Hal Blaine is a legend in music. He played drums on 6 of the top 10 Beatles hits. He was the drummer for a band called The Coasters, who recorded the classic song “Yakety Yak.” He sat in with many other famous bands (most notably The Beach Boys). He even recorded with The Temptations. In 1970, Hal was inducted into the Musicians Hall Of Fame.
My name is Hal Blaine. I’m 69 years old and I’m a drummer. I’m probably best known as the drummer in the classic rock band, The Beach Boys.Hal Blaine is perhaps the most prolific drummer in the history of rock and roll. He was involved in more hits than any other drummer in the rock era, including 40 number one singles and 150 top ten hits. His first number one single was released in 1961. For the Elvis Presley song Can’t Help Falling in Love, he used a brush on a cymbal and a soft hammer on a tom-tom. From 1966 to 1971, Blaine appeared on six Grammy Award-winning singles for Recording of the Year: A Taste of Honey by Herb Alpert and Tijuana Brass; Strangers in the Night by Frank Sinatra; Up, Up and Away and Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In by the 5th Dimension; and Mrs. B. B. from Tijuana. Robinson and Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkel. He was a leading member of the Wrecking Crew, a tight-knit group of studio musicians who dominated rock ‘n’ roll recordings in Los Angeles in the early 1960s. With guitarists like Glen Campbell and Tommy Tedesco, bassists like Carol Kaye and Joe Osborne, and keyboardists Leon Russell and Don Randy. Blaine says he came up with the name The Wrecking Crew because he saw the musicians as a disruptive force in the conservative studio environment of the time. You can hear his drumming on songs like Presley’s Return to Sender, Mr. Sender, and the song The Sender. Tambourine Man by the Byrds, Good Vibrations by the Beach Boys, California Dreamin by the Mamas & the Papas, San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair) by Scott McKenzie, dozens of Phil Spector-produced hits, songs from Batman, Partridge Family and dozens of other TV shows. AD AD AD He was born on the 5th. Harold Simon Belski was born in Holyoke, Massachusetts, in February 1929. His family moved to California in 1943. He studied with Roy Knapp, the teacher of Benny Goodman’s famous drummer, Gene Krupa. He was an active musician for many years, playing in Count Basie’s big band and behind such pop talents as singers Patti Page and Tommy Sands, before turning to session work. Blaine counted his contemporary Earl Palmer, a New Orleans native, among the studio’s top talents. He worked on most of Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound projects, including the Ronettes’ Be My Baby, which featured perhaps the most memorable drum intro in the history of rock and roll. He also participated in the recording of some of the Beach Boys’ most famous albums (replacing Dennis Wilson from LA), including the classic 1966 album Pet Sounds and the experimental single Good Vibrations from the same year. Blaine also popularized the disco beat by including the psh-shup sound in Johnny Rivers’ song Poor Side of Town, where the hi-hat opens and closes at appropriate intervals. Blaine is considered the most listened to drummer in the history of rock and roll and claims to have played on over 35,000 recording sessions and over 6,000 singles. He died of natural causes on March 11, 2019 at his home in Palm Desert, California at the age of 90. Hal Blaine has played drums on 40 American number 1 hits, listed below: Johnny Angel’ – Shelley Fabares, 7. April 1962 ‘He’s a Rebel’ – The Crystals, 3. November 1962 ‘Surf City’ – Jan & Dean, 20. July 1963 ‘I Get Around’ – The Beach Boys, 4. July 1964 Everybody Loves Somebody – Dean Martin 15. August 1964 ‘Ringo’ – Lorne Greene, 5. December 1964 ‘This Diamond Ring’ – Gary Lewis & the Playboys, 20. February 1965 ‘Help Me, Rhonda’ – The Beach Boys, 29. May 1965 ‘Mr Tambourine Man’ – The Byrds, 26. June 1965 ‘I Got You Babe’ – Sonny & Cher, 14. August 1965 Eve of Destruction – Barry McGuire, 25. September 1965 “My Love” – Petula Clark, 5. February 1966 ‘These Boots Are Made for Walkin’ – Nancy Sinatra, 26. February 1966 Monday, Monday – The Mamas and the Papas, 7. May 1966 ‘Strangers in the Night’ – Frank Sinatra, 2. July 1966Poor Side of Town – Johnny Rivers, 12 November 1966Good Vibrations – The Beach Boys, 10 December 1966Somethin’ Stupid – Frank & Nancy Sinatra, 15 April 1967The Happening – The Supremes, 13 May 1967Windy – The Association, 1 July 1967 Robinson – Simon & Garfunkel, 1. June 1968 Dizzy – Tommy Roe, 15 years old. March 1969 Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In – The 5th Dimension, 12. April 1969 Romeo and Juliet love theme – Henry Mancini, 28. June 1969 Wedding Bell Blues – The 5th Dimension, 8. November 1969 Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon & Garfunkel, 28. February 1970 (They Long to Be) Close to You – The Carpenters, 25. July 1970 “Cracklin’ Rosie” – Neil Diamond, 10. October 1970 ‘I Think I Love You’ – The Partridge Family, 21. November 1970 Indian Reservation – The Raiders, 24. July 1971 ‘Song Sung Blue’ – Neil Diamond, 1. July 1972 ‘Half Breed’ – Cher, 6. October 1973 Top of the World – The Carpenters, 3. December 1973 The Way We Were – Barbra Streisand, 2. February 1974 Annie’s Song – John Denver, 27. July 1974 Thank God I’m a Country Boy – John Denver, 7. June 1975 Love Will Keep Us Together – Captain & Tennille, 21. June 1975 I’m Sorry’/’Calypso’ – John Denver, 27. September 1975 Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To) – Diana Ross, 24. January 1976
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