Archives: Hal Strikes Again!

Yesterday I played thirteen of the forty #1 songs featuring Hal Blaine on drums. Today I’m playing another thirteen! 🙂

Why am I so determined to have Blaine (and other session men) get their deserved recognition? You have to remember that radio listeners and record buyers never knew the truth back then, and that was just the way the major labels like Columbia, Liberty, Dunhill, A&M, and Capitol wanted to keep it. Preserving the illusion that famous groups played their own instruments was big business. It was very big business.

Image was (and is) everything in the music industry. If a band’s image in the 1960s was all about playing some hip jangly 12-string guitar riffs and creating some funky grooves, as in Mr. Tambourine Man by the Byrds, then you can be sure companies like Columbia Records (the Byrds’ label) discouraged the public from knowing what really went on behind studio doors.

To make certain he got the best possible performance for this all-important first single release, Terry Melcher, the Byrds’ producer, hired the Wrecking Crew to play all the backing instruments on the song. In other words, there was not a Byrd in sight, with the exception of the guitarist Jim (Roger) McGuinn, who was allowed to play his Rickenbacker electric 12-string on the song. But as far as the record-buying public knew, this future gold record featured nothing but all five Byrds in full flight.

I highly recommend watching The Wrecking Crew, a 2008 film produced by the son of guitarist Tommy Tedesco as a tribute to his late father and a core group of studio musicians who played on some of the biggest hits of the 1960s and 1970s.

About That Hal Strikes Again! headline … Mike Botts, the late drummer for the soft-rock group Bread, once 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!”

Memories … That’s What We’re All About

Play buttons are on the left … Volume sliders are on the right

Hal Blaine Medley, Part 2

Johnny Rivers – Carpenters
John Denver – Dean Martin
Byrds – 5th Dimension
Association – Neil Diamond
Paul Revere & The Raiders
Frank & Nancy Sinatra
Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass
Beach Boys
Simon & Garfunkel

Comments (18)

  1. Rosa-Lee Gould

    Again, Thank you Ray for this mornings music to remember & smile with. Hal Blaine certainly left a legacy to the world 🙂 🙂

    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thank you, Lee, He played on some of my favorite songs from that era.

  2. Fred

    Thank you Ray!! I love the way you bring the facts out!! Another great day!!
    Love ya!!

    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thank you, Fred! 🥰
      So, so glad you enjoyed it!
      Love ya!

  3. Mary Helen Hawthorne

    Love that Hal played for a drummer (Carpenter)
    Again thanks for the backstory of Hal Blaine and the Wrecking Crew

    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thank you, Mary Helen 🥰
      I am so glad you enjoyed it!

  4. Evelyn Page

    Thanks Ray for another stroll down memory lane.

    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thank you, Evelyn, for coming along! 🥰

    2. Bonnie Adams Scriba

      Oh, Ray, what a wonderful compilation of songs! Being a singer, I never cared who wrote or played the music, S long as I could sing along! What a legacy Hal left behind! Too bad someone didn’t make an album of all the songs he played on, and scramble them up chronologically, as you did here. Just fills my ❤️ with joy! Thank you for all your work on this.

      1. Ray (Post author)

        Thank you, Bonnie! Hal contributed more to the great songs of a magical era than virtually any musician, and I am proud to keep his legacy alive! ❤️

  5. Jim

    I am really amazed at how many recordings he took part in and which bands and singers he played for.

    I remember how upset I was with the Monkeys when it was made known to me that they didn’t play their instruments and only sang. Little did I know!

    Thank you for enlightening me and bringing me so very many great memories with yesterday’s and today’s “Hal” melodies!

    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thank you, Jim. I would have done a Part 3 tomorrow but alas, time is short and I have much to get to before this week is over. 🥰

  6. Pat Conant

    Loved all these today, Ray. Like a bridge over troubled waters, music sure can pick me up. Thanks for these great medleys, Ray.

    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thank you, Pat 🥰
      Music is a great healer!

  7. Rose

    Thanks Hal!

    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thank you, Rose 🥰

  8. Don Doyle

    He was truly a Renaissance Man. No matter what the genre or style he had something unique to bring to the party. Recently I was listening to one of my favorite groups, SPIRIT, and for some reason the drumming just really stood out. I found myself listening to “I Got a Line on You” over & over, just dumbstruck by Cassidy’s drumming. It really made the song for me. Since then my ears seem to be tuned into the drums on everything I listen to. So thank you for spotlighting one of the true masters of the craft. Let’s hear some more Hal!

    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thank you, Don, I would have been happy to play Part 3 of the Blaine music, but I had to move on to something different on Wednesday. So much to do and so little time!

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