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Boots Randolph

Tenor saxophonist Boots Randolph was an important contributor to the Nashville sound, the set of pop-flavored textures that dominated country music in the late '50s and early '60s. He was born in Paducah, KY, but grew up in small-town Cadiz, in Trigg County. Born Homer Louis Randolph III, he acquired the nickname "Boots" in childhood from his brother Bob. Randolph began playing the trombone in school and learned several other instruments, but by the time he was 16 he had begun to focus seriously on the sax. He honed his chops as a member of the U.S. Army Band during World War II.

After the war, Randolph returned home and performed semi-professionally for some years around Indiana, Kentucky, and Illinois. In the late '50s, Jethro Burns heard him play and suggested he move to Nashville. Burns introduced Randolph to Chet Atkins, who signed him to the RCA label. Randolph also quickly made the acquaintance of Atkins rival Owen Bradley and performed on many recordings Bradley helmed as producer. Nashville's new corps of session musicians spent its leisure time in the Printer's Alley section of the city's downtown, an actual alley (between First and Second avenues) that offered entrance to various basement barrooms, and Randolph became one of the group. Like other Nashville players, he took enthusiastically to jazz and rock & roll in addition to country music.

One single, the 1963 instrumental "Yakety Sax," showed Randolph putting all these influences together and delivering an extremely catchy tune; it became his only real hit. But Randolph was a consistent seller of LP albums (with 13 charted releases) in the 1960s and 1970s; offering pleasant saxophone covers of material from various genres of music, he became a counterpart to Atkins on guitar and Floyd Cramer on piano. He moved from RCA to the Monument label in 1966. For well over a decade, in addition, he averaged 200-300 studio sessions a year on recordings made by others. The saxophone heard on Elvis Presley's later records is likely to be Randolph's.

In 1977, Randolph opened a successful club of his own in Printer's Alley; it endured into the 1990s and spawned another club in the Opryland U.S.A. area. Randolph remained active as an entertainer into the 2000s, and in 1994 the original Yakety Sax album was admitted into the unofficial country canon; it was reissued by Germany's Bear Family label. Randolph suffered a brain hemorrhage in late June 2007 and remained in a coma until his passing at the age of 80 on July 3, 2007. ~ James Manheim, Rovi
full bio

Comments

very friendly guy nicest person you would ever want to meet
This guy can play.
Anthony J. Perrotta
I have been listening to Boots since I was a boy. I believe that he is the best at playing the saxophone. Everytime I hear him play the sax I wish that I could play just like him. My listening experience spans 50 years. For the present time, there is no other sax player who could make the saxophone sing like Boots did. His style was unique and very entertaining .
mschofie
MR. SAX cut nearly fifty different albums. If possible, let us hear more from Boots!!
Along with Maynard and Tommy Emmanuel, it's one of the greatest pleasures of my life to have seen him perform live and get to shake his hand. Ever since I started playing at the age of 10, I aimed to be like Boots. Needless to say, I've failed miserably. But, then again, so has every other Sax player.
i loved his music as a youngster
satsl22000
Boots is a hoot!. Love this guy, always makes me smile. He could make the sax sound like a percussion instrument the way he tongued it. And those ragged tones--in the right places. He just got the most out of it. I'm always in the mood for Boots.
ebdoro_n
THE BEST OF THE BEST...!!!
I have been listening to this artist for years now and I love his music.

I love this artist & the songs he plays I hope I can hear some more I Have this LP.
bgmakriswork
this song will be forever tied with the late great Benny Hill...(lol)
nothing more soothing to the soul than to lean back and listen to this great man on his sax,
ruko67
I grew up listening to Boots, my late father always played his music and also Ace Cannon, both have good music.
Why is their no mention of the theme song for The Benny Hill Show -
begin boots randoph music for me...I need his music
I think Boots is the best although there are other good sax players.

Bob Fisher
ENJOY HIS MUSIC VERY MUCH

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