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Paul Humphrey


Paul Humphrey

Not to be confused with British musician Paul Humphreys.
This article is about American jazz musician. For the Blue Peter band member, see Paul Humphrey (Canadian musician). For the American football player, see Paul Humphrey (American football).

Paul Nelson Humphrey (born October 12, 1935 in Detroit, Michigan) is an American jazz and funk/R+B drummer.

He worked as a session drummer in the 1960s for jazz artists such as Wes Montgomery, Les McCann, Kai Winding, Jimmy Smith, Charles Mingus, Lee Konitz, Blue Mitchell and Gene Ammons.[1]

As a bandleader, he recorded under the name Paul Humphrey and the Cool Aid Chemists, with Clarence MacDonald, David T. Walker, and Phil Upchurch. In 1971, this ensemble had two hits, "Cool Aid" (US #29, US Black Singles #14)[2][3] and "Funky L.A." (US Black Singles #45).[3] He also recorded an album as head of the Paul Humphrey Sextet in 1981.

Mr. Humphrey was one of the drummers on Marvin Gaye's album "Let's Get It On".[4]

He also recorded with Steely Dan,[5] Frank Zappa, Jerry Garcia, Jimmy Smith, The Four Tops, Al Kooper, Jackie DeShannon, Natalie Cole, Albert King, Quincy Jones, Dusty Springfield, Jean-Luc Ponty, Michael Franks, Maria Muldaur, and others.[6]

Humphrey also was the featured drummer for both the Lawrence Welk orchestra and television show from 1976 to 1982. He and his wife Joan are the parents of two children, Pier and Damien, who appeared with their father on the Welk show's annual Christmas episode.


As leader

  • Paul Humphrey and the Cool Aid Chemists (Lizard Records, 1969) US #170, US Black Albums #31[7]
  • Detroit b/w Cool Aid (Lizard Records, 1969) 45 rpm, 2:31[8]
  • America, Wake Up (Blue Thumb Records, 1973)
  • Paul Humphrey Sextet (Discovery Records, 1981)

As sideman

With Mel Brown

  • Chicken Fat (Impulse!, 1967)
  • The Wizard (Impulse!, 1968)

With Kenny Burrell

  • 'Round Midnight (Fantasy, 1972)

With Richard "Groove" Holmes

  • Welcome Home (World Pacific Jazz, 1968)

With Charles Kynard

  • Reelin' with the Feelin' (Prestige, 1969)

With Jerry Garcia

  • Pure Jerry: Keystone Berkeley, September 1, 1974 (Jerry Made, 2004)


External links

  • Lawrence Welk Show Photos

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