Larry Knechtel – RIP

I was sad to hear that Larry Knechtel has passed away. jay-senter-and-mike-melvoin Jay Senter and Mike Melvoin, in picture, off to airport. Flying to Atlanta for the Sammy Johns session.
I won’t go into his resume here as a quick Google search will reveal his impact on music over the last 40 or so years. I was fortunate to work with Larry on a number of occasions but the one I remember the most was when I received a call from producer Jay Senter (I Am Woman, Helen Reddy) to fly to Atlanta Georgia to record an album for Sammy Johns on the GRC label. This album included his monster hit “Chevy Van”. There were some amazing players on this album. Larry Knechtel on bass (Larry could play anything!), James Burton and myself on guitar, Mike Melvoin on piano and Jim Gordon on drums. I was really flattered to be included with such notable players! We really went first class, all expenses paid. We even had the “upstairs” suite in the 747 jet that flew us there. Of course the sessions were amazing and what an honor to play with such great players. One of the biggest laughs that we had was the rumor that the GRC label was financed with porn money!

The last time I saw Larry was when he came to my studio and played piano on some demos for Patti Dahlstrom. He will be sorely missed!

 Category: Art's Musings


  1. Wow, Art….I wasn’t aware Larry died. (No, I have not been living under a rock, just more into writing prose than music these past couple decades.)

    I will never forget Larry’s generosity in playing keyboards for two of mine and Joseph Suber’s tunes — our duet, “Let’s Make A Memory Tonight” and his great honky-tonk piano on “It’s Only Love.” He told me after those sessions that I had one of the clearest voices he’d ever heard, and I still regard that as a huge compliment, since he worked with Dolly Parton and other legends. RIP Larry, and thanks for your generosity to us “wanna-bees.”

    It’s true that “like attracts like” because the generosity of those who recorded at your studio is surpassed only by your own.

    You’re a cool and magnanimous dude, Art….and I’ll always be indebted to you.



  2. Forgot to add that much of the stuff we recorded at your studio is on my website, if you’d like a stroll down memory lane to a time when we were young and thought the world was ours for the taking….

  3. admin

    Hey Donna, great to hear from you. Ah the good old days, huh? Your songs are as great as ever. And Larry, what a great talent! If you get a chance try and catch the movie “The Wrecking Crew”. He played on so many hits!

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