|Birth name||Robert Francis Neate|
11 March 1940|
Edmonton, North London, England
|Died||14 September 2009
Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, England
|Occupations||Session musician, drummer|
Bobby Graham (11 March 1940 – 14 September 2009) was an English session drummer, composer, arranger and record producer. Shel Talmy, who produced The Kinks, David Bowie and The Who, described Graham as "the greatest drummer the UK has ever produced."
Born Robert Francis Neate at North Middlesex Hospital, Edmonton, North London, England, Graham became a member of The Outlaws and worked with Joe Meek. He left to join work with Joe Brown in 1961. Graham was approached by Brian Epstein when it was decided to remove Pete Best from The Beatles. Graham turned Epstein down as he was then the drummer for a much more successful band, Joe Brown and The Bruvvers, and so Epstein instead chose Ringo Starr. Graham was a part of the British elite session team (comparable to the American "Wrecking Crew") made up of artists such as Big Jim Sullivan, Vic Flick and Jimmy Page.
Graham played on 13 number one singles, including those by The Dave Clark Five, Englebert Humperdinck, John Leyton, Peter and Gordon, Jackie Trent, The Kinks, Tom Jones and Dusty Springfield, and appeared on a total of 40 UK top five hits. 10 number two hits. 4 number 3 hits. 6 number 4 hits. 7 number five hits. 107 top 50 hits. 1155 days in the charts. He played on hits by Dave Berry, Eric Burdon & The Animals, Joe Brown and The Bruvvers, Chubby Checker, Petula Clark, Lulu, Brian Poole & The Tremeloes, The Pretty Things, PJ Proby, Van Morrison, Them, The Walker Brothers, and Marianne Faithfull.
Graham played on over 15,000 titles, including:
- "You Really Got Me" by The Kinks
- "Downtown" by Petula Clark
- "Green Green Grass of Home" by Tom Jones
- "I Only Want to Be with You" by Dusty Springfield
- "I Believe" by The Bachelors
- "Is It True" by Brenda Lee. Produced by Mickie Most in 1964.
- Patrick Harrington: The Session Man (Broom House Publishing Ltd., 12 Nov 2004) - ISBN 0-9549142-0-1
- "UK’s king of drums dies at 69". Express.co.uk. 2009-09-15. Retrieved 2011-10-16.
- "Bobby Graham career". Bobbygraham.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-10-16.
- Herrington and Graham, The Session Man: The story of Bobby Graham, the UK's greatest session drummer, Broom House Publishing Limited, Monmouthshire, 2004 p 84-86
- "Bobby Graham - the man who turned down The Beatles". Retrosellers.com. Retrieved 2011-10-16.
- "Kinks and Tom Jones drummer dies". BBC News. 2009-09-17. Retrieved 2011-10-16.
- Herrington and Graham, The Session Man: The story of Bobby Graham, the UK's greatest session drummer, Broom House Publishing Limited, Monmouthshire, 2004 p 9