Lloyd Trotman is one of a select group that as a backing musician played on no end of classics and in the process helped create for singers who went on to fame and (sometimes) fortunes. Among those who benefited from Lloyd Trotman’s glorious bass playing the jazz singers of early 50’s, rhythm and blues and rock ‘n’ roll artists from mid to late 50’s and even some of the prototype soul singers of the early 60’s. I must admit to knowing next to nothing about him but ever since I’ve loved rock ‘n’ roll and shown an interest in the session, his name seemed to crop up time and again.


Born Lloyd Nelson Trotman on 25th May 1923 in Boston, Massachusetts, he would have been 85 this week and I thought that it shouldn’t go unremembered. You’ll all got him in your collection, you just might not be aware of it. He made his mark on the music scene as a jazz musician, playing in the New York clubs as well as doing session work with people like Coleman Hawkins, Duke Ellington and Billie Holiday. But it's for his work on the r'n'b scene that he is best remembered. From early classics like Ray Charles’ Mess Around (who can forget the scene in Planes, Trains and Automobiles) to Ben E King’s Stand By Me, he has played with many in between - no less than James Brown, Nappy Brown, Sam Cooke, The Cues, Varetta Dillard, The Everly Brothers, Big John Greer, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Ivory Joe Hunter, Clyde McPhatter, Memphis Slim and Mickey & Sylvia to name just a few.


He died of pneumonia on October 3rd 2007 in Long Island,a aged 84 and was buried at Pinelawn Memorial Park, Farmingdale, New York – but his music never will.



1.         Big Joe Turner - Corrine, Corrina

2.         Ruth Brown - This Little Girl's Gone Rockin'

3.         Clyde McPhatter – Deep Sea Ball

4.         Chuck Willis - Hang Up My Rock 'n' Roll Shoes

5.              Big Maybelle - Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On

6.              Coasters - Yakey Yak

7.              Jackie Wilson - Shake!Shake!Shake!

8.              LaVern Baker - Jim Dandy

9.              Ben E. King - Spanish Harlem.

10.            Ivory Joe Hunter – Shooty Booty


You can be proud to say you’ve heard those ten songs, what must the bragging rights be like to say you played on them all? Lloyd Trotman was a legend with the bounciest double bass in history. RIP.


Shaun Mather


May 2008.