Perry Botkin, Jr.

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Perry Botkin Jr. must have liked going to work with his father. Perry Botkin was a guitarist and banjo player who became heavily involved in television and film background music in the mid-'40s. His son…
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Perry Botkin Jr. must have liked going to work with his father. Perry Botkin was a guitarist and banjo player who became heavily involved in television and film background music in the mid-'40s. His son followed his footsteps right into the same recording studios, becoming involved for the most part with a who's who of easy listening talent. His sessions date back at least until the early '60s, when under the name of Bunny Botkin, he created vocal arrangements for the Cheers' recording of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller's "Bazoom, I Need your Lovin'," a song with a timeless message. Soon there would be a truly classic Botkin moment in this type of vocal music on the Cascades' hit "Rhythm of the Rain," nothing other than the unforgettably charmingly chiming celeste part. Later clients would include groups such as the Lettermen, Harper's Bizarre, Bobbie Gentry, and even Rod McKuen. Yet there were always interesting edges to Botkin's career as well, including involvement as an arranger on albums by the pretentious Electric Prunes and softie psychedelic band the Mojo Men. He also collaborated with songwriter and performer Harry Nilsson. One song that resulted from their co-writing sessions was entitled "Paradise," and has been covered by artists diverse as Bette Midler and Shonen Knife. The obvious creativity of the man came fully to the fore in 1990 when he retired from commercial music completely and began experimenting with electronic music. This change in direction has resulted in several CDs, the combined collection entitled Combines, Combines 2, and Combines 3. None have created quite the uproar of some of his pre-'90s efforts. He won a Grammy for "Nadias Theme," an Oscar nomination for the Carpenters' performance of his song "Bless the Beasts and Children," and he came up with the theme to one of the longest running shows on television, The Young and the Restless. In all, he scored more than 50 different television shows before retiring from that end of the business, in addition to more than a dozen films and involvement with many recording sessions.