Buddy Rich is regarded today as one of the greatest Jazz drummers of all time. Known for his speed, power and technical ability. But who was he?
Buddy was practically born with a pair of drum sticks in his hands.
As a one year old baby, his father noticed him tapping out a perfect beat with spoons, and by the time he was just two years old Buddy was drumming in his family’s travelling Vaudeville act under the name ‘Baby Traps The Drum Wonder’.
Buddy grew up to be a virtuoso drummer who was best known for his incredible technique, power, groove and speed, all without receiving any formal training.
Yet throughout the 1940s, 50s and 60s, he played and recorded with almost all the great musicians of Jazz, from Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald to Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, Frank Sinatra…as well as leading his own bands and performing with all-star groups.
He was always a showman, playing extended and dramatic drum solos, and even performed televised drum battles with other drummers such as Gene Krupa, Ed Shaunassy and Animal from the Muppets!
He’ll be forever remembered for these, as well as the huge catalogue of classic jazz records on which he featured – records that are still listened to and enjoyed today more than 100 years after his birth back in 1917.