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You Likely Never Heard of Him, But He Played on 40 No. 1 Hits

LOS ANGELES — Hal Blaine, the Hall of Fame session drummer and virtual one-man soundtrack of the 1960s and '70s who played on the songs of Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and the Beach Boys and laid down one of music's most memorable opening riffs on the Ronettes' "Be My Baby,"...

Gentle Humor Was the Lifeblood of Playwright Neil Simon

NEW YORK — When master playwright Neil Simon accepted the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 2006, he was visibly nervous. But his gentle humor was evident. "It took me six years to write my first play," he said, recalling that he found the title for "Come Blow Your...