22 Facts About Gene Krupa


Eugene Bertram Krupa, known as Gene Krupa, was an American jazz drummer, bandleader and composer who performed with energy and showmanship.


Gene Krupa's parents were Roman Catholics who groomed him for the priesthood.


Gene Krupa attended James H Bowen High School on Chicago's southeast side.


Gene Krupa made his first recordings in 1927 with a band under the leadership of Red McKenzie and guitarist Eddie Condon.


Gene Krupa appeared on six recordings by the Thelma Terry band in 1928.


Gene Krupa appeared in the 1941 film Ball of Fire, in which he and his band performed an extended version of the hit "Drum Boogie", sung by Martha Tilton and lip-synced by Barbara Stanwyck.


In 1943, Gene Krupa was arrested on a falsified marijuana drug charge; this resulted in a short jail sentence, and the breakup of his orchestra.

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Gene Krupa then joined Tommy Dorsey's band for several months and then put together his next orchestra.


In 1951, Gene 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.


Gene Krupa appeared regularly in the Jazz at the Philharmonic concerts.


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.


Gene Krupa continued to perform in famous clubs in the 1960s, including the Showboat Lounge in northwest Washington, DC With peer Cozy Cole, Gene started a music school in 1954 that carried on into the 1960s.


Gene Krupa was still busy in the early 1970s until shortly before his death.


Gene Krupa married Ethel Maguire twice: the first marriage lasted from 1934 to 1942, the second from 1946 to her death in 1955.


Gene Krupa remarried in 1959 to Patty Bowler and they were divorced within ten years.


Gene Krupa continued to live in the parts of the house that were habitable.


In 1973, Gene Krupa died in Yonkers at the age 64 from heart failure, though he had leukemia and emphysema.


Gene Krupa is buried in Holy Cross Cemetery in Calumet City, Illinois.


At Gene Krupa's urging, Slingerland developed tom-toms with tuneable top and bottom heads, which immediately became important elements of virtually every drummer's setup.


Gene Krupa developed and popularized many of the cymbal techniques that became standard.


Gene Krupa is credited with helping to formulate the modern drum set, being one of the first jazz drummers to use a bass drum in a recording session.


In 1978, Gene Krupa became the first drummer inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame.