Music: Drummer

In the summer of 1922 a dark, brush-headed trap drummer named Gene Bertram Krupa, not long out of a Catholic college, heard Drummer Ben Pollack's band play in a Chicago hotspot. What struck him most about Ben Pollack's outfit was the playing of Pollack's clarinetist, a sober, scholarly-looking chap named Benny Goodman. Twelve years later Drummer Krupa joined Clarinetist Goodman's own orchestra and rode to fame with that rising organization.

With the passing of time Drummer Krupa's frenzied battering and occasional syncopated solos became principal features of every Goodman performance. Jiggling jitterbugs hung on every drumbeat; some partisans found Krupa the sugar...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!