Gene Krupa: The Pictorial Life of a Jazz Legend is on the way.

We are pleased to announce that the first “galley proofs” of the long-in-progress “Gene Krupa: The Pictorial Life of a Jazz Legend,” have landed at this desk. As wonderful as the 100-plus pictures and commentary may be, I must give all due credit to the design department of Warner Brothers Publications, specifically to Ed Uribe, for a layout/design that is just spectacular. The book will run in the neighborhood of 170-plus pages that cover Gene’s life and music from the 1920s to the 1970s.

Foreword is by Gene’s one-time pianist, the late, great composer Bobby Scott (“A Taste of Honey,” “He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother”). Bob was a dear friend of mine and had just about completed his autobiography about two years before he died. He asked me to help him get a publishing deal, and though I tried, it just wasn’t possible then. But the chapter he wrote on Gene is a gem, and that serves as this works’ intro. I’m glad that Bobby’s heartfelt work, at least some of it, will see its way into proper book form. Most of you know that Bobby loved Gene, whom he called “The Old Man.”

There will be a companion CD that comes with the book, a great idea dreamed up by Warners’ book editor Ray Brych. The CD is composed of a bunch of unreleased tracks from the 1930s to the 1960s, mainly from television and radio. Our regular visitors and supporters of probably have most of the tracks already, but for the public at large, the CD-with-book idea will give buyers something extra and hopefully special with their purchase.

Perhaps the most gratifying element of this project focuses on a great, great group of contemporary drummers who have shared their thoughts about Gene and what Gene meant to drumming, exclusively for this book. Peter Criss, Carmine Appice, Ed Shaughnessy, Peter Erskine, Dave Garabaldi, Steve Smith, Phil Collins, Carl Palmer, Alex Acuna, Alphonse Mouzon, John Blackwell, Kenny Aronoff and several others really have meaningful and touching things to say about Gene Krupa. After reading this section, I’m certain you’ll agree that Gene is literally as “contemporary as ever.”

I was insistent that the price of this book be, as they say, “competitive,” and I am told that it will likely not be more expensive than $17.95 (the book and CD package) tops. When I first produced videos for DCI Music Video, I was never thrilled that the prices for these VHS tapes clocked in at $39.95. That’s what’s so wonderful about Hudson Music projects: They’re not only great, but affordable. I did insist that this book be affordable, and I’m happy that Warners agreed.

Currently, the project is going through the editing/proofreading/design-tweaking process, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it would be ready for release around the first of February. Believe me, those who visit will be the first to know. And I will make sure that the book –autographed if you want — will be available here in addition to, as they say, “everywhere books are sold.” Stay tuned, and a happy and swingin’ holiday — and beyond — to all those, all over the world, who have supported us through the years.

Bruce Klauber

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