Rock and Roll simply wouldn’t be the same if we didn’t have shenanigans. While you might take bending guitar strings for effect as normal and no big deal (unless, of course, you actually try to duplicate the effect yourself), there is little doubt that recording techniques and engineering tricks have given us some amazing sounds.
Please do NOT include autotune on any list of “improvements” in sound!
Glenn Snody was an engineer in Nashville who was working on a recording with Marty Robbins when a transformer in the soundboard went bad, resulting in a strange new fuzz tone on a guitar solo. Marty and his producer liked the strange effect enough to leave the solo in place. Grady Martin played the unique-sounding guitar solo starting about 1:25 into the record, and that simply has to be Floyd Cramer playing a piano solo at the start of the record. The final result was a #1 country recording that crossed over to the pop charts and got as far as #3: Don’t Worry.
More details on the recording session and its impact can be found in an NPR article.
After demands from numerous artists who wanted the fuzz tone for their own recordings, Glenn created a box that could be used to create the sound on demand. Perhaps the most famous single that used that fuzz tone came from the Rolling Stones on Satisfaction.
Glenn died at age 96 near the end of May, but it’s likely his legacy will live on to infinity and beyond.