Rock Hall of Fame Drummer Earl Palmer Dead At 84
Session drummer Earl Palmer, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee who featured on hits like Ike and Tina Turner’s “River Deep, Mountain High” and the Righteous Brothers‘ “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’,” passed away Friday at his Los Angeles home after a lengthy illness. He was 84.
Palmer got his start as a session drummer in New Orleans, working with artists like Fats Domino and Little Richard, with Palmer providing the drums on Richard’s hit “Tutti Fruitti.” Palmer moved to Los Angeles in 1957 and began working with artists like Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Rick Nelson and producer Phil Spector. Palmer would later contribute to the Monkees‘ Head, Elvis Costello’s King of America and Tom Waits‘ Blue Valentine. Palmer’s drumming also featured in the theme song to The Flintstones.
In addition to his session work, Palmer played weekly gigs in L.A. with his Earl Palmer Trio, often attracting musicians like Ringo Starr and Bonnie Raitt to the shows. Palmer was rewarded for his contributions to music history in 2000, when he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.