Carol Kaye Bio, Family, Husband, Age, Bass, Picks, Documentary and Book

Carol Kaye (nee Smith) is an American musician, who is one of the most prolific recorded bass guitarists in rock and pop music, born on March 24, 1935, Everett, Washington, United States. In a career spanning over 50 years, she has played on an estimated 10,000 recordings.

Carol Kaye Biography

Carol Kaye (nee Smith) is an American musician, who is one of the most prolific recorded bass guitarists in rock and pop music, born on March 24, 1935, Everett, Washington, United States. In a career spanning over 50 years, she has played on an estimated 10,000 recordings.

Carol Kaye Family

Kaye was born to professional musicians Clyde and Dot Smith in Everett, Washington. Her father played in big bands as a jazz trombonist. In order to finance a move to Wilmington, California in 1942, her father sold a piano. Kaye would later state that she persuaded her mother to separate from her father because he was violent towards her. She added that only music could unite the family. Kaye converted to Judaism in 1961 even though she was raised a Baptist.

Carol Kaye Husband

In her lifetime, Kaye has been married three times and has two children. One of her husbands is David Fireman from 1961 to 1964.

Carol Kaye Age

Born on March 24, 1935, Everett, Washington, United States, Kaye is 84 years old as of 2019.

Carol Kaye Bass Gear

Kaye on The Bass

Carol Kaye Bass

Kaye started playing guitar in her early teenage years and after some time began to perform regularly on the Los Angeles jazz and big band circuit. She also taught guitar. She began session work in 1957, and also started working for producers Phil Spector and Brian Wilson through a connection at Gold Star Studios.

In 1963, when a bassist failed to turn up to a session, Kaye switched to that instrument and made a name for herself as one of the most in-demand session players of the 1960s. During this time she played on numerous hits. In the late 1960s, Kaye transitioned into playing on film soundtracks especially for Quincy Jones and Lalo Schifrin. Kaye has continued to attract praise from other musicians even though she became less active towards the end of the 1970s.

Carol Kaye Documentary

In 2008, Kaye was featured in the film The Wrecking Crew along with a cast of other studio musicians. The Wrecking Crew is an American documentary film that covers the story of the Los Angeles–based group of session musicians known as the Wrecking Crew. This crew was famed for having played on numerous hit recordings throughout the 1960s and early 1970s. The film was directed by son of guitarist Tommy Tedesco, Denny Tedesco.

Carol Kaye Gene Simmons

Carol Kaye Picks

Rather than plucking the strings with her fingers, Kaye primarily uses a pick, or plectrum, on both guitar and bass. Also, to enhance the sound and reduce unwanted overtones and undertones, she put a piece of felt between the strings behind the bridge on her bass.

Carol Kaye Book

By 1969 after becoming exhausted and disillusioned by session work, Kaye decided to change career from pop to soundtrack work, as well as writing and teaching. The first in a series of tutoring books and instructional video courses was How To Play The Electric Bass. In this book she delves into the secrets of learning to play the Bass. In addition, Kaye gave Bass lessons.

Carol Kaye Net Worth

Kaye is estimated to have a net worth of $6 million.

Carol Kaye Discography

Below is a small fraction of Kaye’s released songs and recordings as she has in thousands of these:

  • Donna and La Bamba – Ritchie Valens, 1958.
  • Deuces, “T’s,” Roadsters & Drums – Hal Blaine, 1963.
  • Then He Kissed Me – The Crystals, 1964.
  • You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ – The Righteous Brothers, 1964.
  • These Boots Are Made for Walkin’ – Nancy Sinatra, 1965.
  • The Very Special World of Lee Hazlewood – Lee Hazlewood, 1966.
  • Batman Theme – The Marketts, 1966.
  • River Deep, Mountain High – Ike & Tina Turner, 1966.
  • Pet Sounds – The Beach Boys, 1966.
  • Freak Out! – The Mothers of Invention, 1966.
  • The Beat Goes On – Sonny & Cher, 1967.
  • The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy) – Harpers Bizarre, 1967.
  • Wichita Lineman – Glenn Campbell, 1968.
  • The Soul Brotherhood – Charles Kynard, 1969.
  • Nancy – Nancy Sinatra, 1969.
  • I Don’t Know What’s On Your Mind – Spiders Webb, 1976.
  • Shades – J. J. Cale, 1981.
  • The Wilsons – The Wilsons, 1996.
  • Fast Man Raider Man – Frank Black, 2006.

Carol Kaye Boogaloo

Carol Kaye Good Vibrations

Carol Kaye Autobiography

Kaye’s autobiography is a complete coverage and log of work plus information on her instructional books, teaching style, and Gwyn Publishing company, detailing all of her playing. Studio Musician: Carol Kaye, 60s #1 Bassist, Guitarist is available for $26 through her website (

Carol Kaye Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

There have been calls from fans for Carol Kaye to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for her contributions to the world of music.

Carol Kaye Twitter

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