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Paul Tanner, who played electro-theremin on ‘Good Vibrations,’ dies

Was earlier a trombonist with the Glenn Miller Orchestra

Paul Tanner, a trombonist with the Glenn Miller Orchestra who later played a space-age instrument on the Beach Boys hit “Good Vibrations,” died of pneumonia Tuesday morning in Carlsbad, Calif. He was 95.

Tanner performed with Miller from 1938-42. During his long career he also worked as a movie studio and ABC musician in California and performed with stars including Tex Beneke, Henry Mancini and Arturo Toscanini.

He also helped develop the electro-theremin, a keyboard-style electronic instrument. Tanner provided its eerie sound on several Beach Boys recordings including “Good Vibrations.” The electro-theremin mimicked the sound of an earlier instrument, the theremin, invented by the Russian Leon Theremin.

Tanner was a music professor at UCLA for 23 years and helped write several books.

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