Buddy Rich's Birthday
Buddy Rich would have been 98 years old today. Buddy Rich was billed as "the world's greatest drummer" and was a frequent guest and friend of Johnny Carson. His talent for rhythm was first noted by his father, who saw that Buddy could keep a steady beat with spoons at the age of one. He began playing drums in vaudeville when he was 18 months old, billed as "Traps the Drum Wonder." At the peak of Rich's childhood career, he was reportedly the second-highest paid child entertainer in the world (after Jackie Coogan). At 11, he was performing as a bandleader. Supposedly Buddy received no formal drum instruction, and went so far as to claim that instruction would only degrade his musical talent. He also never admitted to practicing, claiming to play the drums only during performances and was not known to read music. Buddy Rich remained active performing until the end of his life. - credited to Frank Beacham
Here, Buddy Rich and Ed Shaughnessy have a drum battle on The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson in 1978. Happy Birthday Buddy!