Carl Radle was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in 1942. During his teens, he learned to play bass guitar. In the early 1960s, he moved to California to launch his career as a musician. In California, he met Leon Russell who used him on many sessions, including those of Gary Lewis & The Playboys.
During this same time, he was a member of the band Colours. The band recorded two albums that appeared on the Dot label.
Leon Russell brought Carl to the attention of husband and wife duo, Delaney & Bonnie. He joined their band, Delaney & Bonnie & Friends. Other members included Jim Gordon and Bobby Whitlock. Like Jim and Bobby, Carl met Eric Clapton when the friends opened for Blind Faith’s tour of America.
Carl played on Eric’s first solo album. Moving to England with Whitlock and Gordon to help Eric form a new band, they first helped George Harrison record All Things Must Pass. Eric’s new band was later christened Derek & The Dominos. They recorded only one album; the legendary Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs.
After the Dominos split up, Carl returned to session work and touring working with Dave Mason, Mark Benno, J.J. Cale, Bobby Keys, Rita Coolidge, Dr. John, Art Garfunkel, Buddy Guy and others. He also worked for a time with Leon Russell & The Shelter People.
In 1975, Carl signed on again with Eric’s band. He would remain in the band until the end of the decade, when Eric fired the entire band.
Carl’s health was in decline by this time. He died in 1980 from a kidney infection caused by addiction to drugs and alchohol.