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|Birth name||Russell Kunkel|
September 27, 1948|
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Genres||Rock, pop, country|
|Occupation(s)||Drummer, session musician, producer|
|Instruments||Drums, percussion, timbales, congas, tambourine, cowbell, shaker|
Russell Kunkel (born September 27, 1948) is an American drummer and producer who has worked as a session musician with many well-known artists, including Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor, Jimmy Buffett, Dan Fogelberg, Stephen Stills, Harry Chapin, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Stevie Nicks, Carole King, Jackson Browne, Joe Walsh, Neil Diamond, Glenn Frey, and Carly Simon.
Kunkel was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In the 1970s, Kunkel worked so frequently with bassist Leland Sklar, guitarist Danny Kortchmar, and keyboardist Craig Doerge that they eventually became known as "The Section" and recorded three albums under that name between 1972 and 1977.
Kunkel had a cameo as doomed drummer Eric "Stumpy Joe" Childs in the 1984 film This Is Spinal Tap.
In 1968, Kunkel married singer/songwriter Leah Cohen Kunkel, sister of Cass Elliot (born Ellen Naomi Cohen) of The Mamas and Papas. Following Elliot's death in 1974, Leah was given custody of Cass Elliot's daughter, Owen. The couple also raised their son, Nathaniel, an Emmy Award winning sound engineer.
Kunkel endorses DW drums, Paiste cymbals, Evans drumheads and Pro-Mark sticks. He has previously used Yamaha Drums, Premier drums, Pearl Drums and Remo drumheads, but prior to switching to Paiste in 1983, it is likely that he used Zildjian cymbals up to that point. In addition to drums, Kunkel has been cred with playing tambourine, shaker, cabasa, congas, timbales, snare drum, castanets, wood block, hi-hats, cardboard box, cowbell, cymbals, marimba, bongos, bells, timpani, cajon and percussion.