Full Name: Lawrence William Knechtel

Description: Keyboardist, Session musician, USA

Known For: His most famous piano work is his 1970 Grammy Award winning contribution to “Bridge over Troubled Water”

Instruments: Keyboards, Bass

Music Styles: Rock

Location: United States of America

Date Born: 4th August 1940
Location Born: Bell, California, United States of America

Date Died: 20th August 2009
Location Died: Yakima Valley, Washington, United States of America

Web Site:  List of Larry Knechtel’s session contributions

Other Links:See below:



Larry Knechtel

Lawrence William “Larry” Knechtel (August 4, 1940 – August 20, 2009) was an American keyboard player and bassist, best known as a member of the Wrecking Crew, a collection of Los Angeles-based session musicians who worked with such renowned artists as Simon & Garfunkel, Duane Eddy, the Beach Boys, the Mamas & the Papas, the Monkees, the Partridge Family, the Doors, the Grass Roots,[1] Jerry Garcia, and Elvis Presley, and as a member of the 1970s band Bread.

An American keyboard player and bassist, best known for his work as a session musician with such artists as Simon & Garfunkel, Duane Eddy, The Beach Boys, The Mamas & the Papas, The Monkees, The Partridge Family, The Doors, and Elvis Presley, and as a member of the 1970s band Bread.

Born in Bell, California, in 1940, Knechtel’s musical education began with piano lessons. In 1957, he joined the Los Angeles based rock and roll band Kip Tyler and the Flips.

In August 1959 he joined instrumentalist Duane Eddy as a member of his band The Rebels. After four years on the road with the band, and continuing to work with Eddy in the recording studio, Knechtel became part of the Hollywood session musician scene, working with Phil Spector as a pianist to help create the famous Wall of Sound effect. Knechtel became a prominent member of The Wrecking Crew, a loose collection of session musicians who performed on many songs of the period.

In 1970 he won a Grammy Award for his piano work on “Bridge over Troubled Water” by Simon and Garfunkel. He also played the piano on Johnny Rivers’ 1972 hit “Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu”.

Knechtel was proficient in other instruments, notably the harmonica and the electric bass guitar, which can be heard on “Mr. Tambourine Man” by The Byrds, “Stoney End” by Barbra Streisand, and on tracks by The Doors (who did not have their own bass guitarist). In 1971, he joined the band Bread, where his contributions include the guitar solo on the hit single “The Guitar Man”.

During the late 1980s, Knechtel moved to Nashville, where he was signed to a solo recording contract. He released two solo albums, Mountain Moods and Urban Gypsy in quick succession in 1990.

In later years, Knechtel lived in semi-retirement in Yakima, Washington, until his death. He had, however, worked with record producer Rick Rubin, contributing keyboards to albums by Neil Diamond and the Dixie Chicks, touring with Elvis Costello and also the Dixie Chicks in support of their Grammy Award-winning album Taking the Long Way.

In 2007 he was inducted into The Musician’s Hall of Fame with his fellow members of The Wrecking Crew. During this time Knechtel contributed guest spots on many recordings for dozens of Northwest artists including Wayman Chapman, Ken Stringfellow (Posies, R.E.M., Big Star), Quakers On Probation, Dimestore Mystery, Elba, Animals at Night, Zera Marvel, Colin Spring and his son, Lonnie Knechtel.

Knechtel died on August 20, 2009, in Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital, Washington, at the age of 69 of an apparent heart attack.

He was survived by his wife Vicki, his son Lonnie, and his daughter Shelly, who lived in Washington.


Mountain Moods (1989)
Urban Gypsy (1990)

With Howard Roberts
Antelope Freeway (Impulse!, 1971)

With Lalo Schifrin
Rock Requiem (Verve, 1971)


  1. ^ “The Grassroots official website”

    . The-grassroots.com. Retrieved 2015-01-19.

  2. Jump up ^ Hartman, Kent (February–March 2007). “The Wrecking Crew”

    . American Heritage 58 (1).

  3. Jump up ^ “Larry Knechtel Biography”

    . Larry Knechtel Family Estate. Retrieved 16 January 2013.

  4. Jump up ^ “Larry Knechtel, Rock Keyboardist-Arranger, Dies at 69”

    . The New York Times. 25 August 2009.

  5. Jump up ^ “Larry Knechtel – Mountain Moods

    . MusicStack. Retrieved 16 January 2013.

  6. Jump up ^ “Larry Knechtel – Urban Gypsy

    . Discogs. Retrieved 16 January 2013.

  7. Jump up ^ http://www.albumlinernotes.com/Larry_Knechtel.html