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Gene Krupa
Q & A
Questions & Answers
Updated 9/22/04
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#82 - 9/22/04
Q. "It's a shame that Verve has not released the soundtrack on CD of the "Gene Krupa Story". This in my opinion is a complete disregard to the great jazz artists who helped make Verve what is today. I sent Verve several emails over the years and never got one response. The GK soundtrack contains some of Krupa's finest work. I'd ask all Krupa fans to help me pressure Verve into the release. What do you think? Fortunately I have an LP copy of the original along with CD copies from the private collection of Dr. Bruce Klauber who is perhaps the finest example of a true Krupa fan. Dr. Klauber keeps Gene alive and kicking."
John Subrisky

#81 - 6/8/04
Q. "Did gene ever live in the benedict canyon area (the hills of Beverly Hills) in the mid or late 50's, possibly when they were making his movie?"

#80 - 5/20/04
Q. "I believe that my family is related to Gene Krupa's mother. Does anyone know what is Gene Krupa's mothers madien name. My grandfather said krupa was his nephew. My grandfathers sister had a child named gene krupa. My Aunt meet him when she was a child my Aunt Anna is in her early 80's now. My mother had photo's of gene and my grandfather in the early 30's. My grandfather had several sisters from poland. My great-grandfather only came over from poland with his son and my great-grandfather left his wife and daughters in poland and they later came to america and resided in Chicago. Do you have any information on his family tree."

#79 - 4/13/04
Q. "Hi, I recently purchased a Slingerland 4pc kit that belonged to Jack Platt before he passed away in 1998. I intend to keep it for the duration of my hopefully many remaining years and pass it on to responsible hands in the exact original condition as it was when Jack played it with the GK Orchestra. I would like to know if anyone could tell me about Jack Platt, his relationship with Gene, his playing style, etc. I have scoured the internet but have found very little information. Thank you"
Jeff Guthery

#78 - 4/12/04
Q. "Well I've just been introduced a song called the Big Noise from Winnetka, done my Gene Krupa. Haven't herd it yet but I ordered the CD off of Barnes & Noble yesterday, but I am told Gene Krupa starts playing the bass with his sticks and I'm very eager to try this stunt for a show that's coming up because it seems very cool. Anyways my question I guess is, since I haven't herd it is there a bass line to just that part?? And if there is does anyone know it or how to get it? like I said I haven't herd the song, so after I get the CD I guess I'll be able to figure it out. Thanks"
Jeff Brown

#77 - 11/12/03
Q. "In the Gene Krupa Story, starring Sal Mineo, is there a point in the film toward the end where there is (2) shots, taken from above, of Gene Krupa himself actually playing in the movie. My feeling is at this point in the solo, Sal Mineo, couldn't duplicate the speed of Gene's playing, so Gene himself was put into the movie to do that scene. Am I right?"
Salvatore N. Mastropaolo

A. "Other than his off-screen pre recorded drumming, I don't think Gene appeared in the film. If you watch Sal's hands closly, and listen carefully to the sound track, you can tell that he isn't really matching Gene's speed. But the accents are well placed and his timing and style are beautiful.
There are a few other things to watch for also. The way Sal twirls his left stick is not the way Gene did it. Sal gives it sort of a fingertip baton twirl, whereas Gene actually manipulated the stick through his fingers. Also, during the duet with Shelly Manne, notice how Sal does that snare drum-high hat bit. That's completely different from the way Gene did it in real life. If you get a chance, take a look at the video "Gene Krupa: Jazz Legend" you can make a great comparison between Sal's acting and Gene's actual drumming. Also on that video, there is a segment with both Gene and Sal drumming together. You can see at that point in his life, Gene was a slightly heavier man, which would have been noticable if he were in the movie."
Dave Novak

#76 - 11/12/03
Q. "Does anyone have any idea how much a deck of cards (sealed) with Gene Krupa's picture on one deck and Ray McKinley's picture on the other deck - both in a red box with "Merry Christmas Slingerland Drum Co. 1325 Belden Ave Chicago 14 Ill" on the cover - would be worth? I'm not sure if it's a collectible item or not... Thanks."
Lisa Billingsley

#75 - 11/11/03
Q. "I don't know if I'm being ridiculous, but: Are there lyrics to the song Drummin' Man? Obviously it has been recorded by Anita O'Day, as I learned, so there might have been lyrics...anybody help me?"

A. "This is strictly from memory, I haven't heard the song for years goes!! (Several bars of music intro) "Drummin' man, he's a drummin' man. No one kicks a set of skins just like he can. All about biology, he knows not a thing, but the way he swings out on those drums you know he's really keen. Drummin man, he's a drummin man. He's as wild a you know what I mean. See that man sittin' on that stool, he's a cow-hide kickin' fool. (At this point, a series of rapid rim shots) Swingin Mr. Gene." (At this point, extended drum solo). Hope this does it for you. It's been many years since I've heard the side. If any one else reading this can add corrections, please do."
Dave Novak

#74 - 11/02/03
Q. "Hey! I just started drumming maybe 6 or 7 months ago and I still can't figure out the best way to spin my sticks....some one PLEASE help!!!!!! Thanks"

#73 - 5/16/03
Q. "My husband and I love the music of Glenn Miller's Orchestra. After rewatching the movie in his honor, for the bazillioneth time, the other night we pondered if his wife, Helen, and their children were still with us. If so, is there a website or any way to find out what they're doing now? Can you help us? Thanks"
Janisse Michaels

#72 - 3/4/03
Q. "I finally got lucky today after literally years of searching for info on "Teach Me Teach Me Baby". I bought this scratchy old 78rpm at a yard sale and it`s not listed on any discography I`ve ever seen. You HAVE to hear this record! A torch ballad with a smoky, bluesy arrangement and wry double entendre lyrics and great singing by Delores Hawkins. If this recording exists on any CD or tape, could someone please let me know? Recorded in New York December, 1947. It`s an artistic TRAVESTY that this song is not on a disc somewhere! Please email me if anyone has any info or comments about this record. Thanks."
Dean Havens

#71 - 2/14/03
Q. "I saw Gene Krupa perform, either the summer of 1967 or 1968, at Diamond Hill State Park in Cumberland, Rhode Island. I'd like to know the exact date. I was contemplating getting in touch with the Cumberland Public Library but I'm about to give up on that method. Been e-mailing libraries for a couple of months now trying to find out what dates Duke Ellington appeared at Ballard's Nightclub in Lincoln, RI, late 1968 or early 1969. Sometimes I think I dreamed these things!"
Tom McDade

A. I'm answering my own question! Gene Krupa performed on Sunday, July 10, 1967 at Diamond Hill State Park in Cumberland, RI. His appearance was part of the Diamond Hill Music Festival.
Tom McDade

#70 - 1/24/03
Q. "I happened to hear a solo by Krupa on the radio sometime ago and was amazed. I had heard Buddy Rich many times but it was nothing like what I had just heard on the Krupa recording. I read that many feel that Rich was the best but was curious whether I was alone in thinking that Krupa was in a class all by himself."

#69 - 1/13/03
Q. "Can anyone advise if a recording of King Porter Stomp with Gene doing an extended cymbal solo is currently available or on what LP it was originally released on. This recording was probably made in 1946/7 and is from a broadcast, I believe."
Tom Burns

#68 - 1/3/02
Q. "I am looking for a piece called Skin Deep I think Gene may have played on it but I am not sure any help?"

A. I'm not sure if Gene ever recorded the piece, but Sam Woodyard did an extended drum solo (using a double bass setup) on this song with Duke Ellington at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1956. Louie Bellson also did a recording of the song.

#67 - 11/13/02
Q. "I would like to know if there is a drumstick company who still makes autographed Gene Krupa Drumsticks?"
Roger Roussy

A. Hi, I make custom drumsticks and have been involved making sticks for awhile. Apparently during the seventies there was a Japanese company making some oak sticks for Slingerland with the Slingerland logo and block lettering saying "Gene Krupa" but I believe that was the last time any were made. During that period of time, Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich were considered used up has beens and were replaced by the beginning of big hair band drummers. I think it was a marketing ploy to try to sell to old timers. Things that were Japanese were not considered quality and so those sticks were probably pretty cheap. The Japanese manufacturer's name was "Tat Osaka" who makes stick now for Promark of Texas. Before that Gene used a stick made by John Cappella for Slingerland It was a very narrow stick 1/2 inches dia by 15 inches long and it was a wood tip. It had all block lettering , no Signature.
Jeff Rich

#66 - 11/2/02
Q. "There was a movie that either had Gene Krupa, featured Gene Krupa or was about Gene Krupa. One scene showed him playing toothpicks at the table. He does a whole song with them. I am trying to find which movie this was. Anyone know?"
Al Godley

A. The movie you are looking for is "Ball of Fire.
Larry Pemberton

#65 - 10/3/02
Q. "My question is Gene Krupa related; but, not specifically about GK. Just recently I have found online the whole Slingerland Legends Signature sets deal. What a great concept! But, what about execution? It prompted me to start searching for more info re those sets, what legends, and such. What I have learned is that Slingerland seems to have bit the dust. The few pages I find in recent years are connected (like a redheaded stepchild) to Gibson. Anyway, apparently, there are no dealers outside of one "dinkus" site with virtually nothing offered.

Are the great name and drums of Slingerland history? If so, how on earth could we let this happen. I noticed that the giveaway was sponsored by Modern Drummer. Now, I have absolutely nothing against MD. My 18 year old loves it. But, I am more the Not So Modern Drummer type. I sent Gibson an email expressing my concerns about Slingerland's product line and availability. As well as a couple of thoughts about how I would enjoy seeing Slingerland promoted. As expected, no answer in the passing month or so.

Anyway, can one of you knowledgeable guys (or gals) bring me up to tempo on Slingerland etc.? Can it be brought back at all?"
Malcolm Johnson

A. Slingerland in 1999 stoped making American drums (ledged serious) Since 1999 has snare drums and some hardware made in China, not to bad. Gibson still owns the name, as I was a New York Slingerland dealer from 1964 until 1999. (35) years. I have the Krupa Orchestra since 1999 and wanted a Krupa set for myself, plus 5 more for inventory and 4 Buddy Rich sets, but Gibson/Slingerland informed me that they were out of production after 3 phone calls and 2 letters. Over the past 35 years I must have purchased at least 500 to 700 sets of Slingerland drums for my retail drum/music store. Slingerland Drum & Banjo Company founded in 1927 pretty much has bit the dust like you say, very sad, but Mal there are a lot of good drum manufactures still out there.
Roy Anderson

#64 - 9/15/02
Q. "Why do Gene's drums seem to have a flatter quality than usual on the "Hey, Here's Gene Krupa" sessions? His snare and tom toms don't sound as deep as they usually. His playing is incredible, but I miss his usual sound, especially on Gene's Solo Flight. Anyone know?"
Mario Hartnell

#63 - 8/20/02
Q. "Who was Gene Krupa's replacement drummer when he wanted to get out front to conduct the band? This drummer is in some film clips I have on video. Bet you guys who are authority on Gene Krupa know. Who is playing Krupa in the now being filmed biopic on Buddy Rich?"
Colin Toomer
Outside USA

#62 - 7/10/02
Q. "Does anyone have the details surrounding Gene Krupa's cause of death?"

#61 - 12/24/01
Q. "Are there any existing sets or pieces of Gene's actual drum kits? Are they in some museum somewhere, or in some lucky person's basement? Does any one here know? I would be quite interested to know since my beloved husband is currently piecing together a Slingerland set from 1963, he has the bass (not put together as he still needs some crucial pieces) and a beautiful original Krupa model snare and some other various pieces. I would love to be able to someday present him with an actual piece Gene had played on. I will check back soon. Peace to all and Merry Christmas!"

A. I bought from the late Charlie Donelly Gene Krupas tall Conga drum (1 of 2). It has all the documentation and sounds even better that you'd imagine. I brought it one year to the NAMM convention in LA when Buzz King signed me to a Slingerland endorcement. It was a real attraction. I'm having it copied so it can be played in "DRUM BOOGIE", the Gene Krupa Musical.

#60 - 12/5/01
Q. "Hi there, just wondered if anybody out there knows what sizes/size, the large floortom is that sits next to the 16x16 in most of the publicity shots of gene in the 50's and 60's."

A. The big floortom was 20"x20", I have a friend who bought a set that Barret Deems had in the band "krupa 80" and there is the tom that size. I also study many pictures and am sure that the big tom GK had was bigger than 18x18. In the 40's he plays 16X16 and 16X18.
Jan Svensson

#59 - 12/2/01
Q. "Hi everybody, my name is Uwe Mueller and I'm a 44 years old German male and a great fan to GENE KRUPA. Sorry, but my English is not perfect. I'm also a private collector of GENE KRUPA memorabilia. I'm searching for photos taken of GENE during concerts. If anybody has some concert photos, please scan them and email to me at address below. If you have other KRUPA items so contact me under the same email-address. I wish everybody a very safe and happy holiday season. Best regards"
Uwe Mueller

#58 - 11/19/01
Q. "This is a general enquiry aimed at all those who know something about GK. My father is very nostalgic about GK and was telling me of a famous publicity poster he used to have in his room when he was young. I wanted to get the poster for him but want to ensure it's the correct one. The description was of an action photo with GK sweating over his drum kit. Having searched the net I have found some sites that will help me, but now realize that almost ALL the images fit the bill. Can anyone point me towards the more famous images to give me a chance of hitting the right one? "

#57 - 10/25/01
Q. "Hi fellows, I would like to know about Anita O'Day, is she active at this very moment? Is there an address to write? Thanks a lot. "
Juan Carlos Sosa T.

#56 - 10/17/01
Q. "Does anyone know the make and model of the ride cymbal Gene used in the 70's. I saw him on T.V. with what looks like a 22" ride that sounds great as a crash and a ride. Any info would be great."
John Strutt

#55 - 9/15/01
Q. "This question is one just to satisfy my curiosity, but can anyone tell me why "The Gene Krupa Story" starring Sal Mineo has been retitled "The New Gene Krupa Story"? I noticed this on such on-line video stores as and"
D.E. Novak

#54 - 8/10/01
Q. "Gene was the best, no question about it. But I do include Buddy Rich and Louis Bellson as the "Trinity Of Drummers". One of my favorite LP's has to be "The Gene Krupa Story" soundtrack of the movie. I'm still hoping I see it released by anyone on CD in my lifetime. Verve seems to forget the guys who helped make them the label they are. Anyway, my question is "outside of Gene, Buddy, and Louis, are there any real jazz drummers left today? The only guy who comes to my mind may be Butch Miles. Any suggestions or opinions? Looks as if Gene and Buddy took their gigs with them to the hereafter. I'm sure God is enjoying their music. I sure do."
John Subrisky

#53 - 7/15/01
Q. "A friend of mine is currently leading a big band featuring the music of Gene Krupa. He is interested in finding authentic arrangements for this band. He was told that at one time the Gene Krupa library was given to the Yonkers school district. So far, we have had no success getting any information from them, no one seems to remember. Is there a library in existence and is it possible to get access? Who or where would be the appropriate contact? Thanks for any help you can give us on this project."
Larry Balestra

#52 - 7/12/01
Q. "Does anyone know of a film trailer or promo for "The Gene Krupa Story" which featured both Gene and Sal Mineo? I believe it was released to T.V. or theaters prior to the release of the movie. Does it still exist and is it available on video tape?"
D.E. Novak

#51 - 6/15/01
Q. "Hi, I'm a bit of a beginner here. What would be a good Gene Krupa album to start with? Thanks,"
Daniel Arena

#50 - 5/29/01
Q. "My Grandfather was the jailer in San Francisco, back I believe in the twenties. He was the jailing officer in charge when Krupa was arrested on drug charges. As the story goes: Krupa swallowed his tongue while in his cell and was apparently near death, but was assisted and revived by my Grandpa. I know the event is true, but in what year did it occur?"

A. This is yet another one of those persistent "urban myths" that seem to never "die"! :) The first I heard about this alleged incident was from Gene, at the London House in Chicago in 1965. He said that it was just one of the many so called "facts" surrounding his drug arrest. He also said that these types of "stories" were just part and parcel of being famous, and that he had learned to ignore them. Let us all hope that this, as well as other untruths about Gene, will eventually "wither on the vine"! Gene was a very unique and wonderful person and we should all remember only the facts about his life---not the myths! :)
Joe "B"

#49 - 4/11/01
Q. "Here's a Question that goes out to all Gene Krupa Big Band Fans...When Gene had his LAST Big Band in the l950's and before he went on the road with JAZZ at the PHILHARMONIC, was he TRYING to do BE-BOP???? I notice he had Gerry Mulligan arranging for him and he was trying to get the BAND on a BOP KICK. BE-BOP was in with CHARLIE PARKER and MAX ROACH and KENNY CLARKE, but I noticed the BAND was TIGHT -- all of Genes Bands were tight. But GENE did not have the BE-BOP drumming style that Mulligan was writing. His SWING style of drumming prevailed and that was ALWAYS great, but the Be-Bop style was not there. When I listen to him I always ADMIRE and RESPECT his SWING STYLE. Maybe during the FIFTIES Gene was trying to get HEP. I noticed on one of his albums he had all the guys in the BAND wearing SHADES and BERETS trying to emulate the COOL Be-Bop Style."
Ray BOOM Szymarek Jr.
White Oak, Pa.

#48 - 2/22/01
Q. "Can anyone identify recorded solos by saxophonist Don Brassfield with Gene in the mid 40s?"
Garth Miller

#47 - 10/10/00
Q. "Does anyone out there remember back in the late fifties or early sixties, a TV special hosted by Ronald Reagan called the Swinging Years #2, in which after a brief "Starburst" Gene announces Anita O'Day and all the band with DRUMBOOGIE. His solo is one of the best ever and I have been trying to find it either on video, CD, or other. I did have it recorded for me with a tape recorder with the mike set near the TV, but it has long been lost during several house moves. I would appreciate any response."
Terry Little

#46 - 8/31/00
Q. "I am very interested in learning what Gene Krupa's ethnic background was, as well as whether he has any living relatives."

A. I know Krupa was Polish, but I don't know if he has any living relatives.

#45 - 7/23/00
Q. "LIGHTED DRUM STICKS. Many years ago. Drum sticks with lights in them were available. This goes back but are those sticks still AVAILABLE? Does any one know? I never seen GENE use them. The one thing I saw Gene use and it was EFFECTIVE was the circular RED LIGHTS that spun. He would take a drum solo and the house lights all of them would go off. GENE would do his tremendous Krupa solos and those Red lights would spin and the SHADOW of our Gene would engulf the building. I saw this and man it was SUPER GREAT. But back to my question are those lighted DRUM STICKS still available our there?????"
Ray BOOM Szymarek Jr.
White Oak, Pa.

#44 - 5/5/00
Q. "I have been a fan of Gene Krupa for many, many years. My question is a personal rather than a professional one. Did Gene have any children, and if so, are they still alive?"
D.E. Novak

#43 - 5/4/00.
Q. "Hi from New Zealand. I am a Slingerland drummer, set is over 20 yrs. old. Who was Gene Krupa's second drummer? Seen films where Gene leads the band & this second drummer takes over.
Is there anyone reading this message prepared to send me video tapes of Krupa on any US Shows, eg Ed Sullivan, Timex Shows. Please send email, so we can discuss a trade arrangement.
What happened when Gene was forced to play another drummers set that was not a Slingerland, did he get ticked off by Slingerland? What is the story behind Krupa & Rich playing on a football field?"
Colin Toomer
New Zealand

#42 - 5/4/00.
Q. "Yo, I've never thought I could like this music. I like ska and stuff, but Krupa`s drum is so fine Do you think I can find some samples on the net?"

#41 - 4/28/00
Q. "One of the things that we forgot about and a lot of drummers don't like to mention... First and FOREMOST. Plastic drum heads have been around for a long long long time. Say about l956 or l957. But what I want to emphasize is that our Gene Krupa and our Buddy Rich and all the great guys who played pre PLASTIC head days played those CALF SKIN wonderful Radio Kings. You might get the response from every one that THANK GOD CALF SKIN DRUM HEADS are gone like Rotary phones and eight track tapes but man I still think that Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich and our Louie Bellson got those CALF SKIN heads to sound magnificent. If you had to go and buy CALF SKIN heads today you would pay an exorbitant amount of money. But when you listen to Gene Do DRUM BOOGIE back in the forties and Buddy Rich do QUIET PLEASE and QUIET RIOT you hear that BEAUTIFUL CALF SKIN SOUND. Just remember that even though we have technical ways of making drums today, the MASTERS like GENE KRUPA and BUDDY RICH and LOUIE BELLSON made those Calf Skin heads sound wonderful. Any one agree?"
Ray Szymarek Jr.
White Oak, Pa.

#40 - 4/16/00
Q. "Who can help me to get the musical notation (for bass and drums) of Big Noise From Winnetka"
Coen Homan

#39 - 4/10/00
Q. "Was wondering if anyone knew of a specific date in the 1950's that Gene played in Rochester, NY. I know he played in a small club and would like the name and any other info that anyone might have about that gig. Thanks in advance for your cooperation!"
Rich Kirby

#38 - 3/31/00
Q. "I am a Japanese Gene Krupa Fan and can only read a little English.
Gene was Playing Flip Philps & Teddy Napoleon in Sweden (1952)? Can I buy this Recording? Very Very Sorry! Poor English."

A. The Gene Krupa trio was in Sweden in 1952 but, they never recorded so a record from Sweden with GK trio has never existed. For more info mail me.
Rolf Andersson

#37 - 1/12/00
Q. "What was Gene's wife's name?"

A. Gene was married to his first wife, Ethel, twice. His second wife was Pat Bowler.
Shawn Martin
A Tribute to Gene Krupa

#36 - 12/10/99
Q. "Can someone at this web site tell me what happened to Carolyn Gray, Gene's vocalist from the mid forties?
Thanks for the help."
Larry Pemberton

#35 - 12/10/99
Q. "Where can I find a copy of Gene Krupa's "Drum Party"?"

#34 - 12/6/99
Q. "Hi, Krupa fans. I submitted this question on the Verve home page with no luck. Maybe some of you can help. I'm looking for a CD of Verve MGV8292 which Gene's band recorded on November, 20, 1958. The number on the album that caught my interest was "If You Were the Only Girl in the World" arranged by Mulligan. It was probably a Norman Grantz session. Anyone have any ideas? Thanks."
Jim Elliott

A. The recording you are referring to is from the album "Gene Krupa Plays Gerry Mulligan Arrangements". It has not been released on CD by Verve.
Larry Pemberton

The record in question (Gene Krupa Plays Gerry Mulligan Arrangements) was issued on CD by Verve, but apparently only as a Japanese release by Verve/Polydor K.K. (POCJ1142). I bought mine back around 1992 and it was the only copy I've ever seen, so I have no idea if it's still in print.
Tom Nyzio

#33 - 9/20/99
Q. "I have a postcard postmarked Aug.13, l941 Vermilion, Ohio with a note written by Gene Krupa to a fan who saw the band play. He was probably traveling between Chicago and New York at the time. I would love to know where he played between August 9, l941 and August 13, l941. It would probably be in Ohio or Michigan. Can anyone help with the info?"
Pam Seymour

#32 - 9/17/99
Q. "During the forties when the Gene Krupa Band was on the road and he used the strings and had a special arrangements built around the String sections. Is it true that Gene got mad at times because the Strings were dragging tempos? Also, I read that Gene kept a full time electrician on board. Gene took a beating with this band and went back to a more Modern Band with out Strings. Any Krupa fans out there who saw this band Live? Lets hear from you??"
Ray Szymarek Jr.
White Oak, Pa.

#31 - 7/22/99
Q. "Did Gene Krupa play with a band called the Five Rollians?"
Michael Donnelly

#30 - 7/14/99
Q. "I have had a difficult time surfacing much info on Irene Daye, Anita O'Day's predecessor. What was her story? I know Anita is alive and well and still performing here in L.A., but what ever happened to Irene? Any information or sources you could suggest would be greatly appreciated..."

#29 - 7/12/99
Q. "Isn't it true that Gene owned a candy store in the Oak Park district of Sacramento, California in the 1950's?"

#28 - 6/11/99
Q. "All Gene Krupa Fans out there who really really are SERIOUS Krupa Fans might be able to answer this question; When Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich did Jazz at the Phil. in the early fifties, were there any good live session of Gene and Buddy trading back and forth on the friendly drum battles. I know BUDDY hated that term DRUM BATTLE, The record Burning Beat on Verve captures this but POSSIBLY is there any live air checks out there that CAPTURE the KRUPA-RICH Excitement. Besides Gene and Buddy the heavy weight musicians like Oscar Peterson and Diz and Zoot and Roy Eldridge were always PRESENT. But to think that of all the cities Jazz at the Phil. was brought to possibly some one out there has various KRUPA-RICH drum battles on the audio tapes. This happened many many moons ago but the Gene Krupa-Buddy Rich Drum conversations will live on forever. Any one with any information? Please Let me Know???"
Ray Szymarek Jr.
White Oak, Pa.

#27 - 6/10/99
Q. "Can anyone tell me in which year "How High The Moon" was recorded or released."
Terry Wall

A. How High The Moon was recorded for Columbia in New York City 5/27/46.Arr: Gerry Mulligan. The Gene Krupa Trio recorded it for Clef 12/26/53 also in New York City. It was recorded for V-Disc (trio), Transcription (big band 1946), (Japanese Victor Trio in April 1952), (Verve big band Krupa Plays Mulligan 11/20/58 in NYC.)

#26 - 4/16/99
Q. "When Gene Krupa played paradiddles and he often enhanced the accents. Did anyone ever take notice to the TREMENDOUS output of his bass drum. I often wonder did Gene use a Hard Wooden Beater Ball Slingerland Pedal or did he use a lambs wood beater head? The reason being I often noticed that his hard driving accents on drum solos and eight bars fills always had that good solid bass drum syncopation. If anyone could answer this and if anyone ever noticed his drum set hardware during his playing career that would be cool. I know Gene loved and endorsed SLINGERLAND DRUMS and SLINGERLAND Loved GENE Krupa."
Ray Szymarek Jr.
White Oak, Pa.

A. Hello Ray, In answer to your question about Gene's bass pedal. I worked for a drum store on 48th Street in New York City, called Frank Wolf Drummers Supplies. I repaired his Slingerland drum pedal and he used a hard felt beater which was standard equipment at that time (year was about 1957.) I also played on his drums at the Metropole on 7th Avenue and 48th. Street in New York and I remember that set had hard felt.
Jim Beck

#25 - 3/19/99
Q. "In late 1952 Gene Krupa recorded Ravals Bolero part 1 & 2. It was on Clef Records, with a big band & strings. It was never released in the U.S., but Krupa told me there was a release in Japan. Do you have any information on this? Thank you. Do you know when the next Classics CD will be released (1941 vol. 3)?"

#24 - 3/10/99
Q. "Hi all you Krupa lovers. I have this project to do for music and I picked Gene. I want to know an interesting thing that happened in his life."
Jon Jiggle

#23 - 2/11/99
Q. "This is an invitation to help the cause of enhancing Gene Krupa on compact disc. Gene Krupa made some memorable LP's in the '50's and '60's for Verve. To date we see some very sporadic reissues. I have done a good deal of business over the years with Mosaic records in CT. I am not associated with them in any way, just a lover of classic jazz of which Krupa's music certainly applies. How about anyone who's interested send an e-mail asking Mosaic to consider doing an entire project on Gene's Verve years. Nothing ventured nothing gained. Mosaic's e-mail--> I have all those recordings on LP's and it would be nice to have them all on CD especially with Mosaic's ability to get into the vaults and issue additional material not issued at the time of the LP release. Would appreciate any comments along these lines too. Verve is moving at a snail's pace and there is nothing to indicate a change in the future. Again thanks to all."
John Nickerson

A. Dear John
Thanks for your "question" on the Gene Krupa web site regarding the wonderful Krupa Verve Albums that were released in the 50's and 60's. I have written to Mosaic records and Verve, but apart from the suddenly released "Original Drum Battle" and a Japanese CD of "Big Noise from Winnetka" nothing has happened. If they won't do it, maybe, I can find some people who will. Do you know who holds all the masters? Is it Polygram who own Verve? I also understand that (maybe) Norman Granz kept back some original recordings when he first sold Verve to MGM. I don't know the truth of this, but I was told this in London by "Pete" (Sadly I cannot remember his family name) who was Ella Fitzgerald's road manager and for year's was also road manager for Gene. I had the pleasure of meeting Norman Granz some years back, maybe we should approach him again. Just a thought. Good luck.
Best regards
Peter Brightman
London England

#22 - 2/10/99
Q. "Hello Krupa fans...Does anyone have any idea if the movie George White Scandals is available on video? Also is anyone aware of any information concerning the potential release of the MGM Treasure Chest, the BG band with Gene Krupa featured predominantly on drums. I cannot believe that this has not been released. Thanks to all!"
John Nickerson

#21 - 1/16/99
Q. "I am looking for a movie starring Bob Hope featuring The Gene Krupa Orchestra entitled Some Like It Hot or Rhythm Romance. If anyone could help me in locating this movie I would be forever grateful. The movie was made some where in the late thirties or early forties."
Steve Rice

A. The movie in question is now available through any reliable source such as The name was changed from Some Like It Hot to the other title listed on your question to avoid, I believe, any confusion with the classic Some Like It Hot release of '57 or '58. I remember seeing it on TV in the 1950's. One scene where Gene is taking a solo, the camera pans the crowd and you can see a young Eddie Condon as an onlooker. The movie's release date is within the next couple of days. Hope this helps you, Steve.
John Nickerson

#20 - 11/25/98
Q. "Here's a question that goes out to each and every Gene Krupa Fan in the Entire World. When Gene was playing all his structured Drum Solos during Jazz at the Phil. after the Rich Krupa drum battle of l952 has all the Krupa fans noted and listened intently because if you take very careful note you will hear that same structured Solo that Gene performed with Buddy in l952. I know when he practiced he used that hum a ditty approach. That has been explained by Gene where he would hum the melodic interludes of his ideas on a solo and then interpret them on his cymbals bass drum and his toms. I really think that all Gene Krupa fans will agree with me that he used that same solo format that he did with Buddy that night during the Jazz at the Phil. I will always say this and maybe a lot of Krupa fans will agree; Gene had that SHOWMANSHIP coupled with his gentleman attitude that made non Jazz fans sit up listen take notice and try to play better. But once again Gene seemed to rely on much the same as far as drum solos. He played it safe and did not deviate. Lets see if Krupa fans out there agree????"
Ray Szymarek Jr.
White Oak, Pa.
London England

A. Dear Ray
I have just read your question on the Krupa/geocities web site. I agree that many of the Gene Krupa solos had a similarity about them, BUT, you have to listen to a number of magnificent solos that gene recorded, which started in the great Krupa tradition but developed superbly. For example: Gene's solo flight and China Boy on "Hey! here's Gene Krupa" Album released on Verve in the late 1950's and "The Jazz Rhythms of Gene Krupa" that was also released on Verve features a superb solo performance that will blow your mind. The speed and excitement that Gene generates is quite extraordinary, very unlike the rather poor solo on "Gene's Blues" on the Krupa/Rich studio album. Bruce Klauber has re-issued on a special release the above albums. Grab them, they are great and you will never again question Gene's incredible uniqueness.
Best regards
Peter Brightman
London England

#19 - 11/23/98
Q. 1.) "What brand of drumsticks did Gene Krupa use?" 2.) "How did Gene Krupa tune his drums?"
Tommy Campbell

#18 - 9/13/98
Q. "Hi Gene Krupa experts,
My father has an double-LP called "Jazz History Vol. 11: Gene Krupa" which was released by MGM (Verve-Series) sometime in the seventies. The opening title is "Sing, Sing, Sing", recorded 1953 in New York City, with Eddi Shu on trumpet, clarinet and tenor sax and with Teddy Napoleon on piano. Does anybody know if this special title has ever been release on CD?? By now I helped myself by restoring the material as good as I can and burning my own CD, but I sure would prefer to buy an original release... thanks for any info!!"
Cornelius Bode

A. That recording of "Sing Sing Sing" was also released (among others) on a Hall of Fame Jazz Greats series LP. It hasn't been re-released on any CD that I'm familiar with. It'd be one of my first choices for reissue.
Shawn Martin
A Tribute to Gene Krupa

#17 - 9/12/98
Q. "When Gene formed his first band he was helped by Jerry Gluskin. Also, perhaps, by Frank Vernier. Any conformation of the latter? Also, if FV did help, when did he drop out of the picture? Dates will help."
Bruce Crowther

#16 - 9/7/98
Q. "Gene's Opening Theme song:
"Apurksody" was recorded in 1938. "Drum Boogie" in 1941. I clearly remember Gene did not have an opening theme song in '39-'40, but did sometime after that. I believe it was "Apurksody". Others seem to think it was "Drum Boogie" followed by "Apurksody". Do you recall? Thanks.

A. The gentleman that asked the question about Genes theme songs and he listed all of them correctly but: I think he is referring to Genes theme STARBURST. I talked to a guy that saw Gene and his band do Starburst at the old Stanley theater in Pittsburgh, Pa. He told me that the stage was in the pit and would slowly rise up. Just like the kind in the Benny Goodman Movie. Anyway he told me Genes White Marine Pearl Slingerland Radio Kings were glimmering and his floor tom work sounded like cannons going of. All in all to see Gene play had to be a sight not to me missed. Today too many drummers believe in just short licks with no substance. Gene Krupa forced you to pay attention and above all to enjoy what Jazz was all about. God Bless Gene Krupa.
Ray Szymarek Jr.
White Oak, Pa.

#15 - 9/2/98
Q. "Has anyone read the drivel that is supposed to be the GK page on one of the links to this site? Maybe this guy and Whitney Balliet should get together and REALLY drag Gene's memory through the mud. How insulting and typical of the self-proclaimed "authorities" on music! The way that thing is worded Gene never had a chance! All I can say is when's your next gig jerkoff!"
Brooks Tegler

#14 - 8/27/98
Q. "I had two questions for everybody visiting who could answer.
#1. Did Gene ever have a wife?
#2. Does anybody have anything to do with Krupa on their license plates? Please let me know sometime!"
Josh Duffee

A. Yes, Gene Krupa had a wife. In fact he had two of them (neither of them was me, darn it). He married Ethel McGuire in 1934. She was the switchboard operator at the Dixie Hotel where Gene was living while he was working in the pit band of "Girl Crazy." They were divorced in 1942 and remarried in 1946. Ethel died in 1955. Gene then married Patty Bowler in 1959 and they adopted two children, Mary Grace and Michael, who Gene nicknamed "BG." They were divorced in 1968. By the way, HI BROOKS!
Barb Campbell

I am also interested in knowing whether he had children with his wife/wives, or if he has other living family members. I can say that the answer to the question, in general, is YES!

#13 - 8/24/98
Q. "Looking for JATP #1. How High the Moon with "The Chicago Flash" on drums.....a pseudonym for Gene. Anybody know if one exists?"
Don Ryan

A. JATP:The Beginning on Charly Le Jazz CD 41 includes How High The Moon (but not Oh,Lady,Be Good! from the same concert, and which includes a solo by Gene although both titles were on an old Melodisc LP) Charly Records are in London and have a mail order division.
Bruce Crowther

It just so happens I have 2 copies of JATP Vol.1 in 78rpm form on the ASCH & ASCH Stinson labels. They are both complete 3 12" 78rpm record albums with both "How High the Moon" & "Lady Be Good" & they display one "Chicago (Gene Krupa) Flash" on drums. I think I'd be willing to part with one set. If you're interested, write to me at
Mark Cederquist
23010 W. Watkins
Buckeye Az 85326
or phone after 6 p.m. at (602) 386-6944. GENE KRUPA STILL LIVES!!!!!
Mark Cederquist

#12 - 8/13/98
Q. "Hello to each and every Gene Krupa Fan out there. I know we all have heard the original Drum Battle with Gene and Buddy, here is what I am after; As a collector I know there just has to be some more Jazz at the Philharmonic takes out there. During the late forties and early fifties Norman Granz always sent the greatest musicians in the world to tour from city to city. Now is there any one out there that has Gene and Buddy recorded that featured these two ultra great Jazz drummers playing in one of the cities in the USA??? What I l love to hear is the call and response type drum solos. I knew that Gene and Buddy had fun when they did these drum battles. I know one thing that Buddy Rich hated, and that was when the fans screamed so loud and yelled that it made the whole scene not a musical one. But all in all I would be very much interested in hearing the two greatest names in Jazz Drumming display their skills in exactness and percussion greatness. Any one out there have other Jazz at the Philharmonic takes on tape other than the repetitious Drum Battle on Verve?"
Ray Szymarek Jr.
White Oak, Pa.

A. Hey Ray!
As far as I know, there are no other recorded examples of Gene's battles with Buddy at JATP. Gene also had at least one battle with Louie Bellson which I'd give my right arm to find. Unfortunately, I don't think it was recorded. There is one concert of Buddy with (I believe) Charlie Parker that is available on video through the Jazz Store. It's really a drag that Verve hasn't re-released any of the JATP concerts on CD. Those were some of the best jazz recordings ever, in my opinion.
Shawn Martin
A Tribute to Gene Krupa

I guess I should clarify something on my response. Louie did have a battle with Gene in 1946(with Benny Goodman's band) on "Don't Be That Way." The battle I referred to above in my original response supposedly took place at one of the JATP concerts in the 50's.
Shawn Martin
A Tribute to Gene Krupa

#11 - 8/8/98
Q. "I am seeking a poster of Gene Krupa to be framed. It can be a reprint. Does anyone know where I can find one? Also, will they be reissuing the Benny Goodman 1938 Carnegie Hall CD?"
Tony Mowen

A. Tony,
As to your question regarding Carnegie Hall there has been a VERY exciting development. Helen Ward was a dear friend of mine and her first husband Albert Marx was the one responsible for the original recording (as a gift for Helen and Benny) His engineer had the presence of mind to enlist a colleague to do a backup transcription master! Sony has apparently purchased and (I think) released a spankin' new COMPLETE CD. This is said to have the WHOLE concert, including If dreams come true, Sometimes I'm Happy and the total Honeysuckle jam session! Haven't found it yet though.
Brooks Tegler

The new release of the Carnegie Hall Concert is supposed to be out sometime in September. An interesting aside... The original program for the Concert listed several tunes that were apparently scrapped the night of the show. There were quite a few Trio & Quartet tunes that were listed that they didn't perform for one reason or another.
Shawn Martin
A Tribute to Gene Krupa

#10 - 7/19/98
Q. "Hi - Does anyone know if I can get "Big Noise from Winnetka" on any CD?"
Pia van Acker

A. If you are referring to a version of Gene doing "Big Noise From Winnetka", I'm not familiar with any CDs currently available. His original LP "Big Noise From Winnetka" has been predictably overlooked by Verve for re-issue. There are several other live versions that Gene did that have been released on LP and cassette. Bob Crosby's original recording of the tune with Ray Bauduc & Bobby Haggart is available on CD.
Shawn Martin
A Tribute to Gene Krupa

#9 - 5/18/98
Q. "Does anyone know if the book, Gene Krupa His life and times by Bruce Crowther, Will be reissued in England. And is there any news on the updated book World of Gene Krupa by Bruce H. Klauber and will it be released in England as well?"
Paul Caswell
Essex England

A. I can't answer about publication dates, but you don't have to worry about whether it is to be issued in England. I live in Luxembourg and ordered the Bruce Klauber book from, paying by credit card. The book is out of print, but found a copy for me quickly.

NOTE: This book is also available directly from the author, Bruce Klauber at $20.00 for an autographed copy, (may be slightly more for delivery out of the US.)
Gene Krupa Reference Page

Sadly there are no plans to republish my book on Gene in the UK or in the USA. I have seen secondhand copies at bookshops on the net so look around (I'm emailing Paul direct with a possible source). As you know, the Bruce H. Klauber book is due for reissue and is, I believe, updated. My researches have continued and I now have some pretty good and completely unknown data - so fingers crossed that my publishers will re-think but I'm not holding my breath.
Bruce Crowther

#8 - 5/14/98
Q. "During the Second World War Gene Krupa, like all entertainers did his job in providing troop morale by recording V-Discs. My two questions are as follows: Does anyone ever remember seeing the small film clips of Gene with Abbot and Costello promoting Buying War Bonds? I saw this once on T.V. many years ago but somewhere its lost in the archives. Anyone out there have any leads to this film clip? Also during the War Gene had a logo on his Slingerland Bass Drum saying "KEEP THEM FLYING'. Did Gene record a song title, Keep Them Flying? If any one out there can come up with the answers let me know?"
Ray Szymarek Jr.
White Oak, Pa.

A. Ray,
Gene and the band recorded Keep 'Em Flying on November 25, 1941 in NYC and released on 78rpm as OKEH 6506. Also currently available on the COLUMBIA CD "Roy Eldridge With The Gene Krupa Orchestra - Uptown" (Columbia-CK 45448)
Gene Krupa Reference Page

#7 - 5/4/98
Q. "Once a Gene Krupa fan always a Gene Krupa Fan. Two more trivia questions and I bet Shawn or Joe have the answers: When Buddy Rich was sick and not able to front his big band he offered Gene the job of taking over the Buddy Rich Big Band during his absence. Any Krupa buffs out there who can elaborate on this. Also, I was told that during the taping of "Burning Beat" on Verve, Buddy noted that Gene had put newspaper inside his Slingerland bass drum to get a different sound. Buddy kidded Gene about this. No matter what Gene did he always sounded and played fantastic. Are there any Krupa fans out there who can answer these new Krupa trivia questions?"
Ray Szymarek Jr.
White Oak, Pa.

A. Gene said in a Downbeat interview from the early 70's that when Buddy was sick, Louie Bellson took over the drum chair. Buddy offered it to Gene but he said he couldn't really handle it. By the late 60's, Gene was pretty worn down. If you watch any of his performances from that time, he was playing his butt off but he was hurting. He was hunched over from his back problems. In regards to "The Burnin' Beat", I've never heard about Gene putting a newspaper in his bass. Everything I've read said that Gene and Buddy weren't even in the same place when they recorded the drum parts. It's pretty noticeable on the drum exchanges. I've personally never cared for that recording because Buddy's snare is cranked up so high that it clashes against Gene's.
Shawn Martin
A Tribute to Gene Krupa

#6 - 4/11/98
Q. "Thanks to Joe we have an exciting web page. Back in the fifties Slingerland used a circle cover that fit over the outside of the bass drum that had the classic picture of Gene behind his classic Slingerland White Marine Pear Set. Does anyone have one of those bass drum posters left?? Also I know about Gene using special lighting effects to give the great impressive shadows when he took his dynamite explosive earth shattering solos my next question is this-Back in the forties and fifties, did our man Gene ever use lighted drum sticks for special effects? No mater how you slice GENE the man was THE DRUM MAGNET. Anyone out there that can answer these questions let me know. Thanks Shawn for your answer. Above all Thank You Joe for your ultra fantastic Gene Krupa Page."
Ray Szymarek Jr.
White Oak, Pa.

A. I believe that the logo bass head you refer to was the same picture used in some Slingerland ads in the late 50's (I have the picture in the "Gallery" section of my site). It can be seen in the "Jammin with Gene Krupa" film short promoting the Gene Krupa Story. It was probably screened directly on the head, not some sort of cover. Concerning the lighting effects. During the early days of the GK Jazz Trio with Charlie Ventura & Teddy Napoleon, there were some film shorts made which displayed his use of front lighting to create shadows. I have a video performance of "Stompin' At the Savoy" from around '45 that shows how cool the lighting works. There are a lot of pictures from the 50's and 60's which show the can light between his mounted tom & hi-hats, which was used during live shows. I've never read anything about him using lighted sticks. In our next trade, I can include the video of the Jazz Trio in case you haven't already got it. Keep on drummin!.
Shawn Martin
A Tribute to Gene Krupa

#5 - 4/3/98
Q. "Here we go GENE KRUPA buffs. This needs clarification but in the days of swing drumming can any older drummers substantiate that Gene used an ice pick to punch tiny holes through the snare batter and tom heads to get his incredible Krupa sound that he demanded? During cold weather drum heaters were used to keep drum heads sounding exact before the advent of plastic heads circa l955. Also, during a professional football team half time show Gene was featured along with Buddy Rich and Max Roach. Does anyone out there know the year and what teams were playing? Word has it that at that half time exhibition: KRUPA WOWED that whole stadium of fans. Anyone out there who can help me on these KRUPA TRIVIA QUESTIONS????"
Ray Szymarek Jr.
White Oak, Pa.

A. Hi again!
I have read quotes from Gene himself that he learned to poke holes in his toms from the guys he idolized: Baby Dodds, Tubby Hall, Zutty Singleton etc. I'm not sure about the Football game but there is a pretty cool clip of Gene, Shelly Manne and Louie Bellson playing on a film short in Dodger Stadium from the early 60's. It's included on the video Legends of Jazz Drumming Tape 1. I promise to get some copies of the GK pics made for you and get them sent off. I should also be getting in some more rare video footage of Gene shortly.
Shawn Martin
A Tribute to Gene Krupa

#4 - 2/21/98
Q. "I was told that when Gene Krupa was traveling on his band-bus playing from city to city he had a practice pad welded to the front seat of the band-bus. Rumor had it that there was a dime embedded in the middle of that rubber pad. Gene would play those single stroke rolls without missing a beat. Is that true? Also during the Second World War, at a troop morale show. Some soldier fired off a rapid succession of machine gun ammo. Gene answered the exact sequence of rhythm on his Slingerland Radio King snare drum. Can anyone out there give testimony to these stories. Thank You."
Ray Szymarek Jr.
White Oak, Pa.

A. Hi Ray!
I can't really give any insight on the practice pad with the embedded dime, but I do have an interesting factoid from a Dance Band magazine I have from 1942. It says that Gene would burn up 2 rubber practice pads a week! I'm considering including the article on my website. It's got some pretty interesting stuff in it along with all the "hep talk" of the day.
Shawn Martin
A Tribute to Gene Krupa

#3 - 2/11/98
Q. "In 1959 or 1960, I purchased an album by Gene Krupa entitled "Gene Krupa Plays Gerry Mulligan Arrangements". It was recorded on Verve Records. Does anyone know if Verve will ever reissue this album on CD format?"
Emilio Caceres

A. Emilio,
When we spoke with Verve and inquired about this album we were told; "...This will eventually be reissued on CD, but it is not currently planned for release."
We're not sure what to make of this statement, but it is the best we could get out of them.
Gene Krupa Reference Page

There is a Japanese release of the CD available. Sound City 2000 (, can get it, but it'll cost you $35!
Shawn Martin
A Tribute to Gene Krupa

#2 - 1/25/98
Q. "Although I'm not even sure that they came in different sizes back then, I've always wondered what size sticks he used and what company made them."

A. Gene used Slingerland sticks -- the Gene Krupa model. They were shorter than average, with diamond-shaped wood tips, and they were heavy. I bought and used several pairs (I am a drummer), before Slingerland stopped making the Krupa model in the early 1980s. I guess the company just wasn't selling many of those sticks anymore.
John S.

The Slingerland Drum Company did exclusively manufacture The Gene Krupa Model Stick in the forties and fifties. They were a long very long awkward drum stick. Hickory Wood. Here's some more news about Krupa drum sticks. Pro Mark Drum Stick Company manufactured a drumstick in the sixties called The GK BR drumstick. Of course their sticks was dedicated to Gene and Buddy. Unfortunately the Pro Mark BR GK stick is out of existence.
Ray Szymarek
White Oak, Pa.

Gene Krupa used some very thin drumsticks made by Cappella for Slingerland with his name hotstamped into them. They were 15 1/2 inches long by 1/2 in diameter with a thin pointy oval tip on them. Very Tiny.

NOTE: A pair of these sticks can be seen in a copy of Gene's 1938 Drum Method book or in it's 1994 reprint!
Gene Krupa Reference Page

#1 - 1/5/98
Q. "Does anyone know from which magazine and from what years contained the Gene Krupa Bromo-Seltzer ads? Also, does anyone know if he did any other endorsement ads (besides Slingerland Drums)?"
Carl Willett

A. Gene's Bromo-Seltzer ads appeared in Life magazine in the early 1940s. But I can't pinpoint the year or month his ads ran. I have seen them in old back issues of Life, though, in a public library.
John S.

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