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Hal Blaine

Hal Blaine

American drummer
Hal Blaine
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American drummer
A.K.A. Harold Simon Belsky
Is Musician Drummer
From United States of America
Type Music
Gender male
Birth 5 February 1929, Massachusetts
Age 92 years
Star sign Aquarius
The details (from wikipedia)


Hal Blaine (born Harold Simon Belsky; February 5, 1929) is an American drummer and session musician.
He is most known for his work with the Wrecking Crew in California. Blaine played on numerous hits by popular groups, including Nancy Sinatra, Jan and Dean, Elvis Presley, John Denver, the Ronettes, Simon & Garfunkel, the Carpenters, the Beach Boys, the Grass Roots, the 5th Dimension, the Monkees, the Partridge Family, and Steely Dan. He has played on 40 number one hit singles, 150 top ten hits and has performed on, by his own accounting, over 35,000 recorded tracks. He is widely regarded as one of the most prolific drummers in rock and roll history, having "certainly played on more hit records than any drummer in the rock era".
Blaine is a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum, and the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 2010.

Early life

Blaine was born to Jewish Eastern European immigrants, Meyer and Rose Belsky, in Holyoke, Massachusetts.

Hal Blaine Strikes Again

Hal Blaine Strikes Again is a rubber stamp used by Blaine to mark music scores and places where he has played. Drummer and author Max Weinberg, in his introduction to the chapter on Blaine in his book, writes:


Eleven years later our band played Wembley Arena, near London. After the show, while we were relaxing backstage, Bruce asked me to come into his dressing room. I went in, he pointed to the wall and said, "Look at that." I looked at the wall but didn't see anything except peeling wallpaper. "Look closer," he said. Finally, I got right down on the spot he was pointing to. and right there, in a crack in the paper, rubber stamped to the wall, it said HAL BLAINE STRIKES AGAIN. When asked to explain about the stamp Blaine replied, "I always stamp my charts. And there's a reason why I started that; it wasn't all ego." He went on to describe that occasionally he would need to find a particular chart amidst "five hundred pieces of music in a pile" and he needed some mark to do so. "Eventually I had a rubber stamp made up, and from that day on I've always stamped every piece of music I play, whether it's a demo or something I play at a friend's house."

Another drummer, Mike Botts, then with the band Bread, recalled: "Every studio I went to in the late sixties, there was a rubber stamp imprint on the wall of the drum booth that said, 'Hal Blaine strikes again.' Hal was getting so many studio dates he actually had a rubber stamp made. He was everywhere!"

Grammy Awards

A little known Grammy Awards record held by Blaine is that he played on 6 consecutive Record of the Year winners:

  • Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass in 1966 for "A Taste of Honey";
  • Frank Sinatra in 1967 for "Strangers in the Night";
  • The 5th Dimension in 1968 for "Up, Up and Away";
  • Simon & Garfunkel in 1969 for "Mrs. Robinson" and 1971 for "Bridge over Troubled Water";
  • The 5th Dimension in 1970 for "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In".

#1 hits


  • 1963 "Deuces, T's, Roadsters and Drums
  • 1966 Drums! Drums! A Go Go
  • 1967 Psychedelic Percussion
  • 1968 Have Fun!!! Play Drums!!!

With Irene Kral

  • Wonderful Life (Mainstream, 1965)


Hal Blaine's drums can be heard as part of the Wall of Sound on the Ronettes' 1963 No. 2 hit "Be My Baby", produced by Phil Spector at Hollywood's Gold Star Studios. Max Weinberg wrote, "If Hal Blaine had played drums only on the Ronettes' "Be My Baby", his name would still be uttered with reverence and respect for the power of his big beat." Rolling Stone magazine listed the song as No. 22 on The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

In March 2000, Hal Blaine was one of the first five sidemen inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. (One of the other inductees was Hal's long-time friend and drumming colleague, Earl Palmer.)

Artists with whom Blaine has recorded

Some of the famous musicians with whom Blaine has worked include:

  • The 5th Dimension
  • Alessi
  • Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass
  • Nancy Ames
  • America
  • Paul Anka
  • The Association
  • Frankie Avalon
  • Hoyt Axton
  • Baja Marimba Band
  • The Beach Boys
  • Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans
  • Pat Boone
  • Elkie Brooks
  • Sam Butera and the Witnesses
  • The Byrds
  • J.J. Cale
  • Glen Campbell
  • Freddy Cannon
  • Captain & Tennille
  • The Carpenters
  • Mel Carter
  • The Cascades
  • Johnny Cash
  • Rosanne Cash
  • David Cassidy
  • Ray Charles
  • Cher
  • Petula Clark
  • Leonard Cohen
  • Nat King Cole
  • Sam Cooke
  • Johnny Crawford
  • The Crystals
  • Bobby Darin
  • James Darren
  • Sammy Davis, Jr.
  • Doris Day
  • John Denver
  • Jackie DeShannon
  • Neil Diamond
  • Patty Duke
  • Judith Durham
  • Duane Eddy
  • The Everly Brothers
  • Jose Feliciano
  • Connie Francis
  • Frizzell and West
  • Art Garfunkel
  • Bobby Gentry
  • Lesley Gore
  • The Grass Roots
  • Lorne Greene
  • Roosevelt Grier
  • Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds
  • Albert Hammond
  • Emmylou Harris
  • Richard Harris
  • Neal Hefti
  • The Hondells
  • Thelma Houston
  • Jan and Dean
  • Jay and the Americans
  • Frankie Laine
  • Michael Landon
  • John Lennon
  • Gary Lewis and the Playboys
  • Jerry Lewis
  • Jerry Lee Lewis
  • Bob Lind
  • Jackie Lomax
  • Trini Lopez
  • Love
  • The Mamas & the Papas
  • Henry Mancini
  • Ann-Margret
  • The Marketts
  • Dean Martin
  • Barry McGuire
  • Scott McKenzie
  • The Monkees
  • Hugo Montenegro
  • Gerry Mulligan
  • Juice Newton
  • Wayne Newton
  • Jack Nitzsche
  • Roy Orbison
  • Patti Page
  • The Partridge Family
  • Bernadette Peters
  • Elvis Presley
  • Louis Prima
  • Gary Puckett & The Union Gap
  • Helen Reddy
  • Paul Revere & the Raiders
  • The Rip Chords
  • Johnny Rivers
  • Howard Roberts
  • Tommy Roe
  • The Ronettes
  • Diana Ross
  • The Sandpipers
  • Tommy Sands
  • Paul Simon
  • Simon & Garfunkel
  • Frank Sinatra
  • Nancy Sinatra
  • Keely Smith
  • Sonny & Cher
  • Spanky and Our Gang
  • Dusty Springfield
  • Steely Dan
  • Barbra Streisand
  • The Supremes
  • Tanya Tucker
  • Ike and Tina Turner
  • Leslie Uggams
  • Jerry Vale
  • Bobby Vee
  • The Ventures
  • The Vogues
  • Shelly West
  • Andy Williams
  • Mason Williams

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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