JAMES GADSON - drummer, producer, singer, and songwriter – was born in Kansas City, MO, in 1939.
As a teen he naturally took to the drums with the influence of his father Harold, who was a drummer in the legendary Kansas City scene.
James eventually found his way to L.A. and joined the legendary 60's funky soul group, Dyke & the Blazers, where he laid down drums on "let a woman be a woman" which later would be sampled by the Bomb Squad for Public Enemy's "Welcome to the Terrodome." After Dyke's tragic murder and still in L.A., he and other members of the Blazers would end up forming The Watts 103rd Street Band and with the help of Bill Cosby hooked a record deal with Warner Bros.
He wrote and sang on some songs like the soulful "dance a kiss & a song".
He played on the best known 103rd Street cuts like "Express yourself," which was sampled by Dre for NWA's "Express Yourself". This was just the beginning for Gadson's profilic career, which next found him in the mix with Bill Withers producing, writing, and playing on the soulcessful Still Bill LP, which featured "Use Me," "Lean on Me," and the funky "Kissing my Love," which has been sampled to no end.
The Jungle Brothers cut up his drums live for "Straight out the Jungle."
From there he became one the most sought out studio drummers, playing on 300 gold records at last count, though you would never suspect it from his ever-humble disposition.
He played on Marvin Gaye's "Let's get it on," the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, Herbie Hancock's Manchild, and most recently Beck, Paul McCartney, and Ray Charles discs.
Currently he is doing more sessions and is a founding drummer of the Keepintime project with photographer B+.