Gene Krupa

1909-1973

 

A native of Chicago, Gene Krupa began playing in the mid 1920s and parleyed his Moeller-taught technique, his Baby Dodds-influenced style, his practical inventiveness and his seemingly limitless creativity into a remarkable career of drumming firsts.  After redefining drummers as front-men, soloists and matinee idols, he is credited by many as the first drummer to record with a bass drum pedal, with developing the rim shot, and he was instrumental in designing the modern high hat cymbal as well as toms with tunable bottom heads.  Oh, and he could play.  His 1937 recording of "Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing)" by Benny Goodman and His Orchestra featuring Gene Krupa on drums was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and is generally credited as the first extended drum solo ever recorded.  He was an educator who published instructional books, a band leader and performer, movie star and role model to the young prodigy Buddy Rich.  According to Buddy, “I think at one time every drummer wanted to play like Krupa.”   

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