Maybe the most recorded drummer of all time. Earl Palmer passed away on September 19th at the grand age of 84 – a legend moved on. He fueled so many great hits its hard to know where to start. Earl Palmer was from The Black Vaudeville era. He came from New Orleans and through his tap dancing he learnt to play trap drums. This self taught drumming defined Rock’n’Roll rhythm. His hits with Little Richard and Fats Domino engraved the “swamp beat” as David Axelrod has called it into the American psyche. The music Earl made with Axelrod became the raw materials of mid nineties hiphop. That’s how we met Earl – first on the video for Midnight in a Perfect World for DJ Shadow and then later as part of our documentary Keepintime.
As part of the funeral service his family wanted to make a slide show to illustrate his incredible and diverse life. In fourteen insane hours myself and Coleman and brilliant editor Luke Lynch put this together. Thanks to the Palmer family for letting us share it with you. Earl we love you, we will miss you but we feel assured that the party just got better in Heaven.
B+ October 10th 2008