Billy Strange passed away this morning. You might not know the name, but you certainly have heard his sound. He was one of the greatest session players of all time. Along with names like Carol Kaye, Jack Nitzche and Tommy Tedesco, Strange and his guitar appeared on thousands of hit records without credit. His strumming on Nancy Sinatra's version of Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) remains popular, as does his work on Pet Sounds, not to mention those horns he insisted swell at the end of These Boots Are Made For Walkin'.
Unlike some of his contemporaries dabbling in the solo-instro LP racket (Al Caiola et al), Strange's LPs were not generic. Super Agent File is a choice example of a solo album that contains a unique spark that his fellow Wrecking Crew members rarely showed on their solo efforts. My personal fave might be his rare soundtrack tie-in album for the regional Lloyd Thaxton Show out of Los Angeles. Strange was also the anonymous fifth member of The Ventures. Below is a track by The Ventures that Billy Strange composed. He was one of the greats.