Author Topic: Who was the first artist to record using a Fender Rhodes?  (Read 55527 times)

Offline james

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Who was the first artist to record using a Fender Rhodes?
« on: March 25, 2005, 03:37:51 PM »
Miles Davis (Jazz)

January 16, 1968 - "Paraphernalia" (Wurlitzer)
May 17, 1968 - "Stuff" (Rhodes)

The above two songs were the first commercially released songs from Miles Davis featuring electric pianos. They both appear on the album Miles in the Sky (Columbia CS9628), which was released in the fall of 1968 and reviewed in Down Beat (10/3/68): "By using the electric piano and having Herbie play the bass line and the chords with the guitar, and Ron also playing with him in the same register, I thought it would sound good. It came out all right. It was a nice sound." (Notes and Tones, interview with Davis)

The Beatles (Pop/Rock)

The Beatles recorded "Get Back" and "Don't Let Me Down" in January of 1969 with Billy Preston on a Rhodes (the only time the Beatles regarded another musician as an actual member of the band, hence the "Fifth Beatle"). He also plays the Rhodes on "Let It Be".
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Offline geronimo

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Who was the first artist to record using a Fender Rhodes?
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2006, 05:41:13 PM »
I disagree with billy preston playing a rhodes on Let it Be. altho he played rhodes on most of the songs on that album, let it be sounds like a wurlitzer. earlier than that, the beatles used extensively, the hohner pianet N on several songs, most notably "the night before".

Offline neland

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Who was the first artist to record using a Fender Rhodes?
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2006, 01:48:48 PM »
...actually the 5th beatle is george martin. their producer who was regarded a member b/c of all the work he put in on their albums, especially sgt. pepper's which was one of the 1st big multi-track mixed albums.
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Offline geronimo

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the real 5th beatle
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2006, 04:25:40 PM »
many people don't agree but yoko ono was actually the 5th beatle. all you have to do is look at all the photos of her in the studio with the fab four. she sang backup and played some drums when ringo had the flu. you can also see her on the ed sullivan show debuting the beatles in 1964.

Offline hrees

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« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2006, 03:22:04 PM »
There must be earlier rhodes recordings than the Miles ones. The rhodes had been available since 1965 so someone must have used it in the 3 years between then and Miles in the Sky.

Offline careofcell69

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Who was the first artist to record using a Fender Rhodes?
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2006, 09:49:07 PM »
Quote from: "neland"
...actually the 5th beatle is george martin. their producer who was regarded a member b/c of all the work he put in on their albums, especially sgt. pepper's which was one of the 1st big multi-track mixed albums.


I was almost sure that Murray the K was the "fifth beatle".
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Offline james

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« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2006, 08:41:51 AM »
In retrospect, I had the revelation while listening to the "Playground Psychotics" double CD that Frank Zappa must have been the Fifth Beatle, because he and the Mothers did significant work with John & Yoko, who were obviously influenced by Zappa as were all other progressive artists of the late 1960's, and by extension all of the Beatles, and even George Martin.  And since Frank had his keyboard players using the Fender Rhodes extensively not long after Miles, that must have influenced the Beatles to force Billy Preston into using a Rhodes on "Let It Be".  It all makes sense now.
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Offline Ben Bove

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Who was the first artist to record using a Fender Rhodes?
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2006, 11:41:44 AM »
but does it make dollars?
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Offline Freddan

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Who was the first artist to record using a Fender Rhodes?
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2006, 02:57:48 PM »
My two cents..........

I have a friend who worked at Apple studios at the time. He told me that suddenly one day a whole big shipment of all sorts of instruments came as a gift from Fender, including a Rhodes Sparkletop.

When George Harrison then called Billy Preston and asked him to be the fifth member of the Beatles, Billy just danced in, cleared the air and recorded "Get Back" with the band in January 1969.

On "Let It Be" he plays Hammond Organ, and on the rooftop concert, he plays the Sparkletop once more on "Get Back", even though there's a Pianet N much more visible behind George Harrison to the right. Billy is seated behind the Rhodes to the left of Ringo beside a brick wall.

Check it out:
Get Back ( Studio ) : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnfAmz_Oah0
Get Back (B&W rehearsal ) : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T30GybrOp1c
Get Back ( Rooftop ) :  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jI7ry13wz4

Let it be : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4oZYqAeIdYk
Billy organ comes in loud and clear at 00:50 and he is clearly seen playing it at 02:11-02:18.

Freddan

Additional info August 31th 2006!
I've now got more specific info about CBS' gift to the Beatles :

"Earlier in '68, Fender gave the Beatles a some FREE equipment but not as much as the rumours say. George got one tele and Jimi Hendrix got a strat and tele. George's tele was flown on a BBC coach seat and delivered to the EMI studios in December 1968.
In the summer of '68, Don Randall gave the Beatles one silverface Deluxe, a silverface Twin, and a suitcase model Rhodes piano. There were no guitars given away."

I cannot ignore the thought that the Rhodes was standing in the studio during fall 1968 without anyone playing it. I wonder if the Rhodessound influenced the way they wrote and played ( just as with Miles Davis ) and ultimately made George long for a keyboardplayer.
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Offline Freddan

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« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2006, 06:36:57 PM »
Some more great info ( from the Billy Preston orbituary in Keyboard ) as to why Billy Preston came closer than anyone else to being "the fifth Beatle" :

In 1962, while on tour with Little Richard in Europe, he was destined to continue his tradition of opportune meetings. They played at The Star-Club in Hamburg, Germany, and their opening act was The Beatles. George Harrison, who himself was just 16 years old, and the 15-year-old Billy struck up a friendship backstage. George asked Billy to come on stage and play with them, since his organ was already set up, but Billy was afraid that Little Richard would go ballistic if he did.

George seemed to have kept Billy in mind, for when The Beatles were at one of their lowest points, trying to get momentum going with the performance and recording that would become Let It Be, George saw Billy perform with Ray Charles, and grabbed Billy as he came out of the stage door and took him to Apple Studios to play with the band.

“When Billy got on the piano,” George is quoted as saying in several Beatles fan publications, “there was straight away a 100 per cent improvement in the vibe in the room. Billy didn’t know all the politics and the games that had been going on, so in his innocence, he gave a little kick to the band.” The sessions started going so well that John Lennon apparently suggested making Billy a permanent member of the band. Paul McCartney, still frustrated by the lethargy and uncooperative attitudes of his band mates, replied, “It’s bad enough with four!” But the sessions were ultimately successful, and Billy’s contributions are audible primarily on the Let It Be album, particularly on “Let It Be,” “Get Back,” “The One After 909,” “I Me Mine,” “Dig a Pony,” and “Dig It.”

“We were doing several albums at the same time,” Billy told us. “Let it Be, the White Album, and Abbey Road. A couple of tracks here and there. When I joined, they were filming everything, so I thought ‘Wow, what’s going on here?’ But they made me feel comfortable. They said, ‘Join in and play along.’ They treated me as a member of the band, and every morning we’d have breakfast in The Beatles’ office and stuff like that. It was fun.”

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Offline MarvinGaye1978HereMyDear

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Who was the first artist to record using a Fender Rhodes?
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2007, 01:58:23 AM »
there definetely was a record before miles davis started using rhodes.
Miles said that he was inspired by track "MERCY, MERCY, MERCY" by Joe Zawinul and Cannonball Edderly where Joe played Rhodes.
So he decided to use it as well and asked Herbie to play it on "Miles In The Sky" album sessions
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Offline MarvinGaye1978HereMyDear

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« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2007, 02:02:57 AM »
"Paraphernalia" - track from "Miles In The Sky" was played on acoustic grand piano not on wurlitzer and btw it includes young George Benson on guitar.
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Offline SWANG

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« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2007, 11:21:23 AM »
joe zawinul played a wurly on "mercy, mercy, mercy"....not a rhodes.

and it's adderly...not edderly.
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Offline MarvinGaye1978HereMyDear

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« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2007, 08:28:16 AM »
unfortunately i dont have any records by joe zawinul except miles's album IN A SILENT WAY where he took part and Black Market by Weather Report.  ( i have all miles davis 60s albums except Jack Johnson) . i just read Miles said it was that way, so i am sorry i was wrong and thanks a lot for information!
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Offline Freddan

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« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2007, 11:20:51 AM »
Hi all!

Rhodes on record goes way back before Miles and Joe Zawinul, but there are very little known about this and very few recordings made. Don Ellis and Victor Feldman, as well as a few jazz guys like Eddie Higgins, were in early contact with Harold and I've also heard about a whole promotion album recorded by a cat with an arabic sounding name that slips my mind right now.

Vic Feldman hipped Joe Zawinul to the Rhodes later, since the Wurli was considered a real pain in the butt in those days. Remeber that the 200-models weren't around until -69. We're talking 112's,120's and 140's here, home pianos with tube amps and major tuning problems.
Anyway, Joe had been playing Wurils on and off since a few years and was attracted to the bluesy sound that inspired him to write "Mercy,Mercy,Mercy". A Wurly was also used to record the original studio verision of the song.
But from then on, Joe immediately switched to the Rhodes that was so much more reliable, loud and had a sound of its own.
All the live verisions of "Mercy,Mercy,Mercy" are played on a Rhodes. This is the reason for the confusion. ( Just as with "Heard It Thru The Grapevine".)

When Miles heard about the new instrument, he checked Joe out, but this is after he switched to Rhodes and wrote all those great Bitches Brew songs. There also was some confusion before people learned that "Electric Piano" could mean both Rhodes and Wurli and even RMI and/or Hohner.
The most sensational mix-up story is the one about Chick Corea being brought in to play with Miles for the first time. He still to this day have problems listening to "Filles De Kilimanjaro", since he hated the electric piano he was forced to play on that session. It's not hard to understand, if you consider him being one of the absolute hippest cats in the world and an absolute master of the piano, having to play an electronic, non-touch sensitive Rocky Mountains RMI piano!!!!???

We must go back to 1965-66 and check out local west-coast pianists to find early recordings. The Rhodes was not launched nationally to start with, and had a very slow first years.

All the best,
Freddan
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Offline Rhodesman

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Who was the first artist to record using a Fender Rhodes?
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2007, 12:13:11 PM »
I don't suppose that arabic sounding named cat was Sun Ra? I knew he used the wurlitzer as early as 1956 on the Album Supersonic Jazz. I'm not sure however when he started using the Rhodes. Although he is credited with using an electronic celeste for the spring 1965 recording of "Other Worlds" during the magic city sessions. Could the electronic celeste in fact be an early Rhodes Celeste?
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Offline Freddan

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« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2007, 04:45:03 PM »
No I didn't mean Sun Ra, it's another very unknown cat with a complicated name. I'll search for it, I promise.
Sun Ra is absolutely very likely to be a Rhodes pioneer too, of course.

He was the first artist ever to record with a Wurlitzer, "Angels and Demons at Play" back in 1955 or -56, and has always had a thing for electric keyboards.
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Offline Pale

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Who was the first artist to record using a Fender Rhodes?
« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2007, 04:56:44 PM »
Ibrahim Abdullah?
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Offline Freddan

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« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2007, 07:06:56 PM »
No I don't mean Dollar Brand either. I don't think I ever heard about him playing electric.
The name I'm looking for might have been Italian or from Eastern Europe too.
I'll get back with it, when I've found it in my archives.

Freddan
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Offline Pale

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« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2007, 01:33:05 AM »
Quote from: "Freddan"
No I don't mean Dollar Brand either. I don't think I ever heard about him playing electric.
The name I'm looking for might have been Italian or from Eastern Europe too.
I'll get back with it, when I've found it in my archives.

Freddan


 A little digression: I have one of his abums, it's called "Blues for a hip king" (I think so). I'm certain he plays the Rhodes on a title tune, I'm not sure about the rest.

 When I think about it, wouldn't be weird if the first artist who used the Rhodes wasn't from USA, after all USA is where it was being made. (neglect everything if the artist was from somewhere else, but lived in USA at the time )
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Offline Freddan

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« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2007, 02:51:26 AM »
As I said in an earlier post, it's a fairly unknown U.S.westcoast guy with a foreign sounding name. I thought I made that quite clear, sorry.

I will get back with the name, which I got from Harold Rhodes himself, so I don't think we have to discuss it further.

I'd love to hear the Abdullah Ibrahim record.
It really should be listed on our Records & CD Reviews section on the Supersite.
Why don't you make an entry here? http://www.fenderrhodes.com/cgi-bin/records

All the best,
Freddan
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Offline picassoface

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Who was the first artist to record using a Fender Rhodes?
« Reply #21 on: June 03, 2007, 11:48:04 AM »
"Yoko Ono debuting The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964"??

????

I missed that.

Offline jim

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Who was the first artist to record using a Fender Rhodes?
« Reply #22 on: June 04, 2007, 03:28:37 AM »
would it be,
igleboogle dibedyboggle?

Offline modorange

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« Reply #23 on: June 19, 2007, 12:39:37 AM »
Let's cut to the quick here:

What model Rhodes did Herbie/Keith/Joe/Chick play back during the Bitches Brew sessions???
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Offline Cob

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« Reply #24 on: July 08, 2007, 12:30:19 PM »
my understanding is that bitches brew was recorded with silvertop models. the sessions were in august of 1969, so maybe they were early mark1's, i'm not exactly sure when the mark1 was introduced. but anyway my understanding (i think i've read it in several places) is that they used silvertops.

Offline Cob

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« Reply #25 on: July 08, 2007, 12:33:46 PM »
p.s. the pianists on bitches brew were chick corea, joe zawinul, and larry young.

Offline Freddan

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« Reply #26 on: July 09, 2007, 11:13:30 AM »
Hey!
What's important to point out here is that the first changes in sound in Miles Davis group ( Not the first to use Rhodes, but maybe the most important of all ), came before the lineup had changed in 1968 and Herbie Hanc**k was still the only pianist.  

May 17th 1968 they recorded with a Fender Rhodes Electric Piano for the first time. There was only one model at the time, the very first full size piano launched at NAMM 1965.

It was the original 73 key model with felt hammers and amp cabinet, later called "Suitcase". The terms Suitcase and Stage was introduced with the MkI models released in 1970.

Miles was given a Rhodes by Harold ( Just like the Beatles ), and that very piano was used both in the studio and live by all of his pianists around 1970. But my guess is that they rented electric pianos for these earlier sessions.

For instance Chick Corea had to play a RMI for his first sessions ( Filles De Kilimanjaro ). In 1967 Herbie played both Clavinet, Wurli and a Celeste for different sessions.

The big question is who used the Rhodes first on a recording, and even if Miles use ment more than anything else to make the Rhodes famous, he was definitely not first.

Let's go back to 1965-66 and search. It would be wonderful to find out what happened in the beginning.
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Offline Loucas

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Who was the first artist to record using a Fender Rhodes?
« Reply #27 on: November 16, 2007, 10:13:15 AM »
DEAR FREEDAN AND OTHER RHODIES,

YOU HAVE TO CHECK THE JOE ZAWINUL'S RECORD : THE RISE AND THE FALL OF THE THIRD STREAM (1965)
THERE IS A SONG "THE SOUL OF A VILLAGE" WHERE HE START WITH A PIANO AND THEN HE SWITCH TO THE  FENDER RHODES AND ( NOT A WURLY FOR SURE ..MY EARS CAN'T LIE !)
 TODAY  I  DOWNLOAD THIS SONG FROM I TUNES TO CONFIRM THIS INFO I HAD WHEN I WAS READING THE COMMENTS FOR THIS CD ON THE NET.
MAYBE THIS CAN BE THE FIRST SONG EVER TO USE A FENDER RHODES..MAYBE...
PLEASE CONFIRM THIS IF YOU CAN .IT DESERVE IT...

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« Reply #29 on: November 16, 2007, 10:41:17 AM »
SORRY AGAIN : THIS IS THE ACTUAL COVER AND COMMENTS.

http://www.artistdirect.com/nad/store/artist/album/0,,190148,00.html