Homer Louis "Boots" Randolph III (June 3, 1927 – July 3, 2007) was an American musician best known for his 1963 saxophone hit "Yakety Sax" (which became Benny Hill's signature tune). Randolph was a major part of the "Nashville Sound" for most of his professional career.
Randolph was born in Paducah, Kentucky, and raised in Cadiz, Kentucky, attending high school in Evansville, Indiana.
At the end of World War II, Boots Randolph played saxophone, trombone, and vibraphone in the United States Army Band. Following his discharge he formed a semi-professional band with his brother Bob (who had nicknamed him "Boots") and performed throughout the Midwest. He played with Dink Welch's Kopy Kats in Decatur, Illinois, from 1948 to 1954. He briefly resided in Louisville, Kentucky, before returning to Decatur to start his own group. He left Decatur in 1957.
In 1958 he was discovered by guitarist Chet Atkins and began his career as a studio artist, settling in Nashville in 1961. During his more than forty-year career, Randolph performed in hundreds of venues alongside many artists in pop, rock, jazz, and country music. He played on many recording sessions with Elvis Presley and also performed on soundtracks for a number of Presley's motion pictures, one popular song being "Return to Sender".
Mr. Randolph recorded for Monument Records in Nashville and played on Roy Orbison's 1963 hit, "Mean Woman Blues." He was also featured on "Little Queenie" by REO Speedwagon, "Java" by Al Hirt, "Turn On Your Love Light" by Jerry Lee Lewis, and "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" by Brenda Lee. He was present on many recordings by guitarist Chet Atkins with whom he often performed. Early in his career, he often billed himself as Randy Randolph.
As a solo recording artist, Randolph placed four singles in the Top-100 between 1963 and 1967. The most successful of these was "Yakety Sax", which reached #35 in 1963 and stayed on the charts for nine weeks. Boots was also successful on Billboard Magazine's album charts, having fourteen entries between 1963 and 1972. Boots With Strings from 1967 reached #36 and stayed on the chart for nearly two years.
In addition to his sessions work, Randolph recorded over 40 albums on the Monument label and his own Nashville nightclub from 1977 to 1994. For 15 years he toured with Chet Atkins and Floyd Cramer, and later played with them on the Hee Haw TV Show, as the house group known as the “Million Dollar Band.
Boots Randolph suffered a cerebral hemorrhage on June 25, 2007 and was hospitalized in a coma. Eight days later he died at Skyline Medical Center in Nashville, at the age of eighty. His last project was an album with Billy Swan and Scotty Moore, called "The Mighty Handful", which was released two months after his death.(Info mainly edited from Wikipedia & numerous sources)