Gene Krupa


Senior Member
I love the way GK plays. But, is he not the funniest drummer in the world to watch? He makes the most ridiculous faces and movements. I can't stop laughing when I watch him.


Gene Krupa, the most musical drummer EVER and one of the most influential EVER.....only has 21 responses????? Is there something wrong here????? This is truly appaling and makes me want to vomit. Not good vomit like GWAR-style, but sick-to-my-stomach as to why a legend is neglected on such a huge drummer's site. Seriously, wake up!!!!!!!!!!

This guy had more feel when he played than anyone (including Rich, Gadd, etc.). When he sat behind a kit, he was so animated that it seemed like he was possessed by the drums. What a showman.

My first real exposure to him outside Benny Goodman's material was the Krupa & Rich cd, which totally rocks. ;-)

For those less versed in his legacy, please read this short bio on him.
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Platinum Member
My family has a bunch of videos of him. His big band from the early 1940s with Roy Eldridge the trumpet player is absolutely wicked. Man he sure got into it. But my favorite video is of a Timex TV show about a year before he died with the Benny Goodman Quartet. He was awesome on that. According to my dad, he was the first drummer to get a real drumset into a recording studio without messin up the recording. He says it was in 1927. Krupa and his bandmates were the first guys to muffle the inside of a bassdrum with pillows and blankets. That's a big thing by itself.


Pioneer Member
Definitely one of the Fathers of Modern Drumming! His playing was giving the tunes this cool swing, and what's more... he was a damn fine showman!... And his parents were from Poland, so it's also my personal sympathy ;).


Senior Member
Hey Zardoz I was thinking the same thing too....only 21 posts about Krupa? Maybe it's an age thing because Krupa's prime was about what...?....50 years ago?

As for me being almost 45 Krupa was one of the first drummers I became aware of as a kid (after Ringo). I lived with my Grandparents when I was young and my Grandfather worked at music store so when I became interested in the drums he certainly mentioned Krupa to me because that was the most famous drummer of his generation. I also remember vaguely seeing Krupa the odd time on television. My Dad also housed all his old 78 records at my Grandparents and I remember he had at least one me out here...what was it?...."Drum Boogie"? Was that Krupa? I can't remember the "B" side other then some vague recollection of it being something of "tribal" rythm.

Anyway...Krupa was and is one of the most exciting drummers to watch. Didn't have Buddy's chops...but man he really got into it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



It just boggles my mind, because you'd think that no matter what age you are and if you're truly into the instrument you're playing, you'd want to go back and listen to as many drummers as you can, from different genres & just be totally consumed with all different types of music. But, unfortunately most people are not like that, especially when you're younger and more impressionable by other people around you, "Dude jazz sucks stop being a wussy and put on Slipknot" or something like that. But that's also ironic, because when you're younger that's when you should be doing what I mentioned above, before you become older and more 'stubborn' with your musical tastes.

To me, being a true music nut is about listening to everything not only from the present, but from the past as well.....because that's where most of the present music gets their sound.

I would highly suggest going out and buying the Krupa & Rich cd I mentioned above. It's short, but well worth it. Rich's solos on the cd are more 'musical', meaning they're more toned-downed than most other solos I've seen/heard by him. And Krupa, well he's just being himself which is never a bad thing to listen to.


Junior Member
I was taught by GK.

Wellll, I learned the drums mainly by playing along with everything (mostly) he did on the Columbia 2 record set of Goodman's 1938 Carnegie Hall Concert - if you haven't ever heard it - get it! It's wonderful!

I'd be so "in" to playing with that album that if my Ma walked in the room to stop me, it'd scare the ___ outa me!

Story of how that concert was recorded (by accident really) is amazing - as I recall only was recorded because of a feed to a radio broadcast and a disc was cut from one (got that? -ONE) microphone hung from the ceiling. Post-concert the disc disappeared into the Goodman family closet (or something like that) only to be found years later. Sound isn't all bad either - just lacks a bit in the bass. Goodman's band was spot on that night and the audiences response shows it!!

Highlight of course is Sing Sing Sing, but there are many other great tunes and moments.

Michael G

Silver Member
Ahh Gene Krupa, not only a great drummer, but a real sweetheart too.

His girlfriend dumped him and married Buddy Rich, and they still remained best friends.

Gene Krupa needs more praise, so little posts about him.


Senior Member
Hey Zardoz I was thinking the same thing too....only 21 posts about Krupa? QUOTE]

I think when everyone is in agreement with nothing to bicker about, these threads don't get the momentum some of the more heated one do. Same thing happens with the Steve Smith or Dennis Chambers threads.

Now you look at Neil Peart or Travis Barker thread. Wow, these go on forever because people are bickering back and forth about who knows what.

Now, for my two cents about Mr. Krupa. He is the man for whom all should praise as a damn fine drummer, an innovator of the modern trap set, the trend setter that allowed drummers to be noticed and, ultimately, become band leaders. He is one of the greats.

He (Buddy and Louie) gave ample and justified praise to the likes of Chick Web, Big Cid Catlett, Warren "Baby" Dodds and Papa Jo Jones as the masters who deserved recognition for their contribution to the art of drumming.

Drumming is a living thing that doesn't stop and start with one person. It feeds on every one of us who picks up the sticks and tries to create something - good or bad.

Sorry for the tangents.


Senior Member
Gene told Marie not to marry Buddy
If I was Buddy I would be pissed at Gene
I'm surprised they they stayed friends after that little episode
Gene was not being Buddy's friend
It looked like sour grapes to me
Buddy Rich once said that Gene was the "beginning and the end of all jazz drummers."

Louie Bellson said of Gene, "He was a wonderful, kind man and a great player. He brought drums to the foreground. He is still a household name."



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Senior Member
I posted this on January 15th, Gene's 100th birthday, but I put it on the general discussion board....sorry I didn't find this thread sooner:

"Well folks, today is the day. And in the words of the immortal Buddy Rich:

"Every drummer in the world should stand up, face Yonkers and bow because if it wasn't for Gene we'd all be just timekeepers"


Junior Member
Yes he was one of the greatest Drummer. In the year 1970 i was a little kid and have seen all this music movies in TV with him and all this famos musican,i was inspired i think.and this great Song sing,sing sing follows me all over the years. Yesterday i start to learn it and it feels great for me.So much power and great Horn section wow.

wy yung

Re: Genie Krupa

I believe he was also "instrumental"(pun intended ;P) in the development of the tunable tom-toms, the hi-hat and is believed to be the first to actually record with a bass drum in the studio. And he did make the drums a solo instrument and was responsible for making the drummer a highly respected and high paid musician. As Buddy once said about Gene: "Gene was a great, great genius of the drums.....Can you imagine jazz without Gene?" Here's to Mr. Showmanship himself, Gene Krupa!!!
Gene was not responsible for the hi hat. Cannot remember the guy's name but I think he was in Fletcher Henderson's band at the time.

My mother was a huge fan of Gene and I began hearing about him at a very early age. I was listening to Goodman when in nappies.

Gene's place in drumming is etched in stone. Many today do not realize what a star he was. Until Ringo came on the scene Gene Krupa was the most famous drummer alive and possibly the only drummer known to the general public. Now before people mention Buddy, he was very well known to drummers, but not to the public at large. When the guy in the street thought of a drummer, it was Gene Krupa. Think of it this way, Hollywood makes movies about Ray Charles, Johnny Cash, Glenn Miller etc. Well, they also made one about Gene Krupa. THAT was how big he was.

I am sure we've spoken about him at DW before.


Senior Member
I cannot believe a thread on Gene Krupa is so small... One of the greatest drummers to have ever draw breath. Proved that drummers can be more then just timekeepers and he single handedly made the drums popular with the general public. He's a legend.

Isn't there another (quite possibly larger) thread on him? I mean, Gene Krupa, and just ONE page!?


My dad met Gene Krupa years ago. My father played the trumpet and loved the big band stuff. He was so taken buy Gene that he named my older brother after the man. I ended up staying with the drums and I am named after Glen Cambell. :(