Gene Krupa
Name: Gene Krupa
Occupation: Drummer
Gender: Male
Height: 173 cm (5' 9'')
Birth Day: January 15, 1909
Death Date: Oct 16, 1973 (age 64)
Age: Aged 64
Birth Place: Chicago, United States
Zodiac Sign: Capricorn

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Gene Krupa

Gene Krupa was born on January 15, 1909 in Chicago, United States (64 years old). Gene Krupa is a Drummer, zodiac sign: Capricorn. Nationality: United States. Approx. Net Worth: Undisclosed.

Brief Info

Jazz drummer who worked with many seminal artists, including Tommy Dorsey. He started recording in the late 1920s with Red McKenzie, among others.


His playing has influenced many artists, including John Bonham and Keith Moon.

Net Worth 2020

Find out more about Gene Krupa net worth here.

Does Gene Krupa Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Gene Krupa died on Oct 16, 1973 (age 64).


Height Weight Hair Colour Eye Colour Blood Type Tattoo(s)
173 cm (5' 9'') N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

Before Fame

He went against his parents' wishes for him to become a priest; he pursued a musical career instead.


Biography Timeline


Krupa studied with Sanford A. Moeller, and began playing drums professionally in the mid-1920s with bands in Wisconsin. In 1927 he was hired by MCA to become a member of Thelma Terry and Her Playboys, the first notable American jazz band to be led by a female musician (except all-female bands). The Playboys were the house band at The Golden Pumpkin nightclub in Chicago and toured throughout the eastern and central United States.

Krupa made his first recordings in 1927 with a band under the leadership of Red McKenzie and guitarist Eddie Condon. Along with other recordings by musicians from the Chicago jazz scene, such as Bix Beiderbecke, these recordings are examples of Chicago style jazz. Krupa's influences during this time included Father Ildefonse Rapp and Roy Knapp (both teachers of his), and drummers Tubby Hall, Zutty Singleton and Baby Dodds. Press rolls were a fairly common technique in the early stages of his development. There were many other drummers (Ray Bauduc, Chick Webb, George Wettling, Dave Tough) who influenced his approach to drumming and other instrumentalists and composers such as Frederick Delius who influenced his approach to music.


Krupa appeared on six recordings by the Thelma Terry band in 1928. In December 1934, he joined Benny Goodman's band, where his drum work made him a national celebrity. His tom-tom interludes on the hit "Sing, Sing, Sing" were the first extended drum solos to be recorded commercially But conflict with Goodman prompted him to leave the group and form his own orchestra shortly after the Carnegie Hall concert in January 1938. He appeared in the 1941 film Ball of Fire in which he and his band performed an extended version of the hit "Drum Boogie" (composed by Roy Eldridge originally titled "Rare Back")., sung by Martha Tilton and lip-synced by Barbara Stanwyck.


In early 1943, Krupa was arrested on drug-related charges in San Francisco. He was 'set up' (framed) by Federal Narcotics agents and was charged with local and federal charges of contributing to delinquency of a minor. He was convicted and given a 90-day jail sentence for the first and convicted of the second. He served 84 days of the local sentence. He was exonerated/acquitted of all charges when it was proven that he was framed, as the prosecution's key witness, John Pateakos, had been paid to testify falsely against Krupa. Pateakos returned to prove that he wasn't a minor, that he had dodged the draft, and that he had been instructed by federal agents to leave after the first conviction. He recanted his earlier testimony. Krupa was never, ever, a drug addict and rarely even used marijuana.


As the 1940s ended, Count Basie closed his band and Woody Herman reduced his to an octet. In 1951, Krupa cut down the size of his band to a ten-piece for a short while and from 1952 on he led trios, then quartets, often with Charlie Ventura then Eddie Shu on tenor sax, clarinet, and harmonica. He appeared regularly in the Jazz at the Philharmonic concerts. In 1950's, Krupa returned to Hollywood to appear in the films The Glenn Miller Story and The Benny Goodman Story. In 1959, the movie biography The Gene Krupa Story was released; Sal Mineo portrayed Krupa, and the film included cameos by Anita O'Day and Red Nichols. During the 1950s and '60's, Krupa often played at the Metropole near Times Square in Manhattan. He continued to perform in famous clubs in the 1960s, including the Showboat Lounge in northwest Washington, D.C. With peer Cozy Cole, Gene started a music school in 1954 that carried on into the 1960's. Some of the school's students included Peter Criss of KISS and Jerry Nolan of The New York Dolls. Doug Clifford of Creedence Clearwater Revival cited Krupa as an inspiration. Krupa was still very busy in the early 1970s until shortly before his death. That included several reunion concerts of the original Benny Goodman Quartette. April 17, 1973, the Gene Krupa Quartet, composed of Eddie Shu (tenor and clarinet), John Bunch (piano), Nabil Totah (Bass) and Krupa (drums), recorded a live performance at the New School featuring the Louis Prima composition "Sing, Sing, Sing."


Norman Granz hired Krupa and drummer Buddy Rich for his Jazz at the Philharmonic concerts. The two drummers performed at Carnegie Hall in September 1952 and it was issued by Verve as The Drum Battle. The two drummers faced off in a number of television broadcasts and other venues and often played similar duets with drummer Cozy Cole. Krupa and Rich recorded two studio albums together: Krupa and Rich (Verve, 1955) and Burnin' Beat (Verve, 1962).


Krupa married Ethel Maguire twice: the first marriage lasted from 1934 to 1942, the second from 1946 to her death in 1955. He remarried in 1959 to Patty Bowler and they were divorced within ten years.


In 1973, Krupa died in Yonkers at the age 64 from heart failure, though he also had leukemia and emphysema. He is buried in Holy Cross Cemetery in Calumet City, Illinois.


In 1978, Krupa became the first drummer inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame. The 1937 recording of Louis Prima's "Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing)" combined with Waller's "Christopher Columbus" by Benny Goodman and His Orchestra featuring Krupa on drums was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1982.

🎂 Upcoming Birthday

Currently, Gene Krupa is 112 years, 8 months and 13 days old. Gene Krupa will celebrate 113th birthday on a Saturday 15th of January 2022.

Find out about Gene Krupa birthday activities in timeline view here.

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