Known for movies

Short Info

Date Of BirthSeptember 30, 1917
DiedApril 2, 1987, Los Angeles, California, United States
SpouseMarie Allison
FactAsked by a nurse while being prepared for surgery in hospital, whether he was allergic to anything, he replied, "only country music".
PaymentsEarned $15 /day from Las Vegas Nights (1941)

Buddy Rich was born on September 30, 1917, in New York City. His parents, Eva and Robert Rich, were vaudeville performers. Buddy began playing drums at the age of two and made his stage debut at the age of four. He quickly became a child prodigy and was touring with his family’s vaudeville act by the time he was eight years old.

Buddy’s first professional gig was with the band of comedian Jack Pearl. He later played with such jazz legends as Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, and Tommy Dorsey. In the 1940s, he formed his own big band and toured the world. He appeared in several films, including The Glenn Miller Story (1953) and The Benny Goodman Story (1956).

Buddy Rich was one of the most influential drummers of all time. He was known for his virtuosity, speed, and power. He was also a master of improvisation and could play in any style. He influenced generations of drummers, including Ringo Starr, Keith Moon, and John Bonham.

Buddy Rich died of a heart attack on April 2, 1987, at the age of 69. He was survived by his wife, Marion, and their three children.

At the time of his death, Buddy Rich had a net worth of $5 million.

General Info

Full NameBuddy Rich
Date Of BirthSeptember 30, 1917
DiedApril 2, 1987, Los Angeles, California, United States
ProfessionBandleader, Actor, Songwriter, Drummer, Bugle Call Rag, West Side Story Medley, Groovin' Hard
EducationAbraham Lincoln High School


SpouseMarie Allison
ChildrenCathy Rich
ParentsRobert Rich, Bess Skolnik, Bugle Call Rag, West Side Story Medley, Groovin' Hard
SiblingsMarjorie Rich, Jo Rich, Martin Rich, Bugle Call Rag, West Side Story Medley, Groovin' Hard


MoviesBuddy Rich and His Band: Channel One Suite, Buddy Rich: At the Top, Jazz Icons: Buddy Rich: Live in '78, Norman Granz: Improvisation, Buddy Rich: The Lost West Side Story Tapes
TV ShowsAway We Go

Social profile links


Las Vegas Nights (1941)$15 /day


1My manager would call me and be like, "Buddy, do this rock album, Buddy, do this country album" and I would always hang up on him. Rock music I don't listen to regularly, but there's some adequate bands. Country music is bottom of the barrel trash that appeals to those who need everything spelled out for them.
2Rock music is the landing spot for drummers with poor to mediocre technique.
3I don't care about notes. I care about time. If you're in my band, you must play my time.
4I don't put much emphasis on practice, anyhow. I think it's a fallacy to believe that the more you practice, the better you become. You can only get better by playing. You can sit in a basement with a set of drums and practice rudiments all day long, but unless you play with a band, you won't learn style, technique and taste, and you won't learn how to play with a band and for a band. Once you get a job, any kind of job, it's an opportunity to develop. And practice, besides that, is boring. I know music teachers who tell their students to practice three, four, six hours a day. If you can't get what you want after one hour of practice, you're not going to get it in four days.
5There is no greatest or fastest in music. It's just impossible. There probably is a boy somewhere in Idaho that no one's ever heard of who's probably better than anyone else.
6Ringo Starr was adequate. No more than that.
7[about close friend legendary drummer Gene Krupa] Gene was the first one who made it possible for guys like me to become popular--to be noticed. We all owe him a great deal of gratitude.


1Could not read music.
2His wife Marie was a dancer and show girl. They married in 1952 and had one daughter, Cathy, in 1954.
3A big early influence on Phil Collins, who bought his live album "Swingin' New Big Band" in 1966. After reading Rich's opinion on the importance of hi-hats, Collins stopped using two bass drums and started using the hi-hat. Roger Taylor from Queen has also paid tribute, saying, "Of just sheer technique, he's the best I've ever seen".
4Asked by a nurse while being prepared for surgery in hospital, whether he was allergic to anything, he replied, "only country music".
5Notoriously short-tempered, he often clashed with other volatile stars, including Frank Sinatra. On TV chat shows he had a reputation for insulting or acerbic remarks, particularly regarding pop singers he found wanting.
6Started as a child tap dancer on Broadway at the age of four. Subsequently performed in vaudeville (also as a drummer) and formed his own band at the age of 11. Was hired by Joe Marsala in 1937, and, during the swing era, played drums in the bands of Artie Shaw, Bunny Berigan, Benny Carter, Harry James and Tommy Dorsey.
7Formed a sextet in April 1974, which played at his own nightclub, 'Buddy's Place', on New York's Second Avenue.
8Inducted into the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame in 1986.
9See also The Buddy Rich Big Band and Buddy Rich and His Orchestra for additional credits.
10Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume Two, 1986-1990, pages 728-729. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1999.
11His personalized license plate read, "B RICH".
12Started playing drums at the age of two. He was than known as "Traps the drum wonder"
13Inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame in 1981.
14Was widely regarded as the greatest jazz drummer in the world during his time.
15Was one of the highest paid sidemen in the jazz field when he left Harry James in 1966 to start his own big band.
16Held a black belt in karate.
17Cousin of actor Jonathan Haze.
18Gained fame as a drummer in swing bands and jazz bands.



The Leftovers2015TV Series performer - 1 episode
Whiplash2014performer: "Cathy's Song" / writer: "Cathy's Song"
Bi no tsubo2013TV Series performer - 1 episode
Metal Evolution2011TV Series documentary performer - 1 episode
...Sings The Beatles2009TV Movie documentary performer: "Norwegian Wood"
So You Think You Can Dance2005TV Series performer - 1 episode
Freaks and Geeks2000TV Series performer - 1 episode
A Simple Wish1997performer: "From the Sticks" 1959 / writer: "From the Sticks" 1959
Sinatra: Concert for the Americas1982Video performer: "Prologue" from 'West Side Story', "The Jet Song" From 'West Side Story' - uncredited
The Mike Douglas Show1975TV Series performer - 1 episode
Playboy's Penthouse1961TV Series performer - 1 episode
Les tricheurs1958"Desperate Desmond"
Ship Ahoy1942performer: "Hawaiian War Chant Ta-Hu-Wa-Ha-Hai" 1936 uncredited, "I'll Take Tallulah" 1942
Las Vegas Nights1941performer: "The Trombone Man Is the Best Man in the Land" - uncredited
Dancing Co-Ed1939performer: "Gangbusters" - uncredited


Here's Lucy1970TV SeriesBuddy Rich
Away We Go1967TV Series
Visit to a Small Planet1960Drummer (uncredited)
The Marge and Gower Champion Show1957TV SeriesCozy
General Electric Theater1955TV SeriesGeorge
Columbia Thrills of Music: Buddy Rich and His Orchestra1949ShortOrchestra Leader
The Great Morgan1946Drummer (uncredited)
Thrill of a Romance1945Member Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra (uncredited)
Du Barry Was a Lady1943Member Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra (uncredited)
How's About It1943Orchestra Leader
Ship Ahoy1942Drummer in Tommy Dorsey Orchestra (uncredited)
Las Vegas Nights1941Orchestra Drummer (uncredited)
Dancing Co-Ed1939Drummer (uncredited)

Music Department

Girl Crazy1943musician: drums - uncredited


The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson1966-1988TV SeriesHimself / Himself - Guest / Himself - Musical Guest / ...
Wogan1986TV SeriesHimself
Star's Table1986TV SeriesHimself
The 28th Annual Grammy Awards1986TV SpecialHimself
Buddy Rich and His Band: Channel One Suite1985Himself - Leader and Drums
Artie Shaw: Time Is All You've Got1985DocumentaryHimself
Looks Familiar1982TV SeriesHimself
Sinatra: Concert for the Americas1982VideoHimself - Drummer
The Mike Douglas Show1971-1981TV SeriesHimself - Jazz Drummer / Himself - Drummer / Himself
The Muppet Show1981TV SeriesHimself - Special Guest Star
The Merv Griffin Show1978TV SeriesHimself
Dinah!1977TV SeriesHimself
All You Need Is Love1977TV Series documentaryHimself
I've Got a Secret1976TV SeriesHimself
Cotton Club '751974TV MovieHimself
Frank Sinatra: The Main Event1974TV Movie documentaryHimself - Audience Member
In Concert1973TV SeriesHimself
The David Frost Show1970-1971TV SeriesHimself
Louis Armstrong: 1900 - 19711971TV Movie documentaryHimself
Happy Days1970TV SeriesHimself
Playboy After Dark1969-1970TV SeriesHimself
The Royal Variety Performance 19691969TV SpecialHimself
Della1969TV SeriesHimself
The Hollywood Palace1967-1969TV SeriesHimself / Himself - Band Leader / Drummer
The Kraft Music Hall1969TV SeriesHimself
The London Palladium Show1968TV SeriesHimself - and his Orchestra
The Joey Bishop Show1967-1968TV SeriesHimself
Away We Go1967TV SeriesHimself
Dream Girl of '671967TV SeriesHimself - Bachelor Judge
The Garry Moore Show1966TV SeriesHimself
The Sammy Davis, Jr. Show1966TV SeriesHimself
Playboy's Penthouse1961TV SeriesHimself
One Night Stand: The World of Lenny Bruce1959TV Special documentaryHimself
The Jack Paar Tonight Show1958TV SeriesHimself
Texaco Star Theatre1948-1956TV SeriesHimself - Drummer
Music 551955TV Series documentaryHimself
The Colgate Comedy Hour1955TV SeriesHimself - Drummer
We, the People1951TV SeriesHimself
Floor Show1949TV SeriesHimself
Adventures in Jazz1949TV SeriesHimself
Buddy Rich and His Orchestra1948ShortHimself
Upbeat in Music1943Documentary shortHimself - Drummer
Artie Shaw's Class in Swing1939ShortHimself (uncredited)
Symphony of Swing1939ShortHimself - Drummer (uncredited)
Buddy Traps in 'Sound Effects'1930ShortHimself - Drummer (as Buddy Traps)

Archive Footage

Sinatra: All or Nothing at All2015TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself
Here's Lucy Spotlight: Desi Arnaz Jr.2012Video documentary shortClips from 'Here's Lucy'
...Sings The Beatles2009TV Movie documentaryHimself
Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel2009DocumentaryHimself
E! True Hollywood Story2006TV Series documentaryHimself
The Milton Berle Show: The Lost Elvis2003VideoHimself
Monterey Jazz Festival: 40 Legendary Years1998Video documentaryHimself
Biography1998TV Series documentaryHimself
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson1992TV SeriesHimself
Muppet Video: Muppet Treasures1985VideoHimself
All You Need Is Love1977TV Series documentaryHimself
The Hollywood Palace1970TV SeriesHimself
Jazz Ball1956TV Movie documentaryHimself

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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