Friday, January 29, 2010
Jango Song Of The Day-Gene Krupa
Album:Best Of Big Bands: Drum Boogie
Gene Krupa was a jazz pioneer and the first drummer to become a superstar. He was also the first musician to use a full drum set on record. He was born Jan. 15, 1909 in Chicago. He started playing professionally in the mid-20s with Thelma Terry & Her Playboys. He first recorded in 1927 with banjo playing bandleader Eddie Condon and his comb playing partner Red McKenzie. Yes, I said comb. Krupa started setting up his drum set and sax player Mezz Mezzrow told him no one had ever recorded with a full drum set. Obviously it turned out fine. Krupa moved to New York in 1929 to join the Red Nichols band. And then he was a featured member of Benny Goodman's band beginning in 1934, especially on Sing Sing Sing. He left the Goodman band in 1938 after an argument and formed his own band featuring singer Anita O'Day and trumpeter Roy Eldridge. They became very popular and Krupa performed Drum Boogie in the 1941 Howard Hawks film Ball Of Fire starring Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck. Krupa's career came to a grinding halt in 1943 when he was busted for weed. He really didn't perform much for the rest of the decade. This comp is a good intro to his music. By the time he returned in the 50s, big bands were dead. He appeared as himself in The Glenn Miller Story and The Benny Goodman Story and then Sal Mineo played Krupa in the 1959 film The Gene Krupa Story. Krupa continued to perform until his death on Oct. 16, 1973 at age 64. Here's Gene Krupa performing Drum Boogie in the 1941 film Ball Of Fire. Barbara Stanwyck's vocal was dubbed by Benny Goodman singer Martha Tilton.