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Music jazz and big band drummer Gene Krupa pictures (pic) and photo gallery, albums covers pictures.
Born: January 15, 1909 in Chicago, Illinois, USA.
Died: October 16, 1973 in Yonkers, New York, USA.
Gene Krupa known for his highly energetic and flamboyant style.
Krupa's parents were Polish and he was born in Chicago, Illinois. He began playing professionally in the mid 1920s with bands in Wisconsin. He broke into the Chicago scene in 1927, when he was picked by MCA to become a member of Thelma Terry and Her Playboys, the first notable American jazz band (outside of all-girl bands) to be led by a female musician. The Playboys were the house band at The Golden Pumpkin nightclub in Chicago and also toured extensively throughout the eastern and central United States.
Krupa made his first recordings in 1927, with a band under the leadership of banjoist Eddie Condon and "fixer" (and sometime singer, who did not appear on the records), Red McKenzie: these sides are now recognised as the first, and definitive, examples of white "Chicago Style" jazz. The numbers recorded at that session were: 'China Boy', 'Sugar', 'Nobody's Sweetheart' and 'Liza'. The McKenzie - Condon sides are also notable for being the first records to feature a full drum kit.
Krupa also appeared on six recordings made by the Thelma Terry band in 1928.
In 1929 he moved to New York City and worked with the band of Red Nichols. In 1934 he joined Benny Goodman's band, where his featured drum work - especially on the hit "Sing, Sing, Sing" - made him a national celebrity. In 1938, after a public fight with Goodman at the Earl Theater in Philadelphia, he left Goodman to launch his own band and had several hits with singer Anita O'Day and trumpeter Roy Eldridge. Krupa made a memorable cameo appearance in the 1941 film Ball of Fire, in which he and his band performed an extended versions of the hit Drum Boogie.
In 1943, Krupa was arrested for possession of pot and was given a brief jail term. After his release, Krupa reorganized his band with a big string section, featuring Charlie Ventura on sax. It was one of the largest dance bands of the era, sometimes containing up to forty musicians. He gradually cut down the size of the band in the late 1940s, and from 1951 on led a trio or quartet, often featuring the multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Agins on tenor sax, clarinet and harmonica. He appeared regularly with the Jazz At the Philharmonic shows.
Krupa largely went into retirement in the late 1960s, although he occasionally played in public until shortly before his death from leukemia in Yonkers, New York. He was buried in Holy Cross Cemetery in Calumet City, Illinois.
Many consider Krupa to be the most influential drummer of the 20th century, particularly with regard to the development of the drum kit.
Krupa's main influence began in 1935 when he emerged a star with Benny Goodman's Orchestra, prominently featuring Slingerland drums. But he had already made history in 1927 as the first kit drummer ever to record using a bass drum pedal. His drum method was published in 1938 and immediately became the standard text.
Krupa established the 8 x 12" and 9 x 13" hanging toms mounted on the bass drum, and he developed and popularised many of the cymbal techniques that became standards. His collaboration with Armand Zildjian of the Avedis Zildjian Company developed the hi-hat stand and standardized the names and uses of the ride cymbal, the crash cymbal, the splash cymbal, the pang cymbal and the swish cymbal. Later innovations included the floor tom and toms with tunable bottom heads.
Krupa has been cited as an influence by 1960s rock drummers such as Ian Paice of Deep Purple, Keith Moon of The Who, John Bonham of Led Zeppelin, Peter Criss of KISS (to whom Krupa gave personal lessons), Neil Peart of Rush, and Paul Whaley of Blue Cheer. The British techno-rock group Apollo 440 had a hit with "Krupa" which featured the sampled phrase from the movie Taxi Driver; "Now back to Gene Krupa's syncopated style." The song itself is an electronic dance track written in the style of Gene Krupa, giving the impression of Krupa's style in the form of a 1990's dance track, blending his musical idioms with a modern song using samples and synthesised basslines.
Krupa's popularity was acknowledged in the 1946 Warner Bros. cartoon, Book Revue, in which a rotoscoped Krupa's dynamic drumming plays a prominent role in an impromptu jam session.
Sal Mineo starred as Krupa in the Columbia Pictures movie The Gene Krupa Story (1959).
Krupa is mentioned in the Simpsons episode "Hurricane Neddy": Ned Flanders' beatnik parents refused to discipline Ned, as they felt that it would be tantamount to not letting Gene Krupa play the drums.