The “Queen of Percussion Drumming” Bobbye Hall is a successful musician in what can be termed as a man’s world.
Bobbye Hall started drumming at a very tender age and soon became the youngest session drummer in Motown’s history. Her prowess can be attributed to her talent and love for hitting things. Her percussive signature features on some of the best records ever.
She has played with big names like Janis Joplin, Stevie Wonders, Bill Wither and many others. Her career life is filled with precious moments that got her to the top of the world. Perhaps you have already listened to some of her records, in which case you know what we mean when we call her the Queen of Percussion.
Drumming has always been thought of as a man’s world. This is part of the reason there are very few female drummers in history. And those who have made it have to struggle a lot through different times to make it; Hall is a good representation of this truth.
Her passion for drums started when she was a toddler. It was as if drums were flowing through her bloodstream and encouraging her to hit things. Hence, Bobbye Hall often found herself attracted to using her mother’s pots and pans as makeshift instruments.
She used them to train herself thoroughly until she received a pair of bongos. This was the real beginning of something that would impact the whole music world.
She was only 11 years old when Motown producer Paul Riser noticed her at the Detroit record hop. He invited her to play on a session, and from there, she continued to grow from strength to strength. She was already playing for older musicians, but always performed in the Motown Mansion.
She was so good that her young age was not even acknowledged on any of the credits.
After performing the band’s numerous hits, she went ahead to perform with Marvin Gaye on “Inner City Blues”. In 1972, she backed Bill Wither in his hit “Lean on Me.” The whole of 1973 saw her touring with Carole King and recording with Stevie Wonder and James Taylor the following year. Remember, she was still a teenager.
She married Joe Porter in the mid-70s and worked on some of her own projects that never took off. By 1978, she was back to touring, now with Bob Dylan.
She worked with several other musicians in the following years, including Pink Floyd on their record, The Wall. Hall was at the same time helping Bob Seger and his Silvester Bullet Band. Other performers were also on her radar, including Stevie Nicks and Rod Stewart.
With such a record, Hall could easily be one of the most recorded female drummers. She was driven by her passion for delivering the best results at all cost, which made her an inspiration to many women.
Today, she lives in her Los Angeles house in a house decorated with gold and silver discs, helping her reflect on the life she spent helping hitmakers achieve their goals.