Carl Radle

From the late 1960s until his untimely passing in 1980 bassist Carl Dean Radle was everywhere! Just a brief glance at his jaw-dropping resume of record credits includes enduring releases by Delaney & Bonnie, Derek & the Dominoes, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, The Concert for Bangladesh (with Klaus Voorman), Dr. John, Leon Russell, Dave Mason, Joe Cocker, J.J. Cale, Buddy Guy, Rita Coolidge, John Lee Hooker, King Curtis, Bobby Whitlock, Art Garfunkel, Donovan, and Bob Dylan, among many others.

Carl was a central figure in Leon Russell’s famed Oklahoma posse which also featured the incredible talents of drummer Jamie Oldaker, keyboardist Dick Sims, and guitarist George Terry. Among my favorite Carl Radle musical feats include his work with drummer Jim Keltner on Joe Cocker’s massive Mad Dogs & Englishmen big band wherein they drove that mighty blues engine with rhythm & blues grooves aplenty along with Carl and drummer Jim Gordon’s sweet, decidedly laid back performances on one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most eternal and cherished collections: Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs.

Dig Carl’s melodic chops on “Bell Bottom Blues” – Carl’s contribution to that track is irreplaceable: every bassist who subsequently followed Carl in all of Slowhand’s backing bands continues to render Radle’s lines on that composition note-for-note.

Though it sounds simple, Carl’s bass artistry on Eric’s 461 Ocean Boulevard, Slowhand, and There’s One In Every Crowd is stellar in its harmonic and rhythmic execution. 

Note: Carl, Oldaker, Sims, Terry, Keltner, Jim Gordon, and Bobby Whitlock all long overdue for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame honors for their work as sidemen, and for their tenure with Eric Clapton.