “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” are rich in fly-on-the-wall detail.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • Winner of the Audie Award for history

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ken | 2/18/2014

    " I'm giving this book four stars because it's a quick, interesting read with a lot of great stories. The problem for me is that is too quick. The subject of the book, the pop music made in Los Angeles in the '60s, is one of my favorites. I could have easily used another 1,000 pages on the subject. I want to know more, but this is a good place to start for anyone who wants a basic history of the scene. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robert | 2/8/2014

    " This book really rocks! Hartman rolls through the Los Angeles-based recording world of the 1960s and early 70s, naming the names of the studio musicians who backed the bands for all of our favorite AM Top 40 hits. Growing up listening to that music, I just assumed that the band on the record label were the musicians recording the music. Hartman wrecks that notion by telling us all about the real talent behind the "talent." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Monica | 2/1/2014

    " I heard the author of this book, Kent Hartman, being interviewed on KQRS radio on the way to work one morning a few months ago and he was so interesting and so knowledgeable it made for a great interview. I made a mental note to read the book. I found a $2 copy at a used book sale (not bad, it was just published in Feb. 2012). It was a fun read with a lot of details about hit records primarily of the 1960's that were recorded in Los Angeles. I never realized that so many of the same musicians played the instruments for so many artists (not just the Monkees). Some artists could deal with others recording the studio performances and others couldn't. I love some of the little music trivia bits, like how the bass line was developed for Sonny & Cher's "And the Beat Goes On". There were sad stories, too, like Brian Wilson's breakdown and Phil Spector's fall from favor. Mostly, it was just interesting learning the story of how musicians Hal Blaine, Glen Campbell, Carol Kaye, Larry Knechtel, Michel Rubini, Tom Tedesco and others became part of the reliable "Wrecking Crew" who performed on so many hit records, often uncredited. Their contributions went beyond just playing; they also suggested parts and arrangements that improved the recordings and helped to create the hits. It's an easy, enjoyable read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Scott Hersey | 1/30/2014

    " Fun, easy read about the LA session crew that played on EVERYTHING from Phil Spector records, to Sonny & Cher, Simon & Garfunkel, even Sinatra and Dean Martin. Also, all the later Beach Boys records after Brian Wilson determined the band couldn't keep up with his visions. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kc | 1/24/2014

    " Lots of information in this book about the studio musicians behind some of the biggest hits of the 60s and 70s. It outlines the system of studio production that was mandatory in the opening days of rock and roll. Other fun tidbits as well: the name Chubby Checker was meant as a hit-making reflection of Fats Domino. But the writing is clumsy and I had to force myself to keep reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ann Kulbeckas | 1/19/2014

    " Good book with the inside scoop of who actually were the musicians on some of the top hits of the 60s and 70s. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kevin | 1/10/2014

    " A great book, I couldn't put it down. if you like music from 60's and 70's you will enjoy this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 12/27/2013

    " Not very deep, but a fun read! I was constantly singing along in my head! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dan Fahlgren | 11/15/2013

    " Outstanding! I really enjoyed this book. It was fascinating to learn the backstory of the recording of many of the greatest songs of the 60s and '70s. These musicians were pro's pros and most went unsung during their careers. Great bit of history for any fan of rock history. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pat Fallon | 11/11/2013

    " Fun interesting rear. For anyone who loves music. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Billymojo | 10/3/2013

    " Lotta good stuff here. And it's largely about the music, not the "Behind the Music" stuff. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Colby Allen | 9/25/2013

    " Chapters are hiit or miss, the author injects too much prose that comes across as overly written and doesn't dig deep enough into his subject. For fans of 60's music or studio lifestyle it's a nice, light read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nina | 7/22/2013

    " Insightful story of what's been called rock and roll's best kept secret. The lives and dreams of the studio musicians who performed on the greatest albums of the sixties are described in rich detail. Hartman's writing is full of passion for his subject. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lauren | 5/9/2013

    " I loved this book! It tells the story of the studio musicians that played for many of the music groups from the 60's and 70's. It is a quick read "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lee | 5/6/2013

    " Excellent history of the session scene in LA before the Hair Metal years. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bill | 3/25/2013

    " I was fascinated by this book because its about the music I grew up with. The author did a good job of stirring a lot of mini-biographies into a big stew of a story about a hidden side of the record business. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bob | 1/29/2013

    " Great stories of rock and roll from the 60's and 70's as told by the musicians who played on the records. The book is impeccably researched and documented. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mendocino County | 1/26/2013

    " fascinating look into the studio musicians who powered the LA music scene in the 60s and 70s. Beach Boys? members of the Wrecking Crew recorded their albums. Simon and Garfunkle? Jan & Dean? The Righteous Brothers? The Byrds?Sonny & Cher? The Carpenters? all Wrecking Crew productions. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 The | 12/29/2012

    " Disappointing. Not that much about how the music was actually recorded/made. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gabriel Hardman | 11/26/2012

    " Breezy and enjoyable account of the way records were really made in 60's and 70's Los Angeles. "

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About the Author

Kent Hartman is a longtime music industry entrepreneur who has worked with dozens of well-known artists, including Three Dog Night, Steppenwolf, Hall & Oates, Counting Crows, and Lyle Lovett. He has written for American Heritage, the Oregonian, and the Portland Tribune. Hartman teaches marketing at Portland State University and for several years produced the Classic Comedy Break, a nationwide radio feature. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

About the Narrator

Dan John Miller is an American actor and musician. In the Oscar-winning Walk the Line, he starred as Johnny Cash’s guitarist and best friend, Luther Perkins, and has also appeared in George Clooney’s Leatherheads and My One and Only, with Renée Zellweger. An award-winning audiobook narrator, he has garnered multiple Audie Award nominations, has twice been named a Best Voice by AudioFile magazine, and has received eight AudioFile Earphones Awards and a Listen-Up Award from Publishers Weekly.