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Felix Pappalardi

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Biography

Felix A. Pappalardi Jr. (December 30, 1939 – April 17, 1983) was an American music producer, songwriter, vocalist, and bass guitarist.

As a producer, Pappalardi is perhaps best-known for his work with British psychedelic blues-rock power trio Cream, beginning with their second album, Disraeli Gears. As a musician, Pappalardi is widely recognized as a bassist, vocalist, and founding member of the American hard rock band/ heavy metal forerunner Mountain, a band born out of his working with future bandmate Leslie West’s soul-inspired rock and roll band The Vagrants, and producing West’s 1969 Mountain solo album. The band’s signature song, “Mississippi Queen” is a rock classic and is still heard regularly on classic rock radio stations.

In 1964 Pappalardi was playing in the Max Morath ragtime quartet with several other famous musicians. Along with Felix on guitarrón (Mexican acoustic bass) were Morath, the man who revived classic ragtime played in the Scott Joplin manner, Bruce Langhorn, a famous NYC studio folk and jazz guitarist and Jim Tyler, a famous baroque and renaissance lutenist playing four string banjo.

Pappalardi studied classical music at the University of Michigan. Upon completing his studies and returning to New York, he was unable to find work and so became part of the Greenwich Village folk-music scene where he made a name for himself as a skilled arranger; he also appeared on Tom Paxton as well as Vince Martin and Fred Neil albums for Elektra Records.

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