Obituary: Larrie Londin

Ralph Gallant (Larrie Londin), drummer, born 1944, died Nashville Tennessee 31 August 1992.

AS NASHVILLE's top session drummer of the past two decades Larrie Londin brought about a minor revolution. He put muscle into previously timid Country drumming, bringing it more into line with the rock-oriented mainstream of American pop. Today it is fashionable to admit to liking Country stars - no one jokes any more - and Londin's sturdy playing was a stepping-stone towards this acceptance.

Londin began playing the drums at the age of 15, but his early professional career was as lead singer with the Headliners - the first white act signed by Tamla Motown in Detroit. The idea was to become a white answer to the Temptations. However at Motown Londin's appreciation of how best to accompany singers led to his playing drums for the Supremes, Marvin Gaye, and the Temptations. The famous drum figures on Junior Walker's 'Shotgun' are also Londin's.

While in the Headliners he struck up a friendship with the guitarist Chet Atkins, and in 1969 moved to Nashville, where with the encouragement of Atkins and the brilliant guitar-picker Gerry Reed, his Motown-influenced up- front beat was eventually accepted. Londin claimed this was unplanned and yet he was the total professional. And although largely self-taught he was a terrific player, practising eight to 12 hours a day. He was also one of the first American drummers to record extensively with electronic drums; all the more daring in the relatively conservative atmosphere of country music.

His great love of the instrument made him very popular on the 'clinic' (master-class) circuit, and he could hold his own in the company of the world's top jazz and rock drummers. Indeed although Londin in his loud Hawaiian shirts evoked the good-old-boy image, he was much more than 'just' a Country drummer. He recorded with countless stars of rock, pop and Country, including Waylon Jennings, Randy Travis, Reva McEntire, Emy Lou Harris, Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, Steve Perry, Journey, Glenn Frey, Joe Cocker, Joe Tex, Albert Lee, Neil Young, BB King, Tom Jones and Johnny Mathis. And he proved his all-round ability playing with ex- King Crimson jazz-fusion guitarist Adrian Belew. He also recorded 'Guitar Man' with Elvis Presley, and while deputising for Elvis's long-time drummer Ronnie Tutt played Presley's last two concerts at Cincinnati and Indianapolis in 1977. In recent years he also recorded and toured with the Everley Brothers.

Larrie Londin won many Country music awards, numerous platinum discs, and was one of only a dozen or so drummers voted to the exclusive 'Honor Roll' in America's Modern Drummer magazine.

(Photograph omitted)

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

HR Advisor - North London / North West London

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Advisor - North London...

Finance Manager - Recruitment Business (Media & Entertainment)

£28000 - £32000 per annum + negotiable: Sauce Recruitment: We have an exciting...

HR Advisor - North London / North West London

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Advisor - North London...

HR Advisor - North London / North West London

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Advisor - North London...

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London