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    Holland, Milt (7th February 1917-4th November 2005)

    He is a percussionist, drummer, author and musicologist who was born Milton Olshansky in Chicago, Illinois.

     

    He first learned to play the violin but was soon lured to the percussion side of things where he was performing at various clubs, speak-easys and shows when he was only still around twelve years old.

     

    As his career progressed he become a touring and recording member with The Raymond Scott Orchestra in 1940 and was a member of the staff at CBS.  He became a member of Alvy West and The Little Band in 1947 which was the same year he moved to Los Angeles.

     

    Deciding to take further education in the 1960s he entered UCLA to study the Tavla which was followed by a term studying in India from 1963 and then extensive travels in India and Africa during the 1960s and ‘70s to learn about tribal rhythms and instruments.  This knowledge led to him introducing these sounds on many recordings back in the United States.

     

    After moving to LA he became one of the famous Wrecking Crew.  This meant that he was called upon to work on many successful recordings that have gold and platinum status and soundtracks for TV and film.  A couple of the hit songs he worked on were “Light My Fire” by Jose Feliciano and “Big Yellow Taxi” by Joni Mitchell.  His work was the sound of Tinker Bell in Disney’s Peter Pan, featured in the movies Around the World in 80 Days, Hatari!,  Southern Comfort, and on the soundtracks of The King and I, To Kill A Mockingbird and West Side Story and he performed music for the mini-series Roots and the series Silent Running.  He is also the person that provided the tinkling sound in the popular TV series Bewitched when the witch Samantha twitched her nose.

     

    Deciding to take further education in the 1960s he entered UCLA to study the Tavla which was followed by a term studying in India from 1963 and then extensive travels in India and Africa during the 1960s and ‘70s to learn about tribal rhythms and instruments.  This knowledge led to him introducing these sounds on many recordings back in the United States.

     

    His time in Los Angeles also saw his major involvement with the Los Angeles Musicians Union and their desegregation.

     

    During his career he is worked with numerous artists such as The Association, The Gregg Allman Band, Laurindo Almeida, Hoyt Axton, Joan Baez, Captain Beefheart, The Beatles, Charlie Byrd, Nat King Cole, Elmore Bernstein, Delaney Bramlett, Leonard Bernstein, Pat Boone, Stanley Clarke, Rosemary Clooney, Ry Cooder, Scatman Crothers, Don Everly, Stan Getz, Arlo Guthrie, Harpers Bizarre, Richard Harris, The Hi-Los, Stan Kenton, Barney Kessel, Chaka Khan, Eartha Kitt, Al Kooper, Frankie Laine, Gordon Lightfoot, Little Feat, Ray Manzarek, Dean Martin, Billy May, Maria Muldaur, Rick Nelson, Maxine Nightingale, Harry Nilsson, Anita O’Day, Poco, Bonnie Raitt, Johnnie Ray, Helen Reddy, Martha Reeves, Tex Ritter, Johnny Rivers, Shorty Rogers, The Rolling Stones, Rufus, John Sebastian, Nancy Sinatra, Mel Torme and John Williams.

     

    The albums he appeared on are countless but a select few of them are Southern Nights by Glen Campbell, Dreams Are Nuthin’ More Than Wishes/The Higher They Climb by David Cassidy, The Anthology by Joe Cocker, Friendly Persuasion by Ray Conniff, Into the Purple Valley by Ry Cooder, Fall Into Spring by Rita Coolidge, Fancy Meeting You Here by Bing Crosby, Que Sera Sera by Doris Day, What Were Once Habits Are Now Vices by The Doobie Brothers, Black Magic Woman by Percy Faith & His Orchestra, The Age of Aquarius by The 5th Dimension, Get Happy! by Ella Fitzgerald, Angel Clare by Art Garfunkel, The Hits of Joao Gilberto by Joao Gilberto, Dollar$ by Quincy Jones, Sittin’ In by Loggins and Messina, Mr. Lucky Goes Latin by Henry Mancini, Verve Jazz Masters 56 by Herbie Mann, Photograph by Melanie, Instant Replay by The Monkees, 12 Songs by Randy Newman, Compact Jazz: Oscar Peterson & Friends by Oscar Peterson, Four Platters and One Lovely Dish by The Platters, Frankie & Johnny/Paradise Hawaiian Style by Elvis Presley, Summer Breeze by Seals & Crofts, The Hungry Years by Neil Sedaka, Another Passenger by Carly Simon, The Capital Years by Frank Sinatra, Back to Mono (1958-1969) by Phil Spector, Ringo by Ringo Starr, Gorilla by James Taylor and Improved by Mason Williams.

     

    He passed away from kidney failure and complications from dementia in November 2005 when he was 88 years old and left behind a musical legacy where Bob Dylan had called him “One of the greatest drummers in the world” and Ringo Starr said he was “A legend in his own time”.

     

    Glen Campbell Recordings
    Southern Nights
    (Allen Toussaint)

    Capitol 4376 S93475A                       

     

    Sources:

    1. http://www.vervemusicgroup.com/miltholland
    2. http://www.allmusic.com/artist/milton-holland-mn0001008899
    3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milt_Holland
    4. http://www.warr.org/sessrhythm.html#Holland
    5. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0390783/
    6. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0390783/bio#trivia
    7. http://www.discogs.com/artist/Milt+Holland?filter_anv=1&anv=Milton+Holland
    8. http://www.allmusic.com/artist/milton-holland-mn0001008899/credits
    9. http://www.allmusic.com/artist/milt-holland-mn0000895553

     

     

     

     

     



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