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     Roberts, Don

    He is a saxophonist, clarinettist and flautist born in Los Angeles, California.  He began learning the clarinet when he was eight years old and then when he was around twelve he decided to add the saxophone to his musical studies. When he was in high school he became a member of The Vulcanes, who had a local following, and when he was in his mid-teens they landed a recording contract with Capitol Records and also started touring after being seen performing on The Bob Eubanks Show.  This would also lead them to making an appearance in the movie I'll Take Sweden with Tuesday Weld and Bob Hope in the leading roles and give them the distinction of being the first band in the rock and roll genre to land a two-week gig on the strip in Las Vegas. In 1964 he was called into military service as a saxophonist and posted to Fort Huachuca, Arizona, where he played n the US Army band and also with the band he put together, The Knockouts.  After leaving the army in he resumed his musical career by appearing with acts such as Chicago and Harry James and spent a lot of time in the late 1960s working as a session musician.  He was taken on by the duo Loggins & Messina and stayed with them for several years, recording four albums and extensively touring.  In 1973 he was taken on as a member of Elvis Presley's band and over the next three years or so completed five tours with him.  In 1976, after his last gig with Elvis and also the parting of Loggins & Messina he began a long-term association that spanned 15 years with the successful singing group The Manhattan Transfer where he would often be used to give solo spots.  At the same time he could be heard with the band The Bombers and as a sought after session musician was acclaimed for his performances on Christopher Cross's five-time Grammy winning debut album, Christopher Cross which produced the hits "Never Be the Same", "Ride Like The Wind" and "Sailing".   He left The Manhattan Transfer in 1991 and after playing various gigs and doing studio work he was called upon to become a member of the newly established The Brian Setzer Orchestra.  This would prove another success for him and with them he has performed nationally and internationally at many concerts and music festivals.  He has appeared on numerous albums such as Copperhead Road by Steve Earle, I'm Not Me by Mick Fleetwood, Finale, Mother Lode, Native Sons and So Fine by Loggina & Messina, Bob-Doo Wopp, Extensions, Mecca for Moderns and Pastiche by The Manhattan Transfer, Live in Tokyo/Vocalese Live Vol.. 1 by Carmen McRae, Marrying Man by David Newman, Boogie Woogie Christmas, Dirty Boogie, Guitar Singer and Vavoom! by The Brian Setzer Orchestra and the soundtrack of A League of Their Own and Me, Myself & Irene. In recent years he has been heard performing with Porterhouse Bob's band and remains a long-standing member of the Brian Seltzer Orchestra.

     

    The Manhattan Transfer Recordings

    Body and Soul (Edward Heyman/Johnny Green/Robert Sour/Frank Eyton)     

    Twilight Zone/Twilight Tone (Marius Constant/Jay Graydon/Alan Paul)

     

    Sources:

    1. http://www.jazzbarisax.com/roberts.htm
    2. http://www.porterhousebob.com/Band%20Bio.htm
    3. http://www.classicwebs.com/loggmess.htm
    4. http://www.stunttrumpet.com/bandbios.html
    5. http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=56052910
    6. http://shopping.yahoo.com/p:Don%20Roberts:1927176259?sort=date
    7. http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:g9fexq8gldhe~T4

     

    Here he is soloing during a performance of "Embraceable You" by The ManhattanTransfer...

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     



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