Rural Ledge-ucation #90: Nicky Hopkins

From the very beginning of my record collecting geek days, I was one of those people who read every word of the liner notes. I wanted to know who wrote the songs, who produced the single and/or album, and all of the musicians involved. One name that constantly showed up on my collection was pianist Nicky Hopkins. Dubbed "Session Man" by Ray Davies, Hopkins was a constant presence on the vast majority of Britain's great singles and albums of the 60's and 70's. Besides the Kinks, he was instrumental in some of the best moments of the Stones and The Who, and besides appearing on The White Album he can be found on solo releases of all four Beatles members.
Born Nicholas Christian Hopkins on this day in 1944, Nicky was a part of the London blues scene that ultimately spawned the Rolling Stones. His first recording was on "Country Line Special", a single released by legendary blues harmonica player Cyril Davies. Illness prevented him from being a full-time band member, but he became one of producer Shel Talmy's favorite studio musicians.
Although he ultimately released a number of solo albums, and worked on the soundtracks of many movies in his latter years, complications from Crohn's disease ultimately cut short his life. He died on September 6, 1994, not long after undergoing intestinal surgery.
Today's show includes just a glimpse of the classic tracks that include his wonderful playing. For more info on Hopkins, you should pick up And On Piano...Nicky Hopkins: The Extraordinary Life of Rock's Greatest Session Man.
You can find this show at the usual online spots, or...


1. Rolling Stones, Loving Cup
2. Cyril Davies & His Rhythm & Blues All Stars, Country Line Special
3. The Who, A Legal Matter
4. The Kinks, Session Man
5. The Pretty Things, Midnight To Six Man
6. The Move, Wild Tiger Woman
7. Jefferson Airplane, Somebody To Love
8. The Beatles, Revolution 1
9. John Lennon, How Do You Sleep?
10. Jackie Lomax, Sour Milk Sea
11. Jamming With Edward, The Boudoir Stomp
12. Graham Parker, Stupefaction
13. The Jayhawks, Martin's Song
14. Nicky Hopkins, Waiting For The Band


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