Earl Palmer was the New Orleans drummer who largely
defined the beat of rock 'n roll on thousands of recordings
from the late 1940s on.
Dapper and outspoken, Earl Palmer may well have been the
most recorded drummer in the history of popular music. He
stamped his sound on everything from early Fats Domino
and Little Richard hits to classic movie soundtracks to
music for "The Flintstones" cartoon.
Palmer recorded with Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin, Sam
Cooke, Glen Campbell, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, Ray
Charles, Nat King Cole, the Everly Brothers, the Beach
Boys, Willie Nelson, Sonny & Cher, the Supremes and the
Monkees, among many others.
He was the drummer on Ike and Tina Turner's "River Deep
Mountain High," the Righteous Brothers' smash "You've
Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" and Ritchie Valens' signature "La
"He's the trunk of the tree of drumming, if not a big ol' root,"
said renowned New Orleans jazz, funk and rhythm & blues
drummer Johnny Vidacovich