|Birth name||Howard Mancel Roberts|
October 2, 1929|
Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.
|Died||June 28, 1992
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
|Genres||Jazz, rock, country|
|Occupation(s)||Session musician, educator|
|Associated acts||Bobby Troup, Chico Hamilton, The Wrecking Crew|
In 1950, he moved to Los Angeles, California. With the assistance of Jack Marshall, he began working with musicians, arrangers and songwriters including Neal Hefti, Henry Mancini, Bobby Troup, Chico Hamilton, George Van Eps, and Barney Kessel. Around 1956, Bobby Troup signed him to Verve Records as a solo artist. At that time he decided to concentrate on recording, both as a solo artist and 'Wrecking Crew' session musician, a direction he would continue until the early 1970s.
Roberts played rhythm guitar, lead guitar, bass, and mandolin. He was known for his heavy use of the Gibson L-5 guitar in the studio and for television and movie projects, including lead guitar on the theme from The Twilight Zone as well as acoustic and electric guitar on The Munsters, Bonanza, The Brady Bunch, Green Acres, Get Smart, Batman, Beverly Hillbillies, Andy Griffith, Peter Gunn, Johnny Quest, Gidget, Mannix, Lost in Space, Dragnet, Wild Wild West, Mission Impossible, The Odd Couple, Dick Van Dyke, I Dream of Jeannie, and the theme for the film classic Bullitt.
Artists Roberts backed include Georgie Auld, Peggy Lee (on "Fever"), Eddie Cochran ("Sittin' in the Balcony"), Bobby Day ("Rockin Robin"), Jody Reynolds ("Endless Sleep"), Shelley Fabares ("Johnny Angel"), Dean Martin ("Houston"), the Monkees, Roy Clark, Chet Atkins, and the Electric Prunes.
In 1961, Roberts designed a signature guitar which was originally produced by Epiphone. The guitar was a modified Gibson ES-175 (Epiphone is owned by Gibson and during this period Epiphone guitars were manufactured in the same factory as Gibson guitars in Kalamazoo, Michigan), with a round sound hole and a single pickup. A redesigned version was later produced by Gibson. The Howard Roberts signature was borne by two other models made by Gibson: the Howard Roberts Custom and the Howard Roberts Fusion III.
In 1963, Roberts recorded Color Him Funky and H.R. Is A Dirty Guitar Player, his first two albums after signing with Capitol. Produced by Jack Marshall, they both feature the same quartet with Roberts (guitar), Chuck Berghofer (bass), Earl Palmer (drums) and Paul Bryant alternating with Burkley Kendrix on organ. Both albums were released on a single CD under the title Dirty & Funky on Randy Bachman's label Guitarchives in 1998. In all, he recorded nine albums with Capitol before signing with ABC Records/Impulse! Records.
As a member of the 'Wrecking Crew', Roberts was a part of Phil Spector's 'Wall of Sound', playing guitar on some of the most famous songs in Pop Music history.
From the late 1960s, Roberts began to focus on teaching rather than recording. He traveled around the country giving guitar seminars, and wrote several instructional books. For some years he also wrote an acclaimed column called "Jazz Improvisation" for Guitar Player magazine. Roberts developed accelerated learning concepts and techniques, which led to the founding of Playback Music Publishing and the Guitar Institute of Technology. As a co-founder of GIT, now known as the Musicians Institute, Roberts' philosophy remains an integral part of the curriculum.
Howard inspired the opening of Roberts Music Institute in Seattle, Washington, which is currently owned by his son, Jay Roberts.
- Mr. Roberts Plays Guitar (19?) Verve UMV 2673 (1981 Polygram) (Japanese Import)
- The Movin' Man (1956) Verve VSP-29
- Good Pickin's (1959)
- Color Him Funky (1963) Capitol ST-1887
- H.R. is a Dirty Guitar Player (1963) Capitol ST-1961
- Something's Cookin' (1965) Capitol ST-2214
- Goodies (1965) Capitol ST-2400
- Whatever's Fair (1966) Capitol ST-2478
- All-Time Great Instrumental Hits (1967) Capitol ST-2609
- Jaunty-Jolly (1967) Capitol ST-2716
- Guilty! (1967) Capitol ST-2824
- Out of Sight (But "In" Sound) (1968) Capitol ST-2901
- Spinning Wheel (1969) Capitol ST-336
- Antelope Freeway (Impulse!, 1971)
- Equinox Express Elevator (Impulse!, 1972)
- Sounds (1974) Capitol ST-11247
- The Real Howard Roberts (1977)
|This section requires expansion. (January 2012)|
With David Axelrod
- Release of An Oath (1968) by The Electric Prunes
- Song of Innocence (1968)
- Songs of Experience (1969)
With June Christy
- Something Cool (Capitol, 1954)
With Buddy Collette
With Chico Hamilton
- Chico Hamilton Trio (Pacific Jazz, 1956)
With Milt Jackson
- Memphis Jackson (Impulse!, 1969)
With Hank Jones
- Just for Fun (Galaxy, 1977)
With John Klemmer
- Constant Throb (Impulse!, 1971)
With Charles Kynard
- Where It's At! (Pacific Jazz, 1963)
With Herbie Mann
- The Magic Flute of Herbie Mann (Verve, 1957)
With Thelonious Monk
- Monk's Blues (Columbia, 1968)
With Lalo Schifrin
- Gone with the Wave (Colpix, 1964)
- Cool Hand Luke (soundtrack) (Dot, 1967)
- There's a Whole Lalo Schifrin Goin' On (Dot, 1968)
- More Mission: Impossible (Paramount, 1968)
- Mannix (Paramount, 1968)
- Bullitt (soundtrack) (Warner Bros., 1968)
- Kelly's Heroes (soundtrack) (MGM, 1970)
- Rock Requiem (Verve, 1971)
With Bud Shank
- Flute 'n Oboe (Pacific Jazz, 1957) with Bob Cooper
- Blowin' Country (World Pacific, 1959) with Bob Cooper
- Windmills of Your Mind (Pacific Jazz, 1969)
With Gábor Szabó
- Wind, Sky and Diamonds (Impulse!, 1967)
With Bobby Troup
- Bobby Troup (Capitol, 1953)
With Larry Williams
- Roberts, Howard; Almeida, Laurindo; Heitmeyer, Howard; Hendrickson, Al; Kessel, Barney; Pitman, Bill; Bain, Bob; Marshall, Jack (1961). West Coast Guitar: Eight Original Solos for Guitar. New York: Leeds Music Corporation. ASIN B0080YPG16.
- Roberts, Howard; Stewart, James (1971). The Howard Roberts Guitar Book. Cherry Lane Music. ISBN 978-0899150000.
- Roberts, Howard (1972). Howard Roberts Guitar Manual Chord Melody. Cherry Lane Music. ISBN 978-0899150024.
- Roberts, Howard; Grebb, Bob (1972). Howard Roberts Guitar Manual: Sight Reading. Playback Music Publishing Company. ISBN 978-0899150031.
- Roberts, Howard; Hagberg, Garry L. (1989). The Praxis System Guitar Compendium. Advance Music. ISBN 978-3892210191.
- Yanow, Scott. "Howard Roberts Biography". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
- Sallis, James. "Middle Ground: Herb Ellis, Howard Roberts, Jim Hall, Kenny Burrell, Joe Pass, Tal Farlow." Jazz Guitars: An Anthology. First ed. New York: Quill, 1984. 197-207. Print.
- Marshall, Wolf, The Howard Roberts Guitar Sound, retrieved 2012-06-14
- The Unique Guitar Blog, The Howard Roberts Guitars, retrieved 2012-06-14
- "The Howard Roberts Quartet". Guitarchives. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
- Voce, Steve (2 July 1992). "Obituary: Howard Roberts". The Independent.
- Larry Williams: Bad Boy The Legends of Specialty Records, Speciality Records 1989, liner notes
- Holder, Mitch; Roberts, Patty (2006). The Jazz Guitar Stylings of Howard Roberts. Mel Bay Publications. ISBN 978-0786674091.
- Albums with Howard Roberts as Leader.
- Howard Roberts Obituary.
- Howard Roberts Biography.
- Musicians Institute College of Contemporary Music.
- Howard Roberts Discography of CDs.