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The original, the most inspirational of all, Gene thrust the kit drummer into the limelight in massive fashion, dominating the screen in several Hollywood movies. Totally mesmerising, he sparked the fashion for crowd-pleasing drum solos that has never really gone away, despite the best efforts of mean spirited music journalists.
Gene is remembered as a showman and - as with Keith Moon - sometimes this has obscured the fact that he was a great swinging drummer and a terrifically musical accompanist. He was also an innovator, responsible for shaping the modern drum kit with tunable double-headed toms, virtually unchanged up to today.
Benny Goodman: Tiger Rag; Swing, Swing, Swing
Gene Krupa Orchestra: Drum Boogie; No Name Drive; Lover