Carl Radle

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Carl Radle
Background information
Birth nameCarl Dean Radle
Born(1942-06-18)June 18, 1942
Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S.
DiedMay 30, 1980(1980-05-30) (aged 37)
Claremore, Oklahoma, U.S.
GenresBlues rock, rock and roll, folk rock
Years active1965–1980
Formerly ofGary Lewis & the Playboys
Derek and the Dominos

Carl Dean Radle (June 18, 1942[1] – May 30, 1980)[2] was an American bassist who toured and recorded with many of the most influential recording artists of the late 1960s and 1970s. He was posthumously inducted to the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in 2006.[1]


Early life[edit]

Carl Dean Radle was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma on June 18, 1942. He shares his birth date and birth year with Beatles member Paul McCartney.


Radle’s professional career started out when Leon Russell offered him his entree into the music industry, inviting him out to California.[3]

Gary Lewis & the Playboys[edit]

His big break came along in the mid-1960s, as the bass player in Gary Lewis & the Playboys. During his time in the Playboys, he appeared with them on Hullabaloo, The Mike Douglas Show and The Ed Sullivan Show, and would play bass on the Playboy hits Everybody Loves a Clown and She's Just My Style and contribute to the albums A Session with Gary Lewis and the Playboys and Everybody Loves a Clown.

Eric Clapton[edit]

Derek and the Dominos in 1970 (from left to right): Jim Gordon, Radle, Bobby Whitlock and Eric Clapton

Radle was best known for his long association with Eric Clapton, starting in 1969 with Delaney and Bonnie and Friends and continuing in 1970 with Derek and the Dominos, recording with drummer Jim Gordon, guitarist Duane Allman, and keyboardist Bobby Whitlock.[2]

He worked on all of Clapton's solo projects from 1970 until 1979 and was a member of Clapton's touring band, Eric Clapton & His Band, from 1974 to 1979.[2] Radle was instrumental in facilitating Clapton's return to recording and touring in 1974. During Clapton's three-year hiatus, Radle furnished him with a supply of tapes of musicians with whom he had been working. Dick Sims and Jamie Oldaker were the core of Clapton's band during the 1970s. Radle served as more than a sideman, acting also as arranger on several songs, notably "Motherless Children". Radle earned credit as an associate producer of Clapton's album No Reason to Cry.

Later works[edit]

Carl also was a member of the psychedelic cult band from Dot records ‘Colours’ to which he was on the first and guest appeared on the second album. In 1970, Radle joined Joe Cocker's Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour.[2]

Radle was a session musician for many of the most famous blues rock and rock and roll artists in the 1970s, including Rita Coolidge and Kris Kristofferson. He appeared in the film The Concert for Bangladesh; recordings from that concert were released as an album in 1972. Over the two-year period before the release of the album The Concert for Bangladesh, Radle recorded albums with Dave Mason, J.J. Cale, George Harrison, Joe Cocker, Leon Russell, and Buddy Guy, among others.[2] He can be seen in Martin Scorsese's 1978 film The Last Waltz, which documented the final concert of The Band, held in 1976.

Over the course of his career, Radle played on a number of gold and platinum singles and albums and garnered the respect of many musicians. His bass lines were often simple and repetitive, but always with the purpose of supporting the song.[4]


Radle died at his home in Claremore, Oklahoma in May 1980,[2] from the effects of alcohol and narcotics; he was 37.[5]

Posthumous releases[edit]

Two albums by Derek and the Dominos, The Layla Sessions: 20th Anniversary Edition and Live at the Fillmore, were released in 1990 and 1994 respectively that posthumously credited Radle. The Layla Sessions featured studio jamming with Radle, and Live at the Fillmore was a live performance, that originally took place in October 1970.

Hall of Fame[edit]

He was posthumously inducted to the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in 2006.[1]


With Gary Lewis & the Playboys[edit]


Year Album
1965 A Session with Gary Lewis and the Playboys
Everybody Loves a Clown
She's Just My Style
1966 Hits Again
(You Don't Have To) Paint Me a Picture
1967 New Directions
Gary Lewis & The Playboys
1968 Gary Lewis Now!
1969 Rhythm of the Rain/Hayride
Close Cover Before Playing
I'm on the Right Road Now


Year Single B-side Album
1965 "Save Your Heart for Me" "Without a Word of Warning" A Session with Gary Lewis and the Playboys
"Everybody Loves a Clown" "Time Stands Still" Everybody Loves a Clown
"She's Just My Style" "I Won't Make That Mistake Again" She's Just My Style
1966 "Sure Gonna Miss Her" "I Don't Wanna Say Goodnight" (non-LP track) Hits Again
"Green Grass" "I Can Read Between the Lines"
"My Heart's Symphony" "Tina (I Held You in My Arms)" (You Don't Have To) Paint Me a Picture
"(You Don't Have To) Paint Me a Picture" "Looking For the Stars"
"Where Will the Words Come From" "May the Best Man Win" (from Gary Lewis and The Playboys)
1967 "Way Way Out"

(Way...Way Out Promo Release)

non-LP track
"The Loser (with a Broken Heart)" "Ice Melts in the Sun" (#121 BB) More Golden Greats
"Girls in Love" "Let's Be More Than Friends" New Directions
"Jill" "New in Town" (from New Directions) Listen!
"Has She Got The Nicest Eyes" "Happiness" Rhythm!
1968 "Sealed with a Kiss" "Sara Jane" Gary Lewis Now!
"Main Street" "C.C. Rider" Close Cover Before Playing
1969 "Rhythm of the Rain" "Mister Memory" (from Close Cover Before Playing) Rhythm of the Rain/Hayride
"Hayride" "Gary's Groove" (non-LP track)
"I Saw Elvis Presley Last Night" "Something is Wrong" I'm on the Right Road Now
1970 "I'm on the Right Road Now" "Great Balls of Fire"

With Derek and the Dominos[edit]


With Eric Clapton[edit]



  1. ^ a b c "Carl Radle Legendary Bass Guitarist". Official Website. 2005. Retrieved December 5, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Carl Radle Biography, Songs, & Albums". AllMusic. Retrieved October 6, 2021.
  3. ^ Giles, Jeff. "The Death of Derek and the Dominos Bassist Carl Radle". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved March 24, 2023.
  4. ^ Collier, Rob (May 19, 2011). "A Lesson in Carl Radle's Style". Retrieved June 20, 2015.
  5. ^ "Carl Radle Memorial – Tribute to Legendary Bass Guitarist for Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker, George Harrison and Others". Archived from the original on July 21, 2011. Retrieved July 20, 2011.

External links[edit]