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)

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

Geography Teacher

£24000 - £33600 per annum + pre 12 week AWR : Randstad Education Manchester Se...

E150/2014 - English Language Checker (Grade B3)

On Application: Council of Europe: The European Court of Human Rights’s judgme...

Marketing Executive

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Charter Selection: A professional services company ...

Project Manager - Bristol South West

£400 - £450 per day: Orgtel: Project Manager (PM), Key Banking Client, Retail ...

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?