Louie Bellson, 1924-2009: Legendary j...

Louie Bellson, 1924-2009: Legendary jazz drummer

There are 8 comments on the Chicago Tribune story from Feb 16, 2009, titled Louie Bellson, 1924-2009: Legendary jazz drummer. In it, Chicago Tribune reports that:

Louie Bellson didn't just make the drums swing - he made them sing. Listen closely, and you could hear melody and phrase in the tintinnabulation of fast-flying sticks striking cymbals.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Chicago Tribune.


United States

#1 Feb 17, 2009
God Bless and Rest in Peace Uncle Lou. He was and will always be the US Ambassador for the Drumming World.
Mike James

Fairbanks, AK

#2 Feb 17, 2009
Mr. Bellson was one of the most influential and important drummers of our time. More than that, he was always known as being equally accessible to EVERYBODY, a kind and concerned gentleman, and a great educator. Those of us lucky enough to have crossed paths with him will surely miss him. My love to his family.

Mike James - http://www.mikejamesjazz.com
jim frets

Milwaukee, WI

#3 Feb 17, 2009
When I was seven years old,my father gave me a copy of Louie Bellson's "Skin Deep" album. After 50 years, there are things I hear that I still wonder how Louie pulled them off.
I also remember a time in my teens when I was in Frank's Drum Shop on Wabash Avenue. I was just about to the elevator door (at Frank's, once you stepped off the elevator ,you were In the store) when in walked Louie. He proceeded to give me and the four other customers in the store a 15 minute demonstration on how a snare drum should be played.
The musical community will miss him greatly.
My sympathies to his family.
Jim Frets

Bellflower, IL

#4 Feb 17, 2009
Louie Bellson played and spoke at my graduation from Augustana College back in 1997. So sad to see him go.

Chicago, IL

#5 Feb 19, 2009
he was one of the best, for sure. one of my musical heroes, too, like most drummers out there, i'd imagine.

i had no idea he had done some circus drumming. i've done that in the past as well. louie was right. it is harder than you would think.

Candy Bellson

Raleigh, NC

#6 Mar 12, 2009
Bob J

Pleasanton, CA

#7 Mar 12, 2009
My mother has been a serious jazz aficionado all her life.(As have I, in her footsteps.)

She met Louie Bellson many times in Chicago over the years at shows all around town. She even took me along as a young man to see Louie many years ago at the Jazz Showcase (I believe).

Louie was a gracious and generous man. A giant of not only his instrument and the music, but in life.

He will be missed. My sympathies to Louie's family. May you experience the joy and kindness he brought to so many.
Rick Flynn

Dayton, OH

#8 Mar 19, 2009
So the world says "Goodbye!" to Louie Bellson...I will miss him greatly. I had occasion to attend a drum clinic taught by Louie at school here in Cincinnati and there I was, sitting in a room with only a handful of drummers, being taught by the master himself. Louie must have been at least 65 at that time and you would have never have known it. He is credited with inventing the double bass drum kit and man...did he know how to kick those bass drums too! He was a pure MASTER of his craft and one of the finest teachers of drums I have ever had the honor of learning from. While I have been around thousands of entertainers in my lifetime, none were more personable, approachable, and as genuine as he was. I always loved it when he would be substituting as the drummer for Johnny Carson's "Tonight Show" and I got to hear him play on television yet again. God bless you Louie...You were the best!

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