Larry Lelli

Larry Lelli.

When I first met Larry Lelli, he was the drummer for top-charting country singer Doug Stone. When Stone suspended his touring for health reasons, I fully expected Larry to turn up with another major country act—after all, once someone is at that high level in a given scene, it’s pretty normal for offers to stream in on a regular basis.

What Larry did next surprised me. He went to Broadway, and became an orchestra-pit drummer for a series of major musicals—probably one of the only drummers ever to combine top-level Nashville experience with top-level Broadway experience!

From his first gig as a substitute in the Miss Saigon production, Larry has gone on to be principal percussionist in over 30 musicals, most notably Mel Brooks’ The Producers, the upcoming revival of Sideshow, and—so appropriate–The Million-Dollar Quartet: who else but Larry should play onstage in the Broadway show about four Country-music legends!

Larry is at the top of his game, playing in orchestras on Broadway, but also working as an executive producer. He also posts an enjoyable, educational video each Monday on his Facebook page, “Monday Musings”, that covers everything drum-related from attitude to equipment, from conductors to chorus lines, and more—a weekly helping of practical advice for working drummers based on his hard-won experience.

It goes without saying that Larry’s perspective from the summits of two different music worlds is unique… just the kind of guest to pick a special set of essential music for Drummeradio!

Listen to the Larry Lelli Podcast

Larry Lelli Playlist

Stevie Wonder — Superstition

Album: Songs in the Key of Life, 1972
Drums: Stevie Wonder

Steely Dan — Black Friday

Album: Katy Lied, 1975
Drums: Jeff Porcaro

Still the One — Orleans

Album: Waking and Dreaming, 1976
Drums: Jerry Marotta

Michael Jackson — Get on the Floor

Album: Off The Wall, 1979
Drums: J.R. Robinson

Diana Ross — I’m Coming Out

Album: Diana, 1980
Drums: Tony Thompson

Buddy Rich Big Band (live recording, 1982) — Bugle Call Rag

Drums: Buddy Rich

Count Basie Big Band (live recording, 1962) — Corner Pocket

Drums: Sonny Payne

Missing Persons (Missing Persons EP, 1980) — Mental Hopscotch

Drums: Terry Bozzio

Michel Camilo — Why Not

Album: Why Not?, 1985
Drums: Dave Weckl

Vince Gill — Oklahoma Borderline

Album: The Things That Matter, 1985
Drums: Larry Londin

James Taylor — Sweet Potato Pie

Album: Never Die Young, 1988
Drums: Carlos Vega

Ricky Lee Jones — The Real End

Album: The Magazine, 1984
Drums: Steve Gadd

Al Jarreau — Blue Rondo a’ La Turque

Album: Breakin’ Away, 1981
Drums: Steve Gadd

Larry’s Website