Palmer's family confirmed the musician, routinely credited as the most recorded drummer ever, died following a prolonged illness Friday, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday.
The drummer's distinctive sound is apparent in Domino's hit "I'm Walkin,'" along with "Tutti Frutti" and "Long Tall Sally" from Little Richard.
Palmer also lent his talents to such 1950s hits as Richie Valens's "La Bamba" and "You Send Me" by the late soul singer Sam Cooke.
A native of New Orleans, Palmer said in a 2000 Times interview that such recordings signified the early stepping stones of modern day rock 'n' roll.
"What we were playing on those early records was funky in relation to jazz," he said. "What we were playing already had that natural New Orleans flavor about the music. I played the bass drum how they played bass drum in funeral parade bands."
The newspaper said he is survived by his wife Jeline, seven children, 20 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.