The Most Prolific Drummer in Music History Just Turned 90

Hal Blaine played on dozens of #1 singles

February 6, 2019
Drummer Hal Blaine attends the NAMM Tec Awards at the Anaheim Hilton on January 24, 2014

Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for NAMM

Frank Sinatra. Elvis Presley. The Beach Boys. Simon & Garfunkel. Neil Diamond.

The list of artists who session drummer Hal Blaine helped get to #1 on the charts keeps on going, just like Blaine himself. The most recorded drummer in history just celebrated his 90th birthday in Los Angeles.

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Blaine, perhaps best known for helping producer Phil Spector create his dense “wall of sound” for groups like the Ronettes, spent part of his party right at home behind a drum kit. A video posted on facebook by local historian Alison Martino shows Blaine performing “These Boots are Made for Walking.” The song went to #1 for Nancy Sinatra in 1966.

The song was one of the thousands that Blaine appeared on as a member of the Wrecking Crew – the LA-based session musicians who provided the soundtrack to the 60s and 70s. It wasn’t Beach Boy Dennis Wilson who drummed on the studio version of “Good Vibrations.” It was Blaine. “Mr. Tambourine Man” by The Byrds? That’s Blaine on drums.

The rock and roll hall of famer also worked with The Monkees, John Lennon and Steely Dan among many others over the years. Here’s wishing him many more birthdays to come.

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