Drummer Hal Blaine Bio, Wiki, Age, Married, Net Worth, Twitter, Instagram, Known Facts


Hal Blaine Bio

Hal Blaine (birth name: Harold Simon Belsky) was born on February 5th, 1929 and died on March 11th, 2019. He was an American drummer and session musician. He was one of the most prolific session drummers in the history of popular music, playing on a large number of hit records. Blaine was most renown for his work with the Wrecking Crew, a group of musicians who recorded prolifically in the Los Angeles music scene and played behind a large number of musicians in the 1960s and 1970s.

Hal Blaine Quick Wiki/Bio

Birth name Harold Simon Belsky
Born He was born on February 5th, 1929 in Holyoke, Massachusetts, U.S.
Died He died on March 11th, 2019 (aged 90)
Cause of Death Natural Causes
Genres Pop, rock and roll
Occupation(s) Musician
  • Drums
  • percussion
Years active 1940s–2019
Associated acts Wrecking Crew
Net Worth He had an estimated Net Worth of $ 5 Million as at the time of his death

Hal Blaine Parents and Early Childhood

Blaine was born Harold Simon Belsky to Jewish Eastern European immigrants, Meyer and Rose Belsky, in Holyoke, Massachusetts. He moved with his family to California in 1943. The following year, aged 15, Blaine survived the Hartford circus fire – one of the worst disasters in American history.

Hal Blaine Career

Blaine learned drums from Roy Knapp, who had also taught jazz drummer Gene Krupa in the 1940s. He played as part of Count Basie’s big band and toured with Patti Page and Tommy Sands before taking up session work. Blaine enjoyed playing rock ‘n’ roll unlike most of his jazz contemporaries. This meant he played on numerous such sessions during the 1950s. He was a key member of The Wrecking Crew, the close-knit group of Los Angeles session musicians that played on hit records during the 1960s.

Blaine played less session work from the 1980s onwards as computers and electronics began to be used in studios, and producers began to bring in younger players. He kept busy recording advertising jingles for a number of years, before semi-retiring from performing.

Blaine was a prolific session player and by his estimation played on over 6,000 recordings. He is widely regarded as one of the most in-demand drummers in rock and roll history, having “certainly played on more hit records than any drummer in the rock era”. He can be heard as part of the Wall of Sound on the Ronettes’ 1963 US #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. Blaine also played on Beach Boys sessions during the mid-1960s (covering for the group’s official drummer Dennis Wilson), including the group’s critically acclaimed 1966 album Pet Sounds and single “Good Vibrations”.

In March 2000, he was one of the first five sidemen inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (one of the other inductees was his long-time friend and drumming colleague, Earl Palmer). He was inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 2010.

Hal Blaine Grammy Awards

Blaine played on six consecutive Grammy Award 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 and 1970 for “Up, Up and Away” and “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In”
  • Simon & Garfunkel in 1969 and 1971 for “Mrs. Robinson” and “Bridge over Troubled Water”
  • In 2018, Blaine received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Hal Blaine Wife, Daughter

Baine wife died in 1968 while their daughter Michelle Blaine was four years old. In an interview in 2009 with Elvis Australia, he said So he says, “So what is Nancy paying you?” Now, remember this was 1968. I said, “I’m getting $2500 a week, 10,000 for the month, there’s a car at my disposal. My wife had just died so I had a nanny for the kids at the hotel and there’s a driver.

Hal Blaine Death 

Blaine died on March 11th, 2019 at the age of 90. A statement from his family read “Hal Blaine – loving father of Michelle Blaine; grandfather of Anthony, Josh, Aaron, Whitney, Tempest, Ever and Lyryk; and inspiration to countless friends, fans and musicians – has passed on today, March 11th, 2019 at the age of 90. May he rest forever on 2 and 4. The family appreciates your outpouring of support and prayers that have been extended to Hal from around the world, and respectfully request privacy in this time of great mourning. No further details will be released at this time.”

Hal Blaine Cause of Death

Blaine died of natural causes at his home in Palm Desert, California, his son-in-law, Andy Johnson, told The Associated Press.

Hal Blaine Tributes

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