June 18, 1942: Dominos’ Bassist Carl Radle Born

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Radle on right with Dominos (l-r) Clapton, Bobby Whitlock & Jim Gordon.

“Derek” with Dominos Bobby Whitlock, Jim Gordon and Carl Radle

Coming into this world on June 18, 1942, in Tulsa, Okla., Carl Radle may be best known as a member of Derek and the Dominos, among his many high-level classic rock associations. Even as a teenager in his hometown Radle gigged with Leon Russell (then known as Russell Bridges), Johnny (later J. J.) Cale and the future leader of Bread, David Gates.

After playing with Delaney and Bonnie and Friends he began his long association with Eric Clapton. Whitlock and Clapton had started writing songs for the superstar guitarist’s next recording in England in spring 1970, and after being joined by Radle and Gordon, the four tracked much of George Harrison’s first post-Beatles album, All Things Must Pass. Dave Mason signed on to the group and in June they played a benefit concert in London and recorded two Clapton/Whitlock songs, “Tell the Truth” and “Roll It Over,” with producer Phil Spector (who was producing Harrison). Mason soon left the group, and they settled on the name Derek and the Dominos, allowing Clapton–who found the fame he achieved with Cream and Blind Faith uncomfortable–a measure of anonymity. Following a string of shows in August at small English venues, the band headed to Miami.

A few days into the sessions, producer Tom Dowd invited Clapton to see his other production clients, the Allman Brothers Band, perform, and the guitarist was knocked out by his fellow player, Duane Allman. After the show both bands jammed together at Criteria Studios. Clapton asked Allman to play on his sessions–he appears on 11 of its 14 tracks–and later invited him to join the band (Allman declined).

The album recorded by the Dominos, Layla and Other Assorted Songs–whose thematic spine was Clapton’s unrequited love for Pattie Boyd, Harrison’s wife–received a lukewarm reception from the media and radio and sold poorly after its November 2 release. The group toured through the end of the year–Allman joined them at three shows in between Allman Brothers Band dates–and by early 1971 had broken up.

Radle continued his association with Clapton, playing on a number of the guitar star’s solo albums and tours (and getting an associate producer credit on the 1977 No Reason to Cry album that acknowledged some of his contributions beyond just playing bass while in Clapton’s camp).

Related: Derek and the Dominos start work on the classic Layla LP

Radle’s other credits include the Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs & Englishmen tour and album, George Harrison’s Concert for Bangladesh, and sessions with Russell, Dave Mason, Duane Allman, John Lee Hooker, Rita Coolidge, Freddie King and others before he died on May 30, 1980, from a kidney infection (worsened by alcohol and drug abuse) at age 37.

Watch a seriously great clip of Delaney and Bonnie and Friends. In this case, “Friends” means Clapton, Harrison, Jim Gordon, Radle and more.

Best Classic Bands Staff

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  1. Rick
    #1 Rick 19 June, 2021, 06:48

    Before all the other associations Radle was in Gary Lewis and the Playboys.

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  2. Richard
    #2 Richard 19 June, 2021, 10:07

    What 3 shows? I only know of Tampa and Syracuse. Have audio of both.

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