Music Career

BY WARREN ROCHE

I was formerly a trumpet player. I did my Bachelor's Degree at The University of Southern California and my Masters at Arizona State. I also did some arranging, conducting, teaching, producing and contracting.

I played Principal Trumpet in the Orange County Symphony (now the Pacific Symphony) and the Phoenix Symphony as well as a few others. I briefly went out on the road playing lead trumpet with Aretha Franklin, Lou Rawls and a few others. I went out conducting for Connie Stevens and did eleven months in Waikiki conducting for Don Ho.

In between all this, starting in the late fifties until I quit the biz in 1980, I did jingles (radio and TV commercials), TV shows, movies, opera and probably played on at least a thousand records. Most of the records were forgettable and I only remember a few that I did. I also worked at MoWest, MoTown's L.A. studio, from the time they opened it in 1972 until i hung it up in 1980.

The usual routine was that we would record four songs in each three-hour record date or "session". We would most often do all the songs for an album in two or three sessions. So, for example, when I recorded September for Earth, Wind and Fire, that was during two sessions over two days where I played with the other trumpet players Oscar Brashear on one day and Bobby Findley on the other, recording about eight tunes for the album that September was a part of. I remember September because it was so challenging and for the sad fact that the contractor, Ben Barrett, made a mistake and didn't put me on the roster and I never got paid or credited. At the time, I was so busy I never caught the oversight until I noticed years later that I wasn't getting residuals for the hit song being reused in movies, etc. By then it was too late.

I remember Can't Get Enough of Your Love because Gene Page, the arranger, forgot to write the trumpet parts. Bud Brisbois, the other trumpet player, and I had to play the lick Barry White sang for us when he would cue us from the recording booth.

Listed here are a few records that I remember doing or for which I received a "re-use" payment i.e. you get paid when the recording is reused for a movie, TV, a commercial or when it is "sampled" into a new song, etc. To this day I am still being surprised by receiving a re-use check for a song I don't recall recording. Anyway, here are a few. Perhaps you'll recognize some of them.

Records

Barry White

  • Can't Get Enough of Your Love
  • Oh Love, We Finally Made It
  • Never, Never Gonna Give You Up

Marvin Gaye

  • Trouble man
  • After the Dance
  • Life’s Opera
  • Cleo's Apartment

Earth, Wind and Fire

  • September (from the I Am Album)
  • After the Love Has Gone
  • Boogie Wonderland (with The Emotions)
  • In the Stone
  • Can't Let Go
  • Let Your Feeling Show
  • ​StarWait​
  • You and I

Diana Ross

  • Touch Me In the Morning
  • My Hero Is a Gun

The OJ's

  • She Used To Be My Girl

Smokey Robinson

  • Tears of a Clown

Boz Scaggs

  • You Make It So Hard (and the rest of the Slow Dancer album)

Bill Withers

  • She's Lonely
  • Hello Like Before

Eddie Kendricks

  • Each Day I Cry a Little
  • Time in a Bottle

Edwin Starr

  • Easin’ In
  • Runnin'
  • Big Papa (from the movie Hell Up in Harlem)

The Commodores

  • Mary, Mary

Tower of Power

  • So Very Hard To Go

Hues Corporation

  • I Caught Your Act (and the album from those sessions)

Also albums for Jack Jones, Shirley Jones, Barry Manalow, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Don Ho, Rod McKuen, Dennis Wilson, Leon Russell, Fifth Dimension, Nancy Wayne