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Chapman, Milt (9 September 1939 – Present)

Bassist, French horn player, guitarist, singer-songwriter and trumpeter from San Francisco, California, who started out performing with The Axidentals while still attending San Francisco State College. The Axidentals’ ship came in in 1956, when they performed in concert with Johnny Mathis . It launched them into the spotlight and they spent about half a decade on the road, playing most of the hot spots in the United States. They still found time to record, and in 1957 released Hello, We’re the Axidentals!. The album featured a song called “Quiet Wind” which was co-penned by Milt and band-mate Bob Sumners. On 11th February 1958, they were in the studio recording The Axidentals with the Kai Winding Trombones.

Milt joined Betty Mann and Jerry Walter in 1962 to form The Gateway Trio, and they worked together until 1965, even appearing in a film entitled Hootenanny Hoot.

In 1965, Milt joined the Hi-Los, another popular vocal group he had admired for some time. They famously appeared in a Hertz Rent-A-Car ad shortly thereafter. The days of vocal groups like the Hi-Los were numbered, however, and Milt band-hopped to The Jimmy Joyce Singers , appearing on TV shows like The Glen Campbell Show, The John Gary Show, The Leslie Uggams Show, and The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.

In the 1970s, he was with a vocal ensemble that billed themselves as Climax and worked with high-profile artists like Johnny Rivers and Kenny Rogers . He also did a stint with Ray Conniff, including the Live in Japan album, recorded at Osaka’s Festival Hall and Tokyo’s Nakano Sun Plaza Hall in June 1975.

Milt stopped being a land-lubber and spent most of the next twenty years on the sea, entertaining on cruise ships. In recent years, he was ashore entertaining in the Palm Springs area. On 1st February 2009, he led the orchestra at the Riviera Hotel & Spa in a fundraiser for the English Speaking Union’s Twelfth Night Wassail Gala.

If you’d like to catch Milt in the act, check out his bass playing on The Arthur Barduhn Trio’s Gee, But It’s Great!.