Kent Hartman on The Wrecking Crew | Tantorious

Tantorious is a semi-monthly podcast series featuring interviews with well-known authors, hosted by Allan Hoving and presented by Tantor Audio.

Kent HartmanKent Hartman is both an author and a longtime music business insider and entrepreneur. His clients over the years have included Elvis Presley Enterprises, America, Lyle Lovett, Hall & Oates, Kenny Loggins, Counting Crows, and many others. He is also a nationally syndicated radio show producer.

His book,The Wrecking Crew: The Inside Story of Rock and Roll’s Best-Kept Secret, chronicles the uncredited studio musicians who provided the soundtrack for a generation during the 1960s and 1970s. More at

Excerpts from the audio interview:

Q: Who exactly was The Wrecking Crew and why did you decide to write this book?

A: The Wrecking Crew was a small group of session musicians who secretly played all of the instruments in place of the real bands on hundreds of hit records. Everyone from The Beach Boys to the Mamas and the Papas to The Byrds. The Wrecking Crew formed in Los Angeles and their real run was from about 1962 through about 1975. These guys knew how to turn a song into a hit. When I heard about them, I realized these secret musicians [who included Glen Campbell before he made it on his own] were the backbone of the entire music industry for over a decade. The magnitude of their work was amazing. That’s why I decided to write the book.

Q: What’s the story behind the rock classic “Layla?”

A: “Layla” was recorded, of course, by Derek and the Dominos, which was headed by Eric Clapton. One member of The Wrecking Crew was Jim Gordon, who had maybe the best groove of any drummer in rock and roll at the time. He joined Derek and the Dominos and played on that whole album. Not only that, he also wrote the piano coda that starts about halfway through, when the song changes direction and becomes a softer ballad. Jim Gordon actually played the piano on that song.

Listen to a sample of the Tantor audiobook edition of THE WRECKING CREW, narrated by Dan John Miller.

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  1. Maria says:

    Thumb up!!!