Music Legend Chuck Rainey to Lecture, Perform at Tennessee State University

CD CoverNASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Release) – At one time tagged as the hardest working bass player in America, music legend Chuck Rainey will lecture and entertain students, faculty, staff and the community in a one-day appearance at Tennessee State University on Friday, Sept. 20.

As the first guest in the upcoming lecture series, “Music Matters: Hosted by Dr. Rod Taylor,” sponsored by the Department of Language, Literature, and Philosophy, the longtime performer and educator will speak to an English class about music and writing.

Rainey, whose playing on successful television shows, motion pictures and recordings have earned him the title as the most recorded bass player in the history of recorded music, will combine his lecture with a demonstration of his techniques/songs, to be followed by a question and answer period with the audience. The lecture and performance will be held in Poag Auditorium between 12:30-1:45 p.m.

Longtime Rainey collaborator and friend, Dr. Rod Taylor, assistant professor of Literature and Writing, whose English 1010 (Freshman Composition) class will be the subject of Rainey’s lecture, says he expects the music icon to bring a “unique perspective” to his class topic and to the process of writing.

“As a pioneer of both a musical instrument and revolutionary style, Chuck Rainey’s visit offers the students in my class a chance to talk with someone who has played his way across five decades of musical landscape, transitioning from 4-track analog days to the modern Pro Tools digital age,” said Taylor.

A noted bassist himself, Taylor, after whom the lecture series is named, was an associate producer on Rainey’s most recent solo album Interpretations of a Groove, which was partially mixed in Nashville.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio as Charles Walter Rainey III, Chuck boasts a native ‘son ship’ of Youngstown, Ohio, where he was actually raised and educated. Originally trained in the classics as a trumpet player by C.F. Brown, James Ramsey and John Busch, Chuck switched to Baritone Horn while attending Lane college in Jackson, Tenn., and was an intricate part of the school’s well known and traveled ‘brass ensemble’ in the early 60s.

During the early 60s thru the early 70s, Rainey toured and/or recorded with some of the most prominent artist of that era, such as King Curtis, Sam Cooke, Etta James, the original Coasters, Jackie Wilson, Harry Belafonte, Al Kooper, The Supremes, Labelle, Aretha Franklin, Roberta Flack and Quincy Jones.

Chuck Rainey Flyer-smallAdditionally, his unique style has brought him opportunities in the television and film industries where he has performed on musical themes and in the source music of numerous motion pictures, television series and sitcoms, along with radio and TV advertisements.

“Chuck Rainey’s bass lines have laid the foundation for many of the popular songs in pop, rock, jazz and fusion that emerged from the 60s and 70s,” Taylor wrote about his friend in an article in the Aug. 9, 2012 edition of No Treble, an online magazine for bass players. “From Aretha Franklin to Marvin Gaye to Steely Dan, he’s played an integral part in the music of at least five Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame inductees. His double stops, slides, and syncopated grooves are legendary, and—alongside James Jamerson, he remains one of the most influential players in our instrument’s history.”

Rainey’s Sept. 20 performance in Poag Auditorium will feature a mixture of music from some of his earlier and most recent recordings. The show begins promptly at 12:30 p.m. It is free and open to all. For more information contact Dr. Rod Taylor at [email protected] or 615-963-4896.

For more information about this series, visit the Music Matters Facebook page:

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With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university and is a comprehensive, urban, coeducational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top Universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912 Tennessee State University celebrates 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at