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Drumming Legend Buddy Rich Shows Why He's Billed As 'The World's Greatest Drummer'

Aug 25, 2015 By Archit Tripathi
Bernard "Buddy" Rich was an American jazz drummer and bandleader who is known to this day as one of the greatest drummers ever to hold the sticks, and was regularly billed as "the world's greatest drummer" through most of his long and illustrious career. Rich's father noticed his talent when, at just a year old, he was able to hold a steady beat with a pair of spoons. By 18 months, he was performing on the Vaudeville circuit as "Traps the Drum Wonder," and by age 11 he was already a bandleader.

Perhaps the most surprising fact about Buddy Rich is that he never received any formal instruction in drumming, nor was he able to read music. Additionally, he often claimed that he almost never practiced, playing only during performances. Many of his bandmates recall that he would have a second drummer at most rehearsals to read the sheet music and play through one time, which was all he needed to memorize the piece to perfection.
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