Archive for September 22nd, 2008

22nd September
written by Matt The Cat

Nappy Brown
1929 – 2008

Napoleon Culp, better known to the world as Nappy Brown passed away over the weekend, just a few week’s shy of his 79th birthday. Nappy was born on October 12, 1929 in Charlotte, NC and raised on the spiritual sound of gospel music. As a young man, he sang in the local Charlotte gospel group, the Heavenly Lights. He was signed to Savoy Records in 1954 and switched over to secular rhythm & blues. Nothing sounded like Nappy’s “Don’t Be Angry” when it hit the air in 1955. Nappy told me that Ray Charles didn’t release his version of “The Right Time” until Nappy’s version had “cooled” off. Ray’s would become the standard, but it is heavily based on Nappy’s interpretation of the song. I had the privilege of interviewing Nappy last October as he promoted his fantastic new album “Long Time Coming”. Shortly after the album’s release, Nappy became very sick and his health only deteriorated from there. I’ll be playing back that interview as we honor the late, great Nappy Brown tonight on the Night Prowl Show.

Earl Palmer
1924 – 2008

Billy Vera says of Earl Palmer, “… a good guy and maybe the greatest studio drummer of them all.” That’s a great way to sum up Earl Palmer in one sentence. He died in his Los Angeles home after a long illness on Friday, September 19 at the age of 84.
He was a great studio drummer during the early to mid 1950s in New Orleans, playing on almost everything Fats Domino, Little Richard and Smiley Lewis cut. He worked on hundreds of sessions at Cosimo Matassa’s famous J&M; studios in New Orleans. By the mid-1950s, he decided to give LA a try, which he soon conquered. Palmer appeared on records by Eddie Cochran, Frank Sinatra, Ike & Tina’s “River Deep, Mountain High” and even the Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling”. So, as you can see, Billy Vera was right on the money when he said that Earl Palmer may possibly be the greatest studio drummer of them all. Now, that’s a backbeat I can dig.

Earl was inducted into The Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame as a sideman in 2000.

I will feature some of Earl’s best studio drumming on tonight’s Night Prowl Show.