Most people have never heard of Larry Knechtel.
But you've almost certainly heard his music.
If you're familiar with Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water" you will know the song's fabulous piano part especially the intro which served as the foundation as one of the greatest rock n' roll songs ever recorded. It was Knechtel who played the piano on that recording back in 1970. He died yesterday at the age of 69. The cause of death has not been released.
Primarily a studio musician, Knechtel worked with acts such as Elvis Presley, Duane Eddy, The Beach Boys, The Doors, The Fifth Dimension, Elvis Costello, Johnny Rivers, Harry Nilsson, Randy Newman, Kenny Rankin and Hank Williams, Jr. In more recent years, Knetchel played keyboards with the Dixie Chicks (O.K., they can't all be good.)
Knechtel was also a member of the '70s soft rock group Bread. His best known contribution was the guitar solo in - what else? - "Guitar Man." Here's a clip of Bread playing this song live back in the early 70s. Knechtel is wearing the striped shirt.
When listening to our favorite songs it is easy to get lost in the music and overlook those who made the beauty possible. Our lives would have no soundtrack without the likes of Larry Knechtel.