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Hal BlaineVIP, May 1997

Hal Blaine

Hal Blaine could very likely be the most recorded musician of all time. Which is just one of the reasons H.E.A.R. is honoring him as the VIP for the month of May.

There seemed to be a time in the sixties when most of the music on popular radio had Hal Blaine playing drums, though most listeners thought of the music more in terms of the feature artists, such as the Beach Boys, Mamas and Papas and the Fifth Dimension.

In many cases, when the name band was too busy out blazing the concert trail, or were just not as polished for studio recording, studio musicians were brought in to perform and record the type of quality needed on professional recordings.

"The Wrecking Crew" was the name given to those musicians who rambled their way into the Hollywood studios in the late fifties and began working for super producers like Phil Spector, Jimmy Boen, Bones Howe, Lou Adler and H.B. Barnum.

They had come in as the first wave of rock and roll inspired musicians, gradually replacing their coat and tie, clean-ashtray-type predecessors, with the new liberated, anything goes, t-shirt-and-jeans style approach to making hit records.

Along with Hal, other musical luminaries such as Carol Kaye, Tommy Tedesco, Barney Kessel, Leon Russell, Glen Campbell and several other famous names helped to form this expanding and contracting rhythm section that showed up on hundreds of hit records from the late fifties into the early eighties.

According to the Billboard charts, Hal has performed on at least 40 number one songs!!

No doubt there are other hits, perhaps some of the Motown songs, where Hal was called in for some tightening-up chores that might have ranged from a triangle "ping" here and there to a full replacement or doubling of the existing drum track.

Hal Blaine has been a friend to H.E.A.R. and has helped spread the word about H.E.A.R. and the importance of wearing earplugs. All of us here at HEARNET would like to thank and congratulate Hal Blaine for all of his hard work and dedication in the world of music, and for being the May V.I.P. of the month!!!



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