Bobby Graham (musician)

Bobby Graham (11 March 1940 – 14 September 2009) was an English session drummer, composer, arranger and record producer. Shel Talmy, who produced The Kinks, David Bowie and The Who, described Graham as "the greatest drummer the UK has ever produced."[1]

Bobby Graham
Birth nameRobert Francis Neate
Born(1940-03-11)11 March 1940
Edmonton, North London, England
Died14 September 2009(2009-09-14) (aged 69)
Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, England
Occupation(s)Session musician, drummer
Years active1960s–2009


Born Robert Francis Neate at North Middlesex Hospital, Edmonton, North London, England, Graham became a member of The Outlaws and worked with Joe Meek.[2] He left to join work with Joe Brown in 1961.[2] Graham was a part of the British elite session team (comparable to the American "Wrecking Crew") made up of artists such as Big Jim Sullivan, Vic Flick and Jimmy Page.

Graham played on 13 number one singles, including those by The Dave Clark Five, Englebert Humperdinck, Peter and Gordon, Jackie Trent, The Kinks, Tom Jones and Dusty Springfield, and appeared on a total of 40 UK top five hits (10 number two hits; 4 number 3 hits; 6 number 4 hits; 7 number five hits; 107 top 50 hits - 1155 days in the charts). In a discography that counts approximately 15,000 titles, he played on hits by John Barry, Shirley Bassey, Joe Cocker, Billy Fury, Herman's Hermits, Benny Hill, Rod Stewart, Dave Berry, Joe Brown and The Bruvvers, Chubby Checker, Petula Clark, Brenda Lee, Lulu, Brian Poole & The Tremeloes, The Pretty Things, PJ Proby, Van Morrison, Them, The Walker Brothers, and Marianne Faithfull.[3]

Graham also toured the UK as drummer in his own jazz band.


On 14 September 2009, Bobby Graham died at the Isabel Hospice in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, England after battling stomach cancer for five months. He was 69.

Recording creditsEdit

Graham played on over 15,000 titles,[4] including:


  • Patrick Harrington: The Session Man (Broom House Publishing Ltd., 12 Nov 2004) - ISBN 0-9549142-0-1


  1. ^ "UK's king of drums dies at 69". 15 September 2009. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
  2. ^ a b "Bobby Graham career". Archived from the original on 30 September 2011. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
  3. ^ "Kinks and Tom Jones drummer dies". BBC News. 17 September 2009. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
  4. ^ Herrington and Graham, The Session Man: The story of Bobby Graham, the UK's greatest session drummer, Broom House Publishing Limited, Monmouthshire, 2004 p 9
  5. ^ Herrington, Patric and Bobby Graham, The Session Man: The Story of Bobby Graham, the UK's greatest session drummer, Broom House, Raglan, 2004, p. 129

External linksEdit