Acrobat Music

Gene Krupa, American jazz drummer and bandleader, was born on 15th Jan. 1909

Gene Krupa, American jazz drummer and bandleader, was born on 15th Jan. 1909
Born Eugene Bertram Krupa in Chicago, Illinois in January 1909, Krupa was the son of a Polish immigrant father. He studied drums and started playing professionally in the mid-20s, making his breakthrough into the Chicago scene as a member of Thelma Terry's Playboys (the first band led by a female). He made recordings in 1927 with Eddie Condon, examples of Chicago-style jazz, which were some of the first recordings to feature a full drum kit. He moved to New York in 1929 working first with Red Nichols before joining Benny Goodman, with whom he worked for the next 6 years, his drum work with him making him nationally famous. He fell out with Goodman in 1939 and started his own orchestra, appearing in the 1939 film of "Some Like It Hot" with Bob Hope, and also in the 1941 movie "Ball of Fire" in which his hit "Drum Boogie" was featured. After fighting drugs charges his career slumped briefly, but he made a comeback at Benny Goodman's behest and successfully re-launched his own band for the rest of the '40s, incorporating strings in a large line-up. As the big band era waned, he returned to small band work, appearing regularly in the Jazz At The Philharmonic shows, and making more screen appearances in the '50s in 'The Glenn Miller Story' and 'Benny Goodman Story'. He continued to make club appearances until back trouble forced him to retire, when he opened a drum school. He died from leukaemia in 1973 aged 64. His athletic and extrovert style set him apart from other drummers of his era, and he worked closely with equipment manufacturers to develop new elements of the kit, such as tom-toms and cymbals, and constantly experimented with new techniques. Acrobat has a collection of his work on catalogue. For details, click here. 
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