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Old 10-21-2015, 06:39 PM
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Scott K Fish Scott K Fish is offline
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Default Earl Palmer on Motown, New Orleans, Los Angeles

Earl Palmer on Motown, New Orleans, Los Angeles



SKF NOTE: I recently found, and started posting here, transcripts of short phone interviews I did in the early 1980ís while gathering data for my five-part Modern Drummer series, The History of Rock Drumming. As I've said before, it may be hard to believe in 2015, but in the early 1980ís there was very little written about the history of Rock drummers.

This informal interview with Earl Palmer was done strictly so I could fill in historical blanks and to clarify certain historical information. This interview was never published. Earl's comments on early Motown recordings may be of particular interest.

Sometimes Earl's remarks are tricky to follow. He rarely uses proper nouns. For example, instead of saying, "Motown recorded that way in other cities," Earl will say, "They recorded that way in other cities." Where I felt Earl's intent was getting lost, I inserted a proper noun in brackets. Otherwise, this transcript is verbatim.

I think this interview was done using the public pay phone in the hall of the rooming house I was living in while on staff at Modern Drummer. My land line may have temporarily disconnected until I could pay my bill.

Final Note: Politically correct readers may be offended by Earl's description of drummer Charles "Hungry" Williams. I considered removing Earl's comments, but decided to post them. For one thing, Earl tells us how Charles Williams got his nickname, "Hungry." For another thing, it's obvious Earl liked "Hungry" Williams and had great respect for his drumming.

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Earl Palmer: In New Orleans.... When I left there, there were a number of different guys doing the things, because none of them did a hell of a lot. Each of them did a little. Because there wasn't a hell of a lot done there as compared to what was being done in New Orleans, and out here [Los Angeles], until they started going to Muscle Shoals.

But the guy in Detroit that died -- Benny Benjamin -- who did all those early Motown things in Detroit.... But then, he didn't do one hell of a lot, because shortly after they [Motown] started, they started doing all of their stuff out here. And I was doing a lot of it until we realized that they were doing illegal tracks and sending them back to Detroit and putting the Supremes, and Marvin Gaye, and all these people on the things.

Scott K Fish Blog: Life Beyond the Cymbals Click Here to Read Full Interview
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Old 10-21-2015, 06:54 PM
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Default Re: Earl Palmer on Motown, New Orleans, Los Angeles

Thanks Scott. Itty Bitty Pretty One is a great tune!
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Old 10-21-2015, 08:48 PM
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philrudd philrudd is offline
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Default Re: Earl Palmer on Motown, New Orleans, Los Angeles

I love these things. Thanks.
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Old 10-21-2015, 09:33 PM
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Scott K Fish Scott K Fish is offline
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Default Re: Earl Palmer on Motown, New Orleans, Los Angeles

philrudd -

You're welcome.

Best,
skf
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