Ralph Gallant, aka Larrie Londin, was an American drummer and session musician.
Larrie Londin was born in October 1943 in Norfolk, Virginia. He grew up in Florida and returned to Norfolk in the 50's. He started his drumming Career by accident, an accident which incidentally turned him in to one of the greatest drummers in the world, up there with Ronnie Tutt to name but a few. In Norfolk, he began to play in groups and got his kicks from listening to Gene Vincent and The Blue Caps. He was surrounded 24/7 by rock 'n' roll music, inspiring him throughout his career. His first record contract was with Atlantic Records as a singer doing a very poor impersonation of Elvis Presley. It is said that his mother has the only surviving copy of this recording. It was also the decision maker in helping Larrie decide to 'keep his mouth shut' and stick to drums! He eventually went from Norfolk night clubs to hanging about the studios of Motown at the height of the Motor City sound. Larrie's involvement with Motown started when he and the band he was with at the time, got signed up to Motown. At that stage they would just hang around waiting for something to happen. They would hang around at the studios all day and still do night club gigs at night. In the Motown days, Bennie Benjamin, a great soul drummer, would play drums on all of the Motown sessions and records. One day when Larrie was sitting in the Motown offices, the door flew open and Berry Gordon came flying in, telling Larrie that Bennie had just had a heart attack. Berry told Larrie to get his ass down to the studio and to play the drums, rather than the session be cancelled. From there it was working sixteen hours a day and making anything up to five or six records with various Motown artists.
In 1965, Larrie was part of a 'White Garage' band called The Headliners and released a single on the V.I.P Motown label called We Call It Fun. Larrie eventually left Motown and worked for thirteen weeks on Tennessee Ernie Ford's TV show. From there it was to Nashville, where he went from being one of Nashville's only drummers to that of Nashville's Country Music top studio drummer. He was moving from Motor City to Music City! Larrie got the chance to work on a number of TV shows in Nashville and spent some time on Porter Wagner's show as well as working on the Grand Ol' Opry and Hee-Haw.
In was in Nashville that Larrie started to record with Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Charlie Pride and Hank Snow. This was when Larrie also got the chance to work with Elvis. He started to record with Elvis and The Memphis Rhythm Section in 1968. He claims that this was the biggest and most thrilling time of his musical career. He spent nine years recording and often touring with Elvis. Larrie replaced Ronnie Tutt on drums in March 1976 and the last couple of shows in June 1977. After his time with Elvis he got a call from Steve Perry to come and play drums on the Journey's album 'Raised On Radio', replacing Steve Smith who had taken over from Aynsly Dunbar. Steve Perry approached Larrie again at a later date to play drums and percussion on his solo album, Street Talk. His achievements and accomplishments throughout his career, none of us forgetting that it all started by accident, range from touring with Elvis Presley, Andrew Belew and The Everly Brothers, from TV shows with Tennessee Ernie Ford, The 1992 Command Performance for the President, to recording with Elvis Presley, The Supremes, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Martha Reeves And The Vandellas, Smokey Robinson, Wilson Pickett, Lionel Ritchie, Jerry Lee Lewis, Boots Randolph and more. In April of 1992, Larry collapsed following a performance and remained in a coma for some months after.
Larrie Londin died August 24, 1992 at the age of forty eight.