Boots Randolph

Boots Randolph

Randolph performing live March 2000
Background information
Birth name Homer Louis Randolph III
Also known as "Boots"
Born (1927-06-03)June 3, 1927
Paducah, Kentucky, United States
Died July 3, 2007(2007-07-03) (aged 80)
Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Genres Nashville sound
Occupation(s) Saxophonist
Instruments Saxophone
Labels RCA Victor, Capitol, Monument
Associated acts Elvis Presley, Chet Atkins, Jerry Lee Lewis
Notable instruments
Saxophone, trombone, vibraphone

Homer Louis "Boots" Randolph III (June 3, 1927 – July 3, 2007) was an American musician best known for his 1963 saxophone hit "Yakety Sax" (which became Benny Hill's signature tune). Randolph was a major part of the "Nashville sound" for most of his professional career.


Randolph was born in Paducah, Kentucky, and raised in Cadiz, Kentucky, attending high school in Evansville, Indiana.[1]

At the end of World War II, Boots Randolph played saxophone, trombone, and vibraphone in the United States Army Band. After his service in the Army, he played with Dink Welch's Kopy Kats in Decatur, Illinois, from 1948 to 1954. He briefly resided in Louisville, Kentucky, before returning to Decatur to start his own group. He left Decatur in 1957.[2]

During his forty plus career, Randolph performed in hundreds of venues alongside many artists in pop, rock, jazz, and country music. He played on many recording sessions with Elvis Presley and also performed on soundtracks for a number of Presley's motion pictures, one popular song being "Return to Sender".

Randolph recorded for Monument Records in Nashville and played on Roy Orbison's 1963 hit, "Mean Woman Blues."[2] He was also featured on "Little Queenie" by REO Speedwagon, "Java" by Al Hirt, "Turn On Your Love Light" by Jerry Lee Lewis, and "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" by Brenda Lee. He was present on many recordings by guitarist Chet Atkins with whom he often performed. Early in his career, he often billed himself as Randy Randolph.

As a solo recording artist, Randolph placed four singles in the Top-100 between 1963 and 1967. The most successful of these was "Yakety Sax", which reached #35 in 1963 and stayed on the charts for nine weeks.[3] Randolph was also successful on Billboard Magazine's album charts, having fourteen entries between 1963 and 1972. Boots With Strings from 1967 reached #36 and stayed on the chart for nearly two years.[4]

In 1977, Randolph opened a successful club of his own in Nashville's "Printer's Alley." He also frequently appeared on the television program Hee Haw, and was a member of the Million Dollar Band.

On July 3, 2007, Randolph died at Skyline Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, after suffering a brain hemorrhage.[2] He had celebrated his 80th birthday just one month prior.

His final solo studio album, A Whole New Ballgame, was released June 12, 2007.



Year Title Chart positions
1960 "Boot Randolph's Yakety Sax" 79
1963 "Yakety Sax!"
1964 "Hip Boots!"
1965 "Boots Randolph plays More Yakety Sax!" 118
"Plays 12 Monstrous Sax Hits!"
1966 "Boots with Strings"A 36
"The Fantastic Boots Randolph"
1967 "Boots Randolph with the Knightsbridge Strings & Voices" 189
"King Of Yakety"
1968 "Sunday Sax" 76
"The Sound of Boots" 60
1969 "...with love/The Seductive Sax of Boots Randolph" 82
"Boots And Stockings" 16
"Yakety Revisited" 113
1970 "Boots with Brass" 168
"Hit Boots 1970 " 157
1971 "Homer Louis Randolph, III" 141
1972 "Boots Randolph Plays the Hits of Today" 192
1973 "Sentimental Journey"
1974 "Country Boots"B
1975 "Cool Boots"
1976 "Party Boots"
1977 "Sax Appeal"
1978 "Boots Randolph Puts a Little Sax in Your Life"
1982 "Dedication"
1983 "Yakety-Madness" (featuring Richie Cole (musician))
1990 "Boots"
1992 "Boots Live"
"Christmas At Boots' Place" (featuring Tommy Newsom's Jazztet)
2007 "A Whole New Ballgame"


Year Title Chart positions
1963 "Yakety Sax" 35
1964 "Hey, Mr. Sax Man" 77
1966 "The Shadow of Your Smile" 93 28
1967 "Temptation" 93 30
"Big Daddy" 105
1968 "Fred" 39
"Gentle on My Mind" 19
1970 "Anna" 111 40

See also


  1. Associated Press, Sax man Boots Randolph known for hit 'Yakety Sax' July 4, 2007.
  2. 1 2 3 Bernstein, Adam. "'Yakety Sax' Saxophonist Boots Randolph, 80". Washington Post. July 4, 2007.
  3. Whitburn, Joel (2000). Top Pop Singles 1955-1999. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 526. ISBN 0-89820-139-X.
  4. Whitburn, Joel (2006). The Billboard Albums - 6th edition. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research, Inc. p. 861. ISBN 0-89820-166-7.

External links

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