A legendary drummer who is considered by many people to be the greatest drummer of all time has died. Hal Blaine, one of the most recorded studio drummers in history, died Monday of natural causes, according to media reports. He was 90.
Blaine was said to have played on more than 35,000 sessions and 6,000 singles, with 40 No. 1 hits on his resume. Before he became a session player specializing in rock ‘n’ roll, he played jazz and big band music. He later became one of the regulars in Phil Spector’s studio band, known now as the Wrecking Crew.
Among his many signature tracks are the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby,” the Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations,” Simon and Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson” and the Byrds’ “Mr. Tambourine Man.”
Tributes have been pouring in, with Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys writing on Twitter: “Hal Blaine was such a great musician and friend that I can’t put it into words. Hal taught me a lot, and he had so much to do with our success — he was the greatest drummer ever.”
To hear some of Blaine’s work posted by Rolling Stone, please click here.