Drummer with diabetes driven to get back at the drum set
Artist biography Elbert "Woody" Woodson
Elbert "Woody" Woodson, a native from Washington DC, was a professional drummer over 50 years. He spent most of fis drumming carreer playing for artists like the Drifters, the Temptations, the Four Tops, the Supremes and Stevie Wonder.
One of the biggest hits Woody Woodson collaborated on was the Isley Brothers' It's Your Thing.
Woody Woodson also spent years on the road with Wilson Pickett, Marvin Gaye, and Otis Redding. Steve Jordan, one of Woody's biggest fans, recalls: "Elbert played with Otis Redding before the Bar-Kays became his backing band. The band with Elbert had seven horns, bass, guitar, and drums, and it was one of the most kicking bands of all time. Elbert had this energy and this openness that was ridiculous. Not only was his groove indestructible, but he also had this open sound that was popping but not overly syncopated. He was powerful but sleek at the same time. He plays on Otis’s recording of “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag,” which was produced by Al Jackson. Otis and this band appeared on the famous English television show Ready Steady Go! in 1966, and Elbert sounded amazing. When I first saw that performance, I didn’t know what was going on, but I knew that was ultimately how I wanted to sound. He had the definitive groove."
A few years ago diabetes took one of Elbert's legs. Unable to work for years, Woody Woodson now gets by on the few royalty checks he does get but says he gets nothing from his work on two of Redding's biggest records: "I recorded with Otis and got two albums at the Whisky a Go Go. I should get some money somewhere."