Bob Bain has played the guitar as a studio guitarist since the early 1950s, and he was active as a guitar player until recently. Bob passed away at the age of 94 in June 2018.
Fretboard Journal has published a great post about Bob Bain including a set of videos filmed in 2017, together with Bill Frisell and Dennis Budimir.
I enjoyed reading about Bill Bain who played the guitar for so many movies and TV shows like Bonanza, Peter Gunn, M.A.S.H. or The Pink Panther. And I enjoyed listening to some great examples of the music played by Bob Bain.
As a studio guitarist Bob Bain had to play all kind of plucked instruments, beginning with the typical rhythm guitar used in Jazz bands of the 50s (his prewar Gibson L-5), Rock guitars in the 60s and 70s (his Fender Telecaster), acoustic guitar (Martion O-18), 12-string guitar, banjo, mandolin – as a studio guitarist you must always be prepared – and be at the right place at the right time.
I have added the links to some great interviews with BobBain at the end of thisd post where you can read great stories about guitars, movies, singers and bands.
Playlist Bob Bain
Fretboard Journal: Remembering Bob Bain: 1924 – 2018
In the following interview from 2014 Bob tells many details about his work as a studio guitarist:
Whether you realize it or not, you’ve heard the guitar of Bob Bain. In all reality, you couldn’t miss it. Starting in the 1950’s and through the 80’s (not counting today’s re-runs or syndicated programming), if you watched television shows like Peter Gunn, Bonanza, Mission Impossible, The Munsters and M.A.S.H., it was Bob Bain’s guitar that you heard on the themes. For 22 years, Bob was a fixture along with Doc Severinsen and The Tonight Show Band during the Johnny Carson era on NBC. But you’ve also heard his work in movies like Thoroughly Modern Millie and on recordings with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee and Nat King Cole. Bob has also recorded several albums of his own on Capitol Records, recorded with the group Guitars Unlimited, and produced a couple of releases by jazz pianist Junior Mance.
vintageguitar.com: Bob Bain – The Silent Giant
Guitar Player: Bob Bain’s Legendary Studio Sessions
What would you typically bring to studio dates?
It would depend. In the early days with the orchestras, I’d just bring the L-5, because, nine times out of ten, you were playing strictly rhythm, and you didn’t need an electric. Then, electric guitar got more popular, and I’d carry an electric, an acoustic, and my amp in the trunk of my car. I’d always have a banjo, a mandolin, and a ukulele around, as well. I’d also bring a Yamaha 12-string when 12-strings became popular. Eventually, when we sent road cases to studio dates, I added a gut string—a Rodriguez or a Martin—a mandola, a bouzouki, and an electric sitar. For amps, I used a Fender Twin, then a Fender Bassman for a while, a Benson—which was invented by Howard Roberts and Ron Benson—and, finally, a Fender Princeton Reverb.