World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Jim Keltner

Jim Keltner
Birth name James Lee Keltner
Also known as Buster Sidebury
Born (1942-04-27) April 27, 1942
Tulsa, Oklahoma, US
Genres Rock, R&B, jazz
Occupation(s) Session drummer
Instruments Drums, percussion, ukulele
Years active 1970–present
Associated acts Traveling Wilburys, Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band, The Manhattan Transfer, Steve Miller Band, Gary Lewis & the Playboys, Neil Young, Sheryl Crow, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Harry Chapin, Joe Cocker, J J Cale Harry Nilsson

James Lee "Jim" Keltner (born April 27, 1942) is an American drummer and percussionist known primarily for his session work; he also played the ukulele. He has contributed to the work of many well-known artists. Keltner is originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was characterized as "the leading session drummer in America" by Bob Dylan biographer Howard Sounes.[1]


  • Career 1
    • The ex-Beatles 1.1
    • Little Village 1.2
    • Traveling Wilburys 1.3
  • List of artists 2
    • 1970s 2.1
    • 1980s 2.2
    • 1990s 2.3
    • 2000s 2.4
    • 2010s 2.5
  • References 3
  • External links 4


Keltner was initially inspired to start playing because of an interest in jazz, but the popularity of jazz was declining during the late 1950s and early 1960s, and it was the explosion of pop/rock in the mid-1960s that enabled him to break into recording work in Los Angeles. His first gig as a session musician was recording "She's Just My Style" for the pop group Gary Lewis and the Playboys.[2][3]

Keltner's music career was hardly paying a living, and for several years at the outset he was supported by his wife. Toward the end of the 1960s, he finally began getting regular session work, and eventually became one of the busier drummers in Los Angeles. His earliest credited performances on record were with Gabor Szabo on the 1968 album Bacchanal.[2]

It was his work with Leon Russell playing on Delaney & Bonnie's Accept No Substitute that attracted the attention of

  • 2015 Audio Interview with Jim Keltner from the I'd Hit That podcast October 2015*
  • "Jim Keltner on Booker T. and the MGs"(2007 Variety article by Jim Keltner)
  • 2005 Interview by Modern Drummer magazine
  • Jim Keltner Billboard biography
  • IMDb biography

External links

  1. ^ Howard Sounes. Down the Highway: The Life Of Bob Dylan Doubleday. 2001 p329. ISBN 0-552-99929-6
  2. ^ a b c d e Bruce Eder. "Jim Ketlner – artist biography". Retrieved January 12, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "Jim Keltner". Drummerworld. Retrieved January 13, 2014. 
  4. ^ "The Beatles The Jim Keltner Fan Club UK Promo memorabilia". Retrieved January 14, 2014. 
  5. ^ "The Jim Keltner Fan Club". Blogcritics. August 29, 2010. Retrieved January 14, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Jim Keltner on Knockin' on Heaven's Door". Retrieved 2009-12-07. 
  7. ^ Makin' Music (MCAD-22125 ed.). Universal City, CA: MCA Records, Inc. 1979. 
  8. ^ "". Retrieved 2014-01-14. 
  9. ^ "John Mayer, 'Born and Raised': Track-By-Track Review". Billboard. May 22, 2012. Retrieved January 13, 2014. 


In 2013, Keltner appears on the track "If I Were Me" from Sound City: Real to Reel with Dave Grohl, Jessy Greene and Rami Jaffee. Also, on "Our Love Is Here To Stay", a classic Gershwin jazz standard recorded by Eric Clapton for Old Sock.

That same year, he recorded with Italian instrumental band Sacri Cuori on their second record, Rosario.

In 2012, he also played drums on John Mayer's "Something Like Olivia", the fifth track of the album "Born and Raised".[9]

For the 2012 release, Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International, Keltner sat in studio with Outernational band playing/covering Dylan's "When the Ship Comes In".

Joseph Arthur's 2011 album, The Graduation Ceremony, features Keltner on drums, reprising a partnership that began with the Fistful of Mercy project.

Keltner played on many key ex-Beatle solo releases, including Harrison's 1973 album The Union In 2010, Keltner produced


In 2009, Keltner played drums on singer/songwriter Todd Snider's entire Don Was produced album, The Excitement Plan.

Also in 2008, Keltner participated in the production of the album Psalngs,[8] the debut release of Canadian musician John Lefebvre.

In 2008, Keltner appeared on Break up the Concrete by The Pretenders, on One Kind Favor by B. B. King and on Oasis' "The Boy with the Blues", a non-album-track from Dig Out Your Soul.

In 2007, he appeared with Lucinda Williams on West. The album was listed No. 18 on Rolling Stone's list of the Top 50 Albums of 2007.

In 2006, he toured with T-Bone Burnett in The True False Identity tour and was featured on Jerry Lee Lewis' album Last Man Standing. He played on the Ry Cooder produced recording of Mavis Staples' "We'll Never Turn Back" album. He also lent his drumming skills to the tracks on Richard Shapero's full-length album entitled "Wild Animus: The Ram" recorded the same year.

In 2003, he toured with Simon & Garfunkel in their Old Friends tour.

In 2002, he briefly joined Bob Dylan's band during the European gigs while its main drummer, George Receli, recuperated from a hand injury. Later in the year, Keltner played in Jeff Lynne for "Handle with Care." During that project and performance, he worked with Paul McCartney, along with other percussionists, including Ringo Starr.

In 2000, he toured with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young on their "Tour of America".


In 1993, Jim toured with Neil Young & Booker T. & the M.G.'s.

In 1992, Jim played (together with Booker T. & the M.G.'s) at Bob Dylan's The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration.

In the mid-1990s, Jim joined the London Metropolitan Orchestra on its recording of "An American Symphony", on the movie soundtrack for Mr Holland's Opus.


Also, he was a session drummer for the reunited Pink Floyd on the album A Momentary Lapse of Reason.

He played on four Richard Thompson albums: Daring Adventures (1986), Amnesia (1988), Rumor and Sigh (1991) and you? me? us? (1996).

Keltner performed on many classic recordings by J. J. Cale, and often worked with bassist Tim Drummond.[3]

Demonstrations of his style and range can be found from "Jealous Guy" on John Lennon's Imagine, the hit single "Dream Weaver" by Gary Wright, "Josie" on Aja by Steely Dan, "Watching the River Flow" by Bob Dylan and The Thorns' debut, in which he accompanies Matthew Sweet, Pete Droge and Shawn Mullins.[3]

Keltner specialized in R&B, and developed a deceptively simple drumming style that melds a casual, loose feel with extraordinary precision.[3] He is said to have influenced Jeff Porcaro and Danny Seraphine of Chicago.


Jim Keltner is credited as the drummer on the 1979 Roy Clark/Gatemouth Brown album, MAKIN' MUSIC.[7]

In 1973, Keltner was the session drummer on Bob Dylan's Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid, which includes the hit "Knockin' on Heaven's Door". Keltner says that session "was a monumental session for me because it was such a touching song, it was the first time I actually cried when I was playing".[3][6]

He is featured on Carly Simon's 1971 album, Anticipation.

Jim Keltner recorded two albums with his band Attitudes for Harrison's Dark Horse label. The band also included Danny Kortchmar, David Foster and Paul Stallworth, and recorded "Attitudes" in 1975 and "Good News" in 1977.


Keltner, as a freelance drummer, has worked with a long list of artists.

List of artists

In 1989, Keltner toured with Starr's All-Starr Band. He also played drums on both albums released by the 1980s supergroup the Traveling Wilburys, playing under the pseudonym Buster Sidebury.[3]

Traveling Wilburys

In the early '90s, in the wake of a series of sessions that he played for John Hiatt, Keltner became part of the supergroup Little Village, with Hiatt, Ry Cooder, and Nick Lowe.[2]

In 1987, Keltner, along with guitarist Ry Cooder, and bassist Nick Lowe played on John Hiatt's Bring the Family. Four years later the four musicians reunited as the band Little Village, recording an eponymous album.[3]

Little Village

Keltner played the role of the judge in the video for George Harrison's 1976 Top 30 hit, "This Song".

[5][4] contained a similar note encouraging fans to join the "Jim Keltner Fan Club" by sending a "stamped undressed elephant" to an address in Hollywood.Ringo and Starr's Living in the Material World Fun Club" by sending a "stamped addressed envelope" to an address in London. Later that year, both Harrison's Wings album, encouraging fans to join the "Red Rose Speedway, the only Beatle not to have worked with Keltner, included a note on the back cover of his Paul McCartney In 1975 Keltner featured on the Harry Nilsson Album Duit on Mon Dei with Ringo Starr and alongside other Beatles associates Klaus Voormann. Keltner's relationship with the former Beatles was such that his name was used to parody McCartney on albums released by Harrison and Starr in 1973. Early that year, [2] by Leon Russell and Elton John, produced by T-Bone Burnett and released on October 10, 2010. He also appeared on the eponymous Eric Clapton album, on 8 of the 14 tracks.

Keltner is best known for his session work on solo recordings by three of John Lennon (including Lennon solo albums, as well as albums released both by the Plastic Ono Band and Yoko Ono), and Ringo Starr.[3]

The ex-Beatles


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from iCloud eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.