In Memoriam|

Photo: Sandy Nelson (from his Facebook page) | From Wikipedia: Sander Lloyd “Sandy” Nelson (December 1, 1938 – February 14, 2022) was an American drummer. Nelson, one of the best-known rock drummers of the early 1960s, had several solo instrumental Top 40 hits and released over 30 albums. He was a session drummer on many other well-known hits. He lived in Boulder City, Nevada, where he continued to experiment with music on keyboards and piano.

Nelson attended high school with Jan Berry and Dean Torrence, who later became recording stars as Jan and Dean), and Kim Fowley. In 1959, Fowley produced Nelson’s first recording, “Geronimo” by the Renegades (a band made up of Nelson, Richard Podolor, Bruce Johnston, and songwriter Nick Venet). Although the single flopped on the national charts, it charted in some of the Mid West markets. The song featured in the 1959 film Ghost of Dragstrip Hollow released by American International Pictures.

After gaining respect as a session drummer, Nelson played on several hit singles including the Teddy Bears’ “To Know Him Is To Love Him” (1958), The Hollywood Argyles’ “Alley Oop” (1960) and Kathy Young and the Innocents’ “A Thousand Stars” (1960).

His instrumental recording “Teen Beat”, on Original Sound Records, rose to number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1959. It sold over one million copies and was awarded a gold disc. Subsequently he signed with the Imperial label and pounded out two more Top 40 hits, “Let There Be Drums”, which went to number 7 on the Hot 100, 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. All three were instrumentals (a feat rarely repeated). 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. The injuries necessitated amputation of his right foot and part of that leg. 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.

In September 2008, Nelson and a few friends, recording as Sandy Nelson and the Sin City Termites, 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.

Nelson died on February 14, 2022, at the age of 83.


• • • • • • • • • •

From the Boulder City Review:

Nelson, 83, had been ill for several months before his death.

His son, Josh Straume, said he had been put into hospice care Jan. 24 after suffering a stroke.

“On Feb. 2, … I called him for the first time in awhile,” he said. “I hadn’t spoken to him in a few months. . . Straume said the next day his dad suffered a mini-stroke that caused expressive aphasia, leaving him unable to talk.



From Susan Cunningham: Sadly he passed away on Valentine’s Day. He was one of the relatives I actually enjoyed spending time with. From now on, when I hear thunder, I will imagine it is Sander laying down some beats from heaven. ~ Susan

Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at hsaylor@bouldercityreview.com

* * * * *
Other Notable Musicians’ Deaths…

If you want to know more about any of the musicians we lost, please check them out at http://www.wikipedia.com

February 2021
16: Bappi Lahiri, 69, Indian singer, composer (Asha O Bhalobasha, Disco Dancer, Namak Halaal) and record producer, complications from obstructive sleep apnea.

15: Sandhya Mukherjee, 90, Indian playback singer (Nishi Padma, Jaagte Rahoo, Mamta), cardiac arrest; Arif Sentürk, 81, Yugoslav-born Turkish folk singer.

14: Sterling Brimley, 85, American singer, musician, and actor (Brigham City); Ralf Bursy, 66, German singer and music producer; *Sandy Nelson, 83, American drummer (“Teen Beat”, “Let There Be Drums”); Roger Segal, 49, American bass guitarist (Trashlight Vision), stabbed.

13: King Louie Bankston, 49, American rock musician (The Exploding Hearts); Clifton Eddie, 78, American drummer.

12: Howard Grimes, 80, American drummer (Hi Rhythm Section), kidney failure; William Kraft, 98, American composer and conductor; Aurelio de la Vega, 96, Cuban-American composer and educator; Miguel Vicens Danus, 78, Spanish bass guitarist (Los Bravos).

10: Gheorghe Banariuc, 70, Moldovan violinist, conductor, and composer; Brian Dunning, 70, Irish flautist and composer; Roman Kostrzewski, 61, Polish heavy metal musician (Kat); Jirí Linha, 91, Czech vocalist and chorus master; Owen Moran, 62, British musician (Cook da Books) (death announced on this date);

9: Apurba Bezbaruah, 70, Indian singer; David Botwinik, 101, Lithuanian-born Canadian composer; Betty Davis, 77, American funk and soul singer, cancer; Joseph Horovitz, 95, Austrian-born British composer (Captain Noah and His Floating Zoo) and conductor; Ian McDonald, 75, English musician (King Crimson, Foreigner, Steve Hackett); Nora Nova, 93, Bulgarian singer.


Leave a Reply

Close Search Window