Carol Kaye

NOTE: This blog entry originally appeared in March 2009

by Chad Campbell, senior producer

About ten years ago, when Bob was still the host of Morning Edition on NPR, he interviewed a musician that most, or maybe all of us, had never heard of before. It was session bass player Carol Kaye (click here to read her wikipedia bio) — and Bob was still talking about the experience when we started at XM in 2004. Kaye is closing in on her 75th birthday and she’s been playing for most of her life. It all adds up to more than 10,000 recording sessions and dozens of hits for just about any artist you can name. We tried to get Bob back in a studio with Carol Kaye for more than two years. I first emailed her directly on February 23, 2007 asking if she’d be interested in another interview. She replied — a scant 34 minutes later — with an enthusiastic yes. It turns out that she shared Bob’s fond memories of the interview. Kaye was living in Palm Springs, California at the time — a location not ideal for getting both of them together. I wanted them in the same studio to talk about music and I wanted Kaye to have her bass and guitar to play and demonstrate songs and techniques. There was a flurry of emails back and forth for a few months, then I moved on to more pressing productions. Last I heard, Kaye was planning to move back closer to Los Angeles, so when Bob scheduled a trip there for union business and was looking for interviews to conduct while he was out west, I reminded him of Carol Kaye. Luckily, she was available at just the right time and the interview went off without TOO many hitches. The interview took place at the studios of NPR West in Culver City, California and I hope you enjoy the finished product.

Click here to see a video of Carol Kaye being interviewed and playing bass.

Click here for Carol Kaye’s “official” biography.

Click here to purchase books, CDs and DVDs from her website.

Click here to access Bob’s decade old NPR interview with Carol Kaye.