Originally Posted by Lambo
Yes, as Sabian Cymbals put it, "The world's most versatile drummer".
Marketing. Buddy Rich is the original 'celebrity' drummer. He was the master of fast single strokes, cross-overs, upside flipping drum kits, and an amazingly good big band drummer.
Versatile is not a term I'd associate with Buddy Rich, other that the fact he was very versitile in creating new ways to single stroke and amaze crowds with his showmanship.
Don't take this as a criticism of Buddy Rich. Its more a statement about people who think he was something he wasn't (a rock drummer, a versatile drummer, etc.)
He was the original ostentatious flashy drummer, and his playing has been borrowed from and copied for years now. His showmanship and his thousands of gigs has made him one of the most recongized names to non-drummers.