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Alan Robinson
Alan Robinson
(French Horn)

(Alan Robinson, who played the memorable French horn part on "God Only Knows," received what he called a wonderful musical education "from a German refugee [Morris Luger] who was a fantastic teacher. I also learned a lot from my brother who was first horn in the Pittsburgh Symphony for many years."

His first professional job was at Slapsy Maxie's nightclub in L.A., where he played with the likes of Ethel Waters and Mel Torme. By the time he was 21, he had played 3 years with the Utah Symphony, on many of Republic's "Tarzan" films and the score for "High Noon." At 21, he became the youngest contract member of the 20th Century Fox orchestra under the direction of Alfred Newman, where he played on such classic films as "The King & I," "Carousel" and "The Sound Of Music."

On loan to other studios, he was on the score of "Spartacus," "North by Northwest" and played the horn calls in "The Ten Commandments" using an ancient instrument, the cor de chase [the French hunting horn]. In the mid-1960s, after a number of years with the Pittsburgh and L.A. symphonies, Alan explains that "being a busy session player was more lucrative than symphonic work" which is how he came to be on Pet Sounds. Among his other pop credits are sessions and/or live shows with Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, Johnny Mathis, Elton John, Paul McCartney & Wings, the Carpenters and conductors such as Bernard Hermann, Elmer Bernstein, Henry Mancini and John Williams.)


Alan: "I remember the session. The reason I was on the date is that I was one of the few French horn players who could play without music. I have always preferred unstructured sessions. Brian came up to me and sang me the line. [Alan demonstrates by humming it.] He seemed to come up with it on the spot; whatever came into his brain was great. Absolutely a wonderful line, and I played it. Then, he suggested that I play it glissando. Otherwise, I could have made a clean slur. You can do a sweep on the French Horn, and get all the harmonic notes in between, maybe eight or nine tones between the five notes. I wish there was more of me on it."

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