Famed Rock & Roll Drummer Dies At 86

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The music industry is mourning the loss of legendary rock & roll drummer Charles Connor.

In an interview with The Associated Press, ,Connor’s daughter, Queenie Connor Sonnefeld, confirmed that the musician died on July 31. The drummer was previously diagnosed with normal pressure hydrocephalus, a brain disorder that causes an abnormal buildup of cerebrospinal fluid. Connor was under hospice care and passed in his sleep while at home in Glendale, California. He was 86.

“He was one of those drummers that was a bricklayer of creating that rock & roll genre,” Queenie told the outlet. “He played behind so many legendary musicians in the Fifties. He was a loving grandfather and was very proud of his family and took a lot of pride in his contributions to rock & roll.”

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Connor began playing the drums at 12 years old. He started his professional career as a musician just three years later when singer and pianist Professor Longhair hired him for a Mardi Gras celebration. When Connor turned eighteen, he officially joined Little Richard’s band, the Upsetters.

Connor built a very successful career in music and played with artists such as James Brown, the original Coasters, Jackie Wilson, and more. He also released the book Don’t Give Up Your Dreams: You Can Be a Winner Too! in 2008and Connor was working on an autobiographical documentary at the time of his death. 

For more on Connor’s life and career, check out the following video.