The pop jazz instrumental “Yakety Sax” was written by Boots Randolph and guitarist James Q. “Spider” Rich. Evidently, the story is that they were influenced (or inspired) by the sax solo in The 1958 Mike Leiber and Jerry Stoller song “Yakety Yak,” performedThe Coasters. In that song, it seemed that teens always more chores to do and an attitude to fix. That is, “Yakety yak? Don’t talk back.” Randolph’s instrumental was initially released as the B-Side of his single “Percolator” in 1958. It was also released on his 1960 album, which was his first, titled Boots Randolph’s Yakety Sax. However, it was re-recorded for Monument Records in 1963, and that went to #35 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.
“Yakety Sax” has been used to humorous effect in a number of TV shows and films. Notably, it was used in the British Thames Television comedy show The Benny Hill Show. It has also been used in Get a Life, V for Vendetta, Doctor Who, The Simpsons, Family Guy, South Park, Robot Chicken, and The Lorenzo Show, to name a few where it’s been featured. It’s especially use for chase scenes.
There have been other artists to cover the song. There are versions by Glen Campbell, Chet Atkins, Bill Haley & His Comets, and The Highliners, among others.
Boots Randolph was known as being part of the Nashville sound. He played for Roy Orbison (e.g., “Mean Woman Blues), Elvis Presley (“Return to Sender,” Al Hirt (“Java”), Jerry Lee Lewis (“Turn on Your Love Light”), and Brenda Lee (“Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”), among others.
For More Golden Oldies Music
The Daily Doo Wop Rec Room has daily featured doo wop music, rock and roll hits, R&B, or rockabilly songs that were hits during the first era of rock and roll (that is, from about 1952 until the British invasion in 1964). After a song is featured, it then goes into the juke box. You are welcome to listen to any of the 40+ selections there. Every weekend, there is a Golden Oldies Juke Box Saturday Night, and the juke box is full of song requests from the 1950s and 1960s.
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