Bobby Keys was an American saxophonist known for his work with some of the biggest names in rock and roll history. Born on December 18, 1943, in Slaton, Texas, Keys began playing the saxophone at a young age and quickly developed a reputation as a prodigious talent.
In the early 1960s, Keys began collaborating with a number of musicians and bands, including Buddy Holly and the Crickets, and he quickly gained a reputation as one of the most skilled and versatile saxophonists in the business. However, it was his work with the Rolling Stones that would truly establish him as an icon of the saxophone.
Keys first began working with the Rolling Stones in the late 1960s, and he quickly became an integral part of the band’s sound. His dynamic and energetic playing style helped to define many of the Stones’ most famous songs, including “Brown Sugar” and “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking.”
Throughout his career, Keys also collaborated with a number of other music legends, including Eric Clapton, John Lennon, and George Harrison. He recorded several albums as a bandleader, including “Bobby Keys” (1972) and “Gimme the Key” (1975).
Keys’ contributions to music were recognized with numerous awards and honors, including induction into the Texas Music Hall of Fame. He passed away on December 2, 2014, in Franklin, Tennessee.
Today, Keys is remembered as one of the greatest saxophonists in rock and roll history, and his dynamic and energetic playing style continues to inspire and influence musicians across genres. His collaborations with the Rolling Stones and other music legends helped to shape the sound of popular music during his time, and his legacy as a performer and musician will be remembered for generations to come.
Page last updated 3/26/2023.