Hal Blaine: Hall of Fame Session Drummer Dies

Hal Blaine, the drummer on dozens of hit records that came out of L.A. in the 1960s and ’70s, has died at the age of 90.

Blaine, who was born Harold Belsky, played on nearly 40 number-one records and had an incredible streak between 1966 and ’71 during which he was on every Grammy Record of the Year. He is closely associated with the loose group of L.A. session musicians known as The Wrecking Crew and was among the first group of sidemen inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. Blaine was named to the Grammy Hall of Fame last year.

Blaine’s ability to supply the right feel for a wide range of musical styles enabled him to play on records by traditional pop singers like Frank SinatraDean Martin and Barbra Streisand, do mammoth Phil Spector sessions for girl groups like The Ronettes and The Crystals, accompany pop-soul groups The Supremes and The Fifth Dimension, underpin The Beach BoysMamas and the Papas and The Byrds and accompany soft rock from Simon and Garfunkel and The Carpenters.

Here’s a list of the number-ones he played on:

  • “Johnny Angel” – Shelley Fabares
  • “He’s a Rebel” – Crystals
  • “Surf City” – Jan & Dean
  • “I Get Around” – Beach Boys
  • “Everybody Loves Somebody” – Dean Martin
  • “Ringo” – Lorne Greene
  • “This Diamond Ring” – Gary Lewis and the Playboys
  • “Help Me, Rhonda” – Beach Boys
  • “Mr Tambourine Man” – Byrds
  • “Eve of Destruction” – Barry McGuire
  • “My Love” – Petula Clark
  • “These Boots Are Made for Walkin'” – Nancy Sinatra
  • “Monday Monday” – Mamas & the Papas
  • “Strangers in the Night” – Frank Sinatra
  • “Poor Side of Town” – Johnny Rivers
  • “Good Vibrations” – Beach Boys
  • “Somethin’ Stupid” – Frank and Nancy Sinatra
  • “The Happening” – Supremes
  • “Windy” – Association
  • “Mrs. Robinson” – Simon and Garfunkel
  • “Dizzy” – Tommy Roe
  • “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” – 5th Dimension
  • “Love Theme From Romeo and Juliet” – Henry Mancini
  • “Wedding Bell Blues” – 5th Dimension
  • “Bridge Over Troubled Water” – Simon and Garfunkel
  • “(They Long to Be) Close to You” – Carpenters
  • “Cracklin’ Rosie” – Neil Diamond
  • “I Think I Love You” – Partridge Family
  • “Indian Reservation” – Raiders
  • “Song Sung Blue” – Neil Diamond
  • “Half Breed” – Cher
  • “Annie’s Song” – John Denver
  • “Top of the World” – Carpenters
  • “The Way We Were” – Barbra Streisand
  • “Thank God I’m a Country Boy” – John Denver
  • “Love Will Keep Us Together” – Captain and Tennille
  • “I’m Sorry”/”Calypso” – John Denver
  • “Theme From Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To)” – Diana Ross


Concert Calendar

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