Gene Krupa (1909 - 1973)

Gene Krupa
1909 - 1973
updated April 27, 2020
Gene Krupa was born on January 15, 1909 in Chicago, Illinois United States of America. He died on October 16, 1973 in Yonkers, New York United States of America at age 64.

Gene Krupa was the most famous jazz drummer in history. I met him in the nineteen fifties at a telethon. He was very nice to me.
His parents were Polish Catholics in Chicago. Anna (née Oslowski) and Bartłomiej Krupa
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Gene Krupa Biography

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Gene Krupa
Most commonly known name
Male
Gender
Gene
First name
Unknown
Middle name
Krupa
Last name(s)
Gene Krupa
Nickname(s) or aliases
Unknown. Did Gene move a lot? Where was his last known location?
Last known residence
Gene Krupa was born on in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois United States of America
Birth
Gene Krupa died on in Yonkers, New York United States of America
Death
Gene Krupa was born on in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois United States of America
Gene Krupa died on in Yonkers, New York United States of America
Birth
Death
There is no cause of death listed for Gene.
Cause of death
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Burial / Funeral

Ethnicity & Lineage

He was Polish.
The youngest of Anna (née Oslowski) and Bartłomiej Krupa's nine children, Gene Krupa was born in Chicago. Bartłomiej was an immigrant from Poland. Anna was born in Shamokin, Pennsylvania and was also of Polish descent. His parents were Roman Catholics who groomed him for the priesthood.

Nationality & Locations Lived

United States.

Religion

His parents were Roman Catholics who groomed him for the priesthood.

Education

He spent his grammar school days at parochial schools. He attended the James H. Bowen High School on Chicago's southeast side. After graduation he attended Saint Joseph's College for a year but decided the priesthood was not his vocation.

Professions

Gene Krupa
Born January 15, 1909 in Chicago, Illinois, USA
Died October 16, 1973 in Yonkers, New York, USA
(heart problems complicated by leukemia)
Birth Name Eugene Bertram Krupa
Height 5' 8" (1.73 m)
Patty Bowler (23 April 1959 - 1968) ( divorced) ( 2 children)
Ethel McGuire (1934 - 1942) ( divorced)
Bandleader and drummer
Inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame in 1983.
He was innovative. It was his idea to create the tunable tom-tom; he went to the Zildjian company and asked for thinner cymbals; he was the first drummer to record using a bass drum; he was one of the first drummers (if not the first) to use a hi-hat as we know it today; and the modern drum kit basically stems from his.
Inducted into the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame in 1975.
His band's theme song was "Apurksody", derived from a backwards spelling of 'Krupa' and the word 'rhapsody'.
Along with Eddie Condon, Krupa moved from Chicago to New York in 1929 to work in theater pit bands (some under the direction of Red Nichols) alongside Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman. He also recorded with Bix Beiderbecke. Between late 1934 and 1938, Krupa came to fame as star drummer for Benny Goodman, but his high profile within the band, his showmanship and popularity with audiences, irritated Goodman and led to a public quarrel -- after which Krupa left to set up his own organisation.
The Gene Krupa Orchestra became one of the most popular swing bands in the U.S., but it folded in 1943 after Krupa was arrested and jailed on a marijuana possession charge. Eventually rehabilitated after the charge was dropped (the chief witness recanted!), he was again voted the most outstanding drummer in the U.S. in January 1944 and soon started up another big band.
Krupa is referred to by name on a couple of occasions in the 2000 film "Pollock". Painter Jackson Pollock was a jazz fan, and Gene Krupa was one of his favorite musicians.
See also
Other Works | Publicity Listings | Official Sites

Personal Life & Organizations

Gene moved to New York in 1929 and was recruited by Red Nichols. He along with Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller, performed in the pit band of the new George Gershwin play "Strike Up The Band." Krupa joined Russ Columbo's band which let to his joining Benny Goodman's band with a promise that it would be a real jazz band. He soon became discouraged as the band was relegated to playing dance music. Gene departed in 1938 forming his own orchestra which was an instant success upon opening at the Marine Ballroom on the Steel Pier in Atlantic City. During the bands tenure, he authored his own book titled, The Gene Krupa Drum Method." He appeared in several motion pictures including "Some Like it Hot" and "Beat the Band." The group took a hit when Krupa was charged with possession of marijuana and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He was sentenced to 90 days, of which 84 were served. This incident triggered the demise of the band. Released from custody, Gene briefly joined up with Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey before reforming his own band. The revised band remained intact until 1950 long after the era of the Big Band was history.

Military Service

He entertained the troops during USO tours.

Average Age

Life Expectancy

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Gene Krupa Family Tree

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Amanda S. Stevenson
11.4k+ favorites
He entertained the troops during USO Tours.
Apr 27, 2020 · Reply

Gene Krupa Obituary

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Gene Krupa
ORIGINAL NAME Eugene Bertram Krupa
BIRTH 15 Jan 1909
Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA
DEATH 16 Oct 1973 (aged 64)
Yonkers, Westchester County, New York, USA
BURIAL
Holy Cross Cemetery and Mausoleums
Calumet City, Cook County, Illinois, USA Show Map
PLOT Immaculata, Block A, lot 22
Band Leader, Drummer. He was considered to be the first drum "soloist" by his introduction of extended interludes into jazz renditions which brought the drum to the forefront in music. He was born Eugene Bertram Krupa in Chicago, the youngest of Slovak immigrants Bartley and Ann Krupa's nine children. The death of Bartley left Ann with the burden of supporting the entire family by working as a milliner designing, making and trimming women's hats. All of the children found employment to help their mother. Gene, age eleven, worked as a chore boy for the Brown Music Company a store located on Chicago's South Side which led to his future as a drummer. He took a little of his wages to buy a musical instrument. The cheapest available were the drums. His education was garnished from the Catholic school system in Chicago. In deference to his religious mother, he enrolled at St. Joseph's College, a seminary prep school in Rensselaer, Indiana, with the intention of a vocation in the priesthood but washed out. The musically inclined Eugene was proficient at playing the sax while still in grammar school but joined his first band "The Frivolians" as a drummer. Upon entering high school, he became associated with the "Austin High Gang" a group of musicians which led to percussion studies with famous drummer Roy Knapp and joined the musicians union which led to performances with various Chicago commercial bands. Gene moved to New York in 1929 and was recruited by Red Nichols. He along with Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller, performed in the pit band of the new George Gershwin play "Strike Up The Band." Krupa joined Russ Columbo's band which let to his joining Benny Goodman's band with a promise that it would be a real jazz band. He soon became discouraged as the band was relegated to playing dance music. Gene departed in 1938 forming his own orchestra which was an instant success upon opening at the Marine Ballroom on the Steel Pier in Atlantic City. During the bands tenure, he authored his own book titled, The Gene Krupa Drum Method." He appeared in several motion pictures including "Some Like it Hot" and "Beat the Band." The group took a hit when Krupa was charged with possession of marijuana and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He was sentenced to 90 days, of which 84 were served. This incident triggered the demise of the band. Released from custody, Gene briefly joined up with Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey before reforming his own band. The revised band remained intact until 1950 long after the era of the Big Band was history. By the late fifties, Krupa was prompted to slow down due to increasing back problems and in 1960, a heart attack forced him into a long period of recuperation, reemerging to perform with the Goodman Quartet throughout the US and abroad. His health became a problem again and he retired for good in 1967. Gene's final public performance was with a reunion of the old Goodman Quartet in August 1973 giving a greatly diminished performance followed by his death in October at his home in Yonkers. Although he had been under treatment for leukemia for several years, the official cause of death was heart failure. The most charismatic and innovative drum legend of the Swing Era was gone at age 64 but remembered at a requiem mass held at St. Denis Roman Catholic Church in Yonkers. Goodman, Freeman and McPartland gathered to pay their last respects. His body was transferred back to Chicago with burial in the family plot at Holy Cross Cemetery, Calumet City. Legacy...Gene Krupa will forever be known as the man who made drums a solo instrument. He single-handedly made the Slingerland Drum Company a success and inspired thousands to become drummers. His level of showmanship has never been equaled. His name is forever linked and synonymous with the drum. He convinced H.H. Slingerland of Slingerland Drums, to make tuneable tom-toms which gave one the ability to change the sound. The new drum design was introduced in 1936 named "Separate Tension Tunable Tom-Toms." He is considered "The Pioneer of the Modern Drum Set" and the company even today sells the a Gene Krupa Set with his signature plate mounted on the bass drum. Gene was a loyal endorser of Slingerland Drums until his death. He was inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame in 1983. In 1959, actor Sal Mineo portrayed Gene in the motion picture "The Gene Krupa Story." The film was very loose in the facts of Gene's career but did feature an excellent soundtrack recorded by Krupa himself.
Bio by: Donald Greyfield
Family Members
Parents
Bartlomiej Krupa
1863–1916
Anna Olszewska Krupa
1865–1928
Siblings
Kazimierz Krupa
1895–1908
Leo Krupa
1896–1937
Peter B. Krupa
1901–1969
Photo
Julius B. Krupa
1906–1985
Photo
Marjanna Krupa
1906–1924
Inscription
SON
Alaiyo on 11 Feb 2020
"Mr. Krupa, to me you were one of the most coolest drummer of the 20th. I just love your drum solo of drum boogie clip movie “Ball of Fire” WOW..! RIPin Eternity."
Left by Gracie on 19 Jan 2020

Followers & Sources
Other Records of Gene Krupa

1909 - 1973 World Events

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In 1909, in the year that Gene Krupa was born, Polish physician and medical researcher Paul Ehrlich found a cure for syphilis, which was a prevalent (but undiscussed) disease. He found that an arsenic compound completely cured syphilis within 3 weeks.

In 1919, at the age of only 10 years old, Gene was alive when in the summer and early autumn, race riots erupted in 26 U.S. cities, resulting in hundreds of deaths and even more people being badly hurt. In most cases, African-Americans were the victims. It was called the "Red Summer". Men who were returning from World War I needed jobs and there was competition for those jobs among the races. Tension was heightened by the use by many companies of blacks as strikebreakers.

In 1929, by the time he was 20 years old, American Samoa officially became a U.S. territory. Although a part of the United States since 1900, the Ratification Act of 1929 vested "all civil, judicial, and military powers in the President of the United States of America".

In 1947, he was 38 years old when in June, the Marshall Plan was proposed to help European nations recover economically from World War II. It passed the conservative Republican Congress in March of 1948. After World War I, the economic devastation of Germany caused by burdensome reparations payments led to the rise of Hitler. The Allies didn't want this to happen again and the Marshall Plan was devised to make sure that those conditions didn't arise again.

In 1973, in the year of Gene Krupa's passing, on August 15th, amidst rising calls for the impeachment of President Richard Nixon, Congress imposed an end to the bombing of Cambodia.

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