Billy Strange Has Raised His Hand and Asked to Leave the Room — R.I.P.

“This is the part of the song where Billy Strange raised his hand and asked if he could please leave the room.”
(Lee Hazlewood, from his version of “These Boots Are Made for Walking.”)

Bandleader/arranger/guitarist Billy Strange passed away yesterday (Wed., Feb. 22) at age 81.

While not exactly a household name, in the music world he was a major player. And over the years, on his own and as a member of L.A.’s famed Wrecking Crew, he worked with some of the biggest and best names of mid-20th century pop music, including Elvis Presley, Frank and Nancy Sinatra, Lee Hazlewood, the Beach Boys, Willie Nelson, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis, Jr.

Here’s a small taste:

Songs he worked on include massive hits like “Something Stupid” and “These Boots Are Made for Walking” (where Lee name-checked him in his solo, non-Nancy recording of the song.) And this awesome version of the Nancy hit “Bang Bang”:

Strange also recorded a series of his own guitar-based instrumental albums.

Read more about Billy Strange on his profile page on the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.

More about Billy Strange on this message board.

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