Charles Walter “Chuck” Rainey III (born June 17, 1940 in Cleveland, Ohio, United States) is an American bass guitarist who has performed and recorded with many well-known acts, including Aretha Franklin, Steely Dan, and Quincy Jones. According to Rainey’s website, he has performed on over 12,000 albums and nearly 150,000 songs.
Rainey’s youthful pursuits included violin, piano and trumpet. Later, while attending Lane College in Tennessee, Rainey switched to baritone horn to join the school’s travelling brass ensemble. While on active military duty, Rainey learned rhythm guitar and began playing professionally with local bands. His lack of improvisational skills on guitar led him to pick up the bass, and soon Rainey found himself working steadily as a studio bassist in New York City, recording or touring with many of the greatest acts of that time.