Category: Individual Artist

Merlyn Ray Pohlman was an American session musician born in Baker Township, IA. He was an arranger who played both upright bass and bass guitar, and also did sessions as a guitarist. He is credited with being the first electric bass player in Los Angeles studios in the 1950s. He was a member of The Wrecking Crew—who recorded with Phil Spector and The Beach Boys—and the musical director of the house band The Shindogs for the ‘60s television show Shindig! 

Pohlman recorded with many artists throughout his lifetime, including Glen Campbell, Sam Cooke, Doris Day, The Everly Brothers, Merle Haggard, Bette Midler, The Monkees, Willie Nelson, The Ronettes and The Turtles. He is also known for his musical work on the films Snoopy Come Home, Mary’s Incredible Dream, and Constantinople. 

Before his death in 1990, Pohlman became the rhythm guitarist for Frankie Capp’s jazz band Juggernaut. Pohlman is being honored posthumously after dying of heart failure at age 60.

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