Earl Young (drummer)

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Earl Young (born 1940, Philadelphia) is a Philadelphia-based drummer who rose to prominence in the early 1970s as part of the Philly Soul sound. Young is best known as the founder and leader of The Trammps[1] who had a hit record with "Disco Inferno". Young, along with Ronnie Baker and Norman Harris (the trio best known as Baker-Harris-Young), was the owner of the Golden Fleece record label.[2]

Young is seen as the inventor of the disco style of rock drumming[3] (in Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes's "The Love I Lost" from 1973), as he was the first to make extensive and distinctive use of the hi-hat cymbal throughout the playing time of an R & B recording. This led to DJs favoring his recordings because they could hear the cymbal quite easily in their headphones as they "cued up" records to be mixed.

Young featured prominently on many Gamble and Huff recordings before moving on to Salsoul Records as part of the house band for the label. He recorded extensively at Philadelphia's Sigma Sound Studios.

In 1989, newcomers Ten City sought out Young to work on their first album for the house music scene, and even commissioned Young to remix of some of the material and as a session drummer.

In September 2008, Young joined some other ex-MFSB musicians on the Carl Dixon/Bobby Eli session at Eli's Studio E in Philadelphia where four new songs were recorded. The rhythm section included Young, Eli, Dennis Harris (the cousin of the Philadelphia guitarist Norman Harris) on guitar, Jimmy Williams (bass guitar), T Conway (keyboards) and Rikki Hicks (percussion). Vocalists on the session were the Philadelphia harmony group Double Exposure performing "Soul Recession", and Chiquita Green.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Music: Enter the Disco Band". Time. September 6, 1976. 
  2. ^ "New group, old sound". The Afro American. August 10, 1974. 
  3. ^ Lawrence, Tim (2003). Love saves the day: a history of American dance music culture, 1970-1979. Duke University Press. pp. 120–122. ISBN 0-8223-3198-5.