Louis Shelton

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Louis Shelton
Birth nameWilliam Louis Shelton
Also known asLouie Shelton
Born (1941-04-06) April 6, 1941 (age 81)
Little Rock, Arkansas, U.S.
Occupation(s)Musician, music producer

William Louis Shelton (born April 6, 1941) is an American guitarist and music producer.


During the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s Shelton was a session musician working in recording studios around Hollywood.[1] Among his more notable session work was for the Monkees, including their first self-titled album, and both recordings of the Boyce and Hart songs, "Last Train to Clarksville", "Valleri", and "(Theme From) The Monkees". Shelton played the flamenco-style guitar solo on "Valleri", which Michael Nesmith had to mimic for the cameras on their TV series.[2][3] Even after the Monkees began playing on their own records, Shelton remained a favorite among their session players. Shelton was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum, the Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame and is a member of the famous group of LA session musicians known as "The Wrecking Crew".[4]

Other recording credits include:

Marvin Gaye, Simon and Garfunkel, Stevie Wonder, Boz Scaggs, Gladys Knight & the Pips, the Jackson 5, Neil Diamond, John Lennon, Barbra Streisand, the Carpenters, the Mamas & the Papas, Glen Campbell, Ella Fitzgerald, the Partridge Family, James Brown, Diana Ross, Otis Spann, Whitney Houston, Joe Cocker, Kenny Rogers, Henry Mancini, Dave Grusin, Quincy Jones, Lalo Schifrin and Victor Wooten.[5] He played the guitar solo on Lionel Richie's hit "Hello", Boz Scaggs's "Lowdown" and David Gates' "Do You Believe He's Coming".

Shelton became a producer in the 1970s, working with recording artists including Seals and Crofts, Art Garfunkel, Amy Wooley, England Dan & John Ford Coley, as well as Australian acts Tracey Arbon, Noiseworks and Southern Sons. He remains active and continues to record, produce, and perform.

He is a 2007 inductee into the Musicians Hall of Fame as a member of the Wrecking Crew. In 2013 he was inducted into the Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame.[6]

Shelton, who now resides in Australia, was reunited with the surviving Monkees (Mike Nesmith and Micky Dolenz) during their 2019 Australian tour, and made a special guest appearance with the group, performing his famous guitar part live on "Last Train to Clarksville" at the group's Brisbane concert on 13 June 2019.[7]

Selected discography[edit]

As leader[edit]

  • Touch Me (Warner Bros. Records, 1969)
  • Guitar (Lightyear, 1995)
  • Hot & Spicy (Sin-Drome, 1998)
  • Urban Culture (Lightyear, 2000)
  • Nashville Guitars (Lightyear, 2000)
  • Souvenir
  • Jazz Cafe

As sideman[edit]

With Art Garfunkel

With Lani Hall

With Whitney Houston

With Lulu

  • Lulu (Polydor Records, 1973)

With Kenny Rogers

With Barbra Streisand

With Lionel Richie

With Glen Campbell

With Al Kooper

With Michael Franks

With Marvin Gaye

With Teddy Pendergrass

With Dan Hill

  • If Dreams Had Wings (Epic Records, 1980)

With Boz Scaggs

With Sonny & Cher

With José Feliciano

  • José Feliciano (Motown, 1981)

With Peggy Lee

With Melanie

  • Photograph (Atlantic Records, 1976)
  • Seventh Wave (Powderworks, 1983)

With Sarah Vaughan

With Neil Diamond


  1. ^ Baraka, Rhonda (29 August 2000). "Louie Shelton Brings Spirit Of Nightlife To Urban Culture". MTV News.
  2. ^ "Louis Shelton". The Wrecking Crew Outtake Theater. The Wrecking Crew. Archived from the original on 18 March 2015. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  3. ^ Interview Video on YouTube
  4. ^ Bryson, Alan (27 January 2010). "Louie Shelton: In Session". All About Jazz.
  5. ^ Shelton, Louis. "Legendary Guitarist Louis Shelton". Jazz Radio on the Gold Coast (Interview). Interviewed by John Reid. Archived from the original on 2021-12-14. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  6. ^ "Hall of Fame". Louie Shelton - Guitarist Legend. Retrieved 12 August 2018.
  7. ^ "Review of The Mike and Micky Show in Brisbane, Australia + Louie Shelton makes guest appearance". The Monkees Live Almanac. Retrieved 10 May 2021.

External links[edit]