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April 30, 2021 1:16 pm  #1


My impression has been that these were studio musicians assembled by the late Phil Spector in the mid-60s, however some sources indicate that the Wrecking Crew backed Ritchie Valens in 1958 on BOTH Donna and La Bamba

What say you?     

Last edited by G. (April 30, 2021 1:17 pm)


April 30, 2021 1:43 pm  #2


Going by the info at, it depends on when they are considered to have begun -- which isn't surprising, considering the unofficial nature of the group. But for what it's worth, Donna is listed on the website for the documentary on the group, at Since La Bamba was on the flip side and the list is not exhaustive, I think by extension it could be included as well. 


April 30, 2021 2:44 pm  #3


Good point . . . a loose collaboration of musicians that eventually came to be called (and/or call itself) the Wrecking Crew.    Thx Lorne, I'll buy that


     Thread Starter

April 30, 2021 7:19 pm  #4


If you look at the Wikipedia page for 'Donna' it appears that three of the crew may have recorded with Valens, although they were far from being a complete Wreck at the time.

Last edited by Roman (April 30, 2021 7:24 pm)


April 30, 2021 9:22 pm  #5


They were a group of session musicians, which in some form or another, had been performing on sessions since the mid 50's. There was no official "group", and the musicians that performed on songs varied from session to session, depending on who was available at the time. The Wrecking Crew documentary is a must-see.

Tom Diehl

May 1, 2021 10:23 pm  #6


StereoTom wrote:

The Wrecking Crew documentary is a must-see.

It's on YouTube and it is, indeed, terrific. But you apparently have to be in the U.S. or on a VPN set to the U.S. to see it. I watched it recently. It was something to see - and hear!

The Wrecking Crew documentary


May 2, 2021 6:08 pm  #7


I'm in Canada, and had no problem watching it.


May 2, 2021 6:20 pm  #8


Really? Wow, good to know. When I went there to watch it out without my VPN on, it said "Video unavailable. This video contains content from Magnolia, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds."

When I went using the VPN, it worked fine. Hopefully, they turned off the geoblocking for good. 

Last edited by aflem (May 2, 2021 6:22 pm)


May 2, 2021 6:27 pm  #9


The link in Cloud9's post is different from the one that you had posted. His works fine for me as well, but I just tried the other one and found that it still doesn't work here. 


May 2, 2021 8:03 pm  #10


I went back and checked and you're right - it's the same documentary but uploaded by two different sources. The one that plays in Canada doesn't play in the U.S.!

Man, I long for a day when everyone on the web could be on an equal playing field and not penalized because of their border or where they live. But that, of course, will never happen. 


May 3, 2021 8:47 am  #11


If I remember the movie correctly, according to Tedesco the older guys who came in the studio in coats and ties were offended by these guys in jeans and casual shirts and they were going to "wreck" the industry. I know there's a couple of other stories too about rock n roll wrecking music, etc. I think someone mentioned that they were not called this during their active years. Hal Blaine used the phrase in his book. 


May 30, 2021 9:41 am  #12


I just discovered that Tommy Tedesco also played guitar on some of the greatest TV songs in history, including one of my favorites, the theme from Green Acres. I had no idea the Wrecking Crew members worked on television music, but apparently some of them did.

In fact, he was on a huge number of the most well-known hummable tunes that opened your favorite shows - Bonanza, the Twilight Zone, Batman, M*A*S*H, Get Smart, Gilligan's Island, The Munsters, The Waltons, Hawaii Five-0, The Brady Bunch and more. 

I keep getting more and more impressed by the output of this guy and those he worked with. Amazing. 

Niagara Falls’ Tommy Tedesco: The Unsung Hero Behind Untold Songs


May 30, 2021 11:38 am  #13


My belief that in addition to TV themes , they performed on numerous 60s era commercials.  In addition Tommy was part of Happy Kyne & the Mirth Makers who were the band on Fernwood/America Tonight with Martin Mull and Fred Willard.

Last edited by Mark H. (May 30, 2021 11:39 am)


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