April 19, 1993 – Steve Douglas Kreisman was born September 24, 1938 and grew up in Los Angeles, where he studied trumpet, trombone and violin and taught himself to play the saxophone at age 15. After serving briefly in the Navy in the Drum and Bugle Corps, Douglas began his musical career recording and touring with Duane Eddy in the ’50s.
His first job as a session saxophonist was with Phil Spector as one of “Phil’s Regulars,” a group that included Sonny Bono on percussion, Glen Campbell on guitar and Leon Russell on keyboard.
He played the blues with Duane Eddy and the Rebels at the Apollo Theater in Harlem in 1958, and with Elvis Presley on the set of the film “Girls, Girls, Girls!” in the early 1960’s.
Douglas played on albums by the Beach Boys and toured with Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton. He was one of the most sort after session musicians in L.A, a member of The Wrecking Crew, who worked with Phil Spector, Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys. He can be heard on records by Duane Eddy, Aretha Franklin, Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, BB King, Ike & Tina Turner, Bobby Darin and so many others.
Over the years, he played with Sam Cooke, B. B. King, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand and Stevie Wonder. He also worked on the soundtracks for such movies as “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”
The ’70s and ’80s saw Douglas performing with Bob Dylan, Mink Deville, Mickey Hart, Ry Cooder, and even the Ramones on the Phil Spector production End of the Century.
Anyone who has listened to classic rock radio has heard the sax playing of Steve Douglas. As a result of his contributions, Steve Douglas was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2003.
Douglas died of heart failure on Monday April 19, 1993 at a Hollywood recording studio during a recording session with Ry Cooder.
He was 55 and lived in Petaluma, Calif.