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Author Topic: Hal Blaine, celebrated as ‘the most recorded drummer in history,’ dies at 90  (Read 74 times)

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Hal Blaine, celebrated as ‘the most recorded drummer in history,’ dies at 90

Session drummer Hal Blaine recorded with acts including the Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, and Simon and Garfunkel.

By Harrison Smith
March 12 at 6:24 PM

Hal Blaine, a drummer who provided the seismic backbeat and cannon-shot snare on thousands of rock songs and scores of midcentury hits — so many that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame dubbed him “the most recorded drummer in history” — died March 11. He was 90.

His family announced the death on Mr. Blaine’s official Facebook page but did not say where or how he died. “May he rest forever on 2 and 4,” they wrote, referring to the beats he accented while laying down the groove for acts including the Beach Boys, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, and Simon and Garfunkel.

In the heady era of 1960s and ’70s rock, few drummers were as busy or respected as Mr. Blaine, who kept a dozen identical kits ready to go at all times and used a roadie to hop between seven studios in a single day.

While few listeners knew his name (he was typically uncredited in the liner notes, even while filling in for Micky Dolenz of the Monkees or Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys), he played on some 35,000 recorded tracks, including 40 No. 1 singles and 150 top-10 hits, and was said to have covered the walls of his home with gold records.