The Wrecking Crew: The Most Famous Band You Didn't Know You Love

By | September 20, 2019

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Left: Hal Blaine and Glen Campbell at a Wrecking Crew session. Right: Leon Russell in the studio. Source: IMDB

You've heard, and probably love, the music of The Wrecking Crew. The studio musicians whose chops bolstered hits by The Beach Boys, The Mamas And The Papas, The Monkees, Simon & Garfunkel, Frank Sinatra, and more, The Wrecking Crew were so famously effective in the music industry that they were even known outside the industry. And some members became stars in their own right, notably Glen Campbell and Leon Russell. 

The Studio Crew To End All Studio Crews

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George Harrison and Hal Blaine. Source: IMDB

For those who don’t know, studio crews are hired to perform in recording sessions and live performances with an artist. They might even play on a band's records, but they aren’t considered part of the actual band. Due to the competition for studio time in the Los Angeles music industry, producers needed reliable musicians who could show up and master a song quickly. The Wrecking Crew excelled at it, cutting hit records with a vast range of performers in just about every style of pop.

During one stretch, the Grammy Award for Record Of The Year went to songs performed by said Wrecking Crew for six consecutive years -- the official winners were Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass in 1966 for "A Taste of Honey;" Frank Sinatra in 1967 for "Strangers in the Night;" The 5th Dimension in 1968 for "Up, Up and Away;" Simon & Garfunkel in 1969 "Mrs. Robinson;" The 5th Dimension in 1970 for "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In;" Simon & Garfunkel in 1971 for "Bridge over Troubled Water."