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Chick Webb and Buddy Rich

             Chick Webb was one of the greatest and most influential drummers in jazz to date. He has influenced every big name in jazz drumming before and after his death in 1939. Gene Krupa was one of the most influenced by Webb's playing. Krupa found out first hand just how impressive Webb was because Krupa had the chance to actually play with him. Webb's incredible talent and musicianship are loved and respected even today by modern drummers. Without Chick Webb the drumming of today would most definitely be different. .
             William Henry "Chick" Webb was born on February 10, 1909 in Baltimore Maryland. Webb was very frail do to an accident that took place early in his life. He was dropped on his back and smashed several vertebrae from the fall. Since he was dropped he could never grow to full size and developed Tuberculosis. The Tuberculosis caused Webb to have stiff joints and suffer pain throughout life (Korall11). For relief doctors and his family suggested drumming as a possible remedy. Playing drums would help to build up his body and take his mind off of his disability. Webb was more than willing to pick up the drums and began to first bang on pots, pans and oil drums. He purchased his first drum set only after selling newspapers. His drum kit used special custom-pedals so he could reach them because of his short stature.
             Chick worked out different drum solos on his drum set which eventually got him work with local jazz groups. His first playing job was with the Jazzola Band . They worked on the excursion boats in the Chesapeake Bay. From there he met a guitarist named John Trueheart (Dance6). When Webb was 17 he moved to New York with John Trueheart. New York was the hot area for black jazz musicians as a part of the Harlem renaissance. He was surrounded by many of the jazz greats of that time in New York. .
             It was not easy getting gigs when he first arrived in New York. Going to jam sessions and playing with other musicians was one of the only ways for him to prove himself.

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