Posts Tagged ‘drumming’


Saturday, January 5th, 2013

Perhaps I should take it as a compliment that so many spammers want to sell their hair products, among other things, via the pages of When I do my site devoted to men’s hair replacements, I’ll welcome them, but right now, if they–and they know who they are–continue, I can guarantee they will be made an offer they cannot refuse. I am purging the site of this garbage at least four times per day and have written personally to all the spammers, putting them on notice. And the notice is, if this continues, they will–and I promise this–be paid a visit. In the meantime, please, please, please keep using the community pages for your good dialogues, postings of videos, etc. And don’t forget, by the way, that if you want to hear something unreal, contact me directly at about getting “The Gene Krupa Story” in stereo. And remember also that we are extending our MP3 sale for a bit. All titles, and there will be more, are $5. You can’t beat that with a stick. Or a spammer.

BUDDY RICH TRIVIA: You won’t believe who he’s played with!

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

Those who remember the firery, hard-swinging, uncompromising, perfectionist known as “the world’s greatest drummer” may be in for a surprise after perusing the following.

Before moving on, however, bear in mind that Buddy Rich was, for a good part of his career, as much a part of show business as he was a part of jazz. As a sideman with the orchestras of Bunny Berigan, Artie Shaw, Tommy Dorsey and Harry James, part of his job description was playing shows, backing star singers and dancers, drumming for floor shows, etc. All of that was just part of the gig, plain and simple. Even a glance at a detailed Coltrane itinerary shows that, in the course of a nightclub gig, the tenor genius had to play for a floor show.

How times have changed, and I don’t know if it’s for the better. Cutting shows, as it used to be called, was a marvelous learning experience for all players. Presumably, that just no longer applies today.

The following list does not claim to be complete, only representative of some real showbiz greats and near-greats who you never would think of as on the same bandstand–or in the same radio studio– as Buddy Rich.

These were before the days when another drummer was brought in to play for the “name.” In those days, Buddy played for one and all.

Unless otherwise noted, the following are Tommy Dorsey radio broadcasts featuring Buddy Rich at the drums:

WIth Red Skelton in the film “Ship Ahoy”: 12/41
With Dinah Shore:9/29/42
With Spike Jones: 9/29/42
With Lucille Ball: 11/42 and 9/10/45, the latter in the film “Dubarry Was a Lady.”
With Gene Kelly: As above.
With Bing Crosby: 6/18/44
With Gracie Fields: 9/25/44
With Rudy Vallee: 7/10/44
With Al Jolson: 7/23/44
With Jose Iturbi: 7/30/44
With Sophie Tucker: 8/6/44
WIth Phil Harris: 8/20/44
With Martha Raye: 9/10/44
WIth Eddie Cantor: 9/24/44
With DIck Powell: 10/8/44
With Paulette Goddard: 6/24/45
Janet Blair: 7/22/45
Shirley Booth: 9/2/45

Buddy Rich backed the following on the “Stage Show” television program that featured the Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra:

With Johnnie Ray: 1/1/55
With Duke Ellington: As above
With Patti Page: 1/8/55
WIth Kate Smith: 3/12/55
WIth the McGuire Sisters: As above

On Eddie Condon’s “Floor Show” TV series:
With Sidney Bechet: 3/19/49

More trivia:
The history books have always read that Buddy Rich’s “bass drum experiment” was a “one time only” situation which took place at the Paramount Theater on February 22, 1949, when the Rich crew was on the bill with Mel Torme’. In fact, Buddy reprised his two bass drum feature on the Condon television program two more times: Playing “Old Man River” as he did at the Paramount on March 3, 1949; and on the tune “Heat Wave” on April 2, 1949.

And finally, though many, would-be future jazz greats got their starts in Buddy’s big bands from 1966 through 1986, perhaps none became a bigger star than trumpter Chris Botti, who sat in the Rich trumpet section from December of 1984 through March of the following year.

I look forward to receiving your questions, comments and additions to this list.

There’s No Business Like Drum Business

Sunday, October 29th, 2006

The cases of the defunct, American drum companies–Rogers and Slingerland–represent, to me, two of the saddest and most disgraceful happenings in drum and in industrial history. For a company like Slingerland to go under, and this is an outfit that had both Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich as endorsers, is just unbelievable. They keep hanging on for some reason, though it is virtually impossible to reach anyone from Slingerland by phone, mail or e-mail, and their products are impossible to come by. Those in the know have continually pointed out that owner Gibson, the famous guitar manufacturer, could care less about drums and about Slingerland. 

The latest news in this dire arena has to do with the famed, Rogers drum company. I’ve said this before, and I’m certain many drummers out there will agree, that for many years, Rogers was the drum we all aspired to own at one time or another. They were, for a number of years, the absolute best in every sense. Careful listeners agree that Buddy Rich, Louis Bellson and many other famous Rogers players never sounded better on any instrument, and that the legendary Dynasonic snare drum was, depending on one’s taste, the best ever made. 

Rogers really began to come into there own as an industry factor when Henry Grossman purchased the company in 1953 and moved operations to Covington, OH. While the firm’s greatest years lasted until 1966, when CBS bought the company, Rogers still had a lot of life left within it in terms of the development of Memorilock hardware and other innovations that foreshadowed the era of extra-heavy-duty stands, pedals, racks and other hardware. After disastrous move to Monrovia, California in 1979, a brief move to Mexico the following year, and then a return to Fullerton, CA in 1981, things steadily went downhill. Rob Cook’s wonderful book on the Rogers drum company, published by his own Rebeats outfit, tells the painful story in grim detail. By 1987, Rogers had licensed their once-invaluable name to the Island Music Company, which solely functioned as an importer of drums with the Rogers name slapped on. What a lousy way to go. I often compare that scenario with that of the American automobile manufacturers who refused to see the handwriting on the wall, refused to acknowledge the rise and the quality of cars manufactured overseas, and in every sense, just shut their eyes in the belief that the party would never end. 

The unbelievable rise in the value and popularity of vintage drums, coupled with the success of American-made DW Drums, the resurrection of Gretsch and the popularity of various, American “boutique” operations, has forced the industry at large to take notice that, to some extent, what is old is new again. Say what you will about Yamaha drums. It’s not for nothing that their product is amongst the most widely used in the music industry. Yamaha drums and their many lines of percussion instruments are consistent in terms of quality and durability. Parts are easy to come by and customer service is great. And, they’ve marketed their name in such a way that Yamaha, in many ways, has become synonymous with the world “drums.” Yamaha’s crack marketing department has again stepped forward in a surprise and most savvy move: The drum division of the Yamaha company has acquired, as the announcement said, “the intellectual property rights” of the Rogers Drum Company. This means that Yamaha now owns the Rogers name, and their plans are to put out a line of Rogers drums. They’re smart at Yamaha. They know the value of the Rogers name. Those on e-bay know that, by and large, a vintage Rogers drum will get, at a minimum, twice as much as a Slingerland, Ludwig or Gretsch drum. Though I would have loved to see an American drum company acquire the Rogers name, and evidently, several have tried through the years, we can only hope that Yamaha will continue to emphasize quality as it applies to a line of Rogers drums. Perhaps Tama will now think about acquiring Slingerland. Someone should. 

We have written several times about the problems and complexities involved with our popular DVD title, “Tony Williams Live in New York City.” It seems that every other copy has been defective in some manner, and we’ve done everything within our power to rectify the problems. The last measure we took, believe it or not, was to acquire a copy of the original laser disc from Japan, and transfer directly to DVD from that source. Even that hasn’t worked. The good news is that we have been fortunate enough to track down, at great expense, the original VHS Video of the program, which is a very, very rare item (most of the issues were on laser disc). That will be our new source, and we believe this will call and end to all the problems. I cannot thank everyone enough for their understanding, and we have gone out of our way to make good with replacement, refunds, etc., on all defective copies. visitors are taking note of our acquisition of more and more Tony Williams titles. The good folks at Hudson Music and yours truly have recently made something of a minor breakthrough with the Williams family in terms of a cooperative effort to get some product out. We believe that it won’t be too long until we make a deal to do the DVD/Video tribute that Tony Williams sorely deserves. 

There’s other positive news on the business front: 

Our agreement with the Barcelona, Spain-based Fresh Sound records continues to move forward, and all of us look forward –if possible–to a Christmas release of the two-CD set of the Jazz at the Philharmonic concert from Hamburg, Germany, in February of 1956. Fresh Sound is a fine, fine outfit with which to do business, and I anticipate doing much, much more with them in the months to come. If it were not for Fresh Sound, hundreds of classic works of jazz, originally on LP and now on CD, would never have seen the light of day. Jordi Pujol at Fresh Sound deserves some type of award for his contributions to jazz and for making so much fine music available., detailed below, has a complete line of what Fresh Sound has to offer as does 

The Gene Krupa pictorial book continues to do very well and continues to garner very positive reviews in the percussion press. Alfred Publishing is another great company in terms of honesty, integrity, openness to new ideas and ability and desire to communicate. These are, indeed, very, rare qualities these days. I am talking to Alfred about several new book and DVD projects. One recent idea that I’ve forwarded to Alfred (and they deserve an award in “Patience Department” for listening my endless lists of “new ideas”) would be a reprinting–in one volume–of several vintage Rogers, Gretsch, Slingerland and Ludwig drum catalogs, with additional commentary and photos by yours truly. Look at the prices that these catalogs get in the marketplace. It’s unbelievable, and I believe, I fine idea for a book. 

On a local basis here in the city of Philadelphia, I would be personally and professionally remiss if I did not mention the superb job that bassist/teacher/entrepreneur Bruce Kaminsky is doing in the Music Department of Drexel University. No, Drexel is not a music school, but with their very, very popular course of study related to the music industry, a full slate of music (which includes jazz) courses is imperative. Kaminsky is the inventor of the KYDD bass (the legendary hybrid acoustic/electric/unbelievably portable instrument), a world class bassist in just about every form of music, and my dear friend of over 30 years. Bruce is doing true wonders with his Percussion Ensemble class at Drexel, and I know this first hand, as I was a guest lecturer/instructor there yesterday. Bruce’s grand finale of the semester, a show to be done on Bruce’s usual grand scale at Drexel’s Mandell Theater, will feature the ensemble doing a singular version of none other than “Sing Sing Sing.” If things work out, and it looks like they will, the guest soloist will be yours truly. Now I know why I love Drexel. 

In many cities across the world, Tower Records represented the last venue where one could browse, seemingly for hours, for jazz CDs, videos, DVDs, books and magazines. I’m told that Sam Goody’s is just about out of business as well, though Goody’s hasn’t meant much to the jazz fan for years. So the future, I’m afraid, is here, but the future for jazz merchandise looks exceedingly bright, though it comes in a rather different form for all of us. The universe’s largest jazz merchandiser on the Internet is a company we’ve highlighted before in this space, called They have, quite simply, the largest selection in the world of virtually everything that is, was or will be related to jazz. This includes CDs, DVDs, rare imported labels of both CDs and DVDs, books, big band charts, Sinatra charts, Kenton charts, Buddy Rich charts, Real Books, and much, much more. I urge each and every one of you to visit EJazzLines frequently, as they, amazingly, get in more merchandise regularly from all over the world. Those great CD reissues on the Fresh Sound and other overseas labels? EJazzLines has them all. Vintage videos from the likes of Rhapsody Films and DVD concerts from Europe? EJazzLines has them all. The Krupa and Buddy Rich stuff on CD that may be missing from your collection? Well, you get the idea. And incidentally, our sincerest congrats to Rob DuBoff of EJazzLines for the newest addition to his family. We look forward to doing some work with this superior operation somewhere down the line, but for right now, after you check your e-mail, visit They are, indeed, “Your global source for everything…that’s jazz!” 

God bless and keep swingin, 

Bruce Klauber November, 2006