Sandy Nelson

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Sandy Nelson
Birth name Sander L. Nelson
Born (1938-12-01) December 1, 1938 (age 75)
Santa Monica, California, United States
Genres Rock and roll
Occupations Musician
Instruments Drums
Years active 1959 – present
Associated acts The Renegades, The Sin City Termites

Sandy Nelson (born Sander L. Nelson, December 1, 1938, Santa Monica, California) is an American drummer.[1] Nelson, one of the best-known rock drummers of the early 1960s, had several solo instrumental Top 40 hits and was a session drummer on many other well-known hits, and released over 30 albums.[2]

Career[edit]

His first recording, with a band called the Renegades (Richard Podolor, Bruce Johnston and Nick Venet), was "Geronimo", written by Venet, produced by Kim Fowley[3] and released on the Original Sound Records label. Although it flopped on the national charts, it charted in some of the Mid West markets. The song, along with "Charge", is part of the soundtrack of 1959 film Ghost of Dragstrip Hollow[4] released by American International Pictures.

Nelson attended high school with Jan Berry, Dean Torrence (who became Jan and Dean), and Kim Fowley.[5] After gaining respect as a session drummer, he played on such songs as "To Know Him Is To Love Him" (Phil Spector's Teddy Bears, 1958), "Alley-Oop" (The Hollywood Argyles, 1960), and "A Thousand Stars" (Kathy Young and the Innocents, 1960).[6]

His song "Teen Beat", on Original Sound Records, rose to number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1959.[7] It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.[8] Subsequently he signed with the Imperial record label,[6] and pounded out two more Top 40 hits, "Let There Be Drums", which went to number 7 on the Billboard Hot 100,[7] and "Drums Are My Beat". In December 1961, the British music magazine, NME, reported that "Let There Be Drums" had gone Top 10 in both the United Kingdom and United States.[9] All three were instrumentals (a feat rarely repeated).[5] Guitar playing on these hits was by co-writer, Richard Podolor, later a songwriter and record producer.

Near the end of 1963, Nelson was in a motorcycle accident.[1] The injuries necessitated amputation of his right foot and part of that leg.[5] Nonetheless, Nelson continued to record into the early 1970s, releasing two or three albums a year, consisting of cover versions of popular hits plus a few original compositions.[1]

Nelson lives in Boulder City, Nevada, and continues to experiment with music on keyboards and piano.

In September, 2008, Nelson and a few friends, recording as Sandy Nelson and the Sin City Termites,[10] released a new record of original compositions, Nelsonized, on the independent Spinout label. Other band members included Eddie Angel (guitarist for Los Straitjackets), Remi Gits, and Billy Favata of Torturing Elvis.

Discography[edit]

(with Billboard (BB) and Cashbox (CB) peak positions)

Singles[edit]

  • "Teen Beat" (BB #4, CB #4) / Big Jump—Original Sound 5 (1959)
  • "Drum Party" / "Big Noise From Winnetka" — Imperial 5630 (1960)
  • "Party Time" / "The Wiggle" — Imperial 5648 (1960)
  • "Bouncy" / "Lost Dreams" — Imperial 5672 (1961)
  • "Cool Operator" / "Jive Talk" — Imperial 5708 (1961)
  • "Big Noise From The Jungle" / "Get With It" — Imperial 5745 (1961)
  • "Let There Be Drums" (BB #7, CB #9) / "Quite A Beat" — Imperial 5775 (1961)
  • "Drums Are My Beat" (BB #29, CB #57) / "The Birth Of The Beat" (BB #75) - Imperial 5809 (1962)
  • "Drummin' Up A Storm" (BB #67) / "Drum Stomp" (BB #86, CB #100) - Imperial 5829 (1962)
  • "All Night Long" (BB #75) / "Rompin' & Stompin'" - Imperial 5860 (1962)
  • "...And Then There Were Drums" (BB #65, CB #95) / "Live It Up" (BB #101) - Imperial 5870 (1962)
  • "Teenage House Party" / "Day Train" — Imperial 5884 (1962)
  • "Let The Four Winds Blow" (BB #107) / "Be Bop Baby" — Imperial 5904 (1962)
  • "Ooh Poo Pah Doo" / "Feel So Good" — Imperial 5932 (1963)
  • "You Name It" / "Alexes" — Imperial 5940 (1963)
  • "Here We Go Again" / "Just Bull" — Imperial 5965 (1963)
  • "Caravan" / "Sandy" — Imperial 5988 (1964)
  • "Drum Shack" / "Kitty's Theme" — Imperial 66019 (1964)
  • "Castle Rock" / "You Don't Say" — Imperial 66034 (1964)
  • "Teen Beat" '65 (BB #44, CB #37) / "Kitty's Theme" — Imperial 66060 (1964)
  • "Reach For A Star" (BB #133) / "Chop Chop" — Imperial 66093 (1965)
  • "Let There Be Drums '66" (BB #120) / "Land Of 1000 Dances" — Imperial 66107 (1965)
  • "Drums A Go Go" (BB #124) / "Casbah" — Imperial 66127 (1965)
  • "A Lover's Concerto" / "Treat Her Right" — Imperial 66146 (1965)
  • "Sock It To 'Em, J.B." / "The Charge" — Imperial 66193 (1966)
  • "Pipeline" / "Let's Go Trippin'" - Imperial 66209 (1966)
  • "The Drums Go On" / "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" — Imperial 66246 (1966)
  • "Peter Gunn" / "You Got The Hummin'" - Imperial 66253 (1966)
  • "Rebirth Of The Beat" / "The Lion In Winter" — Imperial 66350 (1969)
  • "Manhattan Spiritual" (BB #119) / "The Stripper" — Imperial 66375 (1969)
  • "Let There Be Drums And Brass" / "Leap Frog" — Imperial 66402 (1969)
  • "Sapporo '72" / (B-side unknown) - United Artists 50830 (1972, unreleased)
  • "Dance With The Devil" / "Sunshine Of My Life" — United Artists 383 (1974)
  • "Drum Tunnel" / "Boogie #5" — Veebletronics 1 (1984)
  • "Hunk Of Drums" / "Witch Hunt" — Veebletronics 2 (1984)
  • "A Drum Is A Woman" / "Boogie #5" — Veebletronics 3 (1984)

Albums[edit]

NOTE: There were separate Cashbox charts for stereo and mono albums until 1965

  • Sandy Nelson Plays Teen Beat — Imperial 9105 (Mono)/12044 (Stereo) (1960)
Originally issued with white cover, later issued with red cover. Features re-recorded version of "Teen Beat"
  • He's A Drummer Boy (Later retitled Happy Drums) — Imperial 9136/12089 (1961)
  • Let There Be Drums (BB #6) - Imperial 9159 (CB #7)/12080 (CB #17) (1962)
  • Drums Are My Beat (BB #29) - Imperial 9168 (CB #24)/12083 (CB #31) (1962)
  • Drummin' Up A Storm (BB #55) - Imperial 9187 (CB #82)/12189 (1962)
  • Golden Hits (BB #106) - Imperial 9202/12202 (1962)
  • Country Style— Imperial 9203/12203 (1962)
Reissued in 1966 as On The Wild Side
  • Compelling Percussion — Imperial 9204/12204 (1962)
Reissued in 1966 as ...And Then There Were Drums
  • Teenage House Party — Imperial 9215/12215 (1963)
  • The Best Of The Beats — Imperial 9224/12224 (1963)
  • Beat That Drum — Imperial 9237/12237 (1963)
  • Sandy Nelson Plays — Imperial 9249/12249 (1963)
  • Be True To Your School — Imperial 9258/12258 (1964)
  • Live! In Las Vegas (BB #122) - Imperial 9272 (CB #58)/12272 (1964)
Despite the title, all tracks are studio recordings with live audience dubbed in
  • Teen Beat '65 (BB #135) - Imperial 9278/12278 (1965)
  • Drum Discothèque (BB #120) - Imperial 9283/12283 (1965)
  • Drums A Go-Go (BB #118, CB #82) - Imperial 9287/12287 (1965)
  • Boss Beat (BB #126) - Imperial 9298/12298 (1966)
  • "In" Beat (BB #148) - Imperial 9305/12305 (1966)
  • Super Drums — Imperial 9314/12314 (1966)
  • Beat That #!!@* Drum (CB #94) - Imperial 9329/12329 (1966)
  • Cheetah Beat — Imperial 9340/12340 (1967)
  • The Beat Goes On — Imperial 9345/12345 (1967)
  • Soul Drums — Imperial 9362/12362 (1967)
  • Boogaloo Beat — Imperial 12367 (1968)
  • Rock And Roll Revival — Imperial 12400 (1968)
  • Rebirth Of The Beat — Imperial 12424 (1969)
  • Manhattan Spiritual — Imperial 12439 (1969)
  • Groovy — Imperial 12451 (1970)

Budget compilations[edit]

  • Walking Beat — Sunset SUM-1114 (Mono)/SUS-5114 (Stereo) (1966)
  • Teen Drums — Sunset SUM-1166/SUS-5166 (1967)
  • And There Were Drums (Drums And More Drums) - Sunset SUS-5224 (1968)
  • Heavy Drums — Sunset SUS-5261 (1969)
  • Sandy Nelson Plays Fats Domino Hits — Sunset SUS-5291 (1970)
  • Drums, Drums, Drums - Sunset SLS 50060 (Stereo) (Year?)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Unterberger, Richie (1938-12-01). "Sandy Nelson - Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-03-30. 
  2. ^ Bob Cianci, Great Rock Drummers of the Sixties. Hal Leonard Corporation, 2005, pp.120-131
  3. ^ Harvey Kubernik, Hollywood Shack Job: rock music in film and on your screen. UNM Press, 2006, p.77
  4. ^ "Ghost of Dragstrip Hollow - soundtrack". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2013-03-30. 
  5. ^ a b c "Sandy Nelson: Biography". Music.msn.com. 1938-12-01. Retrieved 2011-10-23. 
  6. ^ a b Charlie Gillett, The Sound of the City: the rise of rock and roll. Da Capo Press, 1996, p.104
  7. ^ a b Sandy Nelson (1938-12-01). "Sandy Nelson - Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-03-30. 
  8. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 116. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. 
  9. ^ Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 101. CN 5585. 
  10. ^ "Website". Myspace.com. Retrieved 2011-10-23. 

External links[edit]

http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/1996/apr/22/sandy-nelson----boulder-citys-cave-man/#axzz2UiIYlW5O