McCartney Times

Hal Blaine, legendary drummer on 40 No. 1 hits, dies at 90 –

Hal Blaine, legendary drummer on 40 No. 1 hits, dies at 90 –

Hal Blaine, legendary drummer on 40 No. 1 hits, dies at 90 –
March 12
10:28 2019

Drummer Hal Blaine, who provided the back beat for acts ranging from Frank SInatra to Elvis Presley to the Beach Boys, died on Monday. He was 90.

His death was announced on his official Facebook page and Twitter account.

“Hal Blaine – loving father of Michelle Blaine; grandfather of Anthony, Josh, Aaron, Whitney, Tempest, Ever and Lyryk; and inspiration to countless friends, fans and musicians – has passed on today, March 11th, 2019 at the age of 90,” the social media postings read. “May he rest forever on 2 and 4. The family appreciates your outpouring of support and prayers that have been extended to Hal from around the world, and respectfully request privacy in this time of great mourning. No further details will be released at this time.”

Blaine performed on 40 No. 1 singles, 150 Top 10 hits and played on, by his own count, more than 35,000 recorded tracks. A member of the fabled Wrecking Crew team of session musicians, he has backed such stars as Dean Martin, John Lennon, Simon & Garfunkel, Steely Dan, The Byrds and many others.

He had been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and was a 2018 recipient of the Grammy’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

“What a wonderful new year surprise,” Blaine told The Republican in a January 2018 interview after learning of the Grammy honor. “How could this kid from Holyoke get so lucky? So, if you’re following your dream, it’s out there and eventually it’ll happen for you too.”

Blaine was born Harold Simon Belsky in Holyoke on Feb. 5, 1929.

Later, he moved with his family to Hartford when his father got a job at the Connecticut Leather Co.

As a teen, he started playing drums and started going to plenty of shows as the State Theater in Hartford.

By the late 1950s, Blaine had landed a primary role in the Los Angeles studio musician scene. Together with talented players like Tommy Tedesco, Carol Kaye and Glen Campbell on guitars, bassist Jimmy Bond, and Leon Russell on piano, among others, Blaine dubbed the group “The Wrecking Crew.”

“I knew that I could do a movie in one session and be playing with a complete symphony orchestra, three hours later be playing with a little rock band, and three hours later be playing jazz,” Blaine recalled.

Blaine’s drumming was heard on such memorable hit songs as The Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations,” The Byrds’ “Mr. Tambourine Man,” Frank Sinatra’s “Strangers in the Night,” Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” the 5th Dimension’s “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” and Barbra Streisand’s “The Way We Were.”

His passing was mourned by his peers.

Liberty Devitto, longtime drummer for Billy Joel, posted on Facebook, “Once again I have reason to cry. My mentor, inspiration, and great joke teller has passed. I was honored to call him friend.”

“Godspeed, dear friend. You made the world a better place,” Nancy Sinatra posted on her website.

Keyboardist Don Randi, a fellow member of the Wrecking Crew, told Variety, “He was a trend setter for rock ‘n’ roll drumming.”

“There will never be another,” Toto’s Steve Lukather tweeted. “Google the hits he played on!!”

Source: Hal Blaine, legendary drummer on 40 No. 1 hits, dies at 90 –

About Author

Martin Nethercutt

Martin Nethercutt

Martin A Nethercutt is a writer, singer, producer and loves music. Creative Director at McCartney Studios Editor-in-Chief at McCartney Times Creator-in-Chief at Geist Musik President (title) at McCartney Multimedia, Inc. Went to Albert-Schweitzer-Schule Kassel Lives in Playa del Rey From Kassel, Germany Married to Ruth McCartney

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