Drummer Hal Blaine Who Played for Frank Sinatra and Barbra Streisand Dies at 90
Hal Blaine's family has issued a statement confirming that the "Wrecking Crew" drummer has sadly put down his sticks, passing away at the age of 90.
Music icon and member of the Hollywood elite of first-call studio musicians, Hal Blaine, died on Monday according to a statement posted on his official Facebook page.
The legendary drummer, instrumental in the making of several classics, has been accredited with appearing on around 30,000 recordings and 6,000 singles.
The recipient of a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018, in his prime, Blaine was a session musician whose skills were sought at all levels of the music industry.
The idea of session musicians did not sit favorably with many fans who were mortified to discover that Hal was the drummer on many of their favorite bands' songs.
Blaine reportedly "coined the name the Wrecking Crew” as a throwback to the managers who thought that musicians like him would "wreck the business.”
Hal's successes included Elvis Presley's "Return to Sender," Frank Sinatra’s “Strangers in the Night,” the Byrds' "Mr. Tambourine Man," Barbra Streisand's "The Way We Were," the Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations,” and the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby.”
In his heyday, it would have been impossible to not have been a fan of his work, even if you had never heard his name before. Blaine was quite possibly in almost every song you ever heard in the sixties and seventies.
In a moving tribute to him, Jon Schwartz, drummer for Weird Al Yankovich reportedly said:
"Hal was funny, sweet, and genuine. He made you feel like you were the most important person in the room. His inspiration and influence to drummers everywhere is immeasurable. Hal was a treasure."
May Hal Blaine rest forever on 2 and 4.