"When it comes to my playing, I take no prisoners," Buddy Rich tells Mel Torme in February 1949(Unofficial 1). Buddy Rich has taken drumming to new levels, developing ensembles that are centered around his stunning display of endurance and velocity, not to mention his remarkable showmanship. Buddy Rich is one of the most talented and influential drummers of all time.
Born to the name Bernard "Buddy" Rich on September 30, 1917, in Brooklyn, NY to parents Robert and Bess, Rich quickly jumped into the world of show business at the early age of 18-months. He made his first appearance as a vaudeville act called "Traps, The Drum Wonder"(Torme 45).
It wasn't always just his act though. Touring the country at an early age with his parents, they had little time to attend to their son during their rehearsing and performing. During one such rehearsal as Pal' (as Rich was often called during his younger years) was sitting on the side, a bit of commotion arose from where the drummer was. Pal was making such a fuss about not having any attention that the drummer, with intentions to keep him quiet, gave him a pair of drumsticks. But instead of keeping quiet, he did quite the opposite. Little Rich, not even a year old, was making quite a spectacle of himself. "As the orchestra began to play again, the baby began tapping the stage in perfect rhythm, with a pair of drumsticks the drummer had given him. Each time the tempo changed, the little hands adjusted to the new pace without missing a beat"(Torme 22). This was just the start, as Rich only took off from this point forward. The next step was getting him a snare drum, bass drum, and a cymbal, which he borrowed from a drummer in the band (Torme 23).
Things were now different for the Rich Family. The newest addition to the family was now the breadwinner in the house. Soon the whole Rich family would find themselves depending on the extra money Pal...