As an Atlanta, GA drum instructor in the style of Buddy Rich I have written an article. Until a few months before his passing Buddy Rich had performed almost every night of his 6 decade career. His career got an early start. His parents where a Vaudevillian act and at the tender age of 18 months Buddy was drumming on stage bringing the house down. He was an amazing tap dancer, crooner and comedian. Oh…he had a photographic memory and could memorize an arrangement after hearing it one time. He had all the technique and more…God given talent.
At the age of 17 Buddy sought advise from the great Henry Adler, drum instructor, music publisher and inventor. Buddy wanted out of the vaudeville routine. He wanted to be a jazz drummer. After they met Henry asked him to sit and play a little on a practice pad. Henry told me, “I’ve never seen anyone like him…ever!”
Buddy called home to ask his dad if he could go with Henry to hear a jazz band. He said “OK”. Henry brought Buddy to the Hickory House where Joe Marsala and band where performing. He sat in and was hired on-the-spot.
Three bands and a few years later Buddy was drumming for The Tommy Dorsey Band. He now was referred to as “The World’s Greatest Drummer”. His massive fan base demanded a drum method book. Henry was hired.
In 1942 Buddy Rich’s Modern Interpretation of Snare Drum Rudiments was published. Since Buddy never learned to read or right drum notation, Henry became the go-between. Henry’s publishing experience combined with Buddy’s technical prowess birthed the greatest, best selling drum method book ever published.
There aren’t many people in this world who have earned the title of “The World’s Greatest”. Buddy’s legacy grows stronger because he still inspires all who listen to and watch his genius