Earl Palmer, the session drummer whose pioneering backbeats were recorded on such classics as Little Richard's "Tutti Frutti" and The Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'," has died. He was 84.
Palmer died Friday at his Los Angeles home after fighting a lengthy illness, his spokesman Kevin Sasaki said.
Born in New Orleans in 1924 and later moving to Los Angeles, Palmer worked extensively in both cities, recording with some of the music world's all-time greats on thousands of tracks.
His beats form the backdrop on Ike and Tina Turner's "River Deep, Mountain High," Fats Domino's "The Fat Man" and "I Hear You Knockin"' by Smiley Lewis.
From his Los Angeles home, Palmer drummed for music producer Phil Spector and Motown, and his session credits include artists as diverse as the Monkees, Neil Young and Frank Sinatra.
"He was groundbreaking," said Ed Vodika, the pianist in the Earl Palmer Trio. Palmer "shaped American music for the '50s, '60s and '70s." Continue reading