Defining the legacy of keyboardist and bassist Larry Knechtel, 69, is a rather daunting task. Although his career spanned more than 50 years, a large portion of it, especially his contributions in the '60s, still remains uncredited.
But what is documented of his career is nothing short of impressive. Knechtel did the majority of his work in the studio, though he also contributed to live performances, most notably by playing bass at Elvis Presley's 1968 comeback TV special. Most recently, he played organ on the Dixie Chicks' Taking the Long Way tour, after playing keyboard on the album of same name.
Knechtel died on unknown causes on Thursday, Aug. 20. Those close to him call him "honest, humble, hard-working and charismatic," though as news of his death circulates, we hope that he finally gets all of the credit he deserves. Perhaps remembering these five songs will help:
The Beach Boys - "Wouldn't It Be Nice" (organ):
The Byrds - "Mr. Tambourine Man" (bass):
Sammy Johns - "Chevy Van" (co-produced with Jay Senter)
The Doors - "Light My Fire" (bass)
Simon and Garfunkel - "Bridge Over Troubled Water" (arrangement):
The Milarus Mansion - Larry Knechtel
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