Sax Legend Boots Randolph Dies

Boots Randolph, legendary saxophone player and top-level Music Row session musician, died Tuesday, July 3, in a Nashville hospital at age 80 after suffering a subdural hematoma.

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Randolph was considered one of the many musicians who helped influence and develop the so-called “Nashville Sound,” with his saxophone work on recordings by Eddy Arnold, Elvis Presley, Brenda Lee and others. As a solo artist, he had a Top 40 pop hit with the instrumental “Yakety Sax,” which was often played during skits on the British comedy series The Benny Hill Show. In 1977, Randolph opened a nightclub in the Printer’s Alley section of downtown Nashville, which became a popular tourist attraction. This past June, he released an album of standards, A Whole New Ballgame. “He was not only a definitive musician, he was also a true gentleman and a wonderful friend to me,” Brenda Lee told Nashville’s daily newspaper The Tennessean.

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