Boots Randolph died July 3 in Nashville of a sudural hematoma.
Homer Louis Randolph was born June 3, 1927 in Paducah, Kentucky. His rendition of "Yakety Sax" (a takeoff of the title of the Coasters' hit "Yakety Yak") became a pop hit and later the theme to Benny Hill's long-running British television show. He was part of Nashville's "A List" of studio musicians, a group that included Country Music Hall of Fame members Harold Bradley and Floyd Cramer. (If Randolph's name is on the Hall of Fame ballots, look for him to be inducted this year.)
A bit of trivia regarding Boots: Country comedian Don Bowman recorded a song titled "Chit Akins, Make Me a Star," a 1964 top 20 country novelty number about a plea from a very bad musician to one of the top producers in country music -- complete with a misspelling and mispronunciation of his name -- for a chance at stardom. Chet Atkins later recounted on a WSM talk show that they needed a really bad guitarist to play the woeful riffs contained in the song, but the problem was that professional musicians just could not play as poorly as the song required. Boots Randolph, however, according to Atkins, "knew just enough on the guitar to be bad," so the legendary saxophonist picked up the guitar and mangled his way through "Wildwood Flower" on the Bowman song.
Boots Randolph was 80.
Boots Randolph's Web Site