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 age 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 oneveryGrammyRecord of the Year. He is closely associated with the loose group of L.A. session musicians known asThe 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 andThe Crystals, accompany pop-soul groups The Supremes andThe Fifth Dimension,underpin The Beach Boys, Mamas and the Papas and The Byrds and accompany soft rock from Simon and Garfunkel and The Carpenters.

Blaine died today (Monday). His family wrote in a statement: “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.”

Variety quotes an article in Modern Drummer that estimates that Blaine played on over 35,000 recordings, about 6,000 of them singles.

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