Drummer Hal Blaine, Known for Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra, Simon & Garfunkel Songs, Dead at 90

Hal Blaine. Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

According to Rolling Stone, the family of legendary studio drummer Hal Blaine, born Harold Simon Belsky, announced his passing at the age of 90 via Facebook post Monday. A consummate studio musician, Blaine provided the backing tracks for dozens of classic hits including the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby” and Simon & Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson” and “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” A member of the Wrecking Crew, a long-standing group of Los Angeles session musicians working in the 1960s and 1970s, Blaine frequently played for producer Phil Spector and the Beach Boys, performing on the latter’s seminal album Pet Sounds.

Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000, Blaine can also be heard on the Crystals’ “He’s a Rebel,” Barbra Streisand’s “The Way We Were,” and Frank Sinatra’s “Strangers in the Night,” among hundreds of other songs. The drummer on every single Grammy Record of the Year winner between 1966 and 1971, Blaine received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement award in 2018. As his family wrote on Facebook, “May he rest forever on 2 and 4.”

Legendary Drummer Hal Blaine Dead at 90