Bill Pitman, Revered Studio Guitarist, Is Dead at 102

from NYTs

Bill Pitman, a guitarist who accompanied Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Barbra Streisand and others from the late 1950s to the ’70s, and who for decades was heard on the soundtracks of countless Hollywood films and television shows, died on Thursday night at his home in La Quinta, Calif. He was 102.

His wife, Janet Pitman, said he died after four weeks at a rehabilitation center in Palm Springs, where he was treated for a fractured spine suffered in a fall, and the past week at home under hospice care.

Virtually anonymous outside the music world but revered within it, Mr. Pitman was a member of what came to be called the Wrecking Crew — a loosely organized corps of peerless Los Angeles freelancers who were in constant demand by record producers to back up headline performers. As an ensemble, they turned routine recording sessions and live performances into extraordinary musical moments.

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