Mike Kennedy, longtime drummer for George Strait, Dies
Mike Kennedy, longtime drummer for country music star George Strait, has died in a car accident in Lebanon, Tennessee, Strait's publicist told CNN on Sunday.
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A Trinidadian musician and drum maker, he was captivated by steel-pan bands as a child. He sought to elevate the craft and share it with the world.
He played with top bandleaders like Stan Kenton, as well as with celebrities like Marlon Brando, and helped fuel the Latin jazz genre.
Olsson backed Elton John on his first album back in 1969 and he’ll be behind the kit for his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour.
Elton John was just a shy, gawky 22-year-old struggling pianist/songwriter when drummer Nigel Olsson first laid eyes on him. It was early 1969 and John was a staff songwriter for Dick James’ DJM Records, desperately trying to write songs for the likes of Lulu, Roger Cook and the Eurovision Song Contest along with his lyricist Bernie Taupin. “I would hang around the Dick James office,” recalls Olsson. “And if Elton was cutting a demo and needed a drummer he’d say to me, ‘Hey, would you come back into the studio and help me out with a couple of things?'”