Lytle, Johnny

views updated

Lytle, Johnny

Lytle, Johnny, American drummer and vibraphonist; b. Springfield, Ohio, Oct. 13, 1932. Though he was a drummer for Ray Charles and Gene Ammons in the early 1950s, he switched to vibes in the mid-1950s, utilizing a more percussive approach than some of his contemporaries. He has been a leader since the early 1960s and made several recordings with usually positive results. Though his music is spiced with R&B influences, he has eschewed strictly commercial dates despite obviously having keen pop sensibilities, particularly in the area of composition. He has spent most of his career on smaller labels and is known as “Fast Hands” for his rapid solos. Though not an innovator, he has consistently been a solid performer and leader for decades.


Easy Easy (1980); Possum Grease (1995).

—Paul MacArthur