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Tunes that'll knock your socks off!

In His Own Words

(Click pics to play.)
(1974)
Watch Louie Bellson discuss his beloved mentor, Duke Ellington in “Reminiscing In Tempo.”



(1981)
At the 1981 Bands of America Grand National Championship. Louie was featured performing with the U.S. Marine Drum & Bugle Corps and co-hosted the TV broadcast.



(1999)
While giving a clinic at the Hollywood Vintage Drum Show, Bellson is pleased to be reunited with his Billy Gladstone Custom Snare Drum.



(2003)
Watch Louie Bellson in this lively interview by NAMM, the National Association of Music Merchants -- Oral History Program.


(2005)
Hear Bellson’s 8 extensive interviews as conducted by the Smithsonian Jazz Oral History Program, a part of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.




(----)
Louie Bellson is interviewed by Paul Chiaravalle, President of Chiaravalle & Associates at IAJE (Int'l Assn. for Jazz Educators) re: The Rich Matteson Foundation.


(Click pics to play.)

. . . . Drummer . . . . Bandleader . . . . Composer . . . . Arranger . . . . Clinician . . . . Inventor . . . . Author . . . . Recording Artist . . . . Grammy Nominee . . . . NEA Jazz Master . . . . An American Legend . . . .

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Inspirational Uses of Website for ...

Youth - history, music appreciation, term papers, theses.

Sr. Citizens - treat someone (w/o computer access) to a website visit.

Music Charts

Louie Bellson Big Band Library

Full arrangements

Titles now available: 50

• “Skin Deep”

• “Hawk Talks”

• “Intimacy of the Blues”

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Pricing:

• According to chart size/use.

• Includes repro, assembly. Shipping cost separate.

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Conductor Guides: <-- Now Available!

"Hear Here!"

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History Lessons

New Bellson-related media
(Trailers)


THE SAVOY KING - Chick Webb
and the Music that Changed America.
By Jeff Kaufman (Film)


(To watch Trailers, click photos)













THE CENTURY PROJECT - 100 Years of American Music
from behind the drums. By Daniel Glass (2DVD set)



LB90 T-Shirt - Just Released!

“Celebrate a Maestro”

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Unveiled at NAMM 2015

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I bought a Ludwig silver sparkle drum set at Frank's drum shop in Chicago when I stated playing drums at 19. I'm now 65, and I was told Louis used to give lessons on it. It sits in my basement. It's still in good shape. And Yes, I made a living as a drummer for over 30 years here in St. Louis. So,...Thanks for the inspiration Louie!
The first time I ever saw the great Louie Bellson perform was a total surprise! At Zildjian Day in Boston on Sunday October 9, 1983, between performing drummers I was walking back to my seat and a friend said to me, "Louie Bellson is playing!" I RAN to my seat! As great as everyone else was, Louie STOLE THE SHOW! The next time I saw him was even better. It was at Remo Day at either Boston College or Boston University. Zildjian Day was at Berklee College Of Music. At Remo Day, Louie played with other drummers. Louie played a Remo PTS kit. Pre-tuned drums. It was a rainy Friday afternoon and not well-attended. But as always Louie stole the show! After, Louie was approached by just about all of us and signed autographs, took pictures and answered questions. Other greats came to watch such as the late, great Vic Firth! Louie was kind to all. I left SO inspired and I remain inspired. I once sent Louie a letter and I got back a hand-written thank you note from Louie. I could not believe it! Louie has always been great. The world needs more people like him. A VERY Happy Birthday to the great St. Louie Bellson!
"HAPPY BIRTHDAY LOUIE"!!!
Another BD passes but your music lives on.
Happy birthday, Louie!!
May you rest in peace in Heaven. I was greatly inspired to persue a career in music thanks to you Louie Bellson. I had the great honor of meeting you years ago. Tommy Lentz Concert and Session Drummer, Musician, Songwriter. Peace and much Joy to the wonderfull Louie Bellson family. A very blessed and happy birthday. Angels are rocking.
I still think of Louie, and what an impression he has left for us all. One of the all time greats and a true gentleman. Louie and Buddy trading licks in HEAVEN. Happy Bday Louie
I should have added this link to our video interview with Louie on the Fillius Jazz Archive youtube channel. https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=fWfoXK6q8e0
Happy Birthday Mr. Bellson! Here is a brief excerpt from our interview conducted on April 12, 1996. Louie mentions his very first connection to the drums. "LB: I come from a musical family. My father played all the instruments and had a music store, and there were eight of us, four girls, four boys, and all of us worked in the music store. And when I was about three and a half years old, my father took me to a parade, and you know for a little person, three and a half years old, and that drum section comes by you and you know that whole sound envelopes your whole body. So I pointed my little finger and I said “I want to play that.” So my dad said I was so definite about it, and he was very liberal-minded as far as wanting to start it at a certain time, it didn’t make any difference as long as you had the interest and you wanted to do it." Monk Rowe The Joe Williams Director Fillius Jazz Archive Hamilton College
I had the privilege of spending a day in the studio with Louie as he recorded examples for his brush instruction book (Contemporary Brush Techniques) in 1985. I was shy about approaching him, but he motioned me over to himself, making me feel like a long lost nephew or something! When it became time to record, I naturally started to head for the control room but Louie said "stay out here with me." He told me to sit next to him, so I sat where his floor tom would have been. He leaned over with a grin and said "don't sneeze" and I watched those amazing hands from a distance of maybe 3 or 4 feet, play like only Louie could. Yes, I got to literally sit at the feet of a beloved master. When recording was done, we talked and talked, and I felt such a sense of awe as he talked of his experiences with the big band greats. When it was time for him to leave, I stayed and he showed me how to pack his drums and cymbals, as he continued talking to me. We parted ways with a big hug, and I swear, I was a little different after that day. I began to really enjoy helping and sharing my own musical heart and experiences with young drummers, the way Louie did with me. I hope I can always emulate the generous spirit Louie showed me, as I still think the world of him. My heart is very tender as I speak of Louie Bellson. Love to you Mrs B. and happy birthday Louie!
I met Mr. Bellson at the Elmhurst High School Jazz Festival, in Fort Wayne, IN, in 1983. Mr. Bellson came into my band director's office and sat down and talked to my friend and me for at least a half an hour like he had lnown us all of our lives. After the second show, we had lined up for autographs and Mr. Bellson was standing over his kit and speaking to my band director. He looked down at his sticks, looked at me, and then handed me the pair of sticks that he had used for that show. I was stunned! I still have that pair of sticks, and although I never was able to meet him again, or see him play in person, I will treasure that time and his generousity and warmth forever. Happy Birthday, Mr. Bellson, you made a tremendous impact on me!
Happy Birthday Louie!!!
Happy birthday to a great drummer and a wonderful human being. Louie Bellson is on my mind and on my music playlist today.
Happy birthday to Louie Belson. I share with Louis July 6 as my birthday! My father Leonard Cervantes grew up with Louie in Moline, Illinois. They were in the same high school art class together. My dad would go to the music store and listen to Louie practice the drums after hours. They kept in touch and remain friends until my dad died 15 years ago on August 8. On July 6 that year my dad gave me some Louis Bellson memorabilia, including a drum magazine with Louie on the cover which she autographed and inscribed to me .it was the last gift my father gave to me before he died unexpectedly one month later. I still have the magazine. I'm sure that my dad and Louie are enjoying time together in the jazz heaven. I have been on the board of Jazz St. Louis for many years trying to keep alive the music that Louie played and my dad .loved. July 6 is somewhat bittersweet because it is the last day I saw my dad alive.on the other hand, it is the day to celebrate another year on this earth, the memory of my dad, Louie Belson and jazz.I have passed the legacy of the love of jazz on to my 20 year old daughter, Gaby. We plan to spend part of today listening to Louis music. Leonard Cervantes St. Louis,Missouri
Louie's time was greatest! His sounds and songs are forever!! Take from Japan.
I met Louis Bellson 1975-78 I was introduced to him by my instructor a very close friend of Loui, Tommy Thomas. Tommy was late 60s we met at Music Mart store. Louis Bellson became my personal drummer idol to emulate. Happy birthday Loui. JCT:) #Drumx
ONe of the most musical and hard swinging drummers ever ... his style left a life long imprint
I have often said that the true measure of a human being when they leave this world is what they leave behind in the way of knowledge, inspiration and love. Lou knew and understood this very well. And his mission in life was to spread all 3 of these things in great abundance... especially love. His love and kindness knew no limits. He taught me many things about drumming both directly and indirectly. But what he taught me most was about life and being a good person. Almost everything he taught me was by example. I once asked him how he would want to be remembered and he said, "As a good person, a good husband, father and a good friend". I then asked, "and a great drummer"? He replied, "Oh yeah"... almost as though it was an afterthought. For Lou, being a good person, husband, father and friend far outweighed being a great musician and composer arranger. And that is a lesson that I will never forget. Happy 93rd birthday Lou. Love and Peace to you always.
I have a few cd's of Lou.I just wish i could of seen him with his band.Im a drummer myself & he will always be.."The Godfather of double bass"RIP.Thank you
We met Louie at EBC in San Jose when he married my friend Francine & became good friends. We had known about him for years listening to his music. Happy Birthday in Heaven.
Happy Birthday to Louie. I share July 6 as my birthday! My father Leonard Cervantes was one of Louie's good friends growing up in Moline Illinois. They were in the same art class together and dad used to go to the music store and listen to Louie practice after hours. My dad died 15 years ago on August 8. One of the last gifts he gave me on my birthday was some Louis Belson memorabilia, including a drum magazine autographed by Louie and inscribed to me. My younger brother Louie just celebrated his birthday recently. He was named after Mr. Belson. I have been on the board of Jazz St. Louis for many years. I'm trying to keep the music that my father loved and Louie played alive. I know Louie and my dad are spending time together up in a jazz heaven.Leonard Cervantes St. Louis Missouri
Worked with Louis Bellson and his late legendary superstar wife Pearl Bailey I was 17 years old when I got the job to be a background singer in the tour the Pearl Bailey review .. Louis Bellson was quite the gentleman and a tremendously talented drummer he had a great 17 piece band ❤️
I lived upstairs next door to them in Moline, so many years ago, and I remember hearing so much great music, it made a lifetime impression on me. It took me many years to figure out why I love drummers, it is because I spent nearly 11 years listening to one of the best. Thank you for sharing your love of music and talent! Happy Birthday, your spirit and music live on.
God Bless You Lou!!! RIP!!!
Louie was a Saint! I miss him! He told me to study piano & learn how to compose & arrange when I met him as a kid years ago at the Fairmont Room in S. F. Can't possibly say enough about his genius & love. They don't make better people, period.
I grew up listening to Louie and his wonderful music. Louie Bellson Was A Beacon For All Things Good....
I will treasure forever being on Crystal with Louie and Mrs. B. Meeting Louie was the highlight of the trip. Had known about him all my life and when they showed up in the watercolor class I was ecstatic. I will toast him with a big Happy B'day. Joy
Happy Birthday in Heaven. Louie was a fantastic drummer and a sweet man. I attended a clinic of his years ago and he stayed so that every youngster in the room who wanted to meet him got to meet him. NO superstar ego, just love of people and the instrument. A inspirational man.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LOUIE. I'll bet you, Gene, Buddy and Joe are drumming it up for the 'Big Guy".
Louie is part of jazz history. His contributions to music are invaluable. A complete human being. Long live to the music and heritage of Louie Bellson. My idol.
Louie was the ABSOLUTE GREATEST player and Man that always spread a wonderful sincere positive vibe to everyone. There will never be another like him, and I am so honored that he was not only mt idol but also mt friend. THANK YOU LOUIE, and Francine . Les and Bonnie DeMerle
"Mr. Exquisite" at the drums! Whenever he played, he displayed his consummate excellence on his drum set and within an orchestra. It was always a great pleasure to hear him speak, too. His ever-present respect for other musicians and their positive efforts of contribution to the art was refreshing. May God continue to bless you Mrs. Bellson and thank you for perpetuating the legacy of Mr. Louis Bellson! On occasion of Mr. Bellson's birthday, July 6, and in tribute to him, I'll put on one of my favorite recordings by him and his orchestra: "Quiet Riots" from his great 1975 album, "The Louis Bellson Explosion."
Here are my sincere thoughts on our Louie Bellson and what he has done thru out his career. Many a small combo a big band needed a drummer composer musician who could creat a spark plug for their musical ensembles. Louie Bellson was the polite gentleman who could and would play in the fashion that made the big band combo sound better than ever. Louie added excitement and taste to an arrangement. I would go on saying that any great chef who prepares a great meal has a way of supplying the great herbs and seasoning to make the meal turn our great and scrumptious. Our Louie knew exactly what ingredients to make a masterpiece recipe in drumming music. He will forever be in our hearts and musical memories. The Man the Gentleman the Dynamic Drummer that GOD sent down from heaven above to keep the Jazz Drumming Sound Complete. Love you Louie Bellson always will.
What can I say. Louie was a friend and idol and the most humble nice guy that ever lived . Besides being my inspiration for double bass drums , once I got to know him he showed me such great great love for me and drumming. I have the greatest respect for him I lived him as family. God bless RIP. On you birthday. Love and respect. Carmine
I had the privilege of meeting Mr. Bellson when I was in high school, 1962-3. He was invited to listen to and talk to our jazz band by my drum teacher Jake Jerger. Jake asked me to meet Louis at the front door of the music/auditorium wing of Maine East HS. I then walked Louis to the band room were he met the rest of the jazz band students and his friend Jake. It was a memorable experience. I also heard Louis perform a clinic at Frank's Drum Shop, probably around 1965-66. What a fantastic drummer and person.
I still know I was fortunate to see Louie both at Montreux in the 1970's and in N W england a few years later. He was a master of his craft, a drummer par excellence. He more than anyone else made me appreciate just how important drums/percussion are in all music...but particularly Jazz. God bless you Louie, rest in prace
I wanted to thank you again Mrs. B, for everything you've done and everything you're doing for those of Us who's Lives Louie touched in a wonderful way. I attended his Clinic in Boise Idaho in 1994 where you and I probably met. I'd love to play, honoring his influence in my drumming and musicianship. Louie Bellson, The Greatest Musician, Drummer and Gentleman I've ever met. Louie was the Entire Package. The website is wonderful. Thanks so much Mrs. B
I can listen to all of the music in my collection and be impressed. When I sit and listen to Louie, I am mesmerized very well to his music, and the playing of his drumming.
Hi Francine, We love the memories of seeing you and Louie several times. Also loved your photo with Tony Bennett. I recall browsing through Tony's book several years ago and Tony recalled how Louie and Pearl got him his first gig. Skip
Francine: Thank you this remembrance of Louie---A great drummer; a great person and DEFINITELY married an awesome woman. God Bless you,Francine
Hello Francine, I went to Louie's grave today and laid some daisies by his marker. It was a little windy, but felt warmer than usual for February. I wanted to send off these two photographs I took from the grave this afternoon so you could see the marker on the (anniv. of the) day he passed away. I also remembered him today by listening to his recordings when I was at home or driving around the area. Hope you're well, Josh
Happy Valentines Francine, It's always nice hearing from you.
Another Birthday passes but your MUSIC, FRIENDSHIP, and all those MEMORIES lives on. As you always said "Terry, get the band together...let's play". I miss those days so much. Play on my friend ... play on.
SO ON THIS DAY WHAT A DRUMMER AS I WOULD LIKE TO SAY? TO START WITH WHAT,S NOT TO LOVE JAZZ IS IN MY HEART, AND WE ALL KNOW LOUIE HAD A BIG PART, AS FOR ME MY WIFE IS MY LIFE, AND AS A DRUMMER THE BEST IS YET TO COME, AND ALL THAT JAZZ, AND ALL THAT FUN? HOWEVER ON THIS DAY WE MUST REMEMBER LOVE IS THE ONLY WAY TO SHOW THE WORLD, IN EVERY WAY, JUST WHO YOU ARE IN THE WORLD AND ALL HAVE TO TRY, AND SEE, AND IN YOUR HEART, I HOPE ONE DAY? YOU WILL SEE ME??? MR DRUMS PHIL AMBROS
Hi Mrs. B, Thanks for the Double Bass Valentine, that was so sweet of you! And I really enjoyed listening to Louie while he played "Love". He was so amazing! I've always loved that he and I have the same initials! Personally, I think that his passing on Valentine's day is a tribute and an honor to the love he had for you. He was such a beautiful soul. I grieve with you today...
Dear Mrs. B: Have a nice day. Special is the day when Louie passed away. My best wishes for you, as always remembering the one and unique, Louie Bellson. Kind regards.
I'll never forget and always appreciate these great drummers. I've been playing for many years and still go back and study these great musicians. This is such a great site! Thank you
Bless you Mrs. B!! hope you have a great 2017!!
I met Louie after one of his performances at Donte’s in North Hollywood in 1973. As a young drummer of age 22, I had been playing professionally for 8 years. I was awed by Louie’s technique and asked him about it. He was very kind happy to speak with me. I asked him if he would be willing to take me on as a student. He said he would love to but was going to be on the road a lot with his band. I asked him where I could learn that “finger control” or “finger technique” he spoke about. He suggested his brother Hank, “He’s right over there.” That night, I helped Hank tear down Louie’s drums and load them. He took me on as a student and for the next year, between my home and his, I took lessons from him. I diligently practiced what Louie demonstrated that first night and what Hank taught me over the next year. Then at some point in 1974, I went on the road myself and that technique I learned from the Bellson’s served me well. In 1995, Louie was doing a concert in Visalia and I took my wife and son Daniel to see him. They had heard so much about him from me through the years. After speaking with Louie for a while and meeting his lovely bride Francine, I asked him how Hank was and to my surprise, Hank was sitting on some steps in the corner. We remembered each other, renewed our acquaintance and, once again I (with my son Daniel) helped Hank and Duke load Louie’s drums into the vehicle. 21 years later, on December 11, 2016, my wife and I stopped by Hank’s home for a great visit. We stayed two hours and relived many memories together. Next time, we will see him again sooner, much sooner. We promised and he asked. I’m a pastor now but still playing drums at almost 66 years old. I’m currently playing with the 42-piece Reedley College Concert Band and a 12-piece swing band called the Red River Dutchmen as well as two services every Sunday at the church we attend. A few weeks ago, I was asked by our conductor to give a lesson to a college student snare drummer needing to play a pep rally at a football field—her first time on a drum set! The first thing I did for the young lady was to plant both my forearms on the armrests of my office chair and play some stuff on a practice pad. She remarked, “Your fingers are so loose” and “You aren’t even moving your arms!” Then I told her about Louie and Hank and the “finger technique” I learned from them. Brother and sister drummers, pass it on! Merry Christmas to you all and God bless Louie’s memory, Hank and Francine! Gratefully, Pastor Marc Unger
Louie was one of the greatest Jazz drummers of all time and pioneer of the double bass drum set-up. It's so great that Mrs. B is keeping his legacy alive!
Taking this moment to greet all of Louie's friends and family on Thanksgiving. Peace and health to you all. Ron Reina
Absolutely LOVE Louie Bellson's playing! What an amazing drummer!!!
I love this web site!
I met Louie when I was a seven year old kid at Donte's Jazz club in North Hollywood California as I was the clubs mascot and I had a pair of drum sticks from the club. I walked in after school one day to see the owners and who was rehearsing and Louie was sitting at the bar with others having a Budweiser. He saw me this little boy with the sticks and he said do you know how to play and I said no that I want to play so he directed me to his blue drum set and said go wail kid. After a few minutes he came to me and said hold the sticks like this and start with your snare drum and make a roll 1, 2, 2, I then learned a roll and then he said practice on a stack of magazines doing that roll . My parents couldn't afford to by ne drums. That was 1967
Do ''YOU''(Louie Bellson 's-fans)know somenthing about this TV-Show program .<.Guest,,Buddy Rich,dr,&,Louie Bellson.,dr Live at Flip Wilson Show in Hollywood Fair/Good ,july ,1975 ,t. 5'minutes.>. E-Mails me , fabiodrummy@gmail.com ,Ciao fabio ,Roma..
I pray that I might be your neighbor in HEAVEN!I Share MY BIRTHDAY with LOUIE! AN AWESOME Fact! MY thoughts are with you! I remember in Rock falls Illinois YOU GAVE ME! so much! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! LOUIE! my lawyer is your nephew. I play double bass because of YOU! The other July 6 Drummer! I love you Louie!
Dear Mr. Bellson; I had the plasure of meeting you at the Elmhurst Jazz Festival in 1983. You sat in my band director's office and talked to my friend Bob and me for over a half an hour and took a genuine interestin what we had to say. After, the second show, we were lined up to get autographs and I happened to be the first one in line. You looked down at your sticks and then looked at me and gave them to me. I still have those sticks, but the best thing you gave me that day was your time and attention. I only ever met you one time, but what an impact you made on me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
When a thunderstorm is moving close to my home, I think it must be Louie's double bass drums from Heaven I'm hearing! Today, I celebrate the birth of my hero and all-time favorite drummer. Thanks for so much, Louie.
Happy birthday and RIP Louie!!!
I love Louie Bellson and all of his work and will do so for ever. I learn from him every time I listed to his music. I myself was born on the 7th of July also a cancer sign like Louie it is an honor to find this out for me . I have one thing in common with my Idol.
All drummers .....serious drummers have to say: "THANKS A LOT MASTER !!!" GOD BLESS YOU
Happy Birthday Louie. Bet the Angels are having a ball up there. Gone but never forgotten.
Gone but not forgotten and no less inspirational than ever before. Legendary.
Happy Birthday to the Legend Our Louie who has never ever left us,. My first record of him playing was Drumorama. I was a young lad studying and was told by many drummers to pay attention to Louie Bellson. They were right. Louie Bellson was a true gentleman. He will never be forgotten
Happy Birthday Louie! Thanks, great music.
I meet him at hanich,s music in west Covina,ca.i was teaching there I told he was a big influence on me he knew mt teacher joe causatis we had gone through some of lou,s books an charts with his albumns,he was one of the nicesest human being you could meet I cherish the memory to this day.
I was privileged to interview Mr. Bellson in '96 for the Fillius Jazz Archive oral history project. Regarding his musical fathers, Louie cited drummers Jo Jones and Big Sid Catlett as his main teachers. But his reverence for Duke Ellington is clear. He was profoundly grateful when Duke recorded "Skin Deep" and Hawk Talks", (two of Louie's most famous big band charts).
My Uncle Brian played for Louie the better part of a decade. I feel priveledged to have 4 of the albums on vinyl. Amazing!
Louie was an incredible inspiration for me his work still is and will live on for ever. I will continue to listen to his work and study it for ever. The work he recorded both as a side man and with the big bands and the work he did as a soloist artist is timeless and endless and serves as an on going learning vehicle for me and for the world.
Sad news, he and Louie were certainly made for each other. Brilliant Partnership. R I P both of you, the Jazz and indeed the greater music world will miss you, Daresay the Angels are having a ball though! I too met Louie in North West England in the about 35 years ago, he set the benchmark for all the other drummers I have seen. Best wishes, Alan Rimmer
Dear Mrs. B, Just a quick note to pass along my sincere condolences for loss of your friend and business partner Remo Belli. I feel fortunate that I had the honor and pleasure to meet, speak and know this great man that has touched (and will continue to) so many around the world in a positive way. May good memories help to ease the pain as you and the rest of Remo’s co-workers, business partners, family and friends grieve. EF Eric Frank – Advertising Director DRUM! Magazine
I met Louie Bellson in Toronto, Canada 1981, what a drummer and what a Gentlemen
Dear Mrs.B, so very sorry to of Remo's passing ,he was a very kind and caring man. Sincerely, Eric Harris.609
Francine, Sorry to hear of the lost of such a dear friend.
Mr. Bellson was not only the best Master Musician, but also the best gentleman in the house every time. Always a smile and a good word. Thank you, Louie.
Time sure passes,I always remind myself of that as the 80s & 90s seems 5o be stuck in my head as on 4 17 I just had my 8th anniversary, I call it that because in my head a birthday is the day one is born, after that each year is an anniversary to celebrate, sorry Mr Remo
We've lost another musical innovator and creator. Lucky for us, Remo's work will remain an important part of the music world. I knew him through his long association with Louie. Best wishes to his family and close friends
I'm so sorry for your loss!
I miss Louie and still think of him everyday,I know he is heaven playing drums with all the greats everyday. GOD BLESS YOU, ARNALDO (TITO) GOMEZ
I met Louie in 1971. I hold him close to my heart at every performance I play around the world! He continues to inspire me and thousands of drummers globally! His spirit was pure, his purpose was to give! He did that every time he played and spoke! A true diamond that still shines bright everyday!
Hi Mama Fran. Thinking of you and Lou today. So hard to think that it's been 7 years already. Please know I'm sending good thoughts to you on this Valentine's Day. Thank you for all of your hard work and for sharing so much of Lou's work with all of us.
Remembering Louie Bellson on the 7th anniversary of his passing. Seeing a repeat on U.K tv (in the 80s) of "Jazz at the Philharmonic", featuring a phenomenal drum solo from LB, left a profound effect on me as a young drummer. I was lucky enough to see him play live twice and he is still such an inspiration.
I had the pleasure of meeting Louis in Kansas City MO- he put on a seminar. Afterwards , he visited with ALL of us- from the little kids to us OLD guys. 1st class gentleman!
Hello Mrs. B. Great to hear from you. Sounds like you are doing well. I never knew that you were Harvard/MIT educated. Well, no wonder Louie was so darn smart. My Son is in Nashville playing drums and my Grandson is a percussion major at WVU. Kind of runs in the family starting with me years ago when Louie was my idol...still is. Take care and perhaps see you at PASIC this year./
Pete York wrote in here "Next year I hope to stage a big concert to celebrate 25 years since the end of our Super Drumming TV shows" 3rd session was on tv June 26th - July 31st 1990, how 25 years? Mr. York, for the case you read this: is it a matter of costs, or a matter of illiterate tv producer morons who arent able to pay a few drummers like Portnoy, Cobham, Ulrich, Chambers, Hiseman etc. and produce another great 4th Super Drumming session? Any producer would be able to sell thousands of DVDs and such after that. Thanks for your answer, many, many fans are interested in that. And post scriptum: ANY Bellson-tribute would be marvelous!
Germany´s top 10 for boys´ names in 2015: 1. Ben 2. Jonas ... 8. Luis / Louis =o) (I prefer "Louie", however...)
Thanks Francine! I hope you had a very Merry Christmas!
Happy Holidays, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy New Year and God Bless!
Michael C.
It's hard to believe that it's been almost 60 years since I played trumpet on the Spring, 1966 tour with Louie and Pearl. Remember it like it was yesterday. He and she were true national treasures. I miss them terribly. Tony Horowitz
Merry Christmas, and thank you for keeping the music alive this year. We can't wait to see what you have in store for 2016!
Happy Holidays to you Mrs. B.!
Blessings to you always,
Terri Lyne
(Note:The album "Soul On Top" is available on our SHOP page.)
A VERY MERRY Christmas to Mrs B & all The Bellson Beat Fanatics from Down Under, my number 1 pick for my ultimate desert island disc is James Brown & Louis Benson + Oliver Nelson - Blues Got Soul, WOW Louis doing what Louis does best heading a Flame Hot Big Band with James Brown on vocals out front, hard to believe the album is nearly 47 years old, Louis was the best, I was fortunate to see him live in Melbourne Australia in the 1980s, Best Wishes for 2016 David Zeunert.
Season's greetings to the Bellson Beat and all followers, and may you all prosper in 2016.
Dear Mrs. B: Have a wonderful Christmas and a happy new year. Always remembering Louie. God Bless you. Regards, Juan Carlos.
Mrs. B writes: The following is an encouraging note from a satisfied customer of Bellson gift items. (There’s still time!)

Dear Francine,
Thanks again for sending out my grandson's CD. I just received and paid the PayPal invoice.
Please know that you and your dear Louie are still impacting drummers all over the world in a mighty way.

May God bless you this Christmas as you keep your heart focused on Jesus Christ, the Savior who came into this world for YOU.
Pastor Marc
I always remember the kindness of Mr. Bellson; he was with Ms.Bailey in Toronto when we met; he later sent me one of his LP’s, and Ms.Bailey sent me a book. So very nice!
Three pix from younger Louie with a happy Ellington and solo(ing). Source: CD inlays. http://fs5.directupload.net/images/151115/xjiq8qio.jpg http://fs5.directupload.net/images/151115/6esswd2q.jpg http://fs5.directupload.net/images/151115/lwekmdli.jpg
May I ask to those who know very well Louie Bellson's drumming if he was the first to use four sticks and when ? My question seems stupid but a drum magazine said it was John Bonham and i doubt it. thank you Philippe
When my fascination for drumming rised about 25 years ago, I bought a CD compilation with jazz drummers. I found really boring tunes on it, and only a few highlights like Alphonse Mouzon´s "The ram and the scorpio" were worth to be explored in more details. But there was one tune which was worth being heard again and again: Louie Bellson together with Willie Bobo, Paul Humphrey and Shelly Manne "One score and four drummers ago" from their record "A drum session". Well, the three others played boring stuff which I dont even play for a warmup. But as soon as Louie´s part appeared the tune was rescued! His high speed rolls paired with tom-bass-combinations were stunning - I can´t replay them until today, grrr... ;) Furthermore my favorite record of Louie is "Louie in London". There were days the CD was not available at amazon at all and had a price of 120 Euros, today it is still at 54 Euros. Why the heck is that marvelous CD with all its great arrangements and really inspiring solos not available? Well, I own it, but all the other fans? Dear readers, try to get this record, you will love it! All the best from Germany Buddy
Louis was playing at Disneyland when I was just a kid in high school and he took time to talk to me and also gave me a pair of his sticks, which I still have. What a SUPER guy!!!!!! I've never forgotten that.
We recently visited MIM (Musical Instrument Museum) in the Phoenix Arizona area. We were excited to see a drum signed by Louie as well as a drum set and some video clips. If you are ever in the area, it is worth a day trip!!!!
Louie was the epitome of class. A true gentleman who spoke well of everyone. I should be so well mannered!! He was a blessing to the industry and the craft. Thank you,Mrs. B, for keeping his legacy alive.
Thinking of you at this time and miss the great man.But his music lives on god bless you.
Hello Francine! Thinking of you on Louie's special day. Betsy Hennig, Earlham '69
It seems like the older I get, the more I learn by listening to Louie. Incredible.
I miss Louie every day. He left the world so much in the way of knowledge, inspiration and love. His examples continue to guide me in this life. It's not uncommon for me to ask myself, "How would Lou think of this, react to this or do this"? Louie was the greatest musician (as Duke said) but he made it clear to me that being a musician was secondary to being a good person, a good husband and father and having great faith in the Lord. To me, although Lou is physically gone, he is still very much with us with everything he so generously left. He made the world a better place and he made me not only a better musician, but a better man. God Bless You Mama Fran for your tireless work. Thank you for this amazing website. You are an amazing woman.
It's too long since I contacted you but this year is a must. Louie is with me almost on a daily basis through recordings and video material which I have unearthed. His playing is so immediately recognisable. It is the aim of all of us who play to develope an individual sound and style on the instrument. Louie and Buddy had super clean execution and articulation but are easy to identify on those recordings they made together.

I get a kick out of watching Louie's face when he is playing. I found a DVD of Pearl Bailey shows in which he is seen quite often alongside the spectacular names who were happy to appear with the two of them. I'm sure many of us have happened across that Benny Goodman TV show 1985 from The Marriott-Marquis. Louie is in the all-star band and his smile is ever present. Never to be forgotten is a much used phrase but very appropriate in referring to this master percussionist.

Next year I hope to stage a big concert to celebrate 25 years since the end of our Super Drumming TV shows. It will definitely feature a tribute to Louie.

Pete York
90 years! I remember when Louie celebrated his 80th in Rock Falls, his birthplace. Being a member of the committee, I was around most of the several events. What I remember most was the kindness and patience of Louie who lovingly shared his talent whether he was performing, teaching a very young drummer, or visiting people who came to see him. Thank you.
Louie, thank you for being part of my life and my friend. Keep the music playing - I know you will.
A very belated, but no less enthusiastic, happy birthday to Louie! (sometimes we get too busy for our own good) Thanks again to Mrs. B, for keeping the music and legacy alive. The 90th anniversary is a big one, and I say we should make this a year long celebration. By the way, the new t-shirt looks awesome, I must have one! I have so many memories of witnessing Louie create music, and I'm thankful that we have this website to refresh our memory on many of the great highlights. July 6, a great day in music history!
Wish you were physically here to celebrate your 90th! Miss you like crazy! Thanks for participating in the Christmas Parade, years ago. EVERYONE loved seeing you. You ARE the GREATEST
Note: The following entry refers to the announcement that you can now listen to & use music via the Louie Bellson Legacy Channel on YouTube.
Wow! What a great idea, Louis would have been so proud. Thank you.
Regards,
Eric Harris, U.K.
Dear Mrs. "B" I had the good fortune to play and record with Louie in 1982. "The London Gig". It was one of the highlights of my life. Thank you so much for keeping his legacy alive! I don't have to tell you what a beautiful person he was. All the best, Greg
Hey, Mrs. B. Missed you at the Chicago Drum Show this year!
Louis Belson will always celebrity of modern battery.
so i have a question to whom can give me some info,i recently came across a set of drum sticks passed down from a family member who passed away A while back,they look very old and on them it is printed/engraved GRETSCH-BELLSON MODEL with them was also a set of ludwig wire brushes never used in its original box in great condition from the early to late 50's which i know because of doing research on the internet,problem is i cant find any information on the drum sticks,would love to know the age or even if they were owned by bellson himself,and what would be the value of them. thank you
I was reading one of my drum magazines the other day and there was an article on double bass drum playing and it mentions Mr Bellson as being one of the first and best double bass players! All I can say is Awesome the more I read and find more information on Mr B I find the more jazzed I get ! Pun intended. Sincerely James Ockerman
Hello Everyone, Here...!!! Me a huge Louie fan ...,, I wanted to say that my primary snare I use is a 6.5x14 Remo Snare..i have a few others but I always use this snare because MR. Bellson was/is one of mt personal Hero's Like Gene Krupa always said ................. "Theres a guy that can solo" when asked about Louie..Louie Lives Here ...!!!!
5-3-15 MRS. B.: As a teacher, I put my Louie Bellson shirt to educational use: I wore it at my high school last week on "casual ay," and students kept asking me (as I knew they would), "Who is Louie Bellson"? Naturally, yours truly filled them in. The future generation is now aware what the word "musical artist" truly means. All the best, Bill Dal Cerro Chicago
5-4-15 Mrs. B: Keep these clips coming. Fascinating! Poignant! Inspiring! All the best, Bill Dal Cerro Co-author, "Bebop, Swing and Bella Musica: Jazz and the Italian American Experience"
Mr. Bellson is always an inspiration.
Blessings, Francine ! I hope everything is well with you and yours - I was thinking of you and Louie on Valentine's Day. Every time I visit the site, I am TOTALLY amazed at all the wonderful things I see here ! You are doing a tremendous job of keeping Louie's legacy alive! Have you seen the movie, Whiplash? I was completely blown away by it, and was really pulling for it to get an upset win for Best Picture Oscar. After seeing the movie, I left the theater, wishing Louie were still alive....I would have LOVED to hear his opinion on it. I hope to see you again sometime this year.
Just a note of thanks, Francine for all these amazing videos of Clark Terry and Louie. I told my friend,Clarence Acox, co-director of The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra about them. This past weekend, Clarence dedicated their performances to the memory of Clark Terry.
So sorry to hear the news about Clark Terry. We went to a college concert that Clark and Louie did in Morris, Minnesota some years ago. It was sold out, but Francine got us in, somehow. We had breakfast the next morning with Louie and Francine and Clark joined us. What a thrill. We are in New Orleans for our 50th anniversary and just saw Jason Marsalis at Snug Harbor. He did a nice call out to Clark and said how much Clark meant to Wynton as a young trumpet player.
God Bless you Mr. Clark Terry, and enjoy your Eternal Musical Journey playing in Christ's Big Band now, with Louie Bellson and the rest of the "Heavenly Cats". It was an honor to play with you and Mr. Bellson during the Annual Louie Bellson Jazz Festival in Rock Island, ILL in 1996. Thank you for sharing your musical gifts, wisdom, and joyful spirit, as you easily and willfully talked about the Lord with me backstage. I look forward to Trading Fours with again in Devine Time. Amen. R.I.P.
Clark Terry, just like Louie, was a special angel that brought joy to everyone that ever heard and met him. He will me missed but I bet that right now he's up in the sky lounge trading 4s with Louie Smilin' and Swingin' hard.
2-22-15 Clark and Mr. B. are reunited right now, still making beautiful music together. R.I.P = Riffs in Perpetuity! Bill Dal Cerro Author: "Bebop, Swing, and Bella Musica: Jazz and the Italian American Experience" (Chicago)
So sorry to hear of Clark Terry's death. I always enjoy listening to his talent. What a duo is forming in Heaven... Louie and Clark! The place will be jumpin'.
It's so sad to hear of Clark Terry's passing. We had the pleasure of celebrating Duke Ellington's Centennial year at the Kennedy Center with both Louie and Clark Terry. Still remember it as it was yesterday. God Bless Clark and Louie.
It looks like Clark left us last night. I'm am trying to attach to note from Gwen Terry on FaceBook last night. Perhaps "Louie & Clark Expedition 3" can now happen, but this time in a higher place.
Take care Francine
Albert
Mrs, B, We are praying for Clark Terry. Please let Mrs Terry know that he is in our prayers.
Prayers and Agape to the Terry family and you all. Paul
The Lewis and Clark is one my best CD's and I play it lots! So glad I have it.
Happy Valentines Day, Mrs. B.. Bless you!
Thinking fondly of you and Louie today Mama Fran. 6 years goes by so fast. God Bless you and keep you always.
Dearest Francine,
I just wanted you to know that I was thinking of you and Louie today. Although Valentine's Day is undoubtedly a bittersweet occasion for you, I think it is so beautiful how you keep the loving memory of your great husband alive within all of us.

You are a very special woman and he was extraordinarily lucky to have you ... as you were to have him. He might be gone from this plane, but he will never be forgotten.

I hope to see you sometime in 2015!

With much love and blessings to you ... and to Louie.
Doane
Happy Valentine's Day Mrs. B. Hope you're doing well.
Happy Valentines Day back to you Mrs. B !!! Hope to see you soon , maybe the Chicago Drum Show ?
WELL TIME HAS PAST HOWEVER BUT NOT FOR LOUIE? HE IS ON EVERY STAGE EVERY JAZZ CLUB AND IN THE HEARTS OF EVERY DRUMMER IN THE WORLD , YES TIME HAS PAST BUT WHEN YOUR THE IN THE WORLD AT WHAT YOU DO TIME WILL BE THE SAME EVERY DAY LOVE YOU THEN AND STILL DO TODAY YOUR FRIEND PHIL AMBROS
I think one of the nicest interviews that I have gotten over the years was one that Louie gave me at his appearance a few years ago at Elgin Community College. (IL) As I remember, the college PR blocked me from access to Louie ... I paid for my own seat. After the concert, I noticed that he was sitting by himself at his table (where they were) selling his CDs. I went and got my tape recorder from my car and asked for an interview. He was so friendly and invited me to sit down with him. We talked for about a half-hour about his life and music. It was a great interview that I have used several times on the air. A nice memory.
Sincerely,
John Russell, Midwest Ballroom / WDCB 90.9 FM
All the best Mrs B Will be listening to Louis , Buddy , and Kenny today in the form of the 1971 album, Conversations - A Drum Spectacular - Tribute to Frank King (Frank King was my Dad) All the very best James King
Merry Christmas Francine and the best of the new year to you and yours! Keep beating the drum for Louie!!!!
Mrs. B. I play my Louie CD's and fondly remember our watercolor class together. I am the one whose Dad played in Ted Weem's first band. Merry Christmas. Joy
Best wishes Francine for the holiday season all the way from Sydney Australia. Thank you for continuing the legacy of Louie, he is in my thoughts everytime I sit down to play.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Mrs. B. Thanks for all the posts and keeping the legacy of Maestro Louie Bellson alive and swingin' From the other drumming Louie Louie Pastor
While on the web site, Francine, I looked over a lot of the messages from folks who knew or met Louie. And I realized that some of today's young drummers never got to know or even know of the legends who actually propelled the drums and drummers into recognition. Drummers like Louie, Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich, Max Roach, Papa Joe and list goes on and on. It was such a great time for me back in the early 50's to learn how to play and get all the free catalogs from Ludwig, Gretsch, Slingerland, Rogers, Zildjian. What an era to live through. How so much has changed since those days. Just my memories!
Merry Christmas
Mrs "B", A very Merry Christmas to you and a happy and healthy New Year. I wore Louies "T" shirt at PASIC one day and was stopped by several folks who asked where I got it. I gave them your email address. Very proud of that shirt and personally meeting Louis on several occassions.
Mrs. B., May the Peace and Joy of the season wrap you in it's arms! Still remember oh so fondly how graciously Louie, yourself, Clark Terry, & Red Holloway shared your table with me decades ago. I don't think enough gets said about what class acts you all were.
Francine. Have wonderful blessed Christmas and New Year. We have such fond memories of our times together with you and Louie. He was such an inspiration to us all. Thanks for all you do keep his legacy alive. All our love. Rick and Landa
Merry Christmas to you and Your Family!!!
Merry Christmas Mrs B. Tommy Lentz drummer here. Thanks for your e-mail. I injoyed a incredible music career i had the honor to meet Louie, years ago in chicago. He will allways be with us in spirit, Merry Christmas Mrs B and Louie
Merry Christmas, Francine! It was an honor meeting you at PASIC last year and I hope to see you again!
Thank you for keeping alive in our memories the wonderful Louis and his music! May 2015 bring you peace, happiness, good health and music! Best Wishes Stu
Mrs. B... wishing you a Merry Christmas and the Happiest of New Years!
Happy Holidays from Sean and Dina
All the Blessings of the New Year to you
Hi, Merry Christmas to you. Always thinking of Louie. Take care.Trevor.
Might be a little early but Merry Christmas, a Happy and prosperous New Year to all Louie Bellson fans. We miss you Louie!
Louie Belson and Pearl Bailey were my wifes next door neighbors in the San Fernando Valley. They lived on Melvin Avenue in Northridge Ca. We could hear him practice in his room he built out back. It was phenominal to be able to hear that kind of drumming for free. So glad I found this site to share with friends and relatives. He was the greatest. His adopted son tried to follow in his footsteps but I do not think he ever continued on. His wife Pearl Bailey was an awesome person and even taught my wife how to swim in her pool. When my father in law died, Pearl brought over many dishes of food to help out. There were 8 children in the family that were left behind with mom. God Bless Them Both!
I only got to see Mr. Bellson perform once at a clinic at Drums Unlimited in Bethesda, MD back in the 70's, and it is a great memory!
Hi Louie Bellson Legacy, Many years ago, probably in the late 80, Louie came to Australia together with Buddy Di Franco & I had the pleasure of seeing him @ Monash University in Melbourne, it most certainly was a Triumph of Musical Brilliance that evening, MAN it has never left me,onto Louies 1969 recording Soul On Top with James Brown - this joining together of 2 genius,s is simply out of this world, the band howling thru The Man in the Glass is the best full stop, Oliver Nelson - Maceo Parker - James - Louie - Simply the Best, Greetings from Melbourne - Australia David Zeunert.
My personal Bellson-story: I grew up with the Beatles and thought Ringo Starr was not too bad. Hm. ;) I was fascinated by drum solos since my childhood, maybe because they were quite rare to find and somehow extraordinary? Then in this magic year 1987 Pete York grouped some worldwide influencial drummers for his first of three Super Drumming Sessions in Germany. Louie was one of them. Being quite young, I found Cozy Powell´s power play quite impressive. But most of all I loved the four-bass-drum final of the "Laid back heart attack tango" by Simon Phillips and Louie. I never heard four fast bass drums powering my speakers before. Wow. Until today I am impressed what two world class players can cause on the stage. So one by one I collected Powell CDs, Cobham CDs, and of course Bellson CDs. :) I saw Louie live at the Jazz Festival in Berne (1989?), where he played his best solo ever inmho, "Berne, Baby, Berne" he funnily titled it, also available on CD. So during the decades I bought at least 15 CDs by Louie. My favorite album still is "Louie in London", not too popular but even better is the content! One great medoldy and drum solo after the next - a real gem! So in the 90ies I taught myself playing the drums and I started with the world class solos. Cunning plan.. but it worked year by year. :) My setup was the one of Billy Cobham (my biggest influence until today to be true) and I mastered many of his solos - but not too many of Louie´s solos! Grrr.. ;) I did some tap dancing like Louie did, to get better feeling for rhythm and effects for the bass drum pedals, for example. And I love the melodic music of The Beatles, Kinks, Roy Orbison, for example. So I also became a melodic drummer like Louie was, playing little "melodies" on the hanging toms, nice accents on rhims, great fills and breaks with the two bassdrums etc etc. When I played solos, often 5-10 minutes and full of effects and some show (audience, you know...), they always were a mixture of Louie´s ideas about double bass or snare-to-tom-combinations, plus some power effects of Billy Cobham and the accents of Europe´s genius Charly Antolini. More than once I had the audience standing on the chairs, better than sex... ;) That was back in the 90ies and maybe I was good enough for a world class drum career but I decided for a totally different career in management. However, of course I listen to Louie´s gems until today and enjoy his music. I am impressed by Buddy Rich, of course, but Rich nearly never played melodic, "only" fierce and wild. Louie was a gentleman over and over, he gave his last Dollars to other jazz musicians if they were down the ground, a really fine man, and a brilliant influence on tenthousands of drummers - THIS is a legacy! Hint: You can find some of Louie´s performances I uploaded on youtube some years ago, mainly tv recordings from jazz concerts in Germany. Greetings from Germany "Buddy" Bittrich
I hope we can make one of the events. Keep on touch with LB90!
My senior year in high school (1966), Louie visited the Moline High music department prior to presenting a program. I heard about it and cut class to sneak down to the music wing to see him. While there, he asked me how long I had been playing with the band. I had to tell him that I didn't, that I had just cut class to see him and maybe meet him. He certainly got a good laugh out of that!
You GO girl! Doesn't get any better than James & Louie! Keep the beat! Lots of Love from Les & Bonnie
Louie Bellson and James Brown: could two artists be so very different, yet so complementary? What a great idea. Can't believe we missed that album when it was first released. Fantastic. Quintessential Bellson AND Brown; who'd 'a thunk it! Mrs. B, thanks for keeping us in touch with your regular posts. Wife, Lee (whom you may remember from the LA Jazz Festival) says, "Tell Mrs. B I said 'Hello'." Message delivered.
I'm happy to report that I was at the great Hollywood Bowl reunion of James Brown and Louie Bellson. Two soul brothers in action, and the Godfather of Soul made sure that the audience acknowledged Louie properly. It was a brilliant revival of their recently discovered collaboration, "Soul OnTop" James singing jazz standards, backed by Louie's swinging big band. I still remember the concert like it was yesterday!
Get On Up......Louie and, James are SOOOOOoooooo Missed.....
Louie & James So ex-treeeeme--leeee cool! Louie was a brother from way way back!
I remember the first time I saw and heard Mr. Bellson on the Dorsey Bros. T.V. Show. He was incredible. I later met and built two Pearl Snare Drums for Mr. Bellson while I was employed by Pearl at the Nashville, TN distribution Center. I also had the pleasure of hearing him in a very informal setting at the Nashville Musician's Union hall where he performed with some local musicians. It was very cool.
Louie Louie...Your so missed i always use my Louie Snare Drum ....a, Remo acousticon Just like the one Louie used..so your always with me R.I.P.,craig
Hello Francine,
I'm very pleased that you linked to the whole transcript to the Louis Bellson interview in the Fillius Jazz Archive. Your web site is very hip! I recall meeting you at the Sarasota Jazz Party in 1996 when I did the interview...time does go by. A DVD of the interview is borrowable through the inter library program here, info on that is on our Jazz Archive web site www.hamilton.edu/jazzarchive.

Just last week I conducted an interview with drummer Danny D'Imperio here in Central NY. When I asked him what prompted him to take up the drums he related one of those indelible memories. In 1956, his father took him to a roller skating rink in Cortland, NY called Skateland. The Dorsey Brothers big band was playing with drummer Louis Bellson and Louis "was ferocious". Danny had tried and quit the trumpet and piano but after that evening he stated "it was pretty much drums for me!"

Best regards and thanks for what you are doing.
Monk Rowe, The Joe Williams Director
Fillius Jazz Archive Hamilton College
Clinton, NY
My main memory of Louie Bellson was that he was one of the nicest guys I’d ever met – and yes, a great musician with a thorough knowledge of all types of music and he talked at great depth about classical music (that’s the type I usually produce) and he seemed to know the score of the Farberman piece we recorded inside out - I think that and Louie’s composition can roughly be classed as ‘classical’ don’t you?
I was only with Louie Bellson for two or three days but it was a memorable experience.
Carry on the good work,
Antony Hodgson, Freelance Producer of Classical Music
U.K.
In 1986 I produced Harold Farberman's Concerto for Jazz Drummer and Symphony Orchestra and at the same sessions we recorded Louis Bellson's own composition 'Nacirema' which is in the same style. I once had a very poor quality (in fact barely usable) cassette copy of the full performance with a few retakes added so I could plan the editing but I was never asked to edit it and I've never heard of it since. I am sure it was never issued so unless anyone has p*r*t*d it I suppose a fascinating piece has got lost for ever.
Happy 90th birthday to the man whose example we should all strive to follow. Miss you Louie!
Dear Mrs. B, Just a quick note to let you I am remembering your beloved husband and the wonderful legacy he left us... Today and always! Your friend, - Eric Frank • DRUM!
Hi Mama Fran, It's your favorite son. :-) I've been thinking about you and Louie for the past few days and (of course) especially today. I was trying to think of how to best express my thoughts. I know that I'm not the only drummer (or person for that matter) that wonders... when I have a challenge in life (be it musical or otherwise)"How would Louie think about this if he was faced with this challenge"? Or... "What would Louie DO if he was faced with this challenge"? I know that if I think in those terms, I'm bound to come up with the right answer. That's how important he was to me. I feel like he's now is a Patron Saint for not just me, but for so many of us. So today, on the 90th anniversary of his birth, I've listened to and read a lot of music, and reflected on the many wonderful times we had and the things he taught me in the 39 years I was blessed to know him and be part of the "family". I can't thank you enough for lovingly keeping his memory and legacy available for everyone. Your work is so important for so all of us. God Bless You Mama Fran.
Another year has passed but his music and friendship will never be forgotten. Happy Birthday Mr. B. Your music will always play on in my mind and heart.
To honor Louis's 90th birthday I just played through his masterful chart book "Their Time was The Greatest" a sensational, ridiculously difficult book of charts honoring 12 of his favorite drummers if you don't have it GET IT!! - Quite a Challenge to read - That's what Louis did.
Happy 90th Anniversary. We remember Louie forever.
Hi Mrs. B, I want to remember with you and all of Louie's other fans the 90th year of Louie's birth! It s always great to listen to his music, and it was always nice to see you and Louie at "SOLLEYS DELI" as regular customers! Thinking of you and Louie bring back many HAPPY MEMORIES! To celebrate his birthday I'll have a piece of your favorite Carrot Cake! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! With Love and Happiness Always! ALAN DONATH
At age 21 I saw Louis in clinic in NYC - afterwards as always he hung out with all of us drummers, What a gentleman he was. I asked about his using matched grip when playing rock style on the Tonight Show where he was a regular sub - he told me thats what Doc wanted- I was surprised by that answer - Doc would tell a legend how to hold his stick. Louis explained that a pro follows the MDs direction, if you dont agree dont take the gig next time. I never forgot that simple statement the professionalism and the humility of such a star. I still tell that story in many of the clinics I perform - Thank you Mr. Bellson
Happy 90th Louie. Say hi to Gene, Buddy and Jack (Sperling). Bet you guys are having one heck of a celestial jam session with Duke, Satchmo, et al. Love, Louie Pastor
Re: Click: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVFIBtcl8rA Can anyone identify the year, venue, band? Mrs. B would love to know. Answers? Comments? Dear Mrs. B. and All, Thanks so much for sending me this, wow! Louie is "The Man!" Also, I noticed Brian Auger playing keys; another favorite of mine; the best Hammond player I know.. Again, thanks....and God bless you all! Bob Sax
I was privileged to have seen Louie play live several times, and to have met and talked with him. As a music journalist who has met many famous musicians over the years, I can honestly say that Louie was a prince of man in every way imaginable, the nicest man to ever pick up a pair of sticks. He treated me like a friend every time we spoke, including that day at the Modern Drummer Festival in Montclair, NJ. Louie and Francine had a table in the lobby. Louie was approachable, and welcomed everyone who stopped by to say hello, unlike a certain guy named Colaiuta, who was walking around with a security guard, practically pushing fans away and signing autographs with a scowl on his face. Later, Louie put on a drumming display that wiped out all the hot young guns who performed that weekend, and of course, he did it with style, grace and humility. As far as I'm concerned, there will never be another like Louie Bellson. You are much missed, Louie. The world needs more human beings-and drummers- like you.
Happy to celebrate the 90th Anniversary. What a wonderful legacy... One of my all-time favourite albums has to be "The Louis Bellson Explosion" - especially "Intimacy of the Blues". Todd www.toddgordon.com
Hi Francine, Great YouTube video. I love the work that you have done with the web site Skip
I believe the keyboard player is Brian Auger.
Wow, what a fabulous video! A great gift for Father's Day. I enjoyed this so much. I have been a LB fan since I was 11 years old ( I am now 62). Thanks again!
I found some info of Louie's skin deep video. I saw it back in the 80's. Pete York's Super Drumming was an unlikely hit for German TV's SWR in the late eighties / early nineties, producing three increasingly ambitious series plus accompanying spin-off albums. It all came about from Pete's idea of assembling musicians to play in a live setting with the express aim of communicating the joys of drumming in its many shades. The dvd contains 160 minutes of highlights from the first two series, divided into 11 tracks from the first and 14 from the second. It makes for a tidy collection, only really missing Pete's introductions (Including an interview with Jon Lord), and some outside footage of the performers (for example Cozy Powell's drum solo from Whitesnake's 1983 Ludwigschaffen show). There is a different feel to both series. The first was recorded in a disused church during February 1987, the second on a larger budget in an old steel works during 1988. Ian Paice makes a brief but potent contribution to series one, taking time out during Deep Purple's House Of Blue Light tour to let rip on two specially written jazz-rock instrumentals: "Threezenuff" and "Ian's Shuffle", both very much in the vain of Hardin & York's old drum battle work out "Extension 345". The accompanying house band are dexterous without being thrilling (old r&b stalwart Brian Auger is sadly without his Hammond), but it's enjoyable stuff. Other drummers brought in to do their thing include Cozy Powell, who turns in a blistering 'Dance With The Devil', (here you can really appreciate the acoustics of the setting!), Simon Phillips, and of course Pete York himself. The overall jazziness of the series is best reflected by Duke Ellington's old drummer Louis Bellson, who's a real pleasure to watch. Though I've alluded that the sound is good, and it is, the picture quality for the first series is disappointingly grainy, though it does improve for the series two section. Ian Paice is absent from Super Drumming 2 (he returned for no.3) , but Jon Lord is a regular contributor. Perhaps the most valuable addition to this DVD as far as Purple fans are concerned, is the live performances of two tracks from Jon's 'Sarabande' album. We get strong versions of both the title track and 'Gigue', with Jon on electric piano. He also joins the house band on several other pieces, getting in Hammond solos on the Indian influenced 'Curried Reels', the HM / jazz workout 'RUN' along with Iron Maiden's Nicko McBrain, and on the well OTT 'Amazonias Suite' percussionfest alongside the likes of Billy Cobham and Bill Bruford. All good fun, if rather cheesy in places. And from those descriptions you can tell that for series two the musical spectrum was opened up somewhat. I haven't even mentioned the bagpipes or the girl vocalist symbolising Manaus opera house... On a less ephemeral level I really enjoyed Hardin & York with Miller Anderson and Colin Hodgkinson bashing out the old Spencer Davis Group classics 'Gimme Some Lovin' and 'I'm A Man'. Nothing like a bit of variety! The only DVD extras are Pete York chatting about the making of the series, disconcertingly (but very impressively it must be said) each done in a continuous take. In both English and 'German'. As for the packaging, 'sparse' is the word for that. No songwriting credits, no venue given for series two, and most seriously no mention if the disc is NTSC or PAL. (It's NTSC only, for some reason). Somewhat important information you'd think. Still, if you have the means of playing the DVD, I'd recommend it. Beyond Paice and Lord's contributions there is simply so much to choose from.
I found the synthesizer horns to have a unique sound, and it was well performed. Thanks for sharing yet another video treasure!
Thank you Rick!
This refers to a video clip of Louie Bellson playing "Skin Deep" that Mrs. B could not identify.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVFIBtcl8rA
Hi! This is from Pete York's "Super Drumming" series Volume 1, circa 1987/88! The band is: Brian Auger, Keyboards Gerd Wilden Jr., Keyboards Peter Woelpl, Guitar Wolfgang Schmidt, Bass And, of course, the worlds greatest, Louie Bellson!! I sure miss him... All the best, Rick Kirkland
Thank you Mrs. Bellson.
I'll never forget seeing and hearing Louie Bellson and his band at a park in Los Angeles (late '80s). The sound was incredible and the whole band smoked. Having played drums for 19 years, Louie Bellson always was and will always be an unparalleled musical inspiration.
Note from Mrs. B: Remember the video I sent with a child handily playing the drumset? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MXfZoQUOOs (copy & paste in browser)
Well, following is the mother’s response to the numerous kind remarks that came in (some below, scroll down to starting March 7).
I might also add that the family is located in the Midwest and writes that they “are looking for a mentor for Andre' who can help groom him musically.” Any takers?
Thank you all so much for watching & sharing my 4 yr old son’s "Happy" video. Your kind words encourage & inspire him to keep following his dreams.
Guess what!? Now his 1 yr old brother is REALLY drumming too! How exciting! :-)
“Drumming Baby Brother Age 1 Indianapolis, IN” https://youtu.be/qCVNUuMZtn8
Thanks for your support and be sure to subscribe to thecoolkiddrummer on YouTube.
Love, Peace & Blessings to you all!
Natalie Pipkin
Indianapolis, IN
Mrs. B Note: The following entry regards our Louie Bellson Big Band Library charts which are available. For details, click on the "Charts" page (Navigation bar above) or sidebar widget.
Just received some missing parts for Concord Blues Plus 8 Awesome service! Thank you!!!
Hi Francine! Not sure you've seen this (I never have), but here is an 18 year old Louie playing with Ted Fio Rito! (sent with lots of love!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJ5ulosTLtU&list=UUa1zaQvCUGedg8MhGF3UjvQ
Mrs. B, Thanks for sending me the video of the four year old boy jamming away. You really never are too young to start playing. Louie would indeed be proud of this youngster. Russ Mann Chelmsford, MA
(Mrs. B Note: The following entry was taken by permission from Phil’s email regarding the “Happy” drum cover by a 4-yr old.)

HOW I REMEMBER I STARTED AT (age) 2. LOVE THE KID!
That kid is what so-called pro drummers should look out for! In time, he will be coming for you! . . . You never know, just a kid, but what a kid! I love him.
Phil Ambros
WHAT CAN I SAY BUT THIS .LOUIE WAS THE KING OF ALL DRUMMER AS GOOD AS YOU GET IN THIS WORLD????
Dear Mrs. Bellson, [photo sent in email]
This photo was taken after an Oscar Peterson concert in Munich Germany. My good friend Louie and I always met when he came to Munich.
Here is Freddie Brocksieper, a famous German Jazz Legend, Louie Bellson and myself after a Oscar Peterson concert. Louie invited me to his Hotel and showed me the finger control he studied.

Louie will be a friend for a lifetime!
Best Regards,
Arnold

Arnold F. Riedhammer, Principal Percussionist
MUNICH PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA
University of Music and Performing Arts
Munich, Germany
So happy to see Louie's legacy continue! Really enjoyed the "Happy" drum cover by the 4 year old drummer. How musical! I just want to hug and kiss him! Peace, love and light, Terri Lyne
Mrs B: And how are you today? I started getting drum lessons at 15……got right into jazz due to my cousin buying me ‘Bellson Live at the Summit’. If it wasn’t for Louie and listening to Joe Morello with Dave Brubeck I would have just drummed to rock n roll. Later (1969) did some gigs with my friend John Altman who now is a famous composer and saxophone player (have a picture of him with Louie) and band leader (using Louie’s players) in US and also in UK. I’m just an attorney now….that’s my story
Well , YOU all will enjoy this Live concert..!!. Ciao fabio , Italy. 3) -George Wein,p '' BIG TRIO '' Milt Hinton,cb , Louie Bellson, dr.. Live in Berna Jazz-festv.1994. Time, 10' minutes.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OgNyGapZlE&feature=em-upload_owner ----------------------------------------------------------------
loved it he was my idol i also played doule base i retired 12 years ago I'm 74 now Jack
Hello Francine, I pray that all is well. You may not recall the advice Louie offered to me regarding my son when he was three years old, played the drums sitting on his lap at Bethel - "take piano lessons and learn to read music! " Jacob is an accomplished "percussionist, plays piano, keyboard and organ - reads and writes music and is studying at the Atlanta Institute of Music. We still have the drum sticks signed by your dear Louie and the picture from Bethel. I often think of you. I wanted to share this story of impact of the two of you. Blessings, Bonita
STILL MISS HIM!!!!!!!!! MRS.B !!!!

Larry Novak
Thank you so much for that wonderful Valentine of Louie playing that great instrumental called LOVE.
A true artist and Gentleman. Greatly missed.
I was priviledged to see louis in england with his orchestra and jatp also gene krupa and buddy rich I used to try to play drums but those guys magnificent cheers pete
Louie, we miss you and will toast you on Feb 14! you continue to inspire!
Five years without Louie seems a lot of time. But, fortunately, we have his music with us. Thank you Louie for all what you did for drummers and musicians.Thank you for your tremendous contributions for the History of Jazz. Juan Carlos Sosa Trombert - Ecuador
Hi Mrs. B, I just wanted to wish you a happy Valentine's day and tell you that not not a day goes by that I don't think of Louie. Hard to believe it's been five years already. Thank you for all the nice emails and this great website, too. Take care and God bless, Rocky Neill
5 years goes so fast but the beautiful memories, inspiration, knowledge and love last forever. Such precious gifts that Louie left behind. There is not a week that goes by that I don't think of you and Louie and all that you've done for me, but this week you are both foremost in my thoughts as I remember all the awesome, amazing and wonderful times. Thank you for you Mama Fran!
Hi, Francine. I started to write a little 'note' to you and it became a larger one more like a symphony rather than a short tune. But here it is. Enjoy - as I have for knowing you and Louie. Terry
To Louie - My Friend and Mentor
A few of LOUIE's Music Compositions on a day of remembrance. I know it's coming upon that day. But it's a Hallelujah day, a day With Bells On. A little Quiet Thunder, or maybe playing it a little Cool. But a day to be Back Home, and a little Delightfully Yours, or maybe a Groove Blues day. We may not be Hittin' 12 any longer but the Intimacy of the Blues is found on the Louie & Clark Expedition where Louie Rides Again with his Louie Shuffle to his L.A. Suite. But as Louie is Movin' On a New Lou emerges. Now (The Young) man, along with Our Man Shelly and Paddlin' Madeline, listen to the Peaceful Thunder being created as a Prelude To A Kiss begins to create a Quiet Riot. But as Rainbow Dreams - Reach For The Sky while Santos creates another Scene USA, a Sextet - Sing a Song of Love create Sketches - Skin Deep. Louie will Soar Like An Eagle creating Something For Pass and Francine. Soon to be St. Louie with Super Chops - Stix & Bones will continue his Sunshine Swing forever more. Ting-A-Ling - Time Check !! - he has been heard to say. Who Brings You the Good News? Maybe a Walk With Mia. But Who's Who? Who comes With Bells On? Maybe its Louie - Y-Not? At 3 P.M. we may Zig Zag for 3x5+16 days or just Zip for 5 1/2 Weeks, but on the 21st Day we will be playing our 57th Street Blues. Take Me Home - Thank You Lord .. for all his music and friendship.
Terry Loose
I remember that show pretty well. I was still living on the East Coast, and I think it may have been the first time I saw The Boss play a full set of Remo drums. He had used other brands in the 70s and 80s. I bought my first set of drums (Rogers) based on the brand he was playing at the time. I was fortunate enough to meet him several times. I have always thought Louis Bellson was the greatest. Great drummer, great musician, great man. A positive influence in every respect. I was a big, big admirer.
Anthony Gringeri
Moorpark, CA
Wow! What a great performance on the Johnny Carson show. That used to be one of my favourite programmes I would try and watch whenever I visited the US, the other being "The Odd Couple" with Jack Klugman and Tony Randall, but I digress. . .
The other gentleman (on the dais that night) was our very own great pianist Dudley Moore who also happened to star in some funny movies, . . .
Anyway it's always a great pleasure to get these emails.
Best Regards
James Lewis
UK
(Note from Mrs. B: This post on Daniel Glass' Facebook page is in reference to "The Tonight Show" remembrance I e-blasted today.)

With Jay Leno's Tonight Show run coming to an end, it pays to look back 22 years to when Johnny Carson's run was coming to an end. One of the guests he secured was, no surprise, the great Louie Bellson. This is an amazing performance, and takes us back to what is now truly a "bygone era."

Thanks to Louie's widow Francine Bellson ("Mrs B.") for sharing this video. (see homepage of Bellson site) She runs Louie's fantastic website louiebellson.com
it is true that Louie Bellson was a good drummer and that he founded the double bass drumming style but he did not use the double bass to its full potential witch is a crime where as death core and death metal dose use the double bass to its fullest.
Took piano an accordion lessons from Papa Bellson. Never got to meet Louie.
After seeing the videos, I remember seeing Louie on the Tonight Show and thinking he was amazing! As someone who tried to drum early in life, I was blown away by the skill and speed. Thanks for triggering my memory Mrs B!
I just discovered a clip of Louie with Duke Ellington on www.youtube.com "Dinah Shore sings Blues In The Night" (Duke Ellington)
Hi Mrs. B' I want to send you this message to thank you for your e mails and to wish you a Happy New Year! All is fine in Sherman Oaks and at "SOLLEY'S". If your in town please stop in, it would be good to see you! ALAN DONATH
What a great message to start the new year and a swinging one as well. My very best to you Mrs. B Happy New Year. Maurice Bourque
I remember seeing Louie at two venues in the North West of England and also at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland in the 1970s ... Wow! What a drummer .... and what incredible solos !!!
Louie was held in the highest esteem on both sides of the pond.
Very best wishes for you & yours 2014..
Alan Rimmer
All the best to you in 2014. (Never thought I'd make it.) See you at Chicago Rebeats Drum Show in May.
Belated Season's Greetings to Mrs B and all the elves at the Bellson Beat. Have a Happy, Healthy and Jazzy 2014.
Sweet! Good to hear his voice & music again. Happy New Year!
Congrats. On keeping Louie. In our minds. Good job, Mrs B.
Louie was a great man! My friend and my idol!
Carmine Appice.
Dear Mrs B. Thanks for sharing The Little Drummer Boy with me. What a great way to start the New Year !! I know that we have just recently crossed paths, but it feels like I`ve known you for years. I hope that 2014 will bring you good health and additional happiness with the wonderful work of Louis Bellson. Sincerely, Rod L`Italien
Thanks Mrs. Be Bop! That was wonderful to listen to-Louie's groove was ALWAYS a thang of beauty! And so nice to hear his voice again! Have a wonderful year, terry
Really enjoyed the tune. Happy New Year!
Thanks Mrs. B, for another great year of Louie updates. Continued success in 2014!
Best to you now and in the new year, Mrs. B!
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year Mrs.B!
Best wishes for the Christmas holiday to all the Bellson family and a very happy and healthy New Year!
This time and season of the year I'm sure we may all agree has a tendancy for us to find ourselfs remembering certain things from the past even going back as far as our childhood. I would like to share one of my own at this time that I will not soon forget even tough it took place right around the time the year 2000 had either taken place or was on its approach. Ironically I don't don't remember the date but I sure do remember the night! Now on this night in my hometown of Downtown Los Angeles I made my way over to the Angels Flight (shortest active railway in the world) and got on board to take the ride in the rail car up to the top which takes you to a beautiful intimate open air amphitheater that's stage is backed by water falls and seems to be a island in the middle of what is known as "The Water Court". I was thrilled to see Mr.Louie Bellson & His Big Band. They sounded great, they played great, and they were GREAT! That is not the part of the night that is most memorable though. I myself have always had a passion and love playing drums and music as a whole. Today that passions fire burns every bit as bright and hot as it ever has. That being said, before I left to go out that evening I grabbed a high tom drum head out of the wood shed and took it along. Inspiration being a big part of what has got me to be where I am musically for when it comes to Louie Bellson I am but only a fan and very thankful for how he inspired me with his musical abiliities. So there I was as the sweet long set came to an end and the crowd showed its gratification with a roaring applause and I'm trying to figure out if there is a way (being a fan) I can maybe meet him and shake one his most talented hands. As in standing in there in that thought I'm starting to see an abundant part of the people who had just watched the performance in some what of a rush begin to form a line a little ways back from where I'm standing. At what has now become the front of that line I see a small crew setting up a table and there is one chair. At which point the little light lit up over my head, so I went and got in line. Truly a gentleman, Mr.Bellson took the time to greet and thank everyone for coming he came through that line. I don't remember the words he and I shared (I'm a fan) but we did shake hands and I did make it home with that drum head autographed with the beautiful penmanship signature of Louie Bellson. Sincerely, David M. Case
The best of holiday wishes to the Bellson family and organization. May 2014 bring happiness, love and above all, good health to you all. I am only regretful that Mr. Bellson is not here to share it. I never had the honor of meeting him, but have heard from many reliable sources that he was a kind and gentle man. And the music he shared with all of us is his legacy. God bless him.
Dear Francine, Ho-Ho and Merry Xmas to you, and a Happy 2014! Love, Ken Hitchcock
Happy Holidays Francine! We love you! Dennis P.S. Great website!
I knew Louie in high school,we we're not friends but I remember he had a small band at the time.Have a very Merry Christmas
Dear Francine, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and all the best in the New Year. Hope to meet you again in 2014. Warm regards and big hugs from your Danish friend, John
Merry Christmas Francine. Enjoy this beautiful day that the Lord has made for you. Habibatique Ethnic Collections
Hello, Mrs. B! I hope you have a Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year. Russ Mann Chelmsford, MA
Merry Christmas, Mrs. B. It was so nice meeting you at PASIC.
... Mrs B, you are perhaps my oldest friend... it pleases me that you have done such good in the world, that you gave joy and happiness to a great and good man... ... was this the life you anticipated when we were young? of course not... we both were reaching for the stars... ... but i must say your life since has outshone those stars and though we've been long apart and I've missed my good friend, i can say with ultimate sincerity that i am deeply and profoundly proud of you and what you've done... ... blessed Be, my oldest friend... ... Merry Christmas, Francine!
Still rememberin' after all this sad time....
Mrs. B Wishing you and your Family a Merry and Blessed Christmas!!!
Merry Christmas Mama Fran! Look what I just found! 30 min of Duke with Louie on drums. Hawk Talks is at 25:30 with a fantastic drum solo. Love You! "Play Son" Andy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7zfmiJaKVY&feature=youtu.be
Merry Christmas, Mrs B! *Love* the Drummer Boy.
Merry Christmas Mrs. Bellson !! I hope that ur having a great time. Louie is still fondly remembered and with mucho respect by all of us drummers. Have a Happy New Year too !!
Merry Christmas, Mrs. B. Hope you have a wonderful 2014. Hoping that our paths will cross soon.
LOUIE FIRST VISITED US IN 1988. It was a real high point in my carrer. For the other educators, drummers and other atendees...A night to never forget.He visited my home and collection and was a real delight. I am honored to have ad the opportunity to share time with him. One of the most memorable and well attended of our 50+ Clinics. Louie was a real class act. Peace be with you and your family this Holiday and Always. Gary and Fay Asher DRUMSCHOOL.com Since 1982
MERRY CHRISTMAS, Mrs. B. It was one of the highlights of PASIC to get to talk to you again. Your such sweet lady. Hope to see you again. Have a safe and prosperous New Year. ;-)
All the best for a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
Thank you so much for the wonderful performance of The Little Drummerboy. Most special Christmas present I've had in years. Mrs B, Thank you.
Warmest Holiday Greetings from Boise Idaho. Louie and the Band played so wonderfully on The Little Drummerboy. Such beautiful Music. How very special. Thank you so much Mrs. B Merry Christmas
Merry Christmas Mrs. B! So proud to have known Louie and witness his genuine kindness and spirit of acknowledging The Master for his huge talent.. Thanks so much for including me on your email list.. I just put on Thunder And Lightning in his honor. I wish you a very Merry Christmas & happy New Year.. God bless!
Love hearing Louie Play Have a Blessed Christmas
Mrs. B, I missed the opportunity to talk to you face to face about music, and what your perspective was being the Wife of Louie Bellson. I think the new generation of musicians never put forth an effort to tap into the history of their own craft. I purchased a shirt from your booth 2 years, and as I walked away I felt I missed a chance to tap into wisdom. I hope I get another chance....
"Louie is very supportive of upcoming drummers. He shared some magic that day. Watching Louie play the drums and gaining the independence though learning Chuck's drum set playing, later opened possibilities where I was able to say "Well wouldn't it be nice to have 2 right hands and 3 lefts?"
I have always been a big fan of Buddy Rich, but Louis Bellson has a beat that I`m beginning to like better. I play his songs when I`m working out in my gym.
Best regards,
Rod
Here's an amazing 1983 L.B. drum solo that I just discovered on an old videotape of recordings from TV broadcasts. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1GZic7r9Vo
Mack and I as well as Yaneese & Coya Want to wish you a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving!
HOW MANY TIMES CAN I SAY LOUIE WAS THE TRUE MASTER AND HOW MANY TIMES CAN I SAY I LOVED THE GUY, WELL THE WAY I SEE IT I WILL SAY IT JUST ONE MOOR TIME, I GAVE LOUIE THE NAME .LOUIE THE SAINT I ALSO GAVE MY DEAR FRIEND BUDDY OTHER NAME? AND MY BROTHER FRANK SINATRA HIS NAME MR CLEAN BUT ALL OF LOVED AND NEW LOUIE HE WAS AND STILL IS THE MASTER I THINK WE ALL KNOW THAT NOW ....MR DRUMS PHIL AMBROS SINATRA AND FRIENDS
Nice pictures, Mrs B. It was good seeing you again and talking with you. Wore my Louie T Shirt proudly the last day of the show. Hope to see you next year.
Hello Bellson Buffs.! Just wanted to say Hello...I miss Louie........... He is a huge........... inspiration to me..and, always will be......... God Bless Him and, His family..Hi Mrs. "B"
The website looks great, Francine. I will send you some more videos of Louie real soon. Take care, Rocky Neill
I grew up listening to "Skin Deep" trying to emulate Louie's style, could'nt quite get there. I'm so sad a ledgend has passed!
I was lucky enough to meet and be taught by Louis back in the 70's. I am still in possession of the Ludwig Super Classic set on which he played while teaching me some very cool riffs. I miss him.
Still one of the World's greatest drummers, and unquestionably one of my lifetime heroes.
To you Louie Bellson. You will allways be rembered in my heart. I had the great experience of meeting you at your drum clinic in Chicago. You took the time out to speak to each and everyone of us, aspiring drummers to be. Thank you Louie and family for inspiring me to persue music and playing drums as a career. Tom Lentz drummer author of A Drummers Road.
Re: Highlights -- Mrs. B at San Jose Jazz Festival

Beautiful articles Francine. ("Backstage at the SJ Jazz Festival")

Loved the new portrait of Mr. Bellson. You are doing an excellent job of keeping his memory alive and keeping your business going. Or should I say reinventing your business. Keep up the good work. God bless you, Sis.

Habiba
ubject: Re: Highlights -- Mrs. B at San Jose Jazz Festival Beautiful articles Francine. I looked at the backstage at the SJ jazz festival. Loved the new portrait of Mr. Bellson. You are doing An excellent job of keeping his memory alive and keeping your business going. Or should I say reinventing your business. Keep up the good work. God bless you Sis Sent from my iPhone Habiba
Hello Francine! I met you at the Drum Night! In San Jose and I was the one who you said "bought you out" with the things I purchased - and was the pastor from the church in Santa Cruz. Just wanted to say it was a thrill to meet you, and especially hear that you and Louie were Christians. Everywhere I read about Louie, he seemed to always be known in such positive and loving ways. Besides being an incredibly amazing legendary drummer! I have been watching his videos and been learning so much from his drumming. Anyway, it was hard to talk in that noisy spot at Drum Night!, but besides being a pastor I was a drummer for many years and I am also an author. I write books on Zondervan/Harper Collins books and speak a lot of places around the country. My last book I wrote about drumming in it too and had endorsements from Marc Anthony's drummer, Johnny Cash's drummer and others. The foreword was written by Wanda Jackson who is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Anyway…. It was a joy to meet you and thank you for taking the time to chat. You were so incredibly kind and loved talking and you were so gracious in answering questions. And it is so encouraging knowing there are other Christians in the music world! THANK YOU! Your brother in Jesus, Dan Dan Kimball http://www.twitter.com/dankimball http://www.facebook.com/dankimball
Louie & Francine are still Blessing us. My his message live on for years to come.
This is a belated birthday wish for Louie. Louie was a second father to me. He was a true blessing to have in my life. He taught me so much about music, friendship, and life. He was one in a million and will be truly be missed. I love you Lou. Happy belated Birthday! Joey DeRose
Hi Francine, Thank you for always sending me the e-mails on Louie. He was a good friend and what a musician, one we all learned so much from. Hope that life is good with you. Take care and the best always, Jim
Francine,
I hope all is well. I am still traveling to about 20 countries a year performing.
I always talk about Louie and this great web site you keep active. I send people here to continue the memory and great life of Louie.
Stay well and anything I can do for you...let me know!
Onward and Upward... __/...
Dom Famularo
www.DomFamularo.com
A belated, but special, happy birthday wish to Mr Louie Bellson. Thanks to Mrs. Bellson, I still have plenty of his music around me. So the memories, music, and legacy live on!
I have to say Mr. Louie Bellson has always been and still is a powerful influence, in my life his cool tasty and technical style of driving a band and swinging it was loved admired copied by so many drummers out their , including me. I got to meet him once in the Blue Note in New York. I got his autograph and had a small conversation with him and he was so nice and kind and professional and cordial to me. This was an evening which will stay in my mind for ever. I will miss him to no end . I know he is in Heaven Swinging and playing with all the greats up their . God Bless You Louie, A.G.
Happy birthday Louie!! I keep swinging!
Happy Birthday to Louie Bellson from the Figliola family.
Today we celebrate in his honor. Thank you for inspiring my family Louie.....there's music in our hearts... on our drums and on our feet with that double bass. The only way we can thank you for your contribution in music history is to keep the music alive and also inspire our next generation of drummers.
From a mom who is thankful.....
Brenda Figliola
Hi Francine,
We miss the one and only incredible drummer of all times, as the Duke would point out time and again! We miss him: his personality, generosity. and his deep human warmth! What a wonderful friend he was to me!
Love,
Herb and Marilyn Wong
Another year passes...the memories continue...his music plays on...Happy Birthday Maestro...
Happy birthday LB. The Gentleman of Drums. The Prince of Percussion. The Italian Stallion of the Traps and my life long inspiration. Miss your smile and your talent sent from above. I was looking at some old pictures I have of us. We always were smiling and having a good time. Miss you. Love, Louie Pastor
Happy Birthday to one of the greatest Drummers and to one of the nicest people our World has ever known!!!
Happy Birthday to the best person I've ever known. You did more than play drums in such a way that inspired and amazed and informed aspiring musicians from all over the world. You touched the individual lives of countless thousands of people to whom you gave the gift of indelible happy memories. Thank you. We're grateful. Love you. Alan
I'll be playing lots of Louie's music today (you know I always do anyway) and think about all the times that I was blessed to be with both of you. Happy Birthday Louie! I still think of him every day and pass on to others the precious things he taught me. Love you Mama Fran!
Re: the Bellson song you sent out today
Many thanks - it was AWESOME!
Yea, Louie.
I'm turning 65 this month. And treating myself to a brand new drumset. White Marie Pearl...just like Louie played.

Showtime is showing a Ginger Baker documentary. I'm again going to remind the world that Louie Bellson played double bass drums when Ginger was in diapers!
Happy Birthday, Louie & RIP. We miss you.
Wow, Francine! Guess Louie would rather 'Soar Like An Eagle' instead of Float Like a Butterfly! Band had a cool, crisp sound as did Louie. Happy Birthday, young man!
Awesome performance !! Truely inspiring. Louie always gettin' down right out the gate !! Happy Birthday and RIP Louie Bellson.
RIP Paul Smith 1922-2013.
I would like to ''trade.&.share'' with other 'Jazz-Fans'Collectionists ,, some Live Videos Jazz-concerts of ''Louie Bellson'.s-big bands''..Please, E-Mails me for any informactions and 'talks' in case ''YOU'' are searching/looking for a 'particular' concerts!!. Thanks('Grazie')Fabio, Italy . f.baglioni@yahoo.it
I would like to thank the fine lady at the Chicago Drum Show for her help with recruitment to this wonderful site. My father and uncle worked for wfl sr and drums are a big part of my life. We always had record albums of krupa, rich, roach, and Mr Bellson. Thanks again. --John Vanover

Mrs. B responds: You’re quite welcome, John, and thanks for the compliments. I thoroughly enjoy working the booth interacting with fans at these shows. And as for the website, it truly has been a labor-of-love for me. Keep exploring the site and tell your friends!
I like like Mr bellsons approach to the drumkit, and I use to listen to him on records one in particular Slides and Hides with buddy rich. also videos on you tube from his early days stomping those kick drums considering he had calf heads on his kit! What a great drummer !!
Thanks for the memories!
Mrs B, The new website looks GREAT! I like the direction the website is taking. It is becoming a resource for educational material, as well as a tribute to Mr. Bellson. Nicely done Leo LaBarge
tell this day i think of my friend louie every day the true master was louie we all know that now, see my face book phil ambros and you will see louie, buddy was my dear friend and gene and all the rest but now that i think back ...louie was right? phil ambros sinatra and friends nj
The most influential player that I personally knew. I will miss this great person. Many Blessings Mr "B"!
Mr. Bellson and I share(d) a few things. We are both drummers (I do not even begin to put myself at his talent level), we are both Italian-Americans and both have Parkinson's Disease. I can only imagine a man of his skill and expertise fighting PD. He is myy true hero because I am walking in his footsteps and honored to do so. He was one of the greats.
He was a very nice man & one of the greatest drummers that ever lived. He will be missed.
Thought of you today! Going through some old photos and found the ones from the UCLA Jazz awards in 2003. I'm so grateful for your dedication to documenting our excursions! I love looking at the pictures of Louie, you and me. Miss you much. Hope you are well.
I Met Louie back in the middle 50!s just out of High School & had a real good friend who was going with the piano player in the Harry James band Bruce MacDonald & Louie was in the Band at the time. such a great drummer & such a sweet gentleman. I went to most all of the gigs in L.A. at that time & went back stage Casino Gardens etc. & then later on sometime in the 70!s I was good friends with Dick & Barbara Nash & we used to have these Jazz Parties @ my house on the beach in Playa del Rey & I knew Jack & Junita Hayes as they were neighbors & good friends of the Nashes & they were real good friends of louies. So one evening @ one of my Jazz Gigs in walks jack & Louie & of course Louie sat in what a complete thrill for the whole group & my neigh bors were quite impressed Dick & Barb brought their son Ted & first time he had ever played with Louie & Ted sounded so great & the rest is history . I used to go back east alot & we would always see Louie & of course Ted was playing in the Band with him. & Louie always recalled the time he played at my pad & Im still here. I feel so blessed to have known him. & well always recall such fond memmories. Sincerely, Jeanne Moody a Big Jazz Fan
RE: "Love" Composition sent via email Thank you, thank you, thank you. I've been a fan of your husband, Louie Bellson, since I was 16 years old; I'm now 62 years old. He will live in my heart forever. I play every Sunday in Pico Rivera, a club called The Gardens (crossroad Passons & Telegraph Rd). I'm the leader of the band, Bernie's Blues and the Executive Order. I'm dedicating my next performance to Louie Bellson...I will never forget meeting him and the opportunity of speaking with him about the days on the Tonight Show. Thank you for keeping me on your email. John Bernard Castaneda, Drummer
Saw Louie at Disneyland, Calif. early 70's. Great show,great drummer I'll always remember him. Gary B.
He is not forgotten and never will be. That is the definition of a legacy! Keep the spirit Francine.
God Bless you and your loved ones Francine. For anyone who has never spent time with Louie, he was the type of guy that you couldn't help but feel loved by. There was an anointing on him that radiated so much positivity it couldn't be avoided if he was within 50 feet of you. He and Dick Ables introduced me to one of the longest lasting love's of my life.... Asparagus! I never even thought to try it until they took me out to dinner in midtown NYC way back in the early 90's. God has Blessed my life by allowing our paths to cross, and I believe we will meet again as we dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Hello Ms Francine and ... a Happy Valentine's Day to you as well. Thank you for the wonderful gift. It really brought back many fond memories of when I had the honor of playing for Louie in his many bands. Lots of love to you and all good things, George and Cynthia Young
Hello Francine, I trust that this message finds you well. Another year has passed leaving us all without the wonderful Louie Bellson. Thank you for all your wonderful work in keeping his memory and light shining before us. I am so pleased that I had the honor and privilege to have both you and Louie cross my path in life. I think of him everyday as I practice my music to one of his great books plus the pleasure of listening to him play through his many recordings and watching his video and film performances. Fond regards John Hewitt Sydney Australia
Remembering Louie … The beat goes on. Another year has passed with the maestro’s throne vacant ... the beat goes on. I only knew you personally for the last decade of your life … the beat goes on. From the first time I met you at a trade show - to seeing you for the last time at our rehearsal … the beat goes on. I’ll never forget the first time you walked into my store – didn’t even know you lived right down the street … the beat goes on. Your stories, support and music for the Musician’s Warehouse Big Band always was there ... the beat goes on. You may be gone to that big gig above, but your kind words of support and direction will always be with me ... the beat goes on. During those short few years that I knew you, worked with you, played with you - I can only thank you - because of you … the beat goes on. I’m so honored and enlightened to have been able to share your time, your music, and most importantly, your friendship … the beat goes on. I have learned more from you, then how to play your music – as you have always said – Peace and Love … your beat will always go on. Your friend, Terry
Happy Valentine's Day to Mrs. Francine Bellson in memory of the late and great Mr. Louie Bellson. I thank God for Mr. Bellson's God given extraordinary music gifts which he graciously shared with the world, but also for his faithwalk in Christ. He showed us (and myself) how to walk in a Spirit of Love, Kindness and Excellence. He let his Light shine brightly, globally (in true humility and compassion for others), without being religious (nor arrogant), but showed us God's love through his daily life, thereby showing us his relationship with the Father in Christ. Amen. Thank you Mr. Bellson, for showing us the way. It is my prayer that when I'm called Home back to Heaven, that I will hear the same words that Mr. Bellson heard,"Well done, good and faithful servant, well done" in Jesus' name. Amen. Dear Mr. Bellson, please know that you are constantly being remembered by me daily, as you are in my heart, as well as in mind. Keep swingin' for the Master and with the legends who made it in, and please ask them to reserve a seat for me in the Kingdom's Big Band, until we met meet and play together again. Amen. Smile. Rev. Dr. Alvin McKinney, "The Prime Minister of Joyful Jazz"-Gospel Jazz Saxophonist
Hey Francine,
Happy valentines Day. I also know it's been 4 years since Louie passed. Thanks for all your hard work on the website. Louie's spirit and music live on because of this. I am thankful to still be involved.
Albert Alva, Bellson Charts Librarian
Louie still one of the best!! loved and never forgotten his legacy lives on god bless you man
I wanted To Wish Everyone Here..... And, Of Course Mrs. "B" A Great Day.. God Bless You,craig
Hearing this song made me very melancholy and nostalgic. I miss Louie and his talent so much. I had the pleasure of studying with him at the Dick Grove Music Workshop in Studio City, CA, 1977. He was one of my top three favorite drummers in the world. Thank you for sharing this beautiful song. God Bless Louie and the Bellson family.
Louie B, thanks for all the love you gave me through your music, your fabulous drumming technique and the love you gave when I approached you as a fan but was honored to be treated as a friend first and a fan second. You will always be a hero of mine and example that shined. Louie Pastor (A lesser Drumming Louie under the same God.)
Thank you Francine for showing the rest of us what complete love an devotion is. It is so important to keep Louies memory alive for out youth. Have a blessed valentines day
A LONG TIME HAS PAST AND EVERY TIME I PLAY I THINK OF LOUIE I HOPE SOME DAY I COULD PLAY JUST MY SELF A ONE MAN SHOW HOW LOUIE DID IT ALL AND TALK ABOUT HIM HE WAS THE BEST OF MEN, LOUIE AND MY FATHER I COULD SAY THAT ABOUT, BUT SOME DAY DEAR LOUIE I WILL BRING YOU BACK ON THE STAGE FOR ALL THE YOUNG DRUMMERS TODAY TO SEE HOW A TRUE MASTER PLAYED THE DRUMS IF YOU SEE MY FACE BOOK YOU WILL SEE LOUIE MR DRUMS PHIL AMBROS NY
Let us all not forget this fine man and musician. Louie still inspires me to be the best drummer I can be. Love you man.
Louie continues to influence and motivate us all and always will! We miss him and love him! Warmest wishes to Mrs B too!
Its hard to place a value on the thousands of lives you touched Louie in such a special way. That joy I shared listening to You at a music jazz camp in Seattle back in 1980. Now I share it with my son Hes a drummer and listens and grows. Miss much love for you and your family. Rich
BEAUTIFUL AND SWINGING!! Thanks for sending. What a treat!! Best regards, Merryl Jaye
Louie, I often wonder what it would have been like to live the kind of life you lived; playing drums, traveling the world, giging with great artists and making friends all over the world. Yet as great a legacy as you left in music, nothing could compare to the legacy you left as a friend, husband, father, teacher, mentor, humanitatian and ambassador of music and goodwill. The world will always love and miss you. Thank God we have recordings that bring you back to us. And thanks Mrs. B, for working so hard to keep Louie's music and Legacy alive. Ken Winter Cedar Rapids, IA
Loved 'Love,' the instrumental. All this in the middle of our packing for our move to North Carolina! Hurricalne Sandy left us with virtually no CDs, LPs, DVDs and VHSs! We'll start our entertainment collection anew in Mooresville, NC. with the likes of Louis, Buddy and Gene. Bless you Mrs. B for this wonderful website!
Miss you, Louie, I can't believe that it's already been 4 years. I think of you every day. God bless, Rocky Neill
For clarification, Charlotte Baker is referring to her late husband, composer/arranger Buddy Baker, whom Louie affectionately called "my teacher."
Hi Francine: I miss Louie almost as much as I miss Buddy. When I think about the night the 3 of us went to Spazio and the female MC introduced Lou as Buddy Rich, I laugh out loud....and Louie, with a benign look on his face said, "Wait 'til Francine hears about THIS"! The MC had just met my Buddy, so I suppose she had that name on her mind. It was a funny evening. Sorry you were in San Jose. Love you, Charlotte
Beautiful, Francine. The track “Love” is pure Bellsonia! Louie continues to inspire and he is missed. Thank you & Happy Valentine’s Day!
Hard to believe it has been four years! Louie was an amazing musician, a huge inspiration, and one of the nicest human beings I ever met. A truly remarkable man. Miss you, Louie!
Mrs. B- Have a wonderful Valentine's Day! I know you'll smile as you remember to good times with Louie!
Thank you for that. One of the high spots of my life was meeting Louie Bellson on the Crystal cruise. And Francine, too, of course.
Bellson master trombonist Mike Wimberly passed away Nov, 2012.
(See article on NEWS page Jan 10.) http://louiebellson.info/news/mike_wimberly_69/
Following is a recent letter from his long-time companion Linda Neal to Mrs. B. (copied by permission)
Dear Francine,

We spoke at the big band jazz reunion at the Marriott in October. (Los Angeles) Mike said you had asked him to write something about his gratitude to Louie, and he was talking and thinking about it in the weeks before he died. …

… But I know he would want me to tell you how much he loved and admired Louie, how generous and kind Louie was. He and I were particularly touched the time at the Oregon Festival, I think in was in '96, that Mike received a bonus for "writing an arrangement," which mystified him, because he hadn't done any arrangements at that time. When he asked Louie about it, he told Mike that he knew it was important for him to "bring his lady" (me) with him, and he wanted to help with that.

Louie was a great drummer, yes, and he also was an amazing human being, and I know Mike was very grateful to have played in his band for so many years.

Thank you for your sympathy and for your dedication in keeping the music alive.

Blessings, Linda Neal
I am a huge jazz fan, and I'm very proud to say a legend like Louie Bellson was an acquaintance of mine. This is a man that can be mentioned in the breath with other icons in the jazz world such as:Elvin Jones,Sonny Payne,Tony Williams,Miles Davis,Ella Fitzgerald,Frank Sinatra,Louis Armstrong,Sammy Davis,jr.,Duke Ellington,Oscar Peterson, etc. As a serious student and collector of art,having a relationship with this great man (and his sweet wife Francine)makes me feel very special! I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU LOUIE!
February 14. Has it been four years already? Oh wow! Never mind. The Bellson Beat will go on forever! Right, Mrs. B?
I have a drum set that i got when I was $ yrs. old I'm 34 now it's a 3/4 size from full size made by Remo called the Remo Pre Tuned System or PTS it's white with double clamp heads. I think they were made mid 70's early 80's. signed by Louie Bellson and Buddy Rich. I was wondering if anybody remembers this kit and if they do how to get more info on them.
Saw him play @ Disneyland, middle 70's. @ Carnation Stage. Double Bass All the way, Great Show, Great Insperation. GB.
Dave Brubeck's passing is a grest loss to the music industry. We did a tribute to him on our show playing "Take Five" and "Blue Rondo," on WDCB and WTPB LP.
Dave Brubeck. you can take 5 you have given the world your hear and soul.
I was saddened to hear of the passing of the legendary Mr. Brubeck. I was honored to have met and chatted with him in 1966 when he and his Quartet played a concert at my college. After the concert, I was recruited to help load the instruments of Messrs. Morello and Wright into their van behind the field house. Afterward, I helped Mr. Brubeck with his overcoat. Such a small thing but something I'll never forget. My condolences to his family.
I LOVE Brubeck. I have him on my Pandora. I listen to him daily! He is so wonderful and he will be sadly missed. As all the super stars are. Including your wonderful Bellson. Much love to you – I wish you a very Merry Christmas.
Thanks for the good work you guys do. Rich Keith Pure Jazz Radio & WBGO
Dear Francine...It's a privilege to appear on your great website. The clips of Louie are terrific, & the others offer a fine mix of drummers. Happy Holidays ! Ed Shaughnessyhtjavinht
Dear Francine...It's a privilege to appear on your great website. The clips of Louie are terrific, & the others offer a fine mix of drummers. Happy Holidays ! Ed Shaughnessyhtjavinht
Note: Larry is writing about the Louie Bellson Reunion Band at the L.A. Jazz Institute's Big Band Jazz Fest, Los Angeles, Oct 10-14.
The entire experience of visiting Los Angeles was so enjoyable to me....the music was great and the weather in LA can't be beat. A nice break from Harrisburg, PA. I took tours of Manhatton Beach and Hollywood to round out the trip. Anyone who hasn't been to LA should go whenever they have this jazz festival. It was worth the trip. The musicians were exciting, and lots of quality CD's and t-shirts were out for sale that you can't find anywhere else. Carl Saunders was a real gentleman in offering me advice on how to play the trumpet in a more effortless manner. His solos were amazing, so cleanly played and authoritative. I also enjoyed seeing John Fedchock, Bill Watrous, Peter Erskine, Jeff Hamilton and Mike Brignola perform in a big band setting where their talents can be best displayed. They are uplifting and motivating, just like the late Louie Bellson!
Wow Francine, seems like you do a lot. You are truly blessed to be able to attend all the functions in honor of your late husband. I admire you. May God continue to bless you and keep you moving.
I had such a great time swinging with the Louie Bellson reunion band recently in Los Angles. Jeff Hamilton did an amazing job embracing Louie's style, without losing his own. I miss Mr. Bellson!
Dear Readers, For info, see the: (Books - Drum Books) page Click: http://d29ci68ykuu27r.cloudfront.net/product/190X400/18100349.jpg OR News page. Click: http://louiebellson.info/news/
Thanks Francine for putting my book "How to Write a Fast and Easy Drum Chart" at the top of the list. Glad to put Louie's endorsement on the front cover of my first published book. I am so grateful and honored to be recognized by one of the best in the business. Sincerely, Liz Ficalora
Hi Francine- This is beautiful...fabulous! Way to go! So much here to dig into. Keep on. Dana Mc
Louie not only a Great Drummer, but a Great Musician in every performance he plays with the highest level of perfection and musicianship, a true Master. Thank You for all the Great Performances
Note: Jack was a member of the Louie Bellson Reunion Band at the L.A. Jazz Institute's Big Band Jazz Fest, Los Angeles, Oct 10-14.
I thoroughly enjoyed playing those charts again, and with such a great bunch of musicians. I think Louie would have been pleased. He was one of the finest men I have ever known, and as I have said many times, one of the only three or four drummers whose solos I always enjoyed.fin
Links to trailers for THE SAVOY KING and THE CENTURY PROJECT are now also on the News Page and the Left Sidebar. Just click & watch -- they're fascinating! Mrs. B
When I was a boy in Fillmore High, I would always go to Clyde Heck Music in Ventura to see Roy Burns in Clinic or just to buy drum sticks and drool at brochures. As i perused a flier from Remo, there was LB on that wonderful kit. Clyde himself, introduced me to this artist and about two years down the road, I dragged my Parents to a taping of "The Tonight Show". After they wrapped Luigi was folding up things on Doc's Bandstand. I wondered out loud how I could get to talk to him. My Mother said "I don't see any Guards or Pages around. Why don't you just walk down there and introduce yourself?" Without giving a second thought, I went down the stairs at about the halfway point from the steeply angled audience section and walked up to Stage Left like I owned the place. LB not only didn't flinch, but must've read some genuine interest in my eyes because he immediately welcomed me and showed me some of his drums including the familiar cylinder throne which, as I remember, was packed solid with sticks. As I was bending his ear off, through the nearby curtain, stepped a fellow dressed in a day-glo Jester costume and make-up to also talk with him. It was Charlie Callas who was working "across the hall" on the Andy Williams Christmas Special (Circa July 1970). We all stayed to talk so long that one of the pages came down to remind me that my Parents were waiting. I was not yet old enough to get into Donte's, The Light House or Shelley's Manne Hole but luckily the man booking talent at Disneyland loved jazz so come New Year's, I drove to Anaheim with my new Driver's License and saw him at the Plaza Gardens. There was an unassuming gent with a kind face easily socking out some of the greatest licks I ever heard on guitar so when the band broke, I felt obligated to tell him how impressed I was and told him I thought he had a great career ahead. At the end of the night, one of the audience caught up with me on my way out to inform me that he was sure JOE PASS appreciated my expert opinion. My shoe did not taste very good. I saw LB again when Benny Carter played The Tomorrowland Stage. LB had brought with him a lot of guys from Doc's Band to fill chairs. Again, I caught him on a break and he was just as Genuine and Cordial lighting up when I mentioned Buddy Rich and telling me that He and Buddy were neighbors and kids, together. I didn't see him again until years later when I accidentally got on the same elevator with him at an office building where I was working and he introduced you (Francine) telling me that he and the Big Band Explosion would be doing the Free Concert in Canoga Park that Summer. He said he was seeing his Doctor and I remember asking if all was well. He gave me that warm smile and assured me that it was. I have yet to meet anyone in Local 47 or anywhere that didn't laud him as the Genuine Article. I miss him and I treasure these great memories. God bless You all.
Mrs. B, When you first sent me an email about the new and improved website and how it was a labor of love, I said, "Wow, this is great!" Then you notified me about the Explosive New look of Louie Bellson Legacy. When I went to the site I was blown away! The serious and casual drummer alike can spend hours here with the abundance of material you have since included. This is a clear cut example that one certainly can improve on perfection. Thank you for your latest example of your continuing labor of love!
Hello to Mrs. B and all the friends and fans that make up this great Louie Bellson community. I'm very proud to announce the release of two new DVDs on October 1st. "The Century Project" and "TRAPS" both approach the evolution of the drum set and the way we play it from a fresh new perspective. I should mention that Louie is mentioned in both the trailer and The Century Project itself! Steve Smith recently watched the Century Project and called it "A 5-star Masterpiece." Zoro says, "... a brilliant, fascinating and inspiring film ...a truly monumental achievement." To get a first look at the Century Project TRAILER, check out the latest Daniel Glass newsletter here: http://ymlp.com/zFJcGD Thanks again for helping to keep alive the incredible legacy given to us by Louie and others of generation. Daniel Glass
Info on the Century Project is on the GIFT SHOPS page, "Bellson in DVDs" subpage. http://louiebellson.info/bellson_in_dvds/
Hey Francine Thanks so very much for keeping Louie's legacy alive. The website looks great - can't wait to check out some of the interviews. Thanks also for the plug on The Century Project. As you know, it's been many years in the making, and I'm finally so excited to have the opportunity to share all this knowledge that I learned from Louie and the many other legends I was blessed to know. I hope you are well and happy. Lots of hugs to you and family! Daniel Glass
Tony lived across the street from me in the 70s and he used to use my cymbels when he played sometimes and I also went to school with cindy and susan at St. Sylvester. Tony was a good guy. Seen him play at the Gaslight club at O'Hare
Listening Louie´s records is really a pleasure. God gives some people wonderfull musical skills. Louie is one of them. I will always remember Louie as the one and only musical legend.
I took a quick look at the new website and what I saw looks GREAT! Congratulations on the culmination of your year of hard work I look forward to checking it out in more detail later. Eric Frank, Advert. Dir. DRUM! Magazine
This website is a great tribute to one of the World's Greatest! Peter Ligeti, San Jose, CA
This gig brought back memories for me. Louie and I had only been married a year and it was my first trip to Arkansas. Mark is the photographer of the photo taken at that gig, which appears on the "Drum Equip & Layout" page. Mrs. B, San Jose, Calif.
Mrs. B, Outstanding job on the new website! I had the honor of meeting Louie and you at a clinic / gig in Fort Smith, Arkansas back in 1993. Louie will always be an inspiration to me. Thank you for the memories! God Bless!
Francine, You have done an absolutely incredible job on the new website!!!!!! As a lifelong fan of Louie's thank you for keeping his name and memory alive for all of us 50+year old Louie wanna-be's.... Many thanks and God Bless for all that you do! Jeff Filippi Redwood City, CA
I ran into Louie Bellson & Pearl Bailey at the Las Vegas Mall years after meeting Louie at the Joey Bishop Show when he was with the Johnny Mann Band. He was also often at the Music arrangers down the street on Vine street. He was always a true gentleman. I was a friend of the audio man and boom operator on the show.I always remember the respect he was shown by everyone around him.
Congratulations, the new website is great. Best regards.
I was looking at the Zildjian facebook page and saw your tribute website to Louie. I have to finish looking at it but WOW! What a treasure for all generations to enjoy. So I wanted to personally say hello. Brenda Figliola, Bradford, MA
I have just spent some time going through the new L.B. website. I loved the photos and of course listening to the music. I'd just like to say "Well done!" on a great job, and I look forward to spending more time reading the articles. It takes time and commitment to consistently maintain these sites and it's very much appreciated by all fans of L.B. Best Regards, James, U.K.
Hi ..... Mr.Bellson ..... Grew up in the same town my Father did .... Rockfalls IL .... My dad went to H.S. with Louie ...as far as my playing goes I could never compare anything he did to my playing ... I guess if I learned anything from him it would be how polite he was and he was always so gracious .... he was a true Ambassador to our profession ... and he could swing with the best of them .....
...still think he was BETTER than Buddy Rich! Technical command, equal, but COMPOSITIONAL talent, SUPERIOR-- like Big Sid on speed!
What a joy it was to have met Louie, and to experience his music LIVE! His hands were magic.
Francine: I love the NEW site. It gives a better understanding of Louis not only as a great drummer but a composer,husband,father,humanitarian and down to earth nice guy. Thank you francine----you a ret certainly a loving wife and partner to Louie.
Excited about the new site. Legacy is a great addition to the title; it tells the true story of who we were and what we've accomplished. it's like a tree; the rest of us get to enjoy the 'pickin's' of the fruit it continues to produce, and inspires us to a higher legacy of our own. Be blessed.
Hi Ms Francine, Congratulations!! You are doing a great job keeping Louie's legacy alive and well. Much love to you and all good things ... and, God Bless You! George and Cynthia, Pacific Palisades, CA
Love the new site. It shows that a lot of time, love and dedication went in to the making of it.
Happy Birthday Louie - Thank you for the inspiration you brought to our family. My husband Lawrence and I were at the tribute to you when Zildjian celebrated their 375th anniversary @ Berklee Boston. It was so touching. RIP Louie Bellson and thank you!
Hello, Thank You For This Site....It Is A Great addition To a Great Man and, Drummer...Hi, Mrs.B.
Terrific new site Mrs. B! The imprtant thing is to wish a Happy 88th Birthday in heaven to Louis. He is still very much part of the music scene and kudos to whoever set this site up. Like the Energizer bunny, it keeps getting better and better and better and.....!
Awesome new web-site Francine! Great graphics,easy to navigate,and being able to access Louie's music is SWEET! Congratulations! Shaun
Mrs. B, this is a wonderful website. Still talk about our cruise with both of you and the art class.
Mrs. B- The time you spent on this labor of love resulted in a website that is nothing less than spectacular! I just finished watching the slideshow tribute to Louie. It was fascinating to watch snapshots of Louie's life beginning as a young man and progressing into the autumn of his years (a little play on one of Frank Sinatra's tunes). I'll never forget the kindness Louie showed me when he took the time to talk to me one on one after one of his clinics in Lowell, MA in the 1980s. Not only was Louie a consummate drummer, he was a beautiful human being as well. Rest in peace, my friend.
And a Happy Birthday to you too, Bob! Be sure to play some Bellson tunes on the Audio player, located on the left sidebar. Mrs. B, San Jose, Calif.
Hey, July 6 is my birthday too!!!!
Happy Birthday Louie! The new page looks great Francine. It will continue to be a fun place to visit and explore. I'm reading Clark Terry's new book, and Louie is mentioned. As our friend would say, "peace & love"
Louie is great influence to music for me. Never got to meet him, but he is a true gentleman and I am glad that he was with us. Thank you for keeping his Legacy alive! Mark, Las Vegas, Nevada
Dearest Francine... I'm thinking of You and Lou on this very special day. (hey that rhymes!)Love You Mama Fran. :-)
In honor of Louie's birthday today, we invite your comments via our New Guestbook. When signing, please let us know where you're from. (city) Thanks. Mrs. B & The Bellson Beat, San Jose, Calif.
It was great to see Mrs. B at the Chicago Drum Show again this year. I shared a memory with her, and she said to be sure to post it, so here goes: My dad, who played drums in the late '30s and early '40s, was a big Louie Bellson fan. I am also a huge fan, having played drums since I was a young boy (I'm 58 now and still playing). Daddy & I had an opportunity to see Louie in concert with a big band in Brevard, NC, about 20 years ago, and needless to say, it was a real treat for a couple of drummers and Louie fans. I had seen Louie on many television shows and videos through the years, but for my dad and me to hear and see him in a live concert was a special treat. Louie put all he had into that concert, as he always did, and one extended solo where he did everything you can imagine with a set of drums was particularly impressive to both of us. Daddy passed away 2 years ago at 89, and the Louie Bellson concert we went to remains one of my fondest memories of him. This is a great website, and a super tribute to a true legend. By the way, my friend Michael Del Priore did the "Monumental Drummers" painting of Louie, Buddy, Gene, and Chick in a Mount Rushmore-type setting. I hope people will buy the shirts, coffee mugs, prints, etc., of this fine piece of artwork that commemorates the finest of the drummers who changed the course of drumming over the years. Mrs. B: Thanks for the kudos about the site as well as your kind obedience in submitting this post. You'll be surprised how many fans you spur to share their remembrances, too.
WHAT LOUIE DID NO DRUMMER COULD,HE WAS THE BEST AND TODAY I WANT TO TELL ALL THR REST? LOUIE BELLSON ALSO WAS A GOOD MAN IN FACT THE BEST IN THE LAND SO WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT HIM, JUST THINK LOUIE WAS AND STILL IS THE BEST OF THEM I LOVED THE MAN, .MR DRUMS PHIL AMBROS SINATRA AND FRIENDS
Hello Mrs.B and,Family,Friends, We all go thru enormous losses in our lifes....We lost So,So, many of not only, Great Players.. But, Family Members...so hard to think about that....I know Louie's Daughter Dee Dee passed on JUly 4th 2009....only 49 ..wow...Thats a Tuff One for anyone to bare.God Bless You Louie...Rest In Peace...To These Fine Folks..,.Craig
Preface: (The following entry has been excerpted for space consideration.) Dear Mrs. Bellson, . . . My wonderful 1979 day with your magnificent late husband was in the rather small town (5,000 pop.) of Harlan, Iowa, about 50 miles east of Omaha. I have gone on to meet many people over the past 33 years, but none has topped the 16-year-old drummer's day with the greatest drummer on Earth. I went on to play in a jazz quintet for six years before becoming an historian and filmmaker. I have written about Louis (in my book on Louis Armstrong--the recordings with Ella), and also some in one of my books on Frank Sinatra. I found the website, because I have just identified a handwritten Tommy Dorsey Band set of charts that were used on a 1947 radio show--seeing Louis' name penciled in on the set list gave me the first clue in the chain of evidence that led me to my conclusion. I'm now getting deep into it! Your late husband INDEED lives on, in my life, and the lives of so many others. . . . He truly was a beautiful human being. All Best Wishes, Scott Mrs. B: To Scott: Wow! Such a bountiful response resulting from my mere question. All I can say is “Ask and ye shall receive.” Thanks!
In 1979, I had the great privilege of spending a day with Mr. Bellson. He gave me a drum lesson, taught me how to play a double-bass set, and then had me sit in that night with the big band he was touring with. He asked me to sit right beside him as he played the concert, and I still have the stick he broke during the gig--33 years later! What a brilliant musician and incredible human being! Mrs. B: Thanks for sharing, Scott. What city was that in?
I just came across this site and wanted to express my condolences. When I was a teenager I received a full set of white pearl Rogers drums from Louie. My late father was booking agent Joe Glaser's attorney. Glaser represented Pearl Bailey, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and many other artists. In going through some old papers I found a letter from Joe Glaser to my dad advising me that Louie had sent a drum kit to his office in New York City and that since there was no room for the drums in the office to make arrangements to pick them up. Accompanying the letter is a photocopy from Louie telling Glaser about the drum kit, that they included the cases and even 50 pair of his sticks! The letters are precious. And other than a note that I sent to Louie so many years ago thanking him for his generosity, I have not had a place to express my gratitude to a member of the family until now. I am about to frame the letters along with a photo of myself playing them. If there is a good resolution photo of Louie that I can get off of your site, I think I'll add that too! Many thanks and my sincerest condolences. Harlan Ellis P.S. I am happy to send you copies if you wish! Mrs. B: Thanks for sharing your remembrances. (How appropriate for Memorial Day!) Please join our mailing list (by filling out the small box atop any page). After that, you can browse the Gift Shopping page and Order Form for that special photo you're looking for, as well as many other products.
My thoughts are with you, Mrs. Francine Bellson I love you lets keep in contact. I will write to you.
Dear Mrs B., I am searching bigband sheet music named Where Did You Go?, composed by Louie and Jack Hayes, recorded CD as Dynamite. It seems published by Camerica Music in 1982, but could not finf the company via internet. I am very appreciated if you could advise how to buy the sheet. We love to play the great work! Our band has played many Louie's chart, Concord Bles for Blue, Sambandrea swing, Quiet Liot, Explasion, and so on. :) T.Ono
..Well, I only hope to receive from many other 'Louie Bellson'.s Collectors - fans,, an 'help' to get a simple 'copyDVD of this ..perticular.. CBS-show-programs-1973..!!. As 'you' can see Mr Louie Bellson is in the 'Show'..among many+many 'Greats' ..Jazzmen..)). If it is possible to receive more informactions, please, let me know to my -e-mails-->fab.baglioni@tiscali.it Many Thanks='Grazie Mille'..Ciao fabio, Roma,, Italy. -->This is the ''Chicago''-Rock band,, video that was cut out of the European airing of >the Ellington special from 1973 - We Love You Madly. We've just >received a copy of the European showing without this Chicago clip. >We are adding this video of Jump For Joy into the Euro footage so it >will be somewhat complete. It will be shared with collectors soon. >Other stars that were on this CBS special from 1973 were Quincy Jones, >Peggy Lee, Sammy Davis, Roberta Flack, Sarah Vaughn, Aretha Franklin, >Joe Williams, Count Basie, Louis Bellson, Billy Eckstine and of course, >the Duke...who passed away a year after this was broadcast.
I remember well the evening I took a girl to see the 'Pablo Jazz Festival on tour' in Berlin in197 3 or 4? and among the great and the good was this drummer: 'Louie Bellson'. I saw Basie and Ella and Ray Charles that night but I was most impressed by Louie. I've been singing his praises ever since, but never got to see him again. One thing is certain is that I shall never forget him! Mrs. B: Please join our mailing list (small box atop any page).
My condolence, just know that those who go before us ready the path for followers to be joined together in the realm of after life Mrs. B: Please join our mailing list (small box atop any page).
Dear Mrs. B., I just viewed the memorial page for your daughter and allow me to extent my deepest condolences. For you to have experienced this loss so soon after losing your husband is devastatingly more difficult to emotionally delineate than is humanly imaginable. I do know this pain well, having lost my twin brother ... and then just recently losing my wonderful wife .... The two people that I deeply cherished more than anyone on earth, so I do know that the unimaginable pain you feel is great. May God provide you with the strength to prevail and bless you for all the endless love that you have given and continue to show for your husband (and daughter) through your selfless, courageous efforts maintaining their memory. With the utmost respect and sincerest regard, Wayne C. Barrett
What was Louie's warm up routine and did he use Metal Drumsticks for it? Thanks, Tony Cappiello Bothell, WA Preface by Mrs. B: Since I am not a drummer, I sent this question to the bandleader of one of Louie's bands, who is also the owner of the metal drumstick company Louie endorsed, Power Wrist Builders. RESPONSE Well all I can reference is what Louie … told me when I first showed him the metal sticks. He did try them and said: "the black ones were like the ones (I) used to practice with and warm-up with many years ago … “ He never really passed along any 'warm-up' routines. He simply said "... warm-up the way you would play ... Use the metal sticks and warm-up with the same routine that you would with your wood sticks. THEN when you switch back to your wood sticks; (you’ll) 'feel' the difference." … I think the 'black model' is the most representative model for his legacy since it's probably the one he may have … seen … Excerpted response from Terry Loose Power Wrist Builders http://taloosegroup.com
Just wanted to check in and, say Hello To all and, Mrs.B..I was watching one of my jazz drummer videos about Gene Krupa... Louie talks about Gene through out the video..It shows what a class act Louie is..I really enjoyed watching Louie explaining how He and Gene used to jam at Genes home and how they both learned from each other.. wow..what it must have been like seeing the two Great Ones..jamming.I miss You Louie,Craig Mrs. B: Craig, you have got to get the famous drummers T-shirt with these 2 of the 4 iconic figures. Click T shirts to see, or Cat./Order form to order.
I have an autographed album (Dynamite) '82 signed by Louie Bellson and two band members.
Preface by Mrs. B: I debated all weekend how to edit/excerpt/cut the following Guestbook entry for space consideration. However, I finally gave up because it's so well crafted, and it so accurately describes the treasured nature of Louie Bellson. So, patience, please; I'm sure you'll enjoy it. I first heard about Louie Bellson from my Uncle who had played in Big Bands in the mid to late 1930's. He had never mentioned Mr. Bellson's name to me until I started to play drums in my late teens. There were only two things that my late Uncle would say about Mr. Bellson: he was a great drummer/percussionist and the nicest guy you could ever meet. After his glowing praise of Mr. Bellson I read every thing I could find on him. I discovered that the overwhelming consensus by everyone, from musicians and laymen alike, was that he was as famous for having a great personality as he was for his superlative musicianship. I especially admired the way he gave credit to the drummers who came before him. Now I know this might seem a little strange but, I sincerely believe the following experience actually happened. Sometime during the early 1990's, I was waiting on line for a bus at the Port Authority Terminal in New York City. I was tired for some reason and I dozed off while I was still standing on line. I was not fully asleep but, in one of those half awake/half asleep states. Suddenly, in a slight semi-circle facing me on my left side stood Big Sid Catlett, Papa Jo Jones and Chick Webb. They were in a lively discussion about drums and drummers and even though I was not participating in their conversation I felt that they had generously accepted me as a fellow drummer. At that moment I had not played my drums for some time but, they seemed to be encouraging me to return to the enjoyment that I had always experienced whenever I sat behind a drum set. Just as suddenly, I awoke from this dreamlike state and to this day I honestly believe that these three great drummers had reached out to me. They had reminded me of what I was missing and they were also inspiring me to continue to play my musical instrument of choice. I am telling you this brief story because Mr. Bellson had always spoken highly of these three great musicians. His praise for these men influenced me to follow in his example and to mention their names whenever I spoke with others about music. My admiration for Mr. Bellson led me to discover who he respected and this in turn enabled me to come to respect these great drummers from the past. Without Mr. Bellson's positive outlook about life and people I would have never had this life changing experience. Soon afterward I returned to my drums and I eventually gave drumming demonstrations in my daughter's elementary school. Some of the other children's parents approached me after school when I picked up my daughter and said that their children told them if I could be a cool drummer then their own parents might be cool. These parents thanked me but, they should have really been thanking the great Louie Bellson and the great men he respected. -- submitted by Ronald Jung Mrs. B: To Ronald: "Amen!" To All: FYI, some of these iconic heroes are depicted on the following products: Art print, T-Shirt and drinking/pencil Cup. Available on the Gift Shopping page.
Oh, this is so very sad! My love and heartfelt condolences go out to the Bellson and Payne families! Josephine lived at my dad's house for a while when he was growing up. I saw Josephine a few times at Louie's concerts. A very lovely lady. Love and light, Rita
All of my love to you all in the loss of your loved one ....he left beautiful music to fill your hearts .... he left memories for you to cherish ... Lots of love, Cathy
So sorry about your loss .... all my sympathies go out to you all at this time .... lots of love, Cathy And may you all cherish the memories she left you ....
My sincerest condolesense to the Bellson and Payne Families.
Dear Bellson Family, It seams like life goes by....so, quickly for us all...God Bless Tony..I am so sorry for your loss please except my condolences,Craig
Dear Mrs B, I am so sorry to hear this news....My heart goes out to The Bellson family...May God Be With Her...R.I.P.Josephine.. With Love,Craig
R.I.P. Aunt Josephine....Give my Dad my love....
My deepest condolences to the Bellson family... John DeChristopher Zildjian Company
My condolence, just know that those who go before us ready the path for followers to be joined together in the realm of after life.
Francine and the Bellson family, My deepest condolences to you all on your loss. Even though I never met Josephine, but if she was anything like her brother, I'm sure she was a complete joy to be around and to know! Love, Ken Hitchcock
Mrs. B, My condolences for the loss of your dear sister-in-law, and may God's blessings abound you and your family at this time of sorrow. Norma Callender San Jose, CA
So Sorry for your Loss. She's probably dancing in Heaven with Her Little Brother Louis. Love, Lodi Carr
God Bless , "My Condolences" To The Bellson Family From: Mark D. Silva
Condolences.......
Another memory of LB in a photo (not digital) of LB, Gerry Mulligan, and Bobby Shew sharing a late night moment aboard a jazz cruise back in 90's. Such warm place he and all his music keeps in my heart. All the best to Mrs B and the family. Alex from New Zealand
My condolences. This memory is always warmed by the memories of LB....and his wonderful music as it beams from my speakers. My best to her family. Alex Cohen in New Zealand
Dear Miss Francine, I see you chose not to post my comment, but that is ok. God knows, I know, and you certainly know. You had a Father you loved dearly and I thought he was a wonderful man. Can you ever imagine him rejecting you your entire life? Very painful. Francine, you do many tributes to my Father and you talk about Dee Dee, you never mention me. I am his daughter too. I am sure you won't post this either, but like I said God knows the truth and I do hope Louie will rest in peace.
This guestbook asks us to share memorable times and or events we have of Louie Bellson. Well I don't have very many and that sad isn't it? There is one memorable moment.....we share DNA. May you rest in peace Louie Bellson.
loved louie, actually was able to trade fours with him years ago at drummers collective nyc Mrs. B: Joseph, I remember that. Thanks for sharing.
very nice music i wish you the best. www.anticsa.com/herramientas-madera
... thanks for the info.......as to the tee' shirts , I LOVE THEM! both are fine and you should have them at the chicago show. I'll see you then. michael dp. Mrs. B: Note: The shirts he refers to are the "Bellson Band Logo" shirt and the "Beam Me Up Louie" shirt, which can be found on the Cat./Order form . The show he refers to is Rebeats' Chicago Vintage Drum Show, May 19-20. See Calendar page.
Hi Mrs B I thought I'd drop you an email just to let you know we had our end of term "band" performance at Morley College London, and as I said I proudly wore the T/Shirt I recently purchased, which (no surprise) brought one or two comments which I hope will encourage more people to "check out" the music of L.B. We had a great evening, and everyone played well. best regards, James Lewis Mrs. B: Note: The shirt he refers to is the "Bellson Band Logo" shirt which can be found on the Cat./Order form .
Dear Francine: I think that it is about time to have a biographical video of Louie and his whole career. Other Jazz legends have full videos and Louie must have one two. I hope we can have it soon with your incredible work on preserving Louie´s contributions to world music.. My best regards from Ecuador. Juan Carlos Sosa Trombert Mrs. B: Thanks, Juan Carlos. Meanwhile, see Bio & Beyond Page for Louie Bellson - (NAMM) Oral History Program "Louie Bellson: Hometown Hero" Louie Bellson - Smithsonian Jazz Oral History Project
Thank You Aunt Francine...grateful for your post of my Dads passing....
Good afternoon Mrs B (if I may use that), Thank you so much for the package I ordered. The T-Shirt is great and I will be wearing it at our term end band concert. I also watched the DVD last night and was simply blown away with the performance. I'm sure you've heard it a thousand times but I have to say I don't think we will see the likes of that level of "drumming" ever again, so it is very fortunate that we have these DVDs. And as the (4 famous drummers) Art Print says, "gone but not forgotten". Again my thanks, James Lewis, London, UK (a very satisfied customer) Mrs. B: You're quite welcome, James. (Wow, what a testimonial!) Let this be a reminder for all to check out the updated Gift Shopping page.
I just saw the sacred musci CD of Louie. How incredible to know that Louie is with Our Lord and making heavenly music. There are many mansions and one must be a jazz mansion. Mrs. B: Thanks for your note, Noreen. We'd love to know what you think of the album after you've heard it. Please write back and let us know.
My deepest condolences. Buddy, Big Sid, Louie, and Tony. Heaven must be swinging like crazy!
I had the pleasure of working with Tony at Slingerland. One of the highlights of working there was joining Tony at lunch time with co-workers. He was always upbeat, cheerful and fun to be around. My Father and I went to the O'Hare Hilton to see his band on occasion. He had such a high energy level with great technique to match. My deepest sympathies to the Bellson family. Godspeed, Tony
Dear Francine, I'm deeply sorry to learn of Tony's passing. I met him several times through Louie and like his brother, he was a wonderful man. He will be missed but he's with Louie now. I just returned from New York where we remembered our friend Freddie Gruber and there were many great stories told and of course Louie was remembered too... Sincerely, John DeChristopher Avedis Zildjian Company
Francine, We're so sorry to learn that Louie's brother Tony has passed. Please extend our sympathies to his family on behalf of everyone here at Zildjian. All the best, Craigie Z.
I played with Tony in the 60's we had a quartet, also played with Smokey Stover and Tony in the Quad cities & Chicago. He will really be missed.
Sad news about Tony, he and I were about the same age. I'm still drumming, years ago Tony and I practiced together at the Belson music store. He will be missed.
So sorry to hear this. Tony was a good friend of mine in the 60's & 70's and a fine tastfull drummer. He helped me a lot and I still have his black pearl ludwigs from the 60's. All the Bellsons were good people and will be missed.
what a sad day indeed... Uncle Tony to me... fonds memories of this gentleman was 'meticulous' when taking care of his Mercury on the ranch. Seriously folk, what a handsome man too, inside and out, like all the Bellson men. Be happy Grandma PeeWee.... My deepest sympathies to the family, T-Tony and Candy..... Please know you I love you and I'm so sorry for the lost of your dad.
My sincere condolences to the Bellson family.
Hi Francine, I am sorry to hear about the passing of Louies brother Tony. I didn't meet him, but I want to share my thoughts of sympathy with you at this time. Also, I just found out your father passed away some months ago, and I want to tell you I am sorry to hear that and I'm am sending you my thoughts, prayers and sympathies Sincerely, Alan Donath Mrs. B: Thanks for your kindness & sensitivity, Alan. Previously, I had chosen not to eblast that (& other) info at the time, but after several inquiries/urgings from fans, here goes. DEAR BELLSON FANS: Please also note the passings of Louie's father-in-law (July 25, 2011) and Louie's sister (April 13, 2010) on the News page.
Tony was always a gentleman and true to the high Bellson standard of personal greatness. I met Tony in 1976 and was honored to hear him play. The Bellson brothers together again has heaven jumping with music and joy!
My deepest sympathy to you and your family for your loss...God bless
I first met Tony when he worked at Slingerland Drum Company and then again in Moline,Il. Very nice gentleman ! RIP Ernie Durawa
Sending you my love and condolences. Hugs to you.
Our sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Tony Bellson on behalf of myself and Remo, Inc. Unfortunately, I didn't have the pleasure of talking with Tony all that often, but when I did, he was always one of the nicest, funniest, and most enjoyable people I've had the pleasure of talking with. He will be greatly missed. Sincerely, Matt Connors Remo, Inc.
Dear Aunt Francine, So sorry we have to say goodbye to another family member . It's been many years since I've seen Uncle Tony.Would love to talk to all my cousins. I would have loved to have seen all 4 aunts and 4 uncles together just once as adults. We always saw them singly, and not often enough. Knew all aunts and uncles except Uncle Hank and DeeDee. By the way, dad(Frank) never played drums, he was the clarinet teacher. The 3 younger boys went the percussion route. Question...did Uncle Tony chew doublemint gum like dad and Uncle Louie did? Hugs and prayers for all who weep. Take comfort, he's safe and content . Love to all...
I didn't know Louie had a brother, let alone the fact that he, too, was a drummer. My condolences to you, Mrs. B, and anyone else affected by this recent loss.
Dear Mrs. Bellson, I am so sorry to hear the news about the passing of your brother-in-law Tony. Please accept my sincere condolences for your loss. Sending my best thoughts and wishes to you the rest of the Bellson family during this difficult & sad time. Sincerely and respectfully, EF Eric Frank – DRUM! Magazine
Francine and the Bellson family have my sincerest sympathy and condolences. If Tony was anything like Louie, then he had a good life. RIP, Tony Bellson
We are deeply saddened to loose Tony Bellson. Although it has been over 50 years since I had the pleasure and honor to know the Bellson family, I shall never forget their kindnesses shown me as a young drummer in Moline, taking refresher lessons from Mr. Bellson and hanging out at the music shop as time and opportunity allowed. I am blessed to have had such an opportunity and shall treasure my memories of all the Bellson family forever.
I never met Tony. But being a Balassoni, he had to be good.
Dear Bellson family and, Mrs B, I am so sorry for your loss...I pray for the Bellson family at this time of need..My God Be With Tony....God Bless You All.! Love, Craig
I'm really, really sorry to hear this news. I met Tony a very long time ago and liked him immensely. Now the brothers are together again. God Bless You Tony.
Our sincere condolence, Prayers for strength and comfort for you. Love YOU ALWAYS, Larry and Jason
To the Bellson Family, I did not know Tony Bellson, but I send my deepest condolences. May he RIP.
My father Leonard Sr. was a good friend of Louie, Tony and all the Bellsons. I remember meeting Tony when I was a kid. I think the Bellsons still had the music store in Moline. Tony gave me a harmonica on one occasion and drumsticks and a practice pad on another. He was a kind man and a great drummer.
I met Tony in Scottsdale AZ many years ago, a convivial fellow who sat in often with pianist-trumpeter Nadine Jansen at J. Chew & Co. As a jazz journalist-critic, I also reviewed Louie many times at L.A. events I attended.
Aunt Francine thank you so much for posting the link on Daddy. I know this must be a difficult time for you too with the anniversary of Uncle Lou's passing. Much love to you!
I'm so sorry to hear about Tony, he was really a great guy. I'm guessing he is helping Louie set up his drums right now in Heaven.
SORRY TO HEAR
First time I learned he had a drummer brother. Now that's heavenly music for sure! Mrs. B: Actually, all Louie's brothers were/are drummers. (Ref: the passing of Louie Bellson's brother Tony Bellson. See News page.)
I'm sure Louie and Buddy are sharing the drum chair in Heaven. God would not give such men there enormous talent, only to have them silenced in the hereafter. I am reminded of how much I love Louie every time I gaze at my autographed picture of him. Much love to you all.
I've heard his band many times and the music goes right to your soul. God Bless Mr Bellson Mrs. B: Thanks, Jim. Please join our mailing list (small box atop any page).
Still miss Louie Bellson, and his warm, all-heart personality. I'm grateful that I got to know him. Thank you Mrs Bellson for keeping his legacy very much alive--he's a national treasure.
To generations he has yet to influence, he'll start as a name, grow into a model and continue as a legend.
Missing you and think of you often, the memories are part of my treasures Francine thanks for helping to keep the treasures and the memorize alive and shareing all of the beauty. Larry A.
Louie will always have a special place in my heart. He was like a second father to me. He shared so much with me about music and life. He will truly be missed and loved always. Much Peace and Love Joe DeRose
Louie and I talked a little after we had the band practice. He was easy to talk to and I could tell had a many interesting stories still to tell from the unique long association in many bands. He still was exciting to listen to in the few Musicians Warehouse BigBand rehearsals I played my sax and flute in. Louie played the San Jose Jazz Festival and his humorous comment when asked how old are you? I’m ... 39 in this leg and 39 in the other. His playing stuck in my mind since his BigBand played Disneyland a few times years ago. A new avenue of discovery is now open with the Emails, Website, and Tribute Concerts for Louie Bellson the legend with drums! Thanks, Brent Bell
I like Louie Bellson's firm handshake and he looked me in the eyes and smiled. Good feelings! I remember that day at the Marriot in Woodland Hills when the city of Los Angeles bestowed an award on him. I played lead trumpet in his big band at that event along with Lee Thornburg. I also remember seeing him at a restaurant after his hit & run accident on Ventura Blvd. Within a couple of years, he covered and was back and alert like before that terrible accident. (An SUV didn't stop and hit Louie in a crosswalk on Ventura Blvd. His wife said it knocked him 20 feet in the air!) Thanks Louie Bellson. I can hear you playing!
Hey man I'm just doing a report on you, so R.I.P
I never saw Louie in person, but I loved watching him on TV, videos, etc. That self-assurd smile when he played said it all. There was such a a look of happiness as he played, and he made me proud to be a drummer. Louie was "the man." Great players (in the old days) were said to have "sat low in their chairs." Louie sat as low as any of them.
We have beautiful memories of this gentle man with a heart of gold and a smile that went on forever. Thank you Francine for sharing these lovely memories of Louie, the man and his music. We always enjoyed your visits all those years We miss you both. Love & Hugs .... The May Family
I had the pleasure of meeting Louie Bellson in the 90's in the downtown Los Angeles area after a show he did there in a beautiful outdoor setting at the watercourt. He was a absolute gentleman and I will forever cherish the memory.
Louie Bellson One of a kind he is the musical drummer.
On behalf of the millions of Louie fans thanks so much for keeping his memory alive. I had the pleasure of signing his get well book many years ago. I'll never forget the time when he invited me and my brother-in-law back stage at the Circle Star where he was performing... I was a high school student at the time and was totally blown away and could hardly belive that Louie was talking to me in his dressing room while he was buttoning his shirt!! That meant so much to me.. What a wonderful wonderful person and , of course, stellar musician!!!! I also had the opportunity of seeing Louie perform at the Cubberly School around the late 80's/90's and was fortunate enough to have him sign a colorful sketch of him holding sticks. I now have this prized possession along with a signed drumhead mounted on the hallway outside of my xray room where I see it M-F while I'm at work!!! The good Lord really out did Himself when he blessed us with Louie..God Bless you Francine for being an important part of his life... and now ours!!
Our son Joshua 17, has been greatly inspired by Louie from an early age. He has watched and practiced to his early recordings. Josh is eternally grateful to have been able to study the Master and Genius Louie on drums. Josh has just been accepted to Berklee College of Music with a scholarship. Whilst attending the Berklee Summer Program he was also selected as the All Star Jazz Drummer. Louie will continue to be a source of inspiration to our son as well as challenging him to aim higher. Louie was and continues to be a wonderful blessing to this world
Louie is still alive, his music will live forever.
Louie will always be close to our hearts. His great music will live on for years to come as a great drummer and musician.
Louis Bellson is (his music still "is") the quintessential drummer who can bring melody and harmony to a drum kit. There have not been many in the modern age who have this talent. Thankfully Louie's music lives on and that is worth celebrating. Thank you, Louie, for bringing the joy of your beautiful music to our lives.
Louie, after 3 years I still talk to you. You were always invincible in life and continue to be to all. Love you madly
You, Buddy, Gene and Mac must have a lot to say to each other up there and the drumming must be great. We miss you Louie.
His music always inspirational.
louie, what a great drummer and a great man!
Thanks to CD's , Video, DVD's, and sheet music, Louie's memory and creativity can be with us forever. Keep up the good work Francine!
Louie, my all-time favorite drummer...glad to have met you and glad even though things got tight I was able to hang onto your old kit...I bet you're playing' up a storm up there !
Louie, my all-time favorite drummer...glad to have met you and glad even though things got tight I was able to hang onto your old kit...I bet you're playing' up a storm up there !
In 1060, Rogers Drum Co. sponsored a drum contest in Chicago and Louis was their star and host. I came in 7th and was 10 years old and had my photo in the Chicago Tribune. Soon I became friends with Barrett Deem and he gave me private lessons and got to meet Louise on several occasions. I will always cherish him!
Thank you both for defining love beyond what others understand
Saw Louie perform LIVE several times in his career. Most notably in Boston in the 80's and 90's. As a young drummer in the sixties I was impressed with he and Buddy doing battle. I started playing double bass because of him! Some guys can do it all on one, but two bass drums balance the kit visually and give it the WOW factor when played to the max. Missing your taste and chops Lou!
The heartbeat of every living thing pulses with each beat of Louie's drums. His masterful skills never failed to inspire and excite!
Louie-Just typing that name makes me feel good-Your music will always be with us......
Great works live forever.Great workers are remembered by their great works. Ndugu Chancler
Louie's play enspires me to play every day. His musicianship and trechnique will live in me forever.
I will trully miss his drummin , it meant so much to me when he felt I was at a location I shouldnt have been at playing the drums so Ileft and never gone back I hope they have pasta at the dinner table mmmmm pasta I got to go keep on drummin everyone
Louie and his music will be with me always.
MR BELLSON WILL ALWAYS BE FOREVER IN MY HEART... GOD BLESS HIS SOUL!!!
Just a repeat of the time I got to meet Louie and shake his hand. What a gracious and generous man. When Buddy Rich speaks well of anyone, that is truly the mark of a Gentleman. Miss you, Sir! and Bless you Mrs. B !
The legend lives on in our hearts. God bless you Louie!
We love and miss our Uncle Louie. He will always be in our hearts and our memories. The Bellson Family
I had the good fortune to grow up in Moline, Ill. and to have bought my first sticks from Louie's Father. An amazing family with Louie Bellson still a "living legend."
Master of time! As long as we have the discs, we can't forget the brilliance. We'll never let them go
What A pleasure to meet Louis Belson At Spazios years back . Such a wonderful man and a great piece of the puzzle was he of American Jazz Music . I started out as a drummer and he was a hero for sure! A true Legend!
It's a beautiful, sunny, bright, cheerful, warm day in San Jose. The only thing missing, is my friend, Louie.
I miss Louie. Speaking of "love" (How do you like that transition Francine?) It was from seeing LB, listening to LB and finally meeting LB that I fell totally in love with the instruments of my choice- the drum set. Mr. Bellson was a living legend that transcended the drum set and was a symbol of what musicianship was all about. All this while he maintained his humility and his kindness toward others. Louie Bellson is not gone. He is just away for awhile. I look forward to seeing and listening to him again. Louie Pastor, Manhattan Beach, California
Mrs.B, Thank you so much for the Valentine's Day Greeting.Hearing Louie's bass drums fills my heart and put's an extra kick in in my step today...LOVE
Dear Louie, You were... always and, still are My Hero...Louie I play my Remo acousticon snare that you also used thru the years....Your Always There With Me..God Bless You Great Jazz Man !!!!..Craig
Louie! You continue to inspire me! When I listen to your recordings and turn the volume up, your drumming makes the speakers pulsate and the walls rattle; giving you life once again!
LB, you still inspire me everyday. Your spirit, your music, your humility is alive and influencing people globally! I speak of you in all my events and the legacy you have left will live forever! Thank you for letting me in your life!
Just listened to 'Soar Like An Eagle.' Some things never get tiresome or grow old. Louie's driving drum solos in that composition...especially that flourish at the end reminds me why I and his legions of fans will never tire of Louie's amazing talent. Thank you Francine for keeping his memory alive!
I can't believe its been three years. I miss you Louie, and will forever remember meeting you and spending a little time with you. Most Sincerely, Joe
We have a great love for this very gentle man, whose talent just soared over many of his peers. Ever the teacher, he never failed to reach out to younger players and to speak with his fans in ways that many major entertainers can only aspire to do. We have listened to Louie for years and have taken advantage of the sometimes coincidental crossing of our paths with his concerts. And, having loved and respected Louie and Pearl, we were overjoyed to meet the current "Mrs. B"--a classy lady who jealously guards Louie's memory and truly honors his legacy by her diligent attention to his music and memorabilia. We cannot believe it has been 3 years, but February 14 will always be far more to us than just a day to exchange kisses, pink hearts, and appropriate gifts. We loved Louie! And, love him still...
God bless you louie where ever you are in that drummers paradise in the sky still love listening to your magic on my ipod gone but never ever forgotten you will live on in our hearts and so will your family.
wow how i miss Louie..he and i go back to Moline with the Belson music store next to eagle food center..his brother Tony, and he And i would get together in Beverly Hills for dinner and talk about Moline..I miss him..he was so great as a musician and as a person..
Dearest Francine... I'm thinking of you and I pray that you are doing well today... and every day. As I remember Louie and how much he meant to me, I always try to put into practice the things he taught me through his examples both musically and in every day life. One of the greatest things I've learned from him is to make every moment count... with love.
I think Louie had a fantastic attitude to life and playing drums, and that only comes with hard work. Thank you sir .
Can't believe it's been three years. I miss you and your great drumming every day. Thanks for being my friend for all those years. BUTCH MILES
Three years are very early. I listen to his CD today while remembering him. Your Japanese friend Takeshi
I had the good fortune to see Louie at a two day clinic he gave in Philadelphia along with Jim Chapin. Not only was Louie a phenomenal musician but her was one of the kindest individuals I've encountered in music. He was always accessible to anyone with questions and his enthusiasm made you want to strive for the same excellence. Miss you Louie. A true inspiration. Mrs. B: Thanks, Roberto. Please join our mailing list (small box atop any page).
Francine it was an absolute pleasure to meet you again at NAMM this year 2012. Last time we met was at Louies Birthday Bash with Roy Haynes at Namm in 2004. Dearly missed but never ever forgotten. The Inspiration, Education and Motivation that Your Wonderful Husband gave so willingly to drummers around the world will always stay with me. Louie is one of the many reasons I still play and teach drums. He always took the time to talk to us from the heart giving us advice, secrets and most importantly always reminded us to keep playing!!! Keep Playing. Not only a Master and a Legend , but the true Ambassador of Goodwill to Drumming. To Louie and you of course Francine Thank You so Much for Loving us the way you do! Forever Giving the Drummer Some!!! In Gratitude Donniel Aponté
Hello Best Drummer ever! Mrs. B: We agree, Fernando. Please join our mailing list (small box atop any page).
Did Louis clap his hands during "Skin Deep"?
Ciao Francine Hope this finds you happy and healthy. Just a note to say that Gerald Stutz did himself proud with his "Tribute for Louie" solo at the jazz concert in Mainz Grmany. I am sure he was inspired also playing the Master's Drum. I am trying to get him to send me a copy of the DVD that was recorded that night...maybe you would like to post it in "Watch Videos Here"? My best Chet Mrs. B: Rushing out door to NAMM .. huff-puff .. get back to you later. Ciao
I had the plasure to play on Louie´s Billy Gladstone Drum at a Jazz-Concert here in Germany last Year! My friend Chet Falzerano gave me this drum for this Concert..I played a Solo on this drum at the concert ...Solo for Louie! What a blast to play on this wonderful Drum! I have never met Louie,but I had hopefully a conversation with him at this concert! God bless you ,Louie Mrs. B: Gerald, I'm sure Louie heard your musical "conversation" from above and was pleased. Thanks for the note.
I'm privileged to attempt to play "Skin Deep" with my big band in Brighton, UK, at the end of this month. My admiration for Mr Bellson's playing is only surpassed by my pleasure at seeing his joy of playing in almost every picture and video I've watched. Mrs. B: Agreed! With an accolade like that, we look forward to you joining our mailing list (small box atop any page).
Back in the day when a drum solo was musical! we need more drummers like this today! Mrs. B: Thanks, Stephen. Please remember to join our mailing list (small box atop any page).
This is a much needed web site
ILike
miss you louie,and all the best to yours.
I just obtained the CD "Louie Bellson's Sacred Music." Louie's finnesse and the sound of his drums are outstanding as always. As for being "sacred" music, you need only to listen to the cut "Look At Me." The angelic voice of the female singer and the sweet orchestral accompaniment gave me a lump in my throat. This CD would be an awesome addition to anyone who loved Louie or who loves great music. Mrs. B: Russ, I'm overwhelmed by your comments. But why should I be surprised that it affects someone like this? Everytime I listen to this CD, I either cry or shout -- it's just that moving!! And remember, Louie wrote all the words and all the music. To Everyone: If you're looking for a Christmas gift that will "bowl 'em over", THIS IS IT! "The Sacred Music of Louie Bellson" on Home or Gift Shopping page.
Just wanted you to know that my Granddaughter, Haleigh, turned 5 this year. I have pics of you, Louie, and Haleigh when she was 2 months old!!! Time flies. When I asked her what she wanted for Christmas, she replied "Drums!". Guess what her Boppy bought her for Christmas? I'll bet Louie will be smiling down on that little girl on Christmas morning. His last words to me were "Take care of that granddaughter." Believe me Louie, I do. Mrs. B: Thanks for the update, Tracy. And when you give Haleigh the drums, you can also give her mother the "Drum Mom" T-shirt just announced! (see News page)
I first heard about Louie Bellson ,from a friend of mine named,Frankie "Kash"Waddy.He is also a legendary drummer with the great William "Bootsy" Collins.After that,I would hear his name mentioned on my favorite radio station KJAZZ,performing with other great jazz legends such as:Ella Fitzgerald and Louie Armstrong.The first album that I purchased with Mr.Bellson, was "Soul On Top" with James Brown.He was smokin' on that set! Not only was he jazzy,he was also really funky!I became an instant fan ever since.One day, I was going to order take-out at the local deli,when I saw an older gentleman walking towards me that looked really familiar with a nice looking lady holding his arm. I recognized him and asked, are you Louie Bellson?He smiled and nodded.I shook his hand,and introduced myself and told him and his wife Francine,how much of a fan I was.He was a first class gentleman,and even gave me a hug before I left.I gave Francine my contact info,and she said that she would notify me whenever there was a local event.Myself,being a serious jazz,decided to listen, and study more of his music.Although,I was already aware of other great jazz drummers,Louie turned me on to some brilliant compositions,and awesome drumming,that changed my life as an avid listener and collector.I would see Louie and Francine at special events, that they invited me to and they were always sweet and classy.Whenever,I would see them around town ,it was always a pleasent experience.All of my Louie Bellson CD's are signed by him.One day I ran into the couple at the local deli and Francine gave me her copy of "Louie&Clark;Expedition 2",so that Louie could sign it for me because I didn't have my copy with me at the time.Thnx for everything Louie,I love you and I really miss seeing you. Mrs. B: Wow! With accolades like that, we look forward to you joining our mailing list (small box atop any page).
I miss Louie so much, it gives me a lump in my throat just writing it. My musical friendship with the legendary master is missed immensely. As we often said to each other, Keep on swinging! Louie did just that, He kept on swinging, swinging, and swinging!
Louie played here at Pittsburg State University in 1984 with our jazz band and we all have fond memories. What a night! He also did a gig in Columbus, Indiana and used David Baker’s IU band and I was playing 2nd trombone. I think the year was 1982. I still have a Photostat copy of the check with Louie’s signature. It will always be a memorable event for me. What a player and great person!
Attn: Everyone! After you post an entry on the Guestbook, PLEASE check back later to see if Mrs. B or other fans have responded to your note. Many times your note prompts another fan to share / add to the conversation on “all things Bellson”. Or, perhaps you can shed some light on an issue. We’ll be looking for you! Mrs. B.
..Dear Mrs Francine, I only would like to know if it can possible to share an informaction about a Live jazz-festival in Japan,, FUJITSU - Concord,,1994... -x) This is a web-Links---> http://jad.fujitsu.com/event/concord/history.html please, just slide-down the page until year--->1994...!!!!..' W H A T ' ..a big+big ..drums - battle..!!!.. Many thanks,,, Ciao fabio ..Italy,, Roma ... Mrs. B: This inquiry brought back wonderful memories for me. Louie and I had only been married for 2 yrs and it was my first trip to Japan. The large musician group, sponsored by Concord Jazz, traveled to several Japanese cities in a two week period, I think. The DRUM BATTLE between LOUIE BELLSON / GRADY TATE / JEFF HAMILTON / LEWIS NASH was a cooperative interpretation of “Salt Peanuts” that Louie had devised. The Japanese loved it!
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Louie came to the river-city (St. Louis) several times to play and do clinics here. He got to Webster U and the first thing he said was, "Is there anywhere to get some soup here." He said he always ate lite before go on. The clinic went great, and Louie always had this way about him that let everyone know that he was concerned that we got what he was saying, and we did. Louie was that kind of teacher I think because he was grateful for all he had learned...and he wanted to deposit that in his students. Beside all this Louie was a Christian and a Blessing... with a kind and generous spirit. I think faith is important because people tend to look up to their mentors. Louie was progressive... I watched Louie move into new fresh musical arenas and he was always hungry to observe what others guys were doing and then he'd do it and show us how to do it better! Beside this he was a showman. When Louie had the sticks you knew you were going to hear and see something amazing!!! Mrs. B: Amen to that, Bro. Rod. We'd be interested in your response on his album, "The Sacred Music of Louie Bellson" which he composed/performed to amply describe his Faith. Check it out at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/louiebellson.
Louie gave a free drum clinic at Winter Park High School - Winter Park, FL back in the late 70's. I was senior student percussionist at WPHS at the time and it was a real thrill to watch him perform and give instruction. My drum teacher at the time was Tommy Thomas. He was a close friend of Louie and always had the nicest things to say about him. After seeing him at the drum clinic I learned why Tommy had the highest praise for him. He was a real first-class kind of guy. Mrs. B: You are right. I remember Louie always welcomed with delight the large, carefully honed letters from Tommy Thomas. Thank you for sharing your remembrance, Dale. You do honor to Tommy, Louie and yourself.
My name is Dale Bartholomew. I am responding to the message below from Kristen Stycket. Tommy Thomas was my drum teacher in the 70's when I was a teenager in Orlando, FL. He had a picture of Louis Bellson in his office at Music Mart. Please contact me in regard to Tommy. It is important. db.bart_comcast.net
I hadn't heard of anybody from town doing the run. By the way, the Quad City PBS station periodically runs a profile on Louie featuring that last gig at the Red Stone Room. I've seen it about ten times, but if it's on I always watch it. I always felt like I had a small part in jazz history because Tom, Kevin, and I took care of Louie's drums that night, which was his last gig. I also remember the first night I ran sound for the concert, and when it was over, Louie was so pleased with the sound (especially the monitors) that he asked me if I wanted to go on the road. Great memories of a great man. Mrs. B: And of a great fan . . . You!
A well-done, spooky little journey! Thanks, Francine. Hope you are well. Mrs. B: You're welcome. I thought it was boo-ti-ful myself! (Reader's note: Russ refers to the Halloween eblast sent out by "Igor & the Gang" at The Bellson Beat.
I hope(?!?.. I can replays to Mr Bob Stanley .. Well there is a photo taken from a Live Newport-Jazz-Festival -1965- with a ''Drums - Battle'' with Louie Bellson,, Elvin Jones,, Art Blakey,, Buddy Rich,, For all I know, NOOO..live recordings, or TV's-videos has been 'taken' from ..THAT..-drums-battle-.)). If you are interested to have a simple copy of the photo, yes I can send it as 'attached' to your E-Mails. In case, please write me ( fab.baglioni@tiscali.it ) and I will send the 'photo'..Ciao fabio,, Roma) Italy. Mrs. B: (This note refers to the Oct 28 entry below.) Thanks, Fabio, you did the right thing. I will send your note to Bob Stanley as well as post it here. Ciao!
Francine, I just thought I'd drop a line and see how you're doing. Not a day goes by that I don't think of you and Louie and the good times on the Rock River and at our Heritage day shows. My classic rock/blues band is going great guns, and the Grandkids keep me pretty busy. Take care. Mrs. B: It's sure good to hear from you, Tracy. I have wonderful memories too. BTW, do you know if anybody from the Rock Falls area participated in the Louie Bellson 5K Drum Roll Race in Moline last weekend?
medic
Always enjoyed Louie's playing and was in admiration of the classy way in which he conducted himself. As a young boy, I had the pleasure of seeing him on stage at the Newport Jazz Festival Drum Workshop in the early 60's. Mrs. B: Thanks, Bob. So we won't lose touch, please join our mailing list (small box atop any page) to receive notices. Thanks.
When I was an aspiring young jazzer, Louie reached out to me and inspired me. He even gave me his address and phone number (on Melvin Street in Northridge) and said that he would do whatever he could to help me if I wanted to move to LA and pursue playing. I was absolutely blown away. Louie was possibly the nicest guy to come out of the 20th century. What a man!!! He will always be a major inspiration to me. Mrs. B: Thanks for sharing, Tony. Please join our mailing list (small box atop any page).
Happy Birthday!! I've been meaning to write all day...just got the chance. I hope you had a wonderful day. Love and hugs from me and Hunter!
Thank you Mrs. B. It was great meeting you (at the Hollywood Drum Show) and nice to talk with you. I hope you liked my friend Stanton on Sunday. I am sure he and Mr. Bellson would have been good friends. Thank you again and take care. Sincerely, Rick Brandt
It was an honor and a pleasure to meet you Mrs. Bellson! I was glad to see that you were having a good time at the Hollywood Drum Show. It certainly was loud enough!! I am looking forward to digging into the website. Always loved LB's playing. Tom Coyne Long Beach CA tomcoynedrums.com
My parents used to take me to Donte's in No. Hollywood to see Louis's big band in the 1960's. Great band, even greater drummer.
Louie Bellson will continue to inspire me for a lifetime. And, my son will be taught from the first time he is able to pull off a paradiddle the man to look up to as a drummer, and a person. God Bless Mrs. B: We really appreciate your sharing, Peter. So we won't lose touch, please join our mailing list (small box atop any page) to receive notices. Thanks.
Louie Bellson, was not just a good drummer, he was a Great Drummer, a gentlemen and a friend. When I had the City of San Diego Declare Ellington's Birthday "Ellington's Day" Duke was in the hospital. Louie flew out to California to accept the Presentation. I cherish the photo that I have hanging on my Dining room wall of Louie, myself and the my District Councilman who made the Presentation. I talk about him on my Jazz Programs, so as not to ever let his name disappear, and I'm heard around the World on the Internet, from the University of California Irvine Radio Station KUCI-88.9 FM and @www.kuci.org on the Internet. Mrs. B: There you have it, Southern Calif fans! (and everybody else too --> http://www.kuci.org)
Mrs. Bellson: I am so very sorry to hear about your father. My condolences to you. I lost mine in 1999 and I know that's a void that can never be filled. Charlie O's Jazz Club has closed. Not surprising since Charlie died 3 years ago. I had some good times there & had a chance to play a few times. And the food really was fabulous! RIP Charlie O's.
Thank you for the tribute to Jack Hayes. Of course, because of Louie, I had many opportunities to work closely with Jack on Bellson projects. I also have many fond memories of listening to both of them discuss music over lunch. Musicians of such talent are always with us because they leave us so music to remember them by. Mrs. B: Reader's Note: It was Albert Alva, Louie Bellson's loyal (arranger, conductor, saxophonist, librarian, archivist, copyist), who emailed me the sad news. See Aug 24 News page entry for tribute & funeral info.
What an honor to get to sit set to set with Louie at the first anual Louie Bellson Heritage Days drum off. I am also the proud owner of a limited edition Remo Louie Bellson snare that keeps his memory going at every venue I play at. Mrs. B: Thanks, Austin. Now please join our mailing list (small box atop any page) so we can keep up with you and you with us!
MLK Luncheon 2012.... you'll be a vendor Right? Hope to hear from you. Great Job!
I am selling my collector snare drum. It is a signed Remo Louis Bellson 14" Snare Drum. #516 of 1,000. If you know of a collector who would like this drum, please hook us up. Thank you. Mrs. B: Reader's Note -- This is the Ltd. Edition Louie Bellson 14k gold snare drum that was issued in honor of Bellson's 75th birthday. Any takers? Contact John at molebyday@aol.com.
On July 29,2011, family and friends and a host of musicians said there last farewells to British drummer and showman, Eric Delaney. Featured in the service was a fitting tune "Little Drummer Boy" for Eric was quite short. Fitting, too, was the version of the tune played - by his friend and fellow drummer Louie Bellson. Eric would have like that.
Hi Francine, It was an honor and priviledge to sing at Uncle Wright's(your father) funeral. He is resting in Christ and has left a wonderful legacy in you and your family. I love your husband's website and thanks for the cd..I LOVE IT!! You are truly a blessing and thanks for the words of encouragement and inspiration. My Gospel Jazz cd will be all that you called it forth to be!!!
Dear Mrs. Francine, Not a day goes by that I don't think about Louie. How are you doing? I sure hope your are well. Thank you for all you do for us fans and admirers of your husband. Sincerely, Joe Simon Mrs. B: Thanks for your compliment and kind concern, Joe. Clearly Louie's spirit lives on in fans like you!
That performance with Rich, Clare, and Bellson (I don't like the term "drum battle") was legendary. I never heard it and didn't know it was recorded until now. I just ordered the last copy from Amazon! Thanx for turning me on to it. (I met Kenny Clare once at ProDrum & he was a such a nice man, like Louie.) I don't know Delaney's work but my sympathies go to his family. If he's on this CD, I'll hear him for the 1st time.
As a Brit I, like many others, were influenced by him in our formative years. I finally, after all these years (about 40) got to meet him and watch him perform last year. In some ways he was our "Louie" and we'll miss him. RIP Eric.
The conversations LP was a tribute to my dad Frank King who died when i was 5 , i have 3 LP copies of this record. Can you tell me if the original tribute notes are preserved on the CD re-issue , where they talk about Frank King and the night the record was recorded. I have professional Linn/Naim LP playback equipment was in the process of getting a comparable Digital converter to produce a high quality CD version but providing the album notes are intact i can now hopefully buy one off the shelf. Buddy Louis and Kenny did my Dad proud when making the record, and i wish i could have met them. My younger Brother Lloyd King 40yrs, a drummer , just like our Dad, just passed away (4th July 2011) and i am using a tape of the conversations album to play at his service. Thankyou all the best James King Mrs. B: First, our sincere condolences regarding your brother. Unfortunately, I don't know the answer to your question because I haven't yet received the physical CD. Be sure to see the July 15 News page entry which includes the UK link to the CD. Reader's Note: Is there anyone out there who can answer James' query?
Eric was a real character and fun to be with. He will be missed by his friends and colleagues for his wit as well as his expertise. Say hello to Louis and the guys.
I have fond memories of Eric and had his great Oranges & Lemons on a 78. I first saw him live at the Orchid Ballroom in Purley in about 1950 and last saw him when he came out of retirement and played a guest spot in the new Syd Lawrence Orchestra about 2 years ago. He was in his eighties and did a 20 minute drum solo. His energy was amazing.
Another great inspirational drummer has passed on. I have a copy of an album recorded by Eric and Louis entitled Repercussion - released in 1967. I was 14 years old and discovering the magic of Jazz. This album fuelled my passion for playing the drums, and it still does to this day (the record is getting rather worn!) RIP Eric & Louis. Mrs. B: Something tells us you haven't read the News page. (the remedy!)
thanks for providing this great site about louie!!
I today heard the news of the passing of my pal Eric Delaney. He was many people's pal including Louie's. I enjoyed Eric's company many times and he world reminisce about the work that he and Louie did together on the "Repercussion" LP and their mutual respect. Louie, too, recalled that LP with great affection and mentioned it when I met him on a number of occasions in Spain. For me, the passing of Eric marks the end of an era. He would not want me to be sad so I'll have to look out the recording of the broadcast he made with Geraldo when Louie was in the studio watching every move! I think Eric said he was a little bit nervous and that's the printable version!! Miss you, Eric, but you're up there in good company. Mrs. B: Thanks, Eddie. We invite others to share as well. Reader's Notes: 1. It was Eddie Sammons, Eric Delaney's biographer, who emailed me the sad news and also told me of the new Bellson/Delaney CD just released this month. 2. See July 15 News page entry which includes links to the CD.
Louie Bellson was far more than the world’s greatest drummer; he was the drum Grand master, a beat technician well beyond any mortal skills. Having seen him perform many times I unfortunately never had the honor of knowing him personally however, it is my understanding that he was equally as fine a person as he was a musician. In a world of endless musical rubbish, Louie Bellson’s compositions are an exhilarating journey into the world of supremely skilled musicans. Thank you for sharing your musical gift with me Mr. Bellson. God Bless you. Mrs. B: Wow! With accolades like that, we look forward to you joining our mailing list (small box atop any page).
fred house July 12, 2011 I grew up watching louie on the tonight show, and he got me interested in drums at a very early age. I was lucky to see him in new jersey at a modern drummer magazine festival where i swore to all who would listen that he was an american treasure. I saw him years later just before he passed in a cambridge jazz club and he was a joy to see and a gentleman to talk with.... He was a musicians dream and a class act on every possible level.........fred house Mrs. B: Thanks for sharing, Fred. Please join our mailing list (small box atop any page). Michael Balter July 6, 2011 Today, July 6th, I am thinking about Louie. Happy Birthday. In today's fast paced world of crime, hate, etc I keep thinking how much better the world would be if everyone was like Louie. Not only did Louie teach me how to be a good drummer, he taught me how to be a good person. We are all equal and each one of us is one of God's children. Life is truly a blessing that too many take for granted. The best gift that someone can give another person is their friendship and love. I know I received both from Louie Bellson and from Mrs. B too. Because of knowing Louie for 40+ years as my teacher, my mentor, my friend I know that I am a better person. Thank you Louie for everything. And to you Francine (Mrs. B) I thank you for keeping Louie's name out front and for your help in educating the next generation of drummers about the great Louie Bellson. Louie's theme song was "The Hawk Talks". His theme song should be "There will never be another you"....after all, there was only one Louie Bellson. Louie we all miss you and love you.... Michael Balter Mrs. B: Mike, this says it all. THANK YOU for saying it so well for all of us! Andy Weis July 6, 2011 Today is Lou's Day. I'll be offering up some prayers and playing his music all day in celebration of his birth. Here's a taste of some Bellson Blues (part 1) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bvly0fel4cY&feature=player_embedded LOVE YOU FRAN! Mrs. B: This is a good vid! I'll add it to the "Watch Videos Here" page. Thanks. Tracy Jones July 6, 2011 Just thinking that we would have been in the middle of Louie Bellson Heritage Days in Rock Falls, Illinois. It was a lot of work, but Louie was always worth it. I will always have the memories of pontooning down the Rock River with Louie and Francine, and the joy on Louie's face when he got to pilot the boat. Happy Birtday Louie!! Mrs. B: I'll never forget either! Thanks for the memories.
I grew up watching louie on the tonight show, and he got me interested in drums at a very early age. I was lucky to see him in new jersey at a modern drummer magazine festival where i swore to all who would listen that he was an american treasure. I saw him years later just before he passed in a cambridge jazz club and he was a joy to see and a gentleman to talk with.... He was a musicians dream and a class act on every possible level.........fred house Mrs. B: Thanks for sharing, Fred. Please join our mailing list (small box atop any page).
Today, July 6th, I am thinking about Louie. Happy Birthday. In today's fast paced world of crime, hate, etc I keep thinking how much better the world would be if everyone was like Louie. Not only did Louie teach me how to be a good drummer, he taught me how to be a good person. We are all equal and each one of us is one of God's children. Life is truly a blessing that too many take for granted. The best gift that someone can give another person is their friendship and love. I know I received both from Louie Bellson and from Mrs. B too. Because of knowing Louie for 40+ years as my teacher, my mentor, my friend I know that I am a better person. Thank you Louie for everything. And to you Francine (Mrs. B) I thank you for keeping Louie's name out front and for your help in educating the next generation of drummers about the great Louie Bellson. Louie's theme song was "The Hawk Talks". His theme song should be "There will never be another you"....after all, there was only one Louie Bellson. Louie we all miss you and love you.... Michael Balter Mrs. B: Mike, this says it all. THANK YOU for saying it so well for all of us!
Today, July 6th, I am thinking about Louie on this the date of his birthday. Mrs. B, I thank you for keeping Louie's name out front and your help in educating the next generation of drummers about the great Louie Bellson. Louie should now have a new theme song...no longer The Hawk Talks...rather the tune....There will never be another you! There was only one Louie Bellson. With much love to Louie....my teacher, my mentor, my friend. Michael Balter
Today is Lou's Day. I'll be offering up some prayers and playing his music all day in celebration of his birth. Here's a taste of some Bellson Blues (part 1) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bvly0fel4cY&feature=player_embedded LOVE YOU FRAN! Mrs. B: This is a good vid! I'll add it to the "Watch Videos Here" page. Thanks.
Just thinking that we would have been in the middle of Louie Bellson Heritage Days in Rock Falls, Illinois. It was a lot of work, but Louie was always worth it. I will always have the memories of pontooning down the Rock River with Louie and Francine, and the joy on Louie's face when he got to pilot the boat. Happy Birtday Louie!! Mrs. B: I'll never forget either! Thanks for the memories.
MRS.B; THANK YOU;THANK YOU FOR KEEPING THE MEMORY OF THIS GREAT MAN ALIVE. LET LOUIS NEVER BE FORGOTTEN. GOD BLESS. Mrs. B: You're quite welcome, Maurice. It's fans like you who keep me going!!
I always loved and admired Louie Bellson. He just sounded so good, and he was so professional and perfekt behind the drumkit. I am a professional drummer myself, and was close to Louie´s friend and College the late Ed Thigpen, and we talked quite often about Louie and his worldclass drumming. So god bless him, he will never be forgotten. Rip. Mrs. B: Thanks for sharing, Dennis. Please join our mailing list (small box atop any page).
When I heard louies recording of "skin deep"with duke Ellington I was hooked on. Drum solos. That was back in about 1959.I missed seeing Louie in person in las vagas by about 5minutes. Of course of all the drummer I like louies drumming technique the best. N.R Mrs. B: Thanks, Neil. We invite you to join our mailing list (small box atop any page).
I bought the book "Solos & Duets for Snare Drum". It is really hip. Do you have any more stuff like this.
Italy fans remember Louie Bellson...Rip.
The summer of 92, I had the honor of opening for Louie in Lisbon and Freiburg, Germany. Every night during our set, (I was gigging with Linda Hopkins) Louie would stand on the side of the stage and watch our show. Well, the first night I saw him there, I tripped. So trying not to look at him, I sneaked a peak going around the kit. He was watching and winked. I almost lost it but I didn't. Thank God. So when his set came, I stood on the side of the stage to watch him. When he soloed, he snatched one of my two chops and added to it. And I mean added to it. Then he looked at me and winked again, but with a little smirk. I tripped. This went on for a week every night. What I discovered was he was teaching me. Lessons I will never forget. From listening to him as a child to performing on the same stage, awesome experience. Rest well my friend. Mrs. B: George, I'll never forget you that summer! Thanks for your kindness.
Louie we miss you We remember when Mr Bellson played at Emmanuel Baptist Church and no one wanted Mr Bellson to stop. He played that day for an hour
Back in the 50's when I was growing up there was no greater jazz drummer than Louie. His artistry with the double-basses, and blazing single-stroking were unimaginable. His soft, personable demeanor made him the class act of a often hard-edged world of jazz egos. I miss him..
Sorry to hear about the loss of this great horn master. Snooky Young popped up in just about every important trumpet section extant and was always in the spotlight with the rest of the greats. He may have been on Louie's band Thursday nights at Donte's in the late '60's. Tough to remember that far back but it's likely that he was there at some point, being in Severinsen's band and those guys all hung together. I remember the great Ross Tompkins (also gone) was usually at the piano. How can you go wrong with that? Hard to believe Snooky won't be around anymore. Another national jazz treasure gone. RIP.
Met Mr. Bellson in 1987. He'd just finished a show (trio) in the basement of the Actor's Theatre in Louisville, Ky. As everyone was leaving, I stood at the end of the bar and watch Mr. Bellson break down his drum kit. I approached him and complimented him on his great brush work. He said, "Thanks, it bothers me so many young drummers today do not appreciate the art of working with brushes." I ask him if he seen the newly release movie, Taps, starring Gregory Hines? He replied, "No, but the movie was based on the lifework of two of Pearl's cousins, famous tap-dancers." I've since forgotton their names, but I've never forgotton Mr. Bellson's conversation with me. I was going through a rough period in my life and the fact that this kind and gentle man took the time to talk with me, gave me such a lift. A very much needed lift. I will forever be so grateful to Mr. Bellson for that wonderful memory. I often refer to it when speaking to people about what distinguishes the genuine from the not-so- genuine. He will always be a great man in my world.
It was with Great Pleasure to meet Mrs. Bellson on the hotel elevator on the way to the Chicago Drum Show on 5/22/2011. Also a special thanks for taking a moment of her time for my girlfriend and I to be photographed with her and Bonnie. (Les Demerle's wife) This was our first of many shows that we will be attending. Thanks a million.
I remember when I first got into drums, watching Louie on TV and I was blown away on what he could do with a double bass drum set.I am a big band freak, and watching Louie, got me more motivated to become a big band drummer. Although I never made the big time, I am happy playing in our hometown BIG BAND,which has been in existance for 20 years now. I enjoy Big Band drumming,and Louie ,along with Gene KRupa and Buddy rich ,have been my biggest influences.GOD BLESS LOUIE, You are deeply missed...FRANK SPATAFORA,drummer,L.C. JAZZ BIG BAND, VERGENNES, VT.
Sorry to learn of Snooky Young's passing. I'm sure he will be greatly missed.
R.I.P. Snooky.......
I forgot to mention, I have the great pleasure of playing weekly in Malibu at the beach, with Snooky's son, Danny Young, an incredible musician, and wonderful warm friend. He doesn't play bass, he becomes the bass. Catch him if you can. He plays around Ventura as well, look for "Granville Young"
Thanks, Mrs. Bellson, for the NY Times article about Mr Snooky Young, which led me to the youtube video (below). And I am sure that Louie was digging it along with Ed Shaughnessy too! What a cool cat. With a plunger in his hand! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cqStJ7rq_E http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/19/arts/music/snooky-young-trumpeter-with-doc-severinsen-dies-at-92.html
Like Louie, Snooky was not one of the finest musicians to ever pick up his chosen instrument, but one of the nicest human beings I ever met. God bless them both.
Having been on Louie's band at the age of 20, I must say that it was quite and experience to handle the jazz/split lead book. He, and his wife, Pear Bailey, were like surrogate parents to me. I miss them both terribly.
I had the privilege of recording on several dates with Snooky. Not only was he a stellar player, but he was also an on-the-spot mentor. He will be sorely missed by the music world.
I played with Snooky for six years when I subbed for Shaughnessy on the Tonight Show. He was a great person and of course, a great Trumpet player. We also did so road gigs wit Doc. The world has lost a beautiful soul. Colin Bailey
I grew up listening to Snooky I listened to him in Louie's bands,The Tonight Show Orchestra and many other "venues" Snooky had "Soul" God Bless Him And Keep Him...........
I am sad to hear about "Snooky Young's " Passing! I always liked to See him! On "The Tonight Show!! Starring "Johnny Carson"! ( Sometimes Johnny would feature. "Snooky's great talent! On his show! God Bless him! ( From: Mark d. Silva. ) In Tampa, Florida.
On Snooky... I played in several orchestras with Snooky but it wasn't until I sat next to him on the plane to Reagan's first inauguration that I realized just what a great guy he was. He spoke from the heart and like Louie won mine.
Aside from having been a personal friend of mine for many years, Louie was one of the greatest percussionists who ever came down the pike. I had the pleasure of making many records with him. I miss Louie a lot, and I'll always love him.
Snooky will also be missed . He was a wonderful human being. Sonny Russo used to get Danny Cahn & myself into Tonite Show rehs. in NY & we were just WOWED out with that Trpt . sec. of which Snooky was a part . He knocked us out with his solos ! Tremendous !
Thank you so much for inviting me to sign up at the Chicago drum show.I have loved Louie's playing for years.I have skin deep on my cell phone.I never got to see him play in person,but I know several people who have and said he was just a great person. Thank you again,Tony Berkman
Louie Bellson was not only a great musician, but a great man. He was and continues to be a great inspiration to me, my family, and our community. Louie gave a drum set to a young boy who went on to major in music in college. As a direct result of Louie's generosity, attention, and mentoring, that same young boy, now a young man, has his own successful band, "Elements of Truth". Our family cannot thank Louie and Francine enough. Thank you for all that you have done and for the beautiful people that you both were and continue to be. Louie will always be remembered and loved by the Youngblood family. Francine, thank you for your, love, friendship, and for the opportunity to write a few words. May God continue to bless you and now and forever. Edward L. Youngblood Mrs. B: Thanks Ed, but I can't accept all those accolades without giving the "young boy, now a young man" his due. Reader's Note - Edward's son was one of the two 8 yr old boys Louie wrote solos for them to perform in our 1992 wedding procession.
I came to know Louie through his lovely wife Francine; she and I were members of the same church at one time. Thus I was blessed to accompany him to some of his college drum seminars and performances in a variety of venues, from the intimate setting of Bach, Dance and Dynamite Society in Half Moon Baby to Stanford University auditorium featuring the soulful jazz singer Joe Williams. The thing that I noticed in all of those venues is that Louie was never just a drummer, he had a unique style. He played the drums as if he were playing a piano with sticks. He created a melody while maintaining the precision of complex jazz polyrhythms. Awesome! Louie, I love you man wherever you are.
LOUIE BELLSON... ONE OF A KIND, AS A MAN AND A MUSICIAN. WHEN GOD GAVE BLESSINGS TO LOUIE, HE GAVE SOMETHING VERY SPECIAL...THIS IS HOW LOUIE REACHED THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN IN HIS CAREER.YES, LOUIE WILL BE AN INFLUENCE ON FUTURE GENERATIONS OF DRUMMERS, COMPOSERS AND MANKIND.
The top & best known drummers of all time were Louie Bellson #1, Buddy Rich #2 & Gene Krupa #3. Mrs. B: Then you'll definitely want to see/get the latest item just released which includes all three of these icons! Go to (click) News page for May 23, 2011.
Every time I walk down the hallway in my office and see the picture of Louie hanging there, I have to smile. Whenever he came in the office, I always scheduled extra "talk time". I feel very honored to have known him. He was truly one of the great ones.
I have been going to the Chicago Drum Show since 2003 and have seen alot of great drummers there Louie Bellson will be missed in the drummers world!
From 1990-1993 I worked as an electronic music copyist, librarian and general music schlep for Johnnie Carl - Arranger, Orchestrater, Conductor and Pianist for the Hour of Power Orchestra at the Crystal Cathedral. Mr. Bellson was a guest artist one Sunday. I was privileged to be able to meet and speak with him. I told him my mother-in-law and sister-in-law would be in town and that both were big fans, could they possibly meet him. He said sure, no problem. They and my wife and I all got to spend a few minutes talking with him privately after the services. Mr. Bellson was very kind and engaging and wasn't in a hurry. Everyone had a wonderful time and my relatives and I have a wonderful memory. I also bumped into him and Francine at a few NAMM shows later on and he remembered us. Beside being an amazing drummer and musician, he was indeed a great, great man.
All of the comments on Louie's skills as a great Drummer, musician and gentleman proves that historical statement, that "If it's not in writing, it never happened." Right on"
I will always remember Louie as the ultimate gentleman who was interested in what you had to say. He was a true listener delighted by anything and everything . Not only interested, he was interesting ...rare to find in most. I will also remember his acute level of alertness and caring from his heart for all of his friends whom he knew loved and respected him.
Louie is "the Oracle" in so many contexts! Marvelous composer, superb performer and above all a man of enormous personal integrity, humility and spirit! We had dinner together when Louie did a week of teaching amd performing at Dennison University in Granville, Ohio. The stories he told about folks like Duke, The Dorsey Bros, Buddy, Glen Miller and virtually every historically important "jazz giant" in history were astounding! And Louie was one of the upper echelon - the best of the best and yet he never spoke about himself in that context! What is there to say except, he was and is one-in-a-trillion! We love him and miss him terribly! His passing literally marks the end of an era that will never be equaled!
Louie is "the Oracle" in so many contexts! Marvelous composer, superb performer and above all a man of enormous personal integrity, humility and spirit! We had dinner together when Louie did a week of teaching amd performing at Dennison University in Granville, Ohio. The stories he told about folks like Duke, The Dorsey Bros, Buddy, Glen Miller and virtually every historically important "jazz giant" in history were astounding! And Louie was one of the upper echelon - the best of the best and yet he never spoke about himself in that context! What is there to say except, he was and is one-in-a-trillion! We love him and miss him terribly! His passing literally marks the end of an era that will never be equaled!
Louie Bellson is one of the major drummers, musicians and composers of all times. What a wonderful musician and person. I give thanks for the time that I met and enjoyed playing for him and his wife, Francine, and organizing a drum evening in dedication of him. I also very much enjoyed playing at one of his wedding receptions. He and his wife Francine, I am happy to say, danced to my songs the cha-cha "Love You Dear". He also asked my band to play "Our Love is Here to Stay" and we were glad to do so. I will always remember Louie even though I did not get an opportunity to play with him. Many blessings and much inner peace to you, Francine. Eddie and Georgette Gale
When I moved to Davenport in 1973, having been a drummer in high school and college, wanted to learn as much as I could about Louie and his Moline roots. Was pleasantly surprised that he returned here regularly to perform, do clinics, and share his vast knowledge. What an exemplary man in every way! Never met a better ambassador for music, social responsibility, communication, love, one of a kind in my experience. He is dearly loved by the Quad Cities community, gone but never forgotten. Mrs. B: Since you're in the Quad-Cities, I want to be sure you watch the video "LB: Hometown Hero" (at bottom of Homepage). http://louiebellson.info/home.html
I met Louie back in 1976 when I was working at Franks Drum Shop. He packed the room on the 4th floor. It was an SRO crowd. One of the nicest guys I ever met. Wiz
This weekend is Nothing Special in terms of Remembering Louie. I see him everyday in the Picture of Him, Councilman Leon Williams, of San Diego,California and myself, that's hanging on My Dinning Room wall, not to mention the music I play on my Radio Jazz show and give mentioning of him. Musically Dr. Roland Esq. Holmes The International Voice of Jazz,Blues and Gospel Radio KUCI-88.9 FM Internet at www.kuci.org
I will always remember Louis Bellson,especially on Memorial Day. I will miss Louis at the Pasic Conventions always stopping to talk with you with his friendly and laid back personality. It was like Louis knew everybody. I remember that when Louis was in Town he would take the time out to visit his old Drummer friends that were in the Nursing Home. Their eyes would light up when Louis showed in the room.
I have some wonderful memories of Louie that I'll cherish for the rest of my life... I feel so blessed to have known him. Just the other day I was looking through old photos from NAMM shows and other events, and in every picture of Louie, he was surrounded by all the great drummers. Everyone loved him so much... He was the epitome of class and humility. I miss him very much but I know he's in Heaven swinging that band like only Louie can! God Bless you, Maestro. Your friend always, John DeChristopher.
From the first time I met Louie in 1971 at the Brass Ring Jazz Club in the San Fernando Valley (So. California) to the very last time I went backstage to chat and introduce (my then) new wife (at the University of So. California), Mr. Bellson was always gracious, a gentleman, funny, informing (I always wanted to talk "drums") and down right charming. In my mind LB was not only the greatest musicians, but one of the greatest human beings God blessed us with here on earth. Louie Pastor Mrs. B: Amen!
Oh yeah....Judy and I remember Lou much more often than just Memorial Day. Every time I sit behind the drums Louie pops up in my mind, remembering all the great drum battles we had . Such a wonderful guy. And nice to chat with you last week Francine. Love Buzzy
Mrs. B - I will always remember the time I spent with Louie. It was during a week in which Louie was the guest artist for our university Percussion Ensemble concert. He was so open with all of us, and he treated us all like we were his buddies preparing for a gig. He was the consummate gentleman, the "drummer's drummer". I miss him so.
How can I forget your smile ,the jokes ,the laughs we shared together. Your are present everyday of my life,you are my example of drumming and an ancredible person. Never forget. Walfredo de los reyes sr
Gentle spirit of a man... And man, his playing was like a caress to the skins and ears.
Francine, how could ANY drummer or any who lovedLouie forget him ever and especially on Memorial Day. As I lower the Flag to half staff on Monday, I will be thinking of Louie, and you, Mrs "B"!
Hi, Mrs. B -- been a while since I have emailed a few lines here. The last mailing that I sent to the guestbook, you were very kind in responding to my entry. LB's playing, mannerisms, and musical abilities are still things to behold. I have been a drummer and a musician for well over 50 years, and when I think of LB, play an album or CD, etc., all his capabilities and abilities are right there in the forefront. I was saddened that we lost Joe Morello a while back. I had the opportunity to see the Dave Brubeck Quartet perform back in 1965 at the Eastman with Joe at his classic Ludwigs. Like an LB or a Buddy Rich show, that was one heck of a night -- glad that I was able to go and be a part of it. Take care, Mrs. B -- 'til next time... Gary
I will always cherish the time that Gabe Pettinnicchio,took me to Drum City,so i could meet Mr. Bellson. he put on a demonstration and he ask me if i would stand behind him and reach over his shoulder's and hold his wrist's while he demonstrsted finger style drumming,i was and i still am amazed at his knowledge and talent.I will alway'shave a place in my heart for my idol Mr Louie Bellson,rest in peace my friend.
I will always remember Louie. I took lessons from Henry Bellson and he would be helping Louie at every event I saw Louie at. Louie would also go grocery shopping at the store I used to work at. I always dropped what I was doing and talk to him. He was always respectful, patient, down to earth and so easy to talk to. He is a great example for all of us. Thank you GOD for sending him to us to enjoy and look up to one of your better creation's on earth. I know today he is a far better percussionist and we are far better humans to have known him. Thank you Mrs B for keeping in touch.
He was an incredible voice, as he spoke through his drums. You could listen to him play all day, as he was so creative and expressive, and knew how to make the drums talk. He also was a very, very nice guy...so nice, I never knew if I was irritating him.
just remembering what a wonderful Heart ! I Imagine Louie wearing a halo playing in the HOLY of Holies band in praise and worship..... Say hello to Jesus for us Louie . Thank you for sharing your life on earth with us.
Going thru my old vinyl LPs, came across The Louie Bellson Explosion from 1975, which has my favorite Bellson tune: Intimacy of The Blues. Louie was kind enough to sign it for me years later. The cover art has his everlasting smile. Miss ya Louie. Francine, you're an angel.
Just reminding us of a legend and his legacy. We all miss him Lee Mrs. B: Thanks, Lee. Please join our mailing list (small box atop any page).
It's been a year since the dedication in Moline. Seems like yesterday. Yet Louie lives forever. God bless. Bill Dal Cerro Chicago, IL
Louie sure is missed!!!!
I met Louie in Las Vegas back about 1958. He was married to Pearlie Mae who was starring at the Desert Inn Hotel (since closed). But she wasn't allowed to go through the main entrance of the hotel to perform. Had to go in through the kitchen. (Remember those days). Anyway, they had them staying in a very nice cottage on the grounds and I used to go several afternoons a week to play secretary and take dictation from her (back in the old days before convenient recording devices, we humans were the device). Anyway, met Louie several times that summer and he was such a gentlemen. I was so impressed with two stars seeming to be very compatible.
When I was young and living in Princeton, NJ, I used to play along with the Basie Jam records (of course Louie played on these). My father used to sit there just relaxing while I played along, albeit I probably wasn't that good (I'm a hard rock drummer at heart). LOL. What attracted me to Louie was his use of double Bass drums. Very cool. In any case, my Dad just passed a few weeks ago. That memory, and those Basie records, leave a fond memory. Thanks. Mrs. B: Reader's Note: Those of us in "the business" certainly recognize the name Bobby Borg. (see www.bobbyborg.com) We want to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt condolences to him on this recent loss.
Remember; Just a short thought of remembering Mr. Bellson this holiday. My very good friend Billy Mann often talked about Mr.Bellson back in high school and now, still talks about him. Bill and Mr. Bellson had the same drum teacher, Tommy Thomas. I feel like I know the both of them. Bill and I teach a WGI indoor marching percussion ensemble in south Fla. Every season we still remind the kids where all of there drumming really came from, and because of that, they will both live thru us, and our kids. Phil
HAVING FOND MEMORYS,OF LOUIE,GIVING ME A FAST DRUM LESSON IN A WILLOW GLEN CA. DRUM STORE.WHAT A GENTLEMAN,LOUIE YOU ARE MISSED...HAVE A GREAT GIG IN THE SKY(YOUR FRIEND PATRICK)
I just finished watching the "Hometown Hero" video. WOW! Such talent that is greatly missed. Mrs. B: "Wow" is right!!! (Reader's note: this video is at bottom of the Homepage).
Louie, you've given us great memories through your great abilities as a musician and family man. You are indeed a great man.
Being born and raised in the same town as Louie Bellson had Super benefits. Louis would come to the Moline high School to put on a show with the friends who returned with him from the Glen Miller orchestra. It was SUPER!
Just picked up an LP titled Louis Bellson and Exposion, direct to disc recording, and will for the very first time here Mr Bellison. I have read his Bio, and look forward to hearing his later music. Mrs. B: Thanks, John. Please join our mailing list (small box atop any page).
Thoroughly enjoyed Ella & Mel's surprise ending. Chick Corea has good taste in friends.
Mrs. B: (Reader's Note -- Ref: latest entry on the Watch Videos Here! page).
I just found out that Rob McConnell died last May. I must have been living under a rock! The Boss Brass was an institution. Another irreplaceable jazz titan has gone. Mrs. B: (Reader's Note -- Rob McConnell, a jazz trombonist, composer and arranger who led one of the few successful big bands to emerge in the 1960s, died May 1 in Toronto, where he lived. He was 75. See NewYorkTimes article.)
Within two years, we've lost two of world's finest and most musical drummers of our time. My friendship with Louie began in 1949, and with Joe, in 1956. What a pleasure it was for me to have had the relationships I had with these two gentlemen, and because of my associations with each, I was able impart their musical inspirations on-to my percussion students interested in the art of jazz drumming. Thanks to recordings and DVD's, these two icons can be heard and seen in performances. Each will be missed, in their own right, and especially more-so because of the way each touched my heart. Jim Sewrey Note to Mrs. B: Thanks Francine for keeping the information line going. Jim and Helen
I had the greatest drum lesson ever with Joe on 8/11/2007 at his studio in NJ. It was supposed to be an hour and turned into three hours. He autographed a drum head and a couple of photos for me. We talked about Louie, Buddy and the music of that era, it was a great time. I learned alot about drumming that day and made a great friend. Thank you Joe and may God bless you and your family. Peace Thank you for this page Mrs B.
Another great loss to the drumming world so sad take five one of my favourite jazz tracks Joe will be sadly missed but his drumming lives on and i'm sure he'll be having a blast up there with louie,buddy, gene,and the rest of these great great drumming guys R.I.P god bless you Joe
back in 1970 the drummer in the band i was a roadie for said "you like drummers,listen to this "and handed me a copy of the lp "time out".that opened the door to jazz for me .i was amazed by joe,louie,buddy,gene,shelley and so many other greats..thanks for the intro joe.
Thanks, Mrs. B for the email re: Mr. Morello's passing. I was privileged to hear and to meet Messrs. Morello, Brubeck, Desmond and Wright at a college concert in 1967. What a quartet they were!!!
My Dear Mrs. B, There are so many things that I wish to relate to you. Suffice it to say: What you are doing here is Noble Very, very Noble. The community of drummers, and musicians in general, are in your dept. My Very Best Wishes To You. Louie, Duke, The Count, Morello, Buddy .... We, They, We All Love You. Shaun
In the 50's & 60's Louie and Buddy were the undisputed icons in the world of jazz drumming. I'm happy to see the 'Bellson Beat' honor another great who was just as good, but in a different more scientific way; Joe Morello. Morello played with the Brubeck quartet in the cool, terribly difficult, time change sycopation that no other groups could master. This form of jazz was miles ahead of the Blue Note 'bebop' of Harlem and 'Birdland'. Morello's mastery of independent coordination was extreme (and the best) and no one else was into it like him. Thanks again for honoring a drummer who was game-changing in bringing split-rhythems to the fore.
My thoughts, prayers and spirit goes out to Joe Morello and his family. Always to be remembered as a very talented and special person to us all...:-) Ernie Mink
The only time I saw Joe live was at a drum clinic in the UK in the early '70's. His expertise on the kit blew me away. I really couldn't believe how good he was. And like his contemporary, Louie he came over as a real gent. He really opened my mind to modern jazz drumming and what could be achieved in a small unit. He was probably under rated in the UK at the time but he will never be forgotten. R.I.P. Joe!
Great drummer, technician and funny guy. I only wish I could have seen him live, take some lessons from him and get to know him personally. He is now talking with Louie, Gene, Jack Sperling and telling Buddy not to interrupt until it is Buddy's turn to talk. "And the angels swing."
Being an ex-sax ammateur player in my teens age, I did admired Jazz music most of all. I have unfortunately quit playing it due to my other department of interest (electrical engineering). Thank You for enabling me to hear again and again Dave Brubeck Quartet's TAKE FIVE and TAKE THE A TRAIN. I wih you all the health and joy in keeping these unreproductable memories of Louie's unforgetable music and friends.
He was one of the best. He will be missed in the world of drumming in particular and in music in general.
Very sad news! Joe Morello brought me to Jazz and was my idol since then. He was not a drum wonder like Buddy Rich but an extremely gifted teacher. His solo in "Sounds of the Loop" is classical and an example of logical drumming without losing tension. Good bye Joe!
Dear Francine, Thank you for giving us the opportunity to express our sadness of Joe Morello's passing. We also celebrate his life with so much he has given us and left us. Louie and Joe were such great friends and had great respect for each others contribution to drumming and music. In my own life, I count my endless blessings as I have had the best of lifelong influences. In 1959 I was 5 years old, my Dad brought home Dave Brubeck's record "Jazz Impressions Of The USA". There was a song on it called "Sounds Of The Loop" which featured a long drum solo by Joe. When I heard it at the tender age of 5, I KNEW that playing drums was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I remember that moment so clearly. 10 years later I met Louie and Louie became my lifelong mentor. A few years after I met Louie, I studied with Alan Dawson (who was playing with Brubeck at that time). That was in 1975, and what a year that was as I also saw a Joe Morello clinic in Boston and ALSO saw Louie play at Symphony Hall. Louie, Joe and Alan all set the bar so high in drumming that the greatest lesson they all taught me was to just be the best ME I can be. For that I will be forever thankful and blessed. Louie once told me: "Joe and I once got together and I had to laugh... because Joe is such a great drummer... but he asked me, "Louie, how do you get your single stroke roll so FAST?" I then said "What did you tell him Lou"? Louie just said (in his always humble way) "I dunno Joe. That's just something that always came easy for me". I always loved that story. I think of you often Francine... and pray you are doing well. Lets talk soon. Always Love... from your play-son, Andy
Thank you, Francine, for sharing the Legacy of some of our greatest. It reminds me how much I miss Louie as we all do. He will never be forgotten. Hope you are doing well. I'll be in touch.
Thank you for reliving not only Joe's solo but Paul Desmond's sweetness and talent. And to be anyhow connected to my former colleague Ralph Gleason.
In 1977 I saw Louie in my home town Malmö, Sweden and I invited him to my house after the concert. You know what ? we watched videos of Buddy Rich and Louie also showed me som hints on my practice pads. Unfortunately I never met Joe but I use to listen to him on any record I could lay my hands on. We will never ever hear drummers like Loue, Buddy and Joe again.
Very saddened to hear of Joe's passing. I had the honor of him allowing me to sit in with the Brubeck Quartet back in 1966, when I wasa 20 y/o incomong grad student at Clark University and Joe was un avouidably late for a concert at Wochester Polytech. It was the highlight of my life as a professional drummer. Joe was a kind and thoughtful person, a great teacher and a wise man who treated everyone with respect..and he was "unjustly" humble about his own talents. Ironically, both Louis and Joe became lifeloneg friends, long after I left the music business, especial;ly Louis, who I saw often here in S. Ca.
I am very sadden to hear of Joe Morello passing on. I have learned so much from his music, books, and videos and continue to so today. Thank Joe. Vince Toronto
God Bless You,Francine. Your gracious (and timely) ode to Joe is, I'm sure, appreciated by many..... Louie Is Beaming At You Right Now. Best Wishes, Shaun
Rest In Peace,Joe The music you made will last---FOREVER
Though we have lost another one of our friends, we should be thankful that they inspired us and shared their love of playing with us. Joe is now in good company with Gene,Buddy, Louie, and all the great drummers. As teachers, it is our job to keep their legacies and playing alive. I was fortunate to have studied with Joe and Henry Adler.
Dear Dear Francine and Global Drum Brothers, I'm very saddened to hear of the passing of another great Mentor and Friend, Joe Morello. Joe was the first drummer I ever saw do a "drum clinic" and as a young boy of about 12 years old.....it inspired me to no end......... He also played a concert with the Brubeck Quartet the same night!!!!!!! AWESOME....... I meet him that afternoon backstage and we remained friends all of these years. And just like Louie, a Great Man, Musician and Friend. He changed drumming forever and will always be remembered through his music, incomparable style and technique. DRUM ROLL PLEASE. Love ya Joe Rick http://www.ricklatham.com PS....some years later, The first time I met Louie Bellson......and we played a little together.......Louie said to me...."you know Rick, your left hand looks just like Joe Morello's" From the first time I saw Joe and he played his famous left handed single stroke roll on my pants leg that day...........I guess the picture of his technique stayed with subconsciously.. Glad it did!!!!!!!!!!!!
Francine: Thank you for sharing the news. Yet another great jazzman is called to join that great Jazz Ensemble in the sky. What a crazy couple of months! But, our loss is God's gain. I had the honor of speaking to Joe two summers ago, interviewing him for my book. His real family name was Morelle; but although his father emigrated from Nice, France, Joe's father spoke fluent Italian--not a surprise, as Nice used to be known as "Nizza," and was give to France by Italy in the 1860s. Joe was still tickled to be included in the book, and referred to Louie as "one of the greatest" (an exact quote). Can't argue with that. My best to Joe's family. Sincerely, Bill Dal Cerro Chicago "Bebop, Swing and Bella Musica: The History of Italian Americans in Jazz" www.italiansinjazz.com
I met Louie during his visit to Queen's University Belfast, way back in the 1980's I think. What a concert that was. I had the pleasure of meeting Mrs Bellson at PASIC 2010. A Lovely and most charming lady. He is so missed!
Im sad to hear the new about Joe. he was and still is one of my heros. His drumming inspired me to want to learn more about Jazz, and still does to this day , he will be missed, RIP JOE,
On some Brubeck videos, when Joe is soloing, you can see him pull his bass drum back. Evidently he didn't use a bass drum anchor, which is both surprising and gutsy! He was a true original - no one like him before or since. People will be listening to Joe Morello a hundred years from now. He truly set the standard for playing odd meters. Louie, Joe, and Buddy were all friends, and they must be trading fours, fives, sevens, and thirteens in heaven as we speak! I wish to send my regards to Mrs B. It's been a rough couple of years but I hope you are well. Mrs. B: Thanks for your insight and caring, Derek. (Reader's Note -- see News page for March 12, 2011.)
Thank you for the nice website and letting me set up Louie's drums over the years. Here is my Grandson; all he needs now is conventional grip, reading and practice. I hope he gets as much pleasure listening to Louie's records as I do. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Btw3y2Gm0OI Mrs. B: My word! If this doesn't sound like an early Louie Bellson drum solo, I don't know what does!! The tag says 21 months -- is this possible? If so, that beats lil' Louie who pointed his finger to the drums marching by at age 3. Attn, readers -- you MUST watch this video! And to Grandpa Don, "Carry on!"
Monday, Feb. 14th, 2011 Dear Francine, I wanted to tell you that I have been thinking of you and Louie all day. It is hard to believe that he made his transition two years ago today. Louie's enormous spirit lives on, in our memory of him and in you and your tireless efforts to keep his music and memory alive. Of course, he was so loved, admired and respected as a musician but perhaps even more importantly, as a human being. His enormous contributions to music and his craft, as a drummer, composer and artist are only matched by the equally enormous contributions he made to all of those whose lives he touched, known and unknown to him. Louie broke down a lot of barriers. But in doing so, his humanity, warmth and respect for all those with whom he came into contact, remains a quiet object lesson in the art of having a successful life and career. That success was not merely measured by his exceptional talent but lived in harmony with his compassionate, humanitarian outlook on all people. And the success that he achieved professionally as an artist and personally as a man, is directly attributable to his commitment to those basic qualities, which he possessed in natural abundance. They have long continued to be an important, inspiring example of a man whose life ambitions were achieved with class, style and his integrity intact, while having the respect and love of all that knew him. Regardless of one's life direction or chosen occupation, Louie continues to be a positive role model for living a happy, productive and fulfilling life. And what a very lucky man Louie was to have a wife like you, to love him, support him and care for him. He certainly deserved you and I'm certain you deserved him. I hope you are continuing to heal and spread Louie's message........that, I am sure you are doing! And I look forward to seeing you again 'down the road' before too long. Meanwhile Francine, I send much love to you and yours. Warmest regards, Doane Perry Mrs. B: Doane, your letter overwhelms me with feelings of joy and thanksgiving. Thank you for the kudos and for helping spread the message about the true reason we admire and seek to emulate Louie.
Dearest Francine, Valentine's Day will never be the same for us, as we observe the 2nd year of Louie's passing into heaven. He is indeed my Patron Saint of drums and especially love. It was with great surprise and joy that someone JUST sent me this video that I would like to share with you and everyone. I had never seen it before, and the ending was a big surprise for me. Here it is; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBBj4df1c-o&feature=player_embedded Happy Valentine's Day Francine with love. xoxo Andy
Hello Everyone, I am thrilled that this website exists. I had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. B in Indy at PASIC and I am so glad that she was there. He is still my favorite musician and I'm so glad whenever I find some new recording of his that I didn't know about before. I sincerely hope that every drum teacher who reads this makes it a special point to tell all of his or her students about one of the greatest drummers of all time. Mrs. B: Thanks, Mike. And the easiest way to do this is send them here to www.louebellson.com -- "Once you go in, you won't want to come out!"
Dear Mrs “B” It was both my pleasure and honor to make your acquaintance the other day. I am always excited to learn of contributions by others to our culture/society. And I am very humbled to meet those individuals that keep the spirit and legacy of those contributors alive. After visiting your website, I viewed/listened to some of Mr. Bellson pieces on YouTube. It was wonderful to watch Mr. Bellson, masterfully, display his skills during his 1957 “Skin Deep” solo. And it was equally enjoyable to view Mr. Bellson’s 2008 Drum Solo performance - as he demonstrated, that after more than 50 years, he was still on top of his craft! Thanks for keeping his legacy alive! Maurice Mrs. B: Thanks for your comments, Maurice. I hope when you say you were watching the video clips that you were viewing thru our "Watch Videos Here!" page. Try it now by clicking http://louiebellson.info/watch_videos.html And so we won't lose touch, please join our mailing list (small box atop any page) to receive notices. Thanks.
Dr. King left a huge legacy for all of us. His work was far more important that we can imagine. Someday... someday.. We can all see his Dream.. Bless you! Corky Proverbs 23:12-14
I've listened to Louie Bellson for as long as I can remember listening to drummers. He was, to me, the epitome of what I call the "musical drummer." I remember the long, long hours trying to duplicate Louie's work in the original "Skin Deep" (which I still consider to be one of the top five drum solos of all time). I've always introduced my son (now 35 and also a drummer) to the great artists, including Louie Bellson. At the Corpus Christi (TX) Jazz Festival (mid-1990s, 1995?), I took my son backstage after Louie's performance and asked Louie if he would autograph his just-used sticks to my son. Louie was delighted to do so, signing one "Louie" and the other "Bellson." Handing them to my son, Louie gave the sticks to my boy as I looked on, and said, "Now, neither one of them is any good without the other." It was truly a memorable moment and one my son still speaks of. Those sticks are in a treasured frame and will be passed down to our grandchildren. Mrs. B: That sounds SO like Louie! Your testimony is fantastic. Thanks for making my (MLK) day.
Hello Mrs. B. I wanted to share a feel good story. I met a man who knew both Louis and yourself. After hearing me play he said Louis would have loved your playing, and if he were still her I would tell him about you. WOW!!. He was an 84 year old man, and I brought back some great memories for him.My Dad took me to see Louis when I was a kid. I still listen to the solo he did on Skin Deep in the 50's. Im 54 years old now and drummers in their 80's really inspire me to continue to share my gift. Thank you and God Bless You.
Dear Francine, The T-shirt that I ordered came in the mail I was able to give it to my father yesterday. He was so happy he cried. You see my father was a childhood friend to Louie, Frank and Tony, with his father having a barber shop near the Bellson music store in Moline. As a child I knew Frank, but never had the pleasure to meet Louie. I also received the music download card and will see that my Dad gets to enjoy it. Thank you again for making it possible for me to make my Dad so happy!! Charna Callaway-Heath Mrs. B: You're quite welcome! I'm glad you shared your note which is a testimony to how much a Louie Bellson gift can mean to a relative. When you get a chance, be sure to show your father the video "Louie Bellson: Hometown Hero" found at the bottom of the Homepage. The 3rd photo is of Louie & his father standing in front of their Music Store in Moline. (Or, click here to view: http://qconline.com/multimedia/display.php?id=450 )
Hello, My Dad first took me to see Louis back when I was in Junior High (1968 maybe)? We saw Louis play at De Anza College Flint Center with the magnificent De Anza Jazz Band/Orchestra. My Dad a saxophone player (still playing is his seventies) introduced me to Louis that night at De Anza. I have gone to see Louis a countless number times in my life and every time he treated me with kindness and grace and would sit with me even during his breaks at a jazz club I saw him at (it was called “The Reunion”) in S.F. One time that I personally will never forget was seeing Louis do a clinic at the “Conservatory of Music” in S.F. During questions from the audience, I asked Louis how he got that beautiful sound out of his bass drums? He asked me to come up and play his set to hear (first hand) what it sounded like from behind the drum set. What a privilege it was for me to sit behind and play his drum set (a little). I still teach some of his ideas he has taught me with my own drum students. What an inspiration to me and countless others all over the world. Sincerely, Robin
Francine, I am Loraine Shannon's son. We have seen each other before many years ago Back when we would go the Quad Citys and help Lou set up his drums than he would give my brother Mark a set of his drun sticks and I still have mine. Mrs. B: Ron, so we won't lose touch, please join our mailing list (small box atop any page) to receive notices. Thanks.
Happy New Year, Francine! Just wanted to tell you that I love the website!!!! Also, one of the stories of the 'hometown' was photographed at our Music Store in Moline, Illinois. My youngest son and my oldest son and my husband are in the picture. We were so delighted to see it!.......Thanks for sharing all of the wonderful memories of Louie with everyone......he was the greatest person I've ever known......we loved him!!!!! Reeda George P.S. Remember when we met at the Four Queens? Louis brought you to Las Vegas when he was booked at the Four Queens on a Monday Night Jazz night. That was our first meeting.......! Mrs. B: Of course! I will never forget your warmth & kind hospitality! Note: The 'hometown' she refers to is the video "Louie Bellson: Hometown Hero" found at the bottom of the Homepage. Click here to view video: http://qconline.com/multimedia/display.php?id=450
Happy New Year to all of you at the Bellson Beat. Keep up the good work through 2011. Rich Keith, G.M. Pure Jazz Radio www.purejazzradio.com
happy new year & god bless you louie where ever you are.I miss this mans magic but he's still with me through his music which i can listen too.
Merry Christmas Mrs. "B" I'm looking at the picture of Louie and Myself when he came to my High School in 1971 to play with my School Jazz Band. Being a drummer, and still performing in a big band I will always look back on the MANY times I either participated in Jazz festivals where Louie was a Judge, Performer or Clinician, and appreciate his musical persona. Merry Christmas Mrs. "B" James Bangar -- YES - "BANG" gar . . . . a drummer Mrs. B: Love it!
Mrs. B, I just want you to know after you encouraged me to go on the website, I couldn't resist getting the New "Snare Drum Solos and Duets" and the Louie and Murray Spivak video. I just ordered on Amazon. God bless you and continue keeping the deal alive! Mrs. B: Marvin, you've truly made my day - Xmas Day! Blessings back at 'cha! Note to all: Be sure to browse the updated Gift Shopping page.
Thanks Mrs. B and great to see you at PASIC this year at Lennie D's booth. Much love and Merry Christmas to you too.
Hi Mrs. B Thank you for the Christmas card. I had that single by Clyde McPhatter & the Drifters! Brought back fond memories. Speaking of memories, I'll never forget the thrill of watching and listening to Louie B's great way of handling the sticks as he beat out various rhythms on the drums. Talk about your 'Little Drummer Boy!' Have a merry and a Happy New Year to all Bellson fans. Heck, that goes for everyone everywhere! Mrs. B: Ahhh, thank you so much, Herb. We can always depend on you for a refreshing view! (Note: For those who missed it, go to the News page for Dec 25.)
Dearest Mama Fran, I feel so very blessed this Christmas. Today I received Louie's new snare drum solos and duets book. (actually 2 of them) I'll be ordering 10 more! I am floating on cloud 9 with elation and gratitude that the snare drum solo he wrote for me on my birthday was published in this wonderful book. Thank YOU Francine! I KNOW you had more than a little to do with this. I'm getting the word out there about this wonderful snare drum book not only because the solo he wrote for me is in there (on page 10) but also because it's a VERY good snare drum book that is challenging and fun for students and professionals alike. Again, thank you so very much Francine! I hope you have a most blessed and wonderful Christmas as we celebrate the birthday of our Lord. Always With Love, Andy PS, I also just received the new Lennie DiMuzio book and I'm having a lot of fun reading it. Mrs. B: Thanks, Andy. It's good to know somebody reads the News and Gift Shopping pages. Enjoy!
1am 16 years old and play the drums. i love the way louie bellson playsand would love to know where to find his cds.
Louis Gave so much to the Art of drumming. His modern reading text in 4/4 IS A must for any teacher to share with his students. It is applicable to any style of playing. There was never a player who gave more than Louis in my opinion. I was fortunate to meet him in Detroit at a drum clinic. He truly is and always will be the God Father of modern drumming...
Whe I was a teen in the 1970's, whenever Mr Bellson would perform at Disneyland, I had to be there and I was. When night as I was leaving one of Mr. Belson's great shows, a employee of Disneyland came to me and told me to follow her. We ended up in the dressing room of this great drummer. i was meeting my idol. What a wonderful man he was. We talked of music. I was a sax player. He gave me some great advise. "Enjoy every minute of it kid and don't take advantage of the gift you have." i remember that moment as if it were yesterday and I remember it with much joy. Mrs. B: Thanks, Andrew. Please join our mailing list (small box atop any page).
Class act, one in a million!!!!
I had the privilege of meeting Louie in Las Vegas in the late 50's one summer when I worked as a secretary for Pearlie Mae. I would go to their bungalow at the hotel (Desert Inn I think) - to take dictation from her. It was an amazing summer job. Learned lessons from her I'll never forget. (Like "attitude is everything, so pick a good one." I still remember how cute I thought Louie was. (I was 17 at the time..) And seemed like a very nice man.
When I was 8, I played on the stage of the Fox Theatre in Atlanta (1948) with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. Louie Bellson was the drummer for TD's orchestra at the time, My brother, then 10, was a drummer and played with Mr. Bellson. I have a photograph somewhere of the two of them. And I have one of myself with TD. There wasn't a better percussionist than LB.Thanks for the memories! Those of very fond memories for me. Ed Gadrix Roswell, Georgia Mrs. B: Thanks for your remembrances. Now go & enjoy the videos, history etc. on the rest of our website.
I am a singer who lived and worked in L.A. for years and co-managed/booked The Times Jazz and Supper Club Studio City CA. Earl Palmer and I went to hear Louie's Big Band many times and I recall one night when Mat Catingub (17 at the time) was playing and Mavis Rivers, his mom, was telling us about Mat. Years later, I was living and singing in Denver when Louie came to town with Frank Strazzeri, Dave Stone, Mat Catingub and Dave and Mat came to my gig and sat in. Next day I spoke to Louie who was so kind ang gracious. His legacy will live on. Memories...... Mrs. B: We really appreciate your sharing, Noreen. So we won't lose touch, please join our mailing list (small box atop any page) to receive notices. Thanks.
Louie Bellson is definitely among the great drummers like Krupa and Rich and many others. I myself was inspired by Bellson from when I was a child of 9 or 10. My father made sure that I knew about all the great muscians, and it was Louie Bellson that made me want to learn the drums which I did. To this day I still watch his techniques and learn a lot from him. Louie Bellson will live on for years to come through his videos. He was and is the best. God Bless him. Mrs. B: Thanks, Bruno. To "...through his videos" might we add "and CDs". Checkout our Gift Shopping page for the latest. There's even a new book by Louie that was just released this month at PASIC.
Louis Bellson was my favourite drummer – always ever present, driving the band along with flair and panache - but never pushing himself to the front at the expense of the orchestra. Mrs. B: Thanks for sharing, Steve. Might we encourage you to join our mailing list? (small box atop any page)
FANS' INTERACTION YIELDS SUCCESS Reader Max from S.C. had contacted us trying to determine/locate a certain lost Bellson album. We suggested he post his inquiry here on the Guestbook page where die-hard Bellson fans might help him. Well, lo & behold, reader Fabio from Rome correctly identified the album, even offering to send Max a taped copy. Then, armed with the title "Matterhorn" from Fabio, Mrs. B searched and found that (a) not only was it the correct album, but (b) it's available as a CD. http://music.barnesandnoble.com/Matterhorn-Louie-Bellson-Drum-Explosion/Louie-Bellson/e/025218709620 Thank you Max and Fabio for today's cooperation. Louie would be proud. Moreover, this exercise should serve to expand all our minds regarding the usefulness of the Guestbook. Anybody else with a Bellson question? Mrs. B
Dear Mr Max Moore,, I hope to 'help' you for the Recording you are lloking for,,.. I have as ..L:P.Records this .. -''MATTERHORN'' by -pablo-2310-834.. ->The Louie Bellson - Drums - Explosion.. -.A.-suite-for-drums-in-four-movements,, -a-entrance,, -b-the knul brothers,, -c-converstions,, -d-then and now8drums-solo).. -.B.-suite-for-drums-in-four-movements,, -a-jazz saxes(Bellson's-solo-finale),, -b-war bird.. Dear Moore, I only can copy this Record on Musicassette---> for ..free..!!!, so if you want, please, ..e-mails(fab.baglioni@tiscali.it).. me,, just to arrange for Mailled-post the ..packett to your home-address... Please, let me know,, Ciao fabio -Roma-,, Italy..
I hoping someone can help me the name of a Bellson/Cobham LP from thr late 70's early 80's. It is NOT the live DVD concert that is popular. It was recorded IN THE STUDIO was just the two of them with Bellson playing on an all Roto kii including Roto Bass Drums I believe. It was a great contrast between Bellson's melodic soloing vs Cobhams much less melodic sheer single stroke speed and power at that time. It was IMO some of the best LB solos of all time...the album and a Ziljian were stolen out my car years ago. I replaced the ride cymbal easily but the LP is elusive...once again it is NOT the live concert DVD. Anybody got a clue? Thanks -max moore PS-Once 'literally' bumped into Louie at a Vic Firth display at a Namm show in the early 80's. I was trying out sticks on the table, backed up not looking, bumped into someone's back, turned to apologize and it was LB! He was talking to Joe Pocaro and the drummer of Tower of Power at the time. He was so very kind and asked me if I wanted to to join the 3 of them to see him play double kits with Spyro Gyra and their drummer in a mini concert upstairs. It was an offer I could not refuse nor believe to this day.
Dear Mrs. B., Louie was one of my idols..in fact at he taught me how to play a great double stroke roll!!! Always so generous and giving of his time and energy. His solo on Explosion remains one of my all time favorites! Note to readers - Sherrie is the drummer for The DIVA Jazz Orchestra. She further writes: . . . We talked over the years at jazz festivals and education events. He was friends with my band's founder, Stanley Kay (who managed Buddy for several years) . . . we all met in Salzburg in the late 1990's. Thanks for the website!!! Warm Regards & Respect, Sherrie Maricle www.divajazz.com Mrs. B: Dear Sherrie, Thanks so much for your kind remarks. You've GOT to get that 3-drummer song, "Two Guys and A Gal" on his last CD Louie & Clark Expedition 2. Sylvia Cuenca is the "gal", but Louie was proud of all you lady drummers. http://louiebellson.info/products.html
Hi Francine! . . . What a cool Halloween card! I really enjoyed that! Thanks so much for thinking of me! God Bless, Matt
DEAR FRAN.I LOOKED AT THE STONE OF LOUIE ,AND JUST WANTED TO TELL YOU THAT YOUR A DOLL TO DO THAT, IT WAS WONDERFULL TO REMEMBER HIM LIKE THAT IF YOUR EVERY IN NJ PLEASE COME TO SEE ME AND MY WIFE AND BE ARE GUEST WE WILL PLAY JAZZ I WILL PLAY DRUMS AND THINK OF THE MASTER OF ALL DRUMMERS NO NOT GOD ? BUT LOUIE...LOVE YOU PHIL AMBROS Mrs. B: Thanks for the invite! Just be sure to join our mailing list by filling in the small box above so I'll know where you live!
BTW, been watching Louie videos - Skin Deep . . think I'll go in the back yard and burn all my drumsticks! I've played since 1958 . . NEVER got close to that much talent!! That is some incredible drumming!! Puts BR to shame and shows the Krupa influences!! Musicality as well as 'chops' . Bless you! Corky Mrs. B: Thanks for your notes, Corky -- but please -- don't burn your drumsticks! Rather, go to our "Watch Videos Here" page and enjoy 20 more! http://louiebellson.info/watch_videos.html
Hi Igor, Francine & the Gang: Thanks for the scary Halloween card. Clever and funny...just like Louie! Herb Stark Mrs. B: Agreed!
I miss Louie! .. He was a man who put a smile on everyone's face when he entered a room. Thanks, Louie... for all the good times! Mrs. B.. I had the pleasure of meeting Louie back in 1996 (?) in Kansas City at the University during a Drum clinic. He was just as gracious and happy as everyone had said he would be. When I read Buddy Rich's book and the old quote from him that Louie was such nice person that, " Louie wouldn't even say anything bad about Hitler"- really struck home. Louie greeted every one of u, from kids to old folks like me, as though he had been waiting for the opportunity. Truly, a man of great class. I know YOU miss him, but a lot of us miss him too. Heck, the world needs more men like Louie, today! Corky Douthitt Hurst, Texas
Louie was the best. It's hard to find some of the things he wrote. As a member of a nonet, we have a few of his charts, but have been looking for a chart "Deep Skins". Any help would be appreciated.
hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
Happy (Belated) Birthday, Mrs. B! I didn't get online yesterday...but wanted to make sure I let you know I was thinking of you! Oh! And I picked up a Remo branded banana shaker for Hunter this weekend. I told him we had to get it because of Uncle Louie. I hope you had a wonderful birthday!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU... HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU... HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MAMA FRANCINE... HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU! I Love YOU Francine! Happy Birthday! Your play son... Andy
RIP Eddie Fisher. His magnificent voice has gone silent. Plenty of good stuff on YouTube. I'd be surprised if Louie and Eddie didn't know each other. And RIP Buddy Collette. It's a fact he & Louie knew each other quite well and played together on many, many occasions. Mrs. B: Thanks for sharing, Derek. (Reader's Note -- see News page for Sept 19, 2010.)
Hi Francine I do trust that you are well and enjoying life. Would you mind updating my details as I have changed my email address. Details now read as above Best wish to you Regards John Hewitt Sydney Australia
I was a big fan of Martin Drew. I'm sorry to hear that he's gone. 66 is way too soon. Oscar Peterson, Nils Pedersson, and Martin Drew were a BAD trio! Now they're all gone. My condolences... Mrs. B: Thanks for sharing, Derek. There was always such warm camraderie whenever Louie & Martin got together. (Reader's Note -- see News page for July 29, 2010.)
I am sorry to hear about the passing of Louie. He was a dear friend and I will miss him. Mrs. B: Matt! Good to hear from you. Please join our mailing list (by filling out small box atop any page). We'll be looking for you.
Louie is the man. I had the chance to meet his wife at rhythem night, and it was my pleasure. Jason Wall is my teacher, and always tells me about Louie. Mrs. B: Thank you, young man. It was a pleasure meeting you too, and you would make both your "teachers" proud.
What a wonderful site to remember perhaps The Best drummer of all time! I build drums and have studied percussion for years and Mr. Bellson has always personified all I personally believe to be the best in technique, showmanship and most importantly, musicianship. Thank you all for this terrific resource! --KSM Mrs. B: Thanks, Kevin, we needed that! Welcome to the fold.
I urge all visitors to buy/listen to "The Sacred Music of Louie Bellson." I finally got to hear it over the past few days...it is wonderful. Louie's instrumental solos are a joy. The song "The Wailing Dove" is haunting. Indeed, the entire CD is a testament (allusion intended) to Louie's love of music and his faith. Bravo! All the best, Bill Dal Cerro Chicago Mrs. B: Thanks for the plug, Bill. I too have been playing it this week and quite frankly I become enthralled thinking about what an inspired composer he was. Dear Readers (Psst!) The 1/2 price sale of Percussion Power CDs & downloads on CDBaby has been extended. http://www.cdbaby.com/all/bellson
weekend inLondon 1965, I purchased KINGS OF PERCUSSION L.P. From that moment I was hooked, and became a drummer myself. I still have the L.P. in superb condition ! kindest regards . Eric Harris UK
This follows my earlier post in July. Very recently whilst my family were clearing an attic prior to a house move they came across a box containing some old papers. In the box was the letter from Louie referred to in my previous post. I knew that it was something I would have never thrown away and I had been at a loss to understand why I could not find it! The letter was still in its original envelope and I have been able to decipher the postmark which shows that it was posted in New York on the 17th December 1975. I originally thought that the letter was a few years older than this. Louie was staying at The Carlyle Hotel in Madison Avenue N.Y. at the time. The letter was handwritten on hotel notepaper and answered some drumming queries that I had raised with him,mostly about how he tuned his drums and what heads he used. He also told me to look out for his "new" album "Louie Bellson Explosion" I suspect that following my last post he must have been pulling a few strings to help me find the letter!! Thanks Louie! I now plan to frame the letter and hang it in the new music room which I am planning. Martin Black Worthing, West Sussex UK Mrs. B: (see previous post, July 9) Martin has since sent me scans of the letter. That's Louie alright!
I just sent this to a Drummer friend, and thought it belonged here as well Tim, Your double bass drum comment reminded me of a story I thought you would enjoy. I heard Louie Bellson tell this at least half a dozen times (and like all of his stories, it never got old). Louie had just finished a set, and a teenage boy came up and asked if he could play Louie's kit. Louie allowed him to, and the kid proceeded to play a groove from one of Louie's most recent recording dates. Nailed it. When the kid finished, he thanked Louie, and Louie complemented the kid, and that was that. As soon as the kid left, Louie turned to Cat* and said: "hey, I had to overdub that bass drum part on the recording. Did you see how he did that?". That is the moment when Louie came up with the idea of using two kick drums in his kit. * I don't recall the actual name in the story. It may have been Cat Anderson, Johnny Hodge, or of Louie's great players. That was one thing about Louie. When you heard that soft voice through the din of the band goofing off say something like "that reminds me of something that Duke said to me..." , EVERYONE stopped to listen. I miss Louie a lot. JT Mrs. B: John, Thanks for sharing your remembrances. Of course, you're going to get some challenge from diehard Louie fans. Although he was not able to get it manufactured until much later, Louie actually conceived the double-bass drum concept while he was in high school (1940). See our "Bio & Beyond" page.
I met Louis before a performance at Donte's jazz club in 1969 - I was in High School. I told him that I played the trumpet, and he said, "Did you bring your ax?" In disbelief, I replied "No." "Always bring your ax everywhere - you could've sat in with the band." I brought my ax next time, and I played in that band for about two years. Amazing experience, amazing band, amazing man. Treated me with love. I carry him with me always. Mrs. B: Your story: Love it! Love it!
Always a joy to be with him: festivals, clinics, record sessions, and sharing pastafazoo at his mother's house. Mrs. B: Thanks, Chuck. Please join our mailing list (small box atop any page).
At thirteen years of age a friend in the Navy had been to China and as a gift he presented me with a pair of chopsticks, I used to sit for hours on a chair arm drumming to records. trying to copy the drummer on these records. A colleague gave me a 78 rpm record on the Phillips label of our hero playing Skin Deep. That was a catalyst in my musical career and I went out and secured a newspaper round. I saved up £30 ((English sterling) and went out and bought a drum kit. I tried to emulate LB but obviously couldn't. It was that record that detemined my musical career. I owe him so much.
Louie touched my life by taking time out of his busi schedule to performe on my Middle School assemblies for the students and staff for several years. He asked for nothing in return. He always shared faith, encouragement, his talent and his deep love for Francine. Louie, will remain in my memories forever. Love to you Francine, Mildred Byrd
Louie was always a man of heart. He was a legend for many years when I met him in Chicago in the early 80's. Pearl was just as genuine. Two legends in their own time. Each day they gave of their funds, talent, and humanity. Love & Peace, always.
Louie Bellson was a person from my past that I remembered as a very friendly person. I felt as if I should not bug him the last time he performed in Rock Falls. He smiled, but I didn’t want to bother him. Maybe I should have stepped forward and complimented. When I was learning to drum years ago, I thought I needed a double bass drum influence. I chose Mr. Bellson. I chose wiesly. I use the double bass drums and I am a stubborn person to stay that way. His best double bass pattern I love so much, is his low hum of them only in use, playing a slow andante tempo. Thank you, Geronimo
I still enjoy watching videos of Louie playing on you tube, what a drummer he was, and i always heard he was such a nice guy too! Mrs. B: Thanks, Harry. Speaking of videos, just click/go to our "Watch Videos Here" page to view the 20 best Louie video clips. Enjoy! http://louiebellson.info/watch_videos.html
Louie gave me my first real set of drums when I was six. He and my father were working a lot together back then and my Dad told Louie that I was really getting into the drums. Louie was kind enough to come over to my house one July afternoon in '76 and set up a brand new set of Pearl drums in my living room. He proceeded to play a private solo concert for me and my family and then asked me to play. When the drumming finally stopped, he offered me the drum set. I was of course ecstatic and accepted his very kind offer. I've been drumming ever since thanks to the goodness and generosity of Louie and brother, Hank, my first teacher. (Thanks Hank!) Louie, thank you for your musicianship and for being such a beautiful human being. You're truly an inspiration and you'll always be my hero. Mrs. B: Thanks, Jason. I'll relay your sentiments to Hank, (who's not online).
I met Louie only once and that was when he was in the UK in the 60's.At that time I was a member of the International Drummers Association and went to one of their special drum clinics where Louie was appearing. He was one of their Honorary Presidents along with Buddy Rich. He was such a gentleman and of course a fantastic drummer and musician. I was immediately struck by his professionalism and he remains my main inspiration as a drummer to this day. At the time both he and Buddy were playing “Rogers” drums and as a result I went out and bought one of their kits, which I still have to this day! I later saw him in a memorial concert dedicated to the late Frank King (secretary of the IDA) along with Buddy and the UK's Kenny Clare.........what a night and I still have the vinyl as a keepsake. Later I wrote to Louie care of the IDA and to my surprise I received a personal letter in reply written whilst he was staying at a hotel in New York and even recommending some new drum heads which he had just started using. Rest in peace Louie. You will never be forgotten,
I WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER HOW WHEN I WOULD SEE LOUIE AT A PASIC CONVENTION OR A VENUE WHERE HE WAS PERFORMING, HE WOULD TAKE TIME OUT TO TALK WITH ME AS IF HE NEW ME ALL OF HIS LIFE. BACK IN THE EARLY DAYS WHEN HE WOULD COME TO COLUMBUS, OHIO,LOUIE WOULD TAKE TIME OUT OF HIS BUSY SCHEDULE AND VISIT THOSE MUSICIANS THAT WERE IN THE HOSPITAL OR CONFINED TO NURSING HOMES. THIS KIND ACT DISPLAYED BT LOUIE WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTON BY MANY OF US WHO THOUGHT HE WAS THE GREATEST.
Happy Birthday Louie! One quick story-We had a gig in Boston with Louie and Buddy Rich on the same concert together at Symphony Hall sometime around 1982. Since most of Louie's band members were from NY, I was riding in a car with four other band members. We had two different flat tires on the way to Boston and since we also were transporting the band's library there was no rehearsal or soundcheck. This was the days before cell phones and it was hard enough just to get the car to a service area to make a phone call. And we were supposed to open for Buddy. After hearing of the problem and Louie of course asking in his usual most gentlemanly fashion, Buddy, in his usual most begrudging fashion, agreed to go on first. Buddy did not go on first for anybody. This was a first for him! Buddy was already playing by the time we arrived and needless to say, was not happy when he saw the five of us arrive so late with Louie's library. Having had the pleasure of playing at great length with both of these world class drummers, it was always so incredible how so much music could come out of two guys with such totally different personalities. Louie was always the most consummate gentleman to all and one of the greatest teachers I've ever had while on the bandstand. Rest in peace Louie. Mrs. B: Fantastic! (I was snickering the whole time while reading this). Kenny, everytime I think I've read the best "Louie" story -- BAM! -- a more wonderful one comes along! I guess this shows two things. 1. Your maturity and insight, by virtue of the positive conclusions you drew and 2. Further confirmation of the genius and humanity of Louie Bellson, as fully attested to by the scores of writers preceding you (below).
Being a drummer, I was always impressed with Louie's technique. Finally got to meet him at a drum clinic in San Diego quite a few years ago. When he demonstrated what he could do with his left hand alone, it was amazing. I tried practicing that for years and never came close. What a great drummer and a great person
I met Louise only once and that was when he was in the UK in the 60's.At that time I was a member of the International Drummers Association and went to one of their special drum clinics where Louise was appearing. He was one of their Honorary Presidents along with Buddy Rich. He was such a gentleman and of course a fantastic drummer and musician. I was immediately struck by his professionalism and he remains my main inspiration as a drummer to this day. I later saw him in a memorial concert dedicated to the late Frank King (secretary of the IDA) along with Buddy and the UK's Kenny Clare.........what a night and I still have the vinyl as a keepsake. Rest in peace Louise. You will never be forgotten,
anyone who had the good fortune to have met the wonderful louie was and is truely blessed,as he touched so many people in so many wonderful ways.....one in a trillion....always positive...always a kind word for others....i have so many recollections of goodness whenever i was around him....a giver,not a taker in life,one who had great faith,a mensch of the highest order...
In a little record shop in Tacoma Wa., I found a 45 rpm record of Skin Deep, and Take the A Train, It opened my mind to double kick playing, as I had started playing at age 4, I never until that date thought about two bass drums. I play around the world with many known jazz artists etc, using a double pedal system, and the root of my approach always goes back to that 45 rpm recording with Duke Ellington. When I was visiting Elvin Jones a few years before he passed in NYC, we went down to Sam Ash, and I met Louie Bellson, as Elvin and he were tight, he was laid back, a very nice guy, and Elvin, Louie and I went and had lunch that afternoon. I am Blessed having had the honor of meeting this great drummer, who played some at Sam Ash on Buddy Rich's old kit... Blessed indeed
Dear Louie Bellson, Upon hearing "Skin Deep" with Duke on a Columbia 78rpm record the world of jazz opened up like Pandoras box. For that I shall be eternally grateful. May you rest in peace in drum heaven.
My birthday is also July 6. My father Leonard was a highschool friend of Louie. They were in the same art class at Moline High School in Illinois. Dad would go over to the Belson music store and listen to Louie practice after the store closed. They remained friends until my dad died 0n 2002. For my birthday that year dad gave me some Louie Belson memorabilia including a drum magazine inscribribed by Louie to me. Dad died 1 month later. He always spoke fondly of Louie and in fact named my younger brother Louie after him. In his later years dad helped run the Col Ballroom in Davenport, Iowa. Louie played one of his first professional gigs there. Dad created a poster honoring Louie using the skill he had acquired in that highschool art class years ago. The poster of Louie still hangs In the Col along with other older posters honoring other famous musicians who played there. Leonard Cervantes Jr. Mrs. B: Happy Birthday, Leonard! Have you seen the video "Louie Bellson: Hometown Hero" on our Bio page? Is your father in that? Click Bio & Beyond page, or directly http://qconline.com/multimedia/display.php?id=450
I've told this story before, but I was just a high school kid and Louis was playing with Harry James at Disneyland. It was during a break and I went up to, maybe, just by chance, get to talk to him. Well, I DID get to talk to him and he even gave me a pair of his sticks which I still have today. Here I was just some young kid he'd never seen nor would probably ever see again and he took time to talk to me. I'll always remember that. What a wonderful man he was. JIM
In '94 I attended a Louie Bellson clinic/concert in Rochester, NY. During the clinic, I asked Louie a question and while answering it, he played a little solo to demonstrate his answer. I considered it him playing a solo just for me! Later that evening I went out in the lobby and bought a tape from a lovely woman. I was bragging to the woman how I had just met Louie Bellson! Turns out, the woman I was bragging to was Mrs. B (didn't know it at the time, not until they were coincidently in the audience on the Carson show the next night or so). Silly me! Thanks Mrs. B for keeping the music alive, it's a very important part of my life. Mrs. B: You're welcome, Jason. And speaking of "keeping the music alive", I can't overemphasize the opportune half-price birthday sale going on at CDBaby this week. Louie's last album "Louie & Clark Expedition 2" (which he composed & I produced) is a big-band knockout! http://www.cdbaby.com/all/bellson
I am a "young" fellow of 42 years and I am very proud to met Mr.Bellson on an rehearsal to an concert once in Frankfurt (Germany) and later on three events during the N.A.M.M. shows in Anaheim (U.S.A.) !!! It`s something that nobody could feel who don`t had such situation, meet an "hero" and one of the worlds greatest drummers and get the chance to talk to him and sit on a table for an drink !!! We all miss him and we are all influenced by him !!! He was not only one of the greatest musicians he also was a great human !!!!! He is still alive in his music !!! I am proud to met him in person !!! Thanks for hold him high !!!! Mrs. B: You're welcome, Udo. But to be honest, it's easy to "hold him high" with the support of loyal fans like you.
I first met Louie in 1965 at Cerritos Junior College in Norwalk, CA. He traveled across America doing drum clinics for young aspiring musicians. I was only 15 years old at the time. I attended three of these clinics over the next few years. He was a master musician as well as a gifted teacher -- and so kind to all who attended. No doubt many hard rockers learned double bass at these clinics to include in their rigs in the '70s and '80s. I moved to San Jose in 1995 and joined a small band that practiced at Musician's Warehouse. Louie stored his drums, did clinics and practiced with one of his big bands there. I had opportunities to talk with him many times doing those days. I reminded him of the Cerritos clinics and thanked him for his influence upon my playing. I never did master the fluidity of his fills and solos ... but, as many of my band mates over the years would attest, did play as a musician first and a drummer second, sensitive to the music and other players. I have Louie to thank for that. I became a Christian in college, majoring in physics. After graduation, I went on the road across America with a evangelistic (didn't perform in churches -- did colleges, high schools, military bases, prisons, county fairs, Billy Graham Crusades, etc. ) Christian country-rock band called the New Folk for several years and have used my drums for Jesus in many venues since. Louie was always a gentle soul and very committed to goodness and justice. I'm not at all surprised that he eventually became a follower of Jesus too. Louie was pleased to discover that one of his students used to drums to lead people to Jesus. Louie was such a blessing to me and I know to many, many others -- one of a kind. Mrs. B: Thanks, Tom. Don't forget, "The Sacred Music of Louie Bellson" is on sale (1/2 price!) at CDBaby for a limited time only. (click) http://www.cdbaby.com/all/bellson
I met Louie at Henry Adler's drum shop in NYC around 1968. I had just finished a lesson with Henry and was "hanging-out" at the store. Louie walked in and I was over whelmened to see him -he came up to me and we talked for a while Then Louie invited me to his big band gig at the Rainbow Room. When I got there, he came down from the stage and bumped our seating to the front of the room. Louie dedicated his drum solo to me -what a beautiful man!!!!
Sincerily I don' t know 'how many time' -drummer- Louie Bellson has played ..here.. in Italy,, so I have ..never.. had the occasions to 'see' -HIM-.. --> I have buy and 'collect' (quite) all his Recordings-L.P..and CDs..!!.. --> I would like to send -HIM- this my (very)simple ..home-'spot'-drumming ... ---:-sorry for my Italians-speakings... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMHilgRsJRE x-''solo''-home-drumming ---> I am sure, that 'once' -HE- listen to me ...will have a nice ..smiles.. for me..!!!- --> Ciao Fabio -Roma(-Italy-)... Sig.ra B: Il vostro video -- Lo amo! Compreso il rullo del tamburo della mano. Ora, se potessi capire soltanto il vostro italiano parlato! (sorriso) sig.ra Francine Balassone
Louie Bellson is a legendary drummer who paved the way for many drummers around the world and was a leader in his field. As a kid I would play along with his albums and learn his exact licks. I went on later to win first place in Kansas City in a national drum championship and won scholarships to colleges around the country. He was one of my heros. Not just because we had the same first name, but because of his phenomenal control and creativity and leadership. I listgened to interviews of him and he also said positive uplifting things about others. I never heard him put anyone else down. What a phenomenal person he was.
I met Louie several times in the 70's. He was always the most gracious and nice person that I'd ever met. On top of being the best drummer that I ever had the pleasure to watch. Watching Louie at Redlands University (UR) inspired me to begin lessons at UR and I've never looked back....Thanks Louie!!!
Met Louie Bellson one October day in 1990 shortly after his wife passed away. It was a free concert at a High School in Orange County California, don't remember the town, and I met him after the concert. He was kind. I told him that I always loved his playing and have a great admiration for you. We spent a little time together. I felt elated. I forgot to tell him that the Slingerland kit I bought he once rented and performed on in Detroit, some 3,000 miles away. Great to meet him. Even better to listen to him. Buzz
Whenever my drummer friends hear a good joke they alternate their feet and shout double bass in honor of Louie! Mrs. B: Thanks, Bob. Please join our mailing list (small box atop any page).
Louie was my idol from wayback.I used to play Skin deep when i was in the Army band.I still have the 78 record in my collection.He will be missed.The last time i met him was in Las Vagas.
Thank you Louie for your wonderful Music!
Many many happy Birthday to great drummer Bellson, which I still remember had Italian heritage! w Louie! Fausto-Milano Italy
I am son of Al Grasso who used to be a close friend of Mr. Bellson some time ago. Mr. Bellson used to visit my families house in the Bronx and spend a considerable amount of time with the Grasso's. Mr Bellsons mother and father knew my family as well. I got to meet Mr. Bellson on a couple of occassions once in a concert at Radio City with Pearl Bailey. I have always wanted to know Mr. Bellson better as my father admired him very much. I wish I got the chase to get to know him better myself as I had heard so much about him through the years. Regards, Anthony Grasso
Luigi Paulino Alfredo Francesco Antonio Balassoni was the Saint of the Drums! Always an encouraging word for any player (new or old) he was an inspiration to anyone who saw him play and/or met him. Met Louie in May 1984 at Remo Hands On Day at Boston University. And it was FREE! What a cool day and event. After an awesome solo and clinic, Louie came to the wings of the stage and answered questions, took pictures, signed autographs and answered questions. He even invited people to try the Remo PTS kit he was playing. The man was so nice to everyone that I remember thinking that I would love to be that positive, upbeat and kind to others all the time as Saint Louis had been that day and always. I miss him so much. I know he is in Heaven with all the greats. God Bless you Saint Louie!
From all of the drummers who appreciate the double bass drum kit, thank you Louie for blazing the trail!! You and Buddy were the masters who set the standard for top notch drumming! I had the great pleasure to meet this amazing man and musician when Buddy was playing at the Starwood Club in L.A. I can only say that Mr. Bellson was a very kind man who had as much class as anyone you could ever want to meet! Thank you for touching so many people in so many wonderful ways!! It's always been more than just the music and he knew that better than anyone!! KV Mrs. B: Thanks, Kenny. Please join our mailing list (small box atop any page).
Happy Birthday LB. Your talent, your kindness, the example you set for others not only as a drummer, but as a human being was just like your bass drums. "Doubled" compared to all others in the music industry. I will always remember how you motivated me, inspired me and got me into the spirituality of music and performing. See you in heaven where, I know, you are continuing the work you did on earth. Angelic drummers just keep on swingin' Love, Louie Pastor (That other Louie)
Happy Birthday Louie!! I enjoy the grand recording that you left every day. I thank for your splendid kindness!! Takeshi Yokohama, Japan
we have been fans and friends,,of Louies for over 50years or more,,I took my 12 year old son to see louie at the Jazz showcase on Rush st in Chicago,,to see Louie,,louie arranged for us to have a table right in front of his awesome drumset,,he was so kind and attentive to my son,,then Buddy Rich came in ,,he sat in,,and the evening was absolutly awesome,,.I have continued follow Louie,,at the Wisconsin Lutheran college in milwaukee,,were he asked me to look out for a young Japanese Drummer,,Takeshi Takeuchi from Yokahama,,,,we bacme friends,,he flew back to the USA about 3years ago,,stay with us here at our home in Wisc,,then he and I drove to Rockfalls to see Louie,,for his Heritage days and birthday ,,he brought Louie and francine a beautiful gift,,presented it to them on that Firday night,,he played the Drums the next day,,in a Drum battle with Louie and Hannah Ford,,absolutly awesome,,I have great movies of all his events,,,then on Sunday Louie invited Takeshi and myself to join him for lunch at the Rockfalls country club,,this was awesome,,plus that weekend,,our son and Grandson flew in from Denver to see Louie,,and once again ,,Louie was so kind and attentive towards them,,always the perfect warm,compassionate gentleman my entire family love Louie ,,we are greatful to Francine for her tender and loving care towards Louie,,to attend to him to be here as long as he was ??? thanks Francine,,and to you Louie,,you may be gone,,BUT ,,you will never be forgotten,we miss you and know your up in heaven with gene and buddy and the many great musicians that you were associated with,,god bless you,,rest in peace and thanks for the GREAT and many memories,,I could go on forever with all I have experienced with Louie...your friends,,,and we miss you and Francine,,,hope she will someday have agreat memorial for Louie in Rockfalls,Illinois?? thank you ,,george Pales and all our family Mrs. B: Be sure to see the report of the May 20 Memorial in Moline, IL. (News page, May 20 http://louiebellson.info/news.html
As I celebrate the birth of Louie Bellson, I'm overwhelmed by incredible memories. I indeed considered him to be my best friend as well as a mentor and teacher. I cherished every second I was with him from the moment I met him in person in 1970. For a year before that we were pen pals and he would always answer every letter I wrote. I saved every letter. Louie taught me so many things about music and life in those 40 years. When I was young he showed me things and wrote out advice. In the last 20 years he taught me by example. I remember one day we were "trading licks" on his drums in San Jose. He called me a week later and left a message asking if I could write out one of the beats that I played for him because he couldn't figure it out. I'm thinking, "This is Louie Bellson, the greatest drummer in the world". The lesson he was teaching me was that it doesn't matter how great a person is. They should always keep their mind open to learning new things. That was a very humbling lesson that he taught me. Be confident but don't have an ego. And most importantly, we are ALL human. He gave me the thrill of a lifetime when he allowed me to play the 1st half of his concert with his big band, his tunes and arrangements on his drums in Carmel, Ca in 1997. As if that weren't enough, the next day we played an outdoor concert in Carmel and had a drum battle as the finale. Battle? Of course he cut me to ribbons. LOL Another lesson he taught me (of so many) was to never be nervous when I played no matter how important the gig was or who I was playing for. He did this in an interesting way. I would take him to rehearsals with the Musicians Warehouse Big band in San Jose. He would always have me play at least a few tunes so he could either listen to the band out front, or to see how I would interpret his chart. In the latter case, many times he would stand behind me as I played with his gentle and reassuring hand on my shoulder. Yes, behind me with reassurance was the greatest drummer in the world. That took care of any type of nervousness that I would ever have on any gig for the rest of my life. WHEW! After rehearsals, on the way home we might pull over into a shopping mall parking lot and talk about music and life. I always had my trusty tape recorder to record our conversations. Louie's words of wisdom, knowledge and beautiful stories are incredible. To say that Louie taught me to be a better man is an understatement. I think of him every day as I also think of you every day too Francine. I will always try to follow his example and pass on his wisdom to others, especially my own students. July 28 will mark 5 years since Louie wrote a special snare drum solo for me (titled "For Andy") for my birthday. It was written on 70+ year old manuscript paper that came from his fathers music store. It hangs framed under special museum glass in my living room. It's the most beautiful gift I have ever been given. (it's not easy to play either! LOL) Francine, please know that I am thinking of you and sending you lot's of love today...this very special day. Oh, and...I sure do miss your incredible chicken dinners. :-) Mrs. B: You're welcome, Son. --Ma (Andy's my "play son.")
Mrs. B, I can remember back in 1956-1957 when Louie endorsed Gretsch drums and his picture was on the front of their catalog. Young man with dark wavey hair. After about 40 years, I got to actually meet him at the Holiday Inn in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh and then again at the Seven Springs resort in Somerset, PA. I have the album "Louie Bellson Honors 12 Super Drummers" which Louie autographed for me. I show it to everyone who visits my studio. Louie was the greatest. He is in good hands with the Lord, Gene and Buddy.
The first time I heard "skin deep" a whole new vista of drumming was opened to me by the shear power and magic commanded by Mr. Bellson. He is still the measure of drummers everywhere. He is the master technician and supreme poet of percussion. And the icing on the cake was his humility, generosity and sincere kindness to those privileged enough to know or meet him. The Lord doesn't make them any finer than the irreplaceable Louis Bellson!
My mother is 80 years young and she has been a Louie "groupie" for 60 years! I feel like she has seen everyone of his shows when he was in Chicago, except for when she was birthing a baby (10 of us in 11 years!). I think she has taken each one of us at some time in our lives to one of his shows and I can not think of a word to describe him except "WOW!!!!" I was totally in awe of him, both for his talent and the amt. of energy he had. I am so thankful to my Mom for the love of music she has given me. Music makes life worth living--through good times and bad. So thank you Mom and thank you Louie!! Happy Birthday!! Hope you're having a great party tonight!
FRIENDS since the fall of 1948, Louie was my guest performer in 1996 with my school student outreach percussion ensemble program, Project Create, at Carroll College in Shattuck Auditorium, and again in 2004 with my adult Spring City Area Percussion Ensemble and the Original Milwaukee Jazz Orchestra in performances at Wisconsin Lutheran College in the Schwan Hall and Marquette University in the Varsity Theatre. Louie brought another musical dimension to the mostly young audiences at these three venues. Everything positive you've ever heard about Louie Bellson is true..."ka-ching." HAPPY BIRTHDAY LOU
My life was touched and influenced by Louie's generous loving and compassionate spirit every time I was blessed to spend time with him over the 2o year period that I knew him. He always projected that humble respectful gentle quality and a pure unique presence of greatness that everyone around him always felt enriched by. Happy Birthday Louie!
Being the protege' of Chubby and Duffy Jackson gave me entre' to meet and spend time with this phenomenal drummer and superb human being nicknamed, "The Saint". However, the first time I saw him was in the summer of 1969 at Donte's. My Dad took me and I was 14 years old. I was in awe of what Louie could do. Later, the Jacksons would introduce me to Louie. He was always gracious, generous with his time and inspiring. The time I remember most was at the Hollywood Bowl in 1989 with Duffy on the bill with the Count Basie Band and Louie on the bill with his own band. Duffy, Louiel and myself talked for an hour before the concert: I could and did ask him every question about himself and drums. We spoke of, "Skin Deep", recording it with Ellington in a ballroom in Seattle. We also spoke of my Uncles, Buddy and Jerry Lester, two comedians he had know for years and had played both of their acts. Louie was a giant, kind, humble but always aware of who he was and what he could do. He carried that power of talent with a light touch. He continues to inspire me to be the best that I can be and when he told my friend Leslie Baker that he heard her record on which I was playing and told her to tell me, "Billy was swingin'", I could not have asked for a higher compliment. I miss this great man so much already-but what he imparted on all of us will not be forgotten. We love you Louie.
Just wanted you to know I did come on the website :)
In 1995, I was touring with Todd Bradley and the Next Band (Variety Band), performing at the Wells Fargo Night Club in Moline, Ill. One day Manny Lopez Jr. (drummer), asked if I would fill in for a saxophonist ... whom couldn't make the gig to perform with the now late Louis Bellson and Manny Lopez Band (Sr., trumpeter), as a featured artist. My heart pounded at the opportunity, but I said yes. I had a wonderful experience playing Mr. Bellson and enjoyed watching his extremely fast hands during his workshops. He was a very congenial man and I learned just as much from his humanity as I did from his music. I also met had the pleasure of meeting both Mrs. Francine and the late Dee Dee Bellson during that Festival. That experience gave me the confidence I needed to finally leave Todd's band after 5 years (3 years too long). I was called back the next year to play again for the Annual Louis Bellson Jazz Festival in Rock Island, Ilinois, while living in the Los Angeles area, but this time trading fours with Mr. Clark Terry (another true man of God) .... Both of these opportunities came during very critical times and turning points in my musical career when I needed a boost of confidence, and opportunity to move forward. .... For Mr. Bellson to still be a blessing to me in both life and after life, reminds me of the Prophet Elisha in the Bible whose bones revived a dead man, "and he stood on his feet"-2 Kings 13:21 . Happy Mr. Louis Bellson, and thank you for being my Prophet Elisha during my time of nee! d. Now, by the Grace of God, I am able to stand on my feet. I will always honor and cherish you in Jesus' name. Amen. (Note: edited for space)
All that needs to be known about Mr. Bellson can be obtained by watching him play. You get the sense that you somehow knew the man through his playing. He was a rare combination of technical ability and expression. Mr. Bellson truly changed my life. R.I.P Louie Bellson, and happy birthday.
I First heard of Louie on some Duke Ellington LP's. Met him personally at a Ken Poston event in Cal. I later had a chance to talk with him when he came to Columbus, Oh. to play with the CJO. He autogtaphed several of his LP's for me. I have one framed hanging on my music room wall (Jazz From The Summit signed by him and my friend Bob Gaefel who owned the Summit.i8drjah I
Louie is my all-time favorite drummer. He could do it all. I only saw him in concert, once. After the show, I got to talk to him. He had a big smile on his face and was so friendly. As we shook hands, I noticed the amazing muscle development in his forearms. Being a fellow drummer, he is my idol. Happy birthday, Paisan.
I remember when that picture was taken of Louie with the Birthday cake. It was always such a pleasure to see Louie here at the REMO Center. A true gentleman and a world of a class. Miss you Louie.
I bought my first pair of drumsticks from Louie's father at the music store in Moline in 1948. It spent the next many years beating on counter tops and trash cans until buying my first drum set, a vintage Rogers three years ago. Now at age 74 I'm enjoying the drumming that Louie and his brother's brought to us as fellow (1954) graduates of Moline High School. He will always be larger than life to all of us.
Good music such as Jazz and the Blues relaxes me. It reminds me of my parents (my mother used to sing at a club in the Boston/Dedham area called Mosley on the Charles and my father would listen to all the big bands from the 40's) I've listened many time to Louie Bellson on the Jazz station out of Worcester and when your stuck in traffice it's my oasis.
Stories of Louie have been growing and growing along with his legend. I was lucky to have been very close to Louie (right Mrs. B?) and I would never have amounted to the person that I am without him. We met in 1965 when Louie was in New York with Ellington. My father took me to see him, and that was just the beginning or my wild ride. That first night Louie gave me his home number in California, and we stayed in touch often. (even though I was scared to death when Pearl would answer the phone) He took me on trips as band boy, and he was always available for me to learn from. He got me enrolled at Berklee in 1968. I moved to California in 1970 and worked with him on Pearl's show. Anything I wanted to do was always supported by Louie. I was there when he got engaged to Francine, we went to the jeweler together for the ring. He and Mrs. B came to Las Vegas and was best man at my wedding. There was nothing Louie wouldn't do for me, and I him. One of the things I am most proud of is his telling others of our relationship. Here's a youtube clip. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQBzDl5Gaqc I cried that night. Shortly before he passed I talked by phone to him in the hospital. I told him I loved him, and I'm glad I did. I was so honored to be a pallbearer. He was everything to me. Happy birthday, you're in my thoughts daily. Mrs. B:Ron, now you've got me crying! (smile) Reader's Note - This video clip is from "The Sacred Music of Louie Bellson" Concert at Louie's Emmanuel Baptist Church in San Jose, 3/1/02.
I never had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Bellson but was awed by his use of two bass drums instead of one. He was an innovator and a consummate professional, and I've never heard anyone describe him as anything less than a perfect gentlemen. God Bless you Louie, and thank you for the beat.
I don't know if I've ever met a more gracious, warm, and infectiously friendly man as Louie. I am so thankful to have had the chance to play with him a couple of times. RIP Louie!!
I WAS IN A DRUM STORE IN WILOW GLEN ,CA LOOKED TO MY RIGHT IT WAS LOUIE,CHATTED WITH HIM ONE ON ONE,MOVED TO A DRUM KIT ON THE SHOWROOM FLOOR,HE TOOK THE TIME ,GAVE ME A LESSON RIGHT THERE.WHAT A GENTLEMAN,WHAT A TEACHER,THIS WORLD NEEDS MORE LOUIE BELLSONS, WHAT A WORLD IT WOULD BE,THANKS FOR THAT LESSON LOUIE,,PATRICK
Louie Bellson was not only the consummate musician, he displayed that great warmth and love of humanity that musicians can uniquely possess.
Happy Birthday to Louie He will always be an angel to me, and never forgot! There will never be another Louie Bellson. Lots of love Joey DeRose
I was twenty years old when I joined Louie's band, playing trumpet, in early 1966. I played some of the lead, and some of the jazz solos. It was not only exciting, but an honor to sit and play on the bandstand next to Louie night after night. His philosophy of life and music influenced me for the rest of my life. I still recall many of his "pearls of wisdom," both on and off the stand. He was a "one-of-a-kind" guy, who I sorely miss. Happy Birthday Louie. TONY HOROWITZ
Louie Bellson was a very kind spirit gentleman. My Grand son Ryan was eight years old and was taken drum lesson from the late Billy Higgins, Mr. Bellson saw a video of Ryan and put him opn his guess list when he was appearing with a big band at USC, this brought encourgement to Ryan and he has never forgotten that night!
In the 1960s, Louie gave a symposium to up-and-coming drummers...my uncle was one of the students. After the set, Louie not only talked to my uncle one-on-one but also gave the ENTIRE class free tickets to see that night's concert--typically generous touches from a touchingly generous man. I say "touchingly" because such small kindnesses seem as rare as a unicorn nowadays. Louie set the standard for class. Buon Compleanno, Luigi! (Happy Birthday!) Bill Dal Cerro Author, "Bebop, Swing and Bella Musica: the History of Italian Americans in Jazz" Chicago Mrs. B: Dear Readers, For more on this upcoming book featuring Louie Bellson et. al., go to the Links page. (Click) http://louiebellson.info/links.html
I attended one of Louie's performances in the Dallas area in the late 70's, sponsored by a local drum shop. Afterward I was invited to a post-concert reception, at a nightclub. I ended up sitting next to Louie for the entire evening, and we talked about music and life for maybe three hours. Several other encounters with him over the years only reinforced my belief that Louie was one of the nicest human beings I had ever known. He was a world-class musician, but he will always be a hero to me as a persom. as well He showed us all how to do it right.
I first met Louie when he recorded in Arizona with his high school friend, pianist Keith Greko for the LP "Last Train Outta Flagstaff" in the 1970s. I heard Louie many times after in SoCalif at festivals and jazz weekends. I asked to have my photo taken with him to show Keith, who will be 88 this summer, still living in Scottsdale, AZ.
I listened to Louie for many years. He was a great a drummer and human being. I spoke to him personaly when he did a clinic in Boston in 1998. Answered all my questions and it was like talking to a life long friend. God Bless you,Louie.
I met Mr. Bellson only once a few years back at the Hollywood california drum show around 2002-2003. As a drummer I have respected and admired his playing throughout his long career. What most impressed me is how humble and personable he was with me and anyone who approached him and spoke with him
I saw Louie a number of times with the Ellington orchestra and each time I was floored by his talent and showmanship. Nobody but nobody will ever top his sheer drumming artistry. Happy Birthday, Louie!
Simply: a Gentleman with sticks. You change my life, my very first Drum Method was Double Drums. (Bellson-Petercsak) R.I.P. Mr. Bellson.
Your contributions to Emmanuel Baptist Church will be forever, fondly remembered. Mrs. B: Dear Patrice, FYI, whenever I get to feeling low, I click & listen to your radio interview on the homepage (#32). http://www.roygray.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/patrice-glover-remembers-louie.mp3
Although I never had the privilege to see Mr. Bellson perform, I felt I could tell a lot about him by the way he played on TV or film. What came through was a person of warmth, dedication, and compassion. This was also confirmed when I wrote to him enquiring about his perspective on the relationship between James Brown and Duke Ellington, since Mr. Bellson had worked with both. He graciously responded and I was appreciative that he could find the time to share his views with me. Happy Birthday, Louie! Mrs. B: Dear Readers, don't miss the extensive piece on "soul brothers" LB & JB on our Press Coverage page. http://www.louiebellson.info/press.html Also, reviews, letters, etc. http://www.louiebellson.info/press-group-22.html
Simply the best in all respects as a player and a man. There will never be another one like Louie.
Dear Francine: As you know, Louie was a special guest on Horace Heidt, Jr.'s "America Swings" radio show and you were with Louie. It was such a great moment for me to meet the famous Louie Bellson whom Mr. Heidt admired tremendously! The interview was great! You and Louie came to a number of Mr. Heidt's events here in Sherman Oaks, and we all considered all of us as "friends!" You and I have kept in touch over the years, and you are a precious blessing and a special friend! Louie has touched all of our lives with his own "unique drumbeat!" Thanks so much for carrying on his fabulous legacy! Happy Anniversary in honor of his birth!
I had the pleasure of seeing Louie play many times. My favorite time was seeing him at a music store(Betnuns) in the valley. He was very cordial to all who attended. Louie was even nice enough to take a picture with me. I also remember the time i called him at his house to ask if he gave lessons. Again, he was very cordial. He could have just hung up, but was willing to spend time on the phone with me. I will always miss this kind man.
My life was touched by his kindness and loving spirit. His positive thoughts of me and welcoming me to his life. I will never forget the times we shared together and our dinners at Cafe Cordiale.
Will always be in my Heart.....a true Legend!! Happy Birthday Louie! Hope you're celebrating in Heaven. :-)
Francine, Both you and Louie are very special to Mack and me, I will never forget how he shared his Drumsticks with my grand son when he was only 9 he is nineteen now and still rememberd that day. Mack and I look forward to having lunch with you soon as we get settled. thank you so much...
Louis Bellson touched my life at an early age. My father also a drummer took me to see his favorite drummer in the world Mr. Bellson that noOne else came close too. I listened to his albums as a kid, and my dad pointed out all the great licks and how clean he was. I later played a big band gig and got to play Carnaby Street by Bellson. I really learned how to swing hrd by listening from those guys. Louie and Buddy are my 2 fav drummers ever!! R.I.P.
In the ate 70's i saw Louie with pearl bailey at Hofstra University.There was some commotion because the sound system failed.Louie told the crew to stop what they were doing ,he stepped to the stage edge and said (paraphrased ) "Every one today expects to hear concerts as if they are wearing headphones.In my day we didn't have all that.So I want you all to sit back and just use your own ears to listen" The sound of Louie and his band was clear and spectacular.We all cheered very loud
“It was about 1969 or 1970. I was fortunate to be working in the A&R Department at Capitol Records, with some of the most amazing and talented producers and artists the world has ever known. When producers David Cavanaugh and Billy May asked if I would like to work late every Thursday night for several months on some Big Band sessions they were planning, I jumped at the chance. What a treat. Some of the greatest musicians from the bands of Benny Goodman, Stan Kenton, Billy May, Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, etc. played on those sessions, which took place in Capitol’s legendary Studio A. Louie Bellson was the drummer on many of the sessions, and we became very friendly. He was not only an incredible musician, writer and arranger, but a true gentleman. He was married to Pearl Bailey at that time, and she often visited the control room to just hang out and listen to the amazing music being created. At this time my brother, Bruce Gary (drummer in The Knack), was beginning his career as a studio drummer. He had been playing for many years; he had toured with Albert Collins at 16 and played with his childhood friend, Randy California-Spirit. Whenever I knew a session was about to be scheduled, especially for new Capitol artists, I would always recommend that my brother be hired to play drums. One Thursday night we were taking a break from our Big Band session, and standing in the hallway outside the studio – I don’t remember who else was there, but Louie asked me, “Who is that drumming in Studio C? He’s GREAT!” Of course, I told him it was my brother, who was playing drums with a new artist on Capitol named Alex Harvey who co-wrote the song “Delta Dawn”. Louie wanted to meet my brother, so I asked Alex to take a short break and called Bruce out of his session to meet Louie in the hallway. I introduced them, and Bruce and Louie compared their hands. Bruce was about 6’2”, had rather large hands, bit his nails, and played the drums like a madman, so his hands were always calloused, blistered and bleeding. Louie, on the other hand, was a rather small man, and played with great finesse, so much so that his hands were always soft, manicured and smooth. It was quite a dichotomy, and so great to see two such remarkable drummers comparing their hands. My brother was called back into his session and we had to return to ours in Studio A, and as we were walking back into the studio Louie turned to me and said, “How old is your brother?” I replied, “Eighteen.” Louie said, “Kill him. Just kill him now.” We all had a great laugh over that. This is one of my fondest memories of both Louie and my brother, who died in August of 2006. Hope they're jamming together in heaven.
I never met Louie and only saw him perform in person once. Yet I own a huge number of his recordings as a leader and a sideman. His drumming was distinct and always tasteful. He could tear up a drumset--or he could just lay back and play exactly what was needed for the other musicians to shine. He made enormous contributions to jazz and I miss him.
Happy Birthday!Take care of my friend Joey up there.
Go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMd3iM_JwCs to see my personal experience with Louie. Mrs. B: OMG! Friends, Chet just posted this video on YouTube last month. I promise to get it up on our video page soon; but for now, just click the link.
Years working with his daughter Dee Dee, on stage with him at Bellagio Las Vegas, hanging with him late night at The Riviera to hear the Don Menza Band, hearing him tear up a trio gig in Charlottesville, Va....lots of memories. First class musician and even better human being.
A true legend - May You Rest In Peace
I must confess that I do not know Louis Bellson but I know of him very much. My interest started when I became an adult and realized that my first cornet teacher was his father. I lived in Moline and my first lesson was in 1956 or 1957. I played cornet, then trumpet up until my early fifties. Although I was an above average player, I had the honor of playing Taps at funerals for veterans since I was 10 years old until I retired from playing several years ago. I biggest honor came on May 30, 1965 when I played at Memorial Day services at the Rock Island Arsenal National Cemetary. See front page of the Times-Democrat on May 30, 1965. Mrs. B: Thanks, Chet & Julie. We sure could have used you May 20, 2010 (see Homepage). And don't forget to join our mailing list (small box atop any page).
Mrs. B, Mom (Joanne Diedam)wanted me to email you(she's blind now) and tell you she is thinking of you and Louie on his b-day this year. She has her happy hour on the front porch with Louie music and a virgin bloody mary(Drs. orders) :-) Mrs. B: Please tell Miss Joanne "Sounds like a winner to me!!!" Then ask her for the name of her Dr. (smile)
I just "googled" Louis Bellson to read about one of the nicest guys in the music world. I was saddened to learn that Louis passed away last year. My father took me to see Louis when I was about six. That was fifty-eight years ago. I had a chance to talk to Louis in person in the 1980s when he was in Lowell, Massachusetts. Besides being an outstanding drummer, he was, without question, the most down to earth, classiest individual I have ever had the opportunity to meet. Rest in peace, Louis. Mrs. B: We're so glad your search led you here! We encourage you to join our mailing list (small box atop any page).
Recently I heard a very rare recording of a drum battle in Las Vegas in 1962 with Buddy Rich and Louis Bellson! There played "slides & hides" at this festival before to record it in "are you ready for this!". What they did that night was beyond imagination! Just two of the greatest drum solos ever played on a drumkit!
Louie Bellson will always be on top of my list of drummers. I met Mr. Bellson when I was 19 at a clinic he was giving, to this day it,s one of the best days of my life, I think of Mr. Bellson everytime I sit behind my drums.
Been meaning to check in with you, Francine, ever since you returned from Louie's hometown. The memorial you designed for him is lovely. You are a lady of many talents. I'm sure Louie would be pleased and proud of you.
The melody and the memory linger on. Gone but not forgotten.
Honor the Grandmaster Bellson, that I now have Italian descent! great technique, great style, great touch ... and big man! Fausto-Italy Mrs. B: Agreed! Please join our mailing list (small box atop any page).
Rest in peace my friend
I saw Louie Bellson play at Disneyland in the late 1970s. It was one of the best concerts I've ever seen. The drumming was amazing. Louie was on fire, taking four or five extended solos that evening. I miss his great art. Cheers!
One of the greatest drummers ever, but also one of the finest human beings I have had the privilege to meet. You are a wonderful custodian of his memory, and my thoughts are with you at this time. http://www.laptopreviewsonline.com/ Mrs. B: Thanks, Cathren, I appreciate the encouragement. Don't forget to join our mailing list (small box up top).
Seems like only yesterday !!!!!!!! The man, his music and performances live on. Mrs. "B" keep the FAITH. Larry A.
What more can one say,.....Louie was indeed an humble, dedicated and special human being. We all love you and miss you, Louie. Again, God speed. Gene Syes
I still remember....
Dear Francine: This is so touching! Thank you very much for sharing! Horace [Heidt] is also trying to keep Big Band music alive and well in America! In fact, this coming Sunday, May 30, 2010, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Horace’s All-Star Big Band will be playing a Concert in the Park at the Van Nuys/Sherman Oaks War Memorial Park. The Concert is FREE! If you are able to attend, please let me know so that Horace could introduce you from the audience. People would love to say hello to you, I’m sure! Your husband Louis was an inspiration to millions of Americans, and to know that he served in the American Army Services in World War II is very special too! Thanks for all that you do! Sincerely, Patricia Walmisley Horace Heidt Productions
Just want to reiterate what a truly wonderful day it was at the dedication ceremony in Moline, IL on Thursday, May 20th. The tw0-hour, forty-five minute drive from Chicago was no big deal for me...I would have driven through outer space if my car were sufficiently powerful. Anything for Louie...! From Rep. Mike Boland''s proclamation to Mrs. Bellson's touching speech after the unveiling, it was a truly dignified, heart-felt event. Rain? What rain? Hardly noticed. Felt more like dews of inspiration. The website photos are just as eloquent. Kudos to all involved, and to Mrs. B for her limitless kindness and generosity... Bill Dal Cerro Chicago Author: "From New Orleans to the New Millennium: The History of Italian Americans in Jazz" Mrs. B: I'm so humbled, I'm speechless! (OK, OK, I got my second breath now -- smile!) Bill, I'm glad you're a writer because it's been difficult for me to express the enormity of the significance of what we accomplished and witnessed that day. Namely, the fitting, august commemoration of a huge American icon.
Dear Bellson Beat Friends, FYI--a portion of the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra's set at the Playboy festival this year will pay homage to Louis Bellson and other jazz icons we have lost. We will perform SKIN DEEP with Jeff Hamilton showing his respects to Louie from the drum chair. Warmly, John Clayton Mrs. B: Link to Playboy Jazz Festival, Clayton-Hamilton Orch Sat. June 12: http://www.notreble.com/buzz/2010/03/11/32nd-annual-playboy-jazz-festival-to-feature-whos-who-of-bassists/ Link to Louie Bellson memoir by Jeff Hamilton in March JazzTimes mag: http://jazztimes.com/articles/25678-louie-bellson
I met this great man three times in London and he was just wonderful. He spoke to me as if he had known me all his life. Just one brilliant man. God bless him.
I had the happy occasion to meet Louie in person at the music department in the high school in Park Ridge, Ill. where he he appeared as a guest artist. As a drummer of many years myself, I felt most privileged to meet him. He not only was most gracious, during the interview, but he allowed me to exchange fours and eights with him on the drums. I will never forget it. Only recently I contacted him, through the kindness of Mrs. Bellson, and we reminisced about that early interview and, once again. discussed some of the various rudiments. Then, in the midst of our exchange, he was taken from us. [Edit. note: to handle another matter] I was devastated. But I will be eternally most grateful to Mrs. Bellson for the opportunity to contact him again. I will never forget him and will treasure my memories of him and his kindness to me during the interview and the reunion during his last days.
Dear Mrs. B, Thanks for the photo's of the headstone dedication for Louie. He is sorely missed. The last of the Great Three. God Bless Louie and You, Mrs. B
I didn't remember Mr Bellson did a clinic at my high school back in 1973 until I started reviewing his books and and it all came back. As soon as I saw the cover of his book, the whole event came back. The books he left for us, the sticks (jangle) etc. All of the junior high & high school drummers were brought in for clinic. He just talked and played a snare. Sticks, brushes and jangle. We did not truly appreciate the visit until after he was gone and were able to get some recordings. His performance was jaw dropping. Yes... Everybody was wide eyed and shocked. Being raised on rock, we never heard anything like it! Louie should be ranked #1, above Kruppa and most definitely Rich! We all were playing calf skin heads until Remo. Louie alone did more to change what and how we played than any drummer from 20th century. "An American Legend" without a doubt. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KiDm5EwbEPU
Francine......Been too long since we've seen one another. So sad to lose our Louie.....he was the best! I think Sammy Davis, Jr. said it best: 'Listening to Louie play was like listening to a symphony....played by one man'. That's how I felt, too. Each and every time I listened to him....he was magical! Remember when we met in Las Vegas at the Four Queens? Ernie George....Louie brought you to meet us....! Such a pleasure! Ernie passed in 2006......hope the two of them are having fun 'jamming'.....Love, Reeda...... Mrs. B: Thanks, Reeda. We'd love you to join our mailing list (small box atop any page).
I saw Louie play several times at clinics and at Ronnie Scott's in London in the seventies when I was a kid trying to learn to play. I'm 57 now but I still have the autograph he gave me way back then. I've never forgotten the generosity and kindness that only comes from being the best there is. Mrs. B: Thanks, John. Please join our mailing list (small box atop any page).
I'm Georgena's daughter. My mother knew Louie as a youngster in Rock Island and mentioned him in her life story. She asked me to send her the information from this web-site. I'm sorry for your loss...TR Phyle Mrs. B: Thank you. We invite you & your mother to join our mailing list (small box atop any page).
This is awesome! Mrs. B: Thanks. We assume you're refering to the WSJ article. (smile)
Meeting Mr. Bellson was one of the highlights of my boys' lives. As young musicians he inspired their playing and we will forever be grateful to the legacy he left the music world. Mrs. B: Thanks for your kind words. We notice you're not on our e-mail list. Please fill out the small box atop any page of this website.
Hi Mrs. B: I recently received a copy of the 'Musical Drummer' dvd as a gift. Until now I thought 'Skin Deep' was his best but 'And Now Ladies and Gentlemen' tops them all. Absolutely riveting and remarkable! You want proof? Just watch him. Louie is truly the best drummer ever! Herb Stark Massapequa, NY
We think about you every time we get on the Crystal Symphony for a cruise. Getting to meet Mr. B, after seeing and hearing and knowing about him for years, was a special treat, and meeting Mrs. B an added pleasure. Wish you well in your enterprise to keep Louie's drumming alive and ongoing. Enjoyed the Wall St. Journal article. J
My first trip into Manhattan was way back in 1943 at the Capitol theater. The movie was 'Phantom of the Opera' starring Nelson Eddy and Susannah Foster and Claude Rains as the Phantom. On stage, the show consisted of the great Duke Ellington orchestra and the girl vocalist was none other than Lena Horne! What a terrific show. Ms. Horne's voice and graceful stature was an added delight to the proceedings. Years later I saw another great show at Carnegie Hall and this time it was a benefit for racial harmony and justice with Lena Horne and Frank Sinatra. Each sang their own hits separately accompanied by the Lenny Hayton and Nelson Riddle orchestras and then they ended the show doing a set of duets. I'll never forget that exciting evening.
Heard Louie play with the Duke as a teenager and a musician. Totally awe by his drive and creativeness with his drums. Mrs. B: Thanks, James. Please join our mailing list (small box atop any page).
There will NEVER,be another Louie Bellson May GOD REST HIS SOUL
Mrs. B., I hope you enjoy my tribute to Mr. Louie Bellson's "It's Those Magical Drums In You" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7XlebwO6hs He was the best… I was honored to have some communication with him before his passing… NO ONE can play like him, but he suggested I play my way… I hope it doesn’t offend. A longtime student… I met Mr. B when he came to my school district back in 1973. Thrilled if anything sunk in… Respectfully, John Seitz Mrs. B: Wonderful! This is exactly what Louie intended when he wrote his book: "Their Time was the Greatest!" Reader's note: This book includes a "minus-one" CD which allows the reader to play along with the charts. (see Gift Shopping page)
My interpretation of Mr. Louie Bellson's "It's Those Magical Drums In You"
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My father was a pro drummer in his youth and told me stories about working with lou in the studio and being one of the first to see his double bass kit. He asked my dad to try them out but he declined I don't know how to play adouble bass kit? at that time the only one who new how to play it was Lou. God bless him and my Dad in Heaven still playing their music.
I remember Louie when I was in High school, andd he was a teen ager, was he ever a good looking lad. I thought I saw a family resemblance to me. He became so talented, and they were al so talented, and beautifuul sisters. Uncle Louie their dad tried to teach me the accordian, and the guitar, but I didnt have any talent. It was a waste of time. I loved the Bellsons. Elizabeth Amoroso {Giovannetti} {Pignatelli pretty much Italian}
Louie was not a gem but a multifaceted jewel that reflected so much beauty in all of life's lights. I miss your reflections and your spirit.
This (web)site is just fabulous and superbly well done, a very fitting, tremendous tribute to our Louie. I'm continually amazed at what I find here. Kudos to you and the designer!
April 20th would have been Dee Dee's 50th birthday. My husband and I put a flower on her grave that day. We miss her dearly...
I wish I could join with you in honoring Louie. Keeping close to home, following my wife Dorothy's stroke about a year and a half ago, but, I still play with my band here in Moab, Utah, drummin' and singing many of Louie's favorites, I'm sure. KIndest wishes, John
Thinking of you...and Dee Dee today. Today would have been her 50th birthday. Hugs and love to you.
MRS B.. I WAS THINKING OF LOUIE TODAY AND JUST WANT TO TELL YOU WHAT LUCK FOR ME TO BE HIS FRIEND WHAT LUCK FOR ALL DRUMMERS SOME PEOLE SAY I SOUND JUST LIKE BUDDY BUT I COULD NEVER BE LIKE LOUIE FROM THE HART PHIL AMBROS
Louie Bellson did a drum clinic at the music store I worked for in 1979. Of all the drum clinics we sponsored in the 1970s to 1990s, his was the most memorable. His playing skills were superb, his teaching approach kept the audience of 200 plus intranced, and most of all, he was truly a gentleman and really nice guy. During the clinic, Louie made a statement that I take note of every time I sit behind the drum set: The most important item in your drum set is what you sit on and how you sit on it. As I have grown older and wiser as a player, I have come to realize the wisdom of those words. Mrs. B: Thanks, David. Please join our mailing list (small box atop any page).
hello!my name is John Fitzsimons,i,m 43 yrs.old,and i live in Ireland!I,m a rock musician(drummer)and i just thought i,d drop you a line to let you know how inspiring i,ve always found Louie,s playing!The man was and continues to be,a reference point for everything i find fulfilling in music,but most importantly how his humanity,humour,and old school charm shone through as a person off stage!I will always continue to watch his videos,because they simply make me want to be a better drummer,and while i,ll never posess even a fraction of his talent,theres no harm in dreaming!greetings from ireland,i remember Louie in my prayers! John Fitzsimons Ireland
Herb Ellis AND John Bunch. Bummer. Mrs. B: Thanks, Derek, for keeping us updated. Reader's note: For articles, see News page, March 28 & 30.
What a great tribute to such an Icon Louie Bellson made everyone want to take up and learn to play the drumkit. It was such a great experience just watching him play drums. Long may this wonderful site continue, many Thanks for giving myself and others the chance to see this drumming Icon again through this truly outstanding website. Joe Musker Drum Teacher Bournemouth, England Mrs. B: Thanks, Joe; I truly appreciate your compliment. Note to UK Readers: Checkout Joe's "Musker Beats" page on Off the Streets at http://www.offthestreets.co.uk/site/
We really miss him but we know we will see him again!!!! Louie your songs are in our heart even though we are apart We know we will see you soon but we don't know if its daybreak or noon We know we miss you And you miss us too But we should not be sad Because of your legacy we are glad Thank you for sharing your legacy with us For you Louie written by Laverne Jackson Jr 4/6/2010
Being a member of that vast audience Louie played for, I get a thrill everytime I have a chance to listen to his work. Mr. Bellson just plain became a part of the music he performed. HIs drums just seemed to absorb him and he became an instrument as much as any sax, horn,writer, orchestrator or engineer could produce. He was the soul of each number. When he got to contribute his genius to the work it was then complete. God Bless Him. With much admiration I am, Jack Frye
I remember your you and your husband at Cafe Cordial. His wife ask me to take photographs of both of them on Halloween Night 2009. A very nice couple.
In 1963, as a young drummer of 19 0r 20 years of age, while traveling across the country with the Si Zentner Band. we pulled in to Chicago around midnight at the Maryland Hotel, to start an engagement at their Celebrity Lounge. Louie's band was in the middle of a set. It was their closing night. What a thrill! I didn't check in, but stayed in the club until the last set was over. I introduced myself to Louie. He was one of the most gracious, and humble men I've ever met. A very great player. We all miss you. Mrs. B: Thanks, Eddie. Please join our mailing list (small box atop any page).
Louie inspired my son to be a better person and a better drummer
Gone but never to be forgotten. I will continue to be amazed at this wonderful mans ability behind the kit. He blew Bissonette and chambers away on Oct. 14, 1989 at the Buddy Rich MSC. Thanks Louie
The recording of Concord Records, Louie Bellson 7 at Concord Summer Jazz Festival, is one of the most impressive live recordings I have heard. Listening to Louie with such greats a Blue Mitchell, Grant Geismann, Ross Tompkins, John Willimas and Pete Christlieb is really a pleasure. God gives to each one some special gifts. Louie has them all, drummer, musician, arranger, conducer, composer and a wonderfull human being. I miss him a lot. But fortunely, his records keep him alive to me. Juan Carlos Sosa Trombert Ecuador
I Will always TREASURE the day GABE ask me to stand behind him,at a drum recital at Drum City and he ask me to hold his wrist's while he demonstrated his ,OUT OF THIS WORLD FINGER SYYLE,DRUMMING TECHNIQUE. Gabe Pettincchio took me there,he was Remo's cousin, Gabe and i shared an apartment in Anaheim.Then Gabe and i went up to Gabe and Pearls house to put in a pa syestem to all of the buildings on their property,I swam in his pool before he did,because he was in japan demonstating ( I THINK FOR ROGERS ) I will never forget Louie Belson. Thank you for the opportunity to share my memories ,of Mr Belson. George Zeiler
I met Louie three times and he was just the business. he spoke to me as if he knew me all my life. Just a wonderful man. Bob Hind, UK
Thank you - looking for your louie belsom drumstick line that I believe was part of pro-mark series of sticks...they were great, comfortable and well suited for my playing style..are they still available and if so where may I purchase them.....Thankyou!!!! Mrs. B: Use Navigation Panel at left to go to: 1. "Drums & Music" Page. > Click "Louie Bellson Artist Series Model Drumsticks" OR 2."Links" Page > Under Zildjian, click "Louie Bellson Artist Series Model Drumsticks" 3. Join our mailing list (small box atop any page).
Best wrists in the buisiness, god bless. Mrs. B: Please join our mailing list (small box atop any page).
my deepest sympathy at louie bellsons passing when i was a young man and learning the drums my dad said he was a boy scout with louie my dad was born in moline ill he said check out louie bellson so i did wow was amazed i then got into rock drummers ringo/ ginger baker/ ect. but always went back to to one of of greatest he will be sadly missed/ sincerely fred doxsee Mrs. B: Please join our mailing list (small box atop any page).
Hi Francine: … My grandfather Tommy Thomas (Damon Thomas), the master percussionist, and Louie Bellson were very close friends and peers … a music teacher of Louie's suggest(ed) that he go watch my grandfather perform. … in (the) Chicago area … my grandfather performing there and Louie growing up there. Louie … approached Tommy after a performance, … after quite some time as Tommy had been noticing this young boy watcthing intently his every move. This meeting … is … specifically described in a couple (of) newspaper articles that I have … their paths paralled in many ways … Louie was 15 when he first met my grandfather. My grandfather must have been in his late twenties/early thirties and had already been performing professionally since 1914/1915, starting at the very age (15) that Louie was when Louie first met Tommy. Tommy had the talent and care to in turn guide Louie's amazing talent, especially at the beginning of Louie's career. Just as Louie did, my grandfather … (had) played for Benny Goodman. … My grandfather too was a prodigy … (working) as a percussionist his whole life, teaching in his later years at colleges. I don't have any big point in emailing you other than just thinking that it is neat that the Louie Bellson website exists and thought that I would reach out to you. If you would like for me to send you copies of what I have, I am happy to do this. In this article from Jan 25, 1979, it has a photo of Tommy and Louie together at an event. Best wishes, Kristen Stycket (Editor’s note: condensed for space.) Mrs. B: Dear Kristen, what a legacy we have! Thanks for sharing it with Bellson fans. I might add that Louie was absolutely delighted every time he’d receive a letter from Tommy Thomas. By all means, send me the article (at the address on the Contact Page). I look forward to you joining our mailing list (small box atop any page).
The greatest Mrs. B: Please join our mailing list (small box atop any page).
One of the finest musicians on the Planet. He did it all. Thank You.Louie..... Mrs. B: Please join our mailing list (small box atop any page).
Louie, back in 1964 I was a budding teenager who thought Ringo Starr, Dave Clark and Charlie Watts were the first and only drummers on earth. My dad, not a musician but a music lover, set me straight and introduced me to you, Gene and Buddy, and with you three Benny Goodman, the Dorseys, Glenn Miller, and others. I was fortunate to be exposed to swing at such an early age. I couldn't get enough of you and Gene, and also learned about Cozy Cole and Bid Syd Catlett. I was always partial to you and Gene; I felt that you two made music, while Buddy was fast and made a lot of noise. I don't mean this in a disrespectful way, it's just how I felt. Me and my drummer friends went round and round about this!! I remember quite fondly you with Dick Hyman holding the 1985 Benny Goodman gig together; a couple of old vets showing the kids how it's done!! I thought you would never die; I certainly hoped that after Gene had passed, and Benny only a year after that concert, that you would live forever. I have done what my dad did, and introduced my son and daughter to you and other musical legends. They are amazed, the way I was. God bless you forever, Louie, and thanks!!! Mrs. B: Thanks for sharing, Rick. We invite you, your son & daughter to join our mailing list (small box atop any page). They'll love watching the video page!
Dear Loui, During all the years I have had so much pleasure listen to you and seen you appear on stage together with the best musicians in the world. And now you have left us. I will miss you deeply and are glad that I will still be able to listen to the records, CD's and DVD's. My deepest condolences to your family from your most distant admirer, Thomas Wallin Mrs. B: Thanks for sharing. So you won't feel so distant, please join our mailing list (small box atop any page) to receive notices. Thanks.
A year later, my heart is still heavy over Louie's passing. Over the past years, whenever I would call Louie to chat, he was always eager to reflect on his band years, and he generously shared his memories and stories. His voice also was from another era. There was a pleasant and kind Midwestern tone mashed together with urban hipness from years of exchanging one-liners with musicians and swinging the beat. He had a strong, confident street sound you no longer hear in the voices of jazz musicians or anyone else. My deepest sympathies go out to Louie's family, especially his wife Francine, a woman of tireless energy, unrelenting optimism and a wonderful warm laugh. She also was Louie's biggest fan. I invite readers to visit www.JazzWax.com to read my interviews with Louie (scroll down the right-hand side to "JazzWax Interviews"). Somewhere up there, Louie is playing one hot drum solo and knocking out the angels. Marc Myers www.JazzWax.com
My wife, a teacher, talked with a familiar school bus driver today who happened to mention that his brother played (some instrument) with Louie after texting me: Do you know of the drummer Louie Belsom?" =) Of course, as a drummer, I said yes although I don't know him well. I immediately went to the 'Net & found this site & was then reminded of his passing last year which leaves quite a hole in the drumming community at large, although quite a legacy left behind, as many of us know! I'm very inspired to pick up a few CDs of his works now to add to my jazz collection and delve in a bit deeper than I'd given myself an opportunity before now. I remember seeing an old video in a music store playing behind the counter of Louie and Billy Cobham playing side-by-side...that was quite a sight! I need to YouTube that to go with nabbing a few CDs! Anyway, thanks for keeping this sight going and after losing both my last grandmother and last grandfather 26 days apart from eachother (no relation, funny enough) between 12/31/09 & 1/25/09, I can certainly sympathize with remembering those loved that pass on before us. My grandpa was 83, so Louie beat him by a year :-). Even though they were my grandparents whom I loved very, very much, I kept thinking of my dad & his sisters as his sons & daughters losing their father and my mom, her sister & brother losing my 'Grammy' as their own mother and how hard that is to empathize with as my own father & mother still remain there for me... Like Louie though, they left a legacy behind that's larger than what they did in there life and more impacting then they necessarily got to witness in full while here on earth, and that is frankly quite awesome. It doesn't make the loss more acceptable but it takese the edge off, I guess... Anyway, thank you Mrs. B, for keeping this going and for your inclusion of the Lord's Word cited and dotted throughout. I look forward to reviewing those familiar versus when I get home in hopes of finding some additional solace much like you must've found in them to list them out here on this great website. Thank you and may God truly bless you all the rest of your days, much like he did your husband and step-daughter, I'm sure. Love, in Christ, -Matt Tj. Mrs. B: Thanks for sharing from the fullness of your heart, Matt. Reviewing your letter, I think you'd be most delighted with Louie's CD The Sacred Music of Louie Bellson that he said he composed "to praise God the creator who motivates our lives through Jesus our savior". Go to the Latest CDs or Gift Shopping page to hear samples & order.
I think about Louie Bellson everyday, as I am surrounded by such wonderful gifts and memories that Louie gave me! I am so BLESSED to have known 1 of my all-time heroes!!!!!! Today is a special day in that; it is the anniversary of the day that Louie went home to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ whom he believed so much in! May God Welcome you and accept you into His Kingdom! Louie Bellson was the closest human being to being a Saint! Sincerely, Matt Connors Mrs. B: Amen, Bro. Matt, Amen!
Dear Francine, Bonnie and I wish we could be with you today to give you all of our support, and share with you many beautiful Louie memories. On this day last year, I reminisced with our dear friend, saxophonist Frank Foster, and we agreed that we have lost the sweetest man in the world on the sweetest day of the year. We truly miss Louie but he is alive well and swingin' in our hearts forever. Francine, I play Louie's drums every day. And today in his honor, I wailed some of my favorite Louie licks for about half an hour. At one point , I asked Bonnie to come out to check out one of my very favorite Louie licks. This is a fill he played on "Louie Bellson Live At The Summit" in Hollwood. I have played this lick with my Big Band while backing up Bonnie' vocals on many gigs but I never showed her the combinations of rudiments and dynamics Louie used to create this exiting fill. For all the drummers: this fill is played on the song, "Cool". Louie plays a big fat flam on the and of 3 followed by lightning fast 32nd notes down the kit ending on 1 setting up his big band to begin a swingin' explosive shout chorus that Lou and the band execute so beautifully. Sometimes when I play Louie's drums, I feel he is right there with me! Wow, I get goose bumps just thinking about this. It's pure Louie all the way creating this beautiful, incredible feeling . I feel so honored that you asked me to play at this year's Louie Bellson Memorial Concert. Louis Bellson lives in our hearts forever. God bless you Francine. We love you. Happy Valentines Day with lots of love. Les and Bonnie DeMerle
Francine, Just dropping by to say I'm thinking of you today. I think of you often...and can't wait to see you again. Hunter is a joy...and is speaking is sentences. He will be two in April! Life gets busy...but please know you...and and the spirit of Papa Louie...are always in my heart. Let's talk soon...miss you much :)
I love you, Aunt Francine! Happy Valentine's Day! I know this is probably a tough day, but you are in my thoughts and prayers today. So, feel the love! This is my hug to you! :-) This is a day to remember Uncle Louie and let the memories remind us all to be kind, humble, and loving always.
I first met Louie when I was 14 years old. He was playing in Syracuse,NY with Pearl Bailey. What I didn't know was that my father played with him in the Army band in Washington,DC. What a thrill to see the two of them hugging each other and reconnecting after all those years. Later when Louie and Pearl came to our home it was just unbelieveable. I wrote to both of them while in college and still treasure the letters they wrote back. I met you at Pace college, briefly, but knew right away that he had found a wonderful spouse to care for him. He was and still continues to be the foremost influence on my musical endeavors. It was wonderful to see him again after all those years at Pace and I sent him a number of pictures that I took of him and Clark Terry. He contiues to be one of the most musical drummers of our time or any one else's for that matter. It was a true honor to have known him and not many days go by when he is not thought of. I hope that you are doing well and are comforted by the knowlege that your husband Louie is forever loved and will always be a part of every drummer's heritage and inspiration. Thank you for keeping his memory alive with this wonderful web site and your love.
Dear Mama Fran, There is no one that I’ve known that has represented love as Louie did. And on this Valentine’s Day, I want you to know that there are so many people that love you. Please know I will always be there for you. It’s hard to believe that it’s already been a year since Louie left us. Not a day goes by without me thinking about Louie and yourself and remembering how you treated me as part of your family. The memories of rehearsals and performances will never leave me. But what is most special, are those moments of joining hands and praying together before one of your fabulous meals and then sitting around the table and talking about anything and everything. Those moments will always be with me. There are so many beautiful memories. We will never look at Saint Valentine’s Day the same way as before. This day will now have more meaning because of all of the love that Louie has left us. I can only hope to try and follow his example. I once asked Louie how he wanted to be remembered. He told me that he hoped that people would remember him as a good man who was also a good husband and father. Then he said, “Oh, and also as a drummer that played pretty good”. I loved his answer, especially listing the most important things first. Love you Mama Fran. God Bless You ALWAYS and especially on this day.
Thinking of Louie and his generous spirit on this sad day.
Today, I enjoy music of Louie all day. Please continue this website for this grand inheritance. Thanks Louie!! Takeshi Japan
I was sorry to hear that one of Louie's great friends, the incomparable Jake Hanna, left us Feb 12th. You could always talk to Jake because he was at the drum shop just about every day - there were rehearsal halls in the building next door where he would often be playing. He was an LA jazz institution for sure! I was at King Arthur's once and Louie came in to hear Jake and Buddy Rich. This last year has been really rough. RIP Jake, and thanx for all the great years!
Here's one: In April, 1978, Louie switched from Pearl drums to Slingerland. When that happened, Louie's drum resources became more limited because, unlike the Pearl Drums days, Slingerland didn't initially prepare several different personalized sets to be strategically stationed in various locations from California through the Midwest, Nashville, New York and even London, England. A short time after Louie went with Slingerland, Pearl Bailey had a double concert booked with her great quartet at a large Performing Arts Center in Sarasota, Florida, not far from where I was living. Louie called me a few days before the date and asked if I could pick up a Slingerland set that was going to be loaned from a large Tampa Music Store and bring them to the gig. I said, "Sure". No problem. I drove to the store and was told simply that the owner, or manager, had changed his mind and the drums would not be made available after all. I called Louie (collect!) from a nearby pay phone and gave him the news. He was underwhelmed by the store's lack of courtesy, apologized to me for sending me all the way over there, and accepted my suggestion that he use my double-bass set of Rogers drums, my cymbals, my sticks and brushes, and my roto-toms, all of which (with the exception of the Rogers drums) had originally belonged to him. For many years, everything I played was all hand me downs from Louie so, because of Louie's generosity, in addition to having the youthful confidence that , "I must sound a lot like Louie because I'm using his cymbals and sticks and brushes and roto-toms", I also had the cushy good fortune of not having to buy anything until years later. The day of the concerts (one afternoon matinee, one evening) began with a warm reunion, easy set up/staging/sound and lights check, and the unique fun of having Louie play my equipment instead of the other way around. Because this was Aunt Pearl's gig and not Louie's, I had a seat out front instead of my usual vantage point in the wings. Pearl put on a typical, great, seemingly effortless show, taking a few moments off stage while the Quartet performed an instrumental which allowed for each member to be featured. Louie began his solo by striking two of the smaller roto-toms at nearly the same time, at which point the tips of both sticks broke through each of the heads with an audible "Splat!". Louie looked at the great bassist Milt Hinton and Milt looked at Louie, and they both burst out laughing. Lol. I probably laughed too. When Aunt Pearl returned to the stage, the fellas went into an easy waltz, and she did something for which I was quite unprepared: She selected particular well dressed gentleman from the nearest rows of the audience, one after another, to come up onstage and dance with her. She danced with about a half dozen men, and as a gesture of good will, bestowed upon each a memento to commemorate their experience. She gave them my drumsticks. All I remember thinking was, "Oh, no!"... When the show was over and the audience was on their way to their cars, I went backstage and found Louie, who was on his way out to find me. He was smiling as he greeted me with, "Don't worry, I'll get you some more sticks". I responded by saying, "Well, what about those heads?" And he said, "Well, let's not go overboard". Those were happy days. Like so many others whose lives he touched and brightened, I feel his presence in my heart each day. Knowing Louie was a gift and a privilege. Thank you for doing so much to keep his memory. Love, Alan www.newlegacyjazzband.com 301 399-3947
It's hard to believe it's been a year since Louie left us. Rhonda and I wre talking about the pontoon boat, and what fun both of you had. Louie took me aside and thanked me for allowing you the chance to relax. He was as concerned for your welfare as you were his. I was always impressed with the fact that Louie was one of the nicest men I have ever met, and I am very proud of the fact that he would request me, a bass player, as the custodian of his drums when you came to Rock Falls. I'm also very proud that he asked me to go to Davenport for what turned out to be his last engagement. Both of you are important pieces of our lives. Thank you, Francine, for bearing the torch of Louie's name, and making all of us a part of his legacy. Mrs. B: Thanks, Tracy. I'm so overcome, all I will say now is Thank you for remembering.
On the first anniversary of this great man's passing - I was a page at NBC studios, Burbank in 1973 when Louie would occasionally sit in for Tonight Show drummer Ed Shaunessy. He noticed me watching intently during every rehearsal and, to my eternal amazement, befriended me and actually invited me to a gig of his in Hollywood. He also shared his drum teacher, the legendary Murray Spivak. Of all the people I ever met in show business, he was the most generous, humble, unassuming NICE GUY who left the most lasting impression. I'll never forget him! Mrs. B: Thanks for your kind words. We notice you're not on our e-mail list. Please fill out the small box atop any page of this website.
One of the greastest drummers ever, but also one of the finest human beings I have had the privilege to meet. You are a wonderful custodian of his memory, and my thoughts are with you at this time. Mrs. B: Thanks for your encouragement, Alastair; I really needed that!
Louie Bellson is great and forever! SKIN DEEP on Ellington Uptown continues to inspire. Phil Schaap, Curator Jazz at Lincoln Center
Francine, I have been following your journey but not responded until now. He was always a gentleman and sincerely gracious in remembering everyone when asking about the family. I was truly impressed with his ability when I saw him perform and was impressed by his developing the drum system he used. One of my favorite memories of him is a conversation we had when I was amazed that he could compose and write music processing it only in his head. He explained to me the different degrees of innate ability to hear the relative tones and write them on the music staff and others can hear the exact pitch of a note before it is struck on a piano. He had the latter. It was special to know him and we are fortunate to have his sound and video image always available to us. Best wishes, H. Naylor Fitzhugh, Jr. Mrs. B: Thanks, Doctor. Readers Note - We are grateful to have these comments on cognitive creativity from one of Louie's physicians. Some might call such ability "genius".
Francine: Even though Louis has left us to go home to our Lord, he left some of the greatest drumming and music for all of us to enjoy into eternity. His drumming and musical expression has established the foundation for all other musicians to build upon. He along with his dear friend Buddy Rich laid "all" of the groundwork for future drummers to follow. Everyday of my life I listen to Louis and Buddy and thank the Lord for allowing me the opportunity to enjoy the best music their is or ever will be! I thank both of you for giving me so much enjoyment these past 64 years and a thank you to all the great musicians who recorded and/or were fortunate to have you guys as their drummers. Long live the music of Louis and Buddy - two very special human beings! God bless you and your families as we continue to enjoy your contributions to the world!
Mrs. B , We love Louie so much he was truly a King of Hearts, A gentleman of class and Grace - He never missed a beat - and I am sure Louie gave us a message of L O V E to have the Last Beat of His Heart on Valentines Day. God Bless you Mrs. B. Bell Piper and Family Mrs. B: Readers Note: Bell sent a beautiful photo of Louie with her family. Unfortunately, this web host system will not allow posting pics. (Darn!)
Francine, By the way, after I submitted that last post, I remembered when you and I met. I was Louie's drum tech at the Modern Drummer Festival in New Jersey about oh... mid 90's. I can see why you married Louie, but just as important to say, I could see why he married YOU. You gave me a hug and treated me like family, I felt like I was hanging out with my auntie. I just want to impart what a joy and a blessing of a woman you are to have spent time with. Your love and dedication to Louie are stunning. I pray that when God Blesses me with a wife she is like you you in those regards. Sincerely, Chad B
Jesus Loves us all & I know Louie Loved the Lord. I'm sure Louie would agree with me in saying that EVERY day is a Valentine when you are aware of the Mercy & Grace of our Father in Heaven. I have worked for Louie several times as a drum tech, the first time was with him & Ella back in 1990. He and Dick Ables took me to a little Italian joint near the gig at Radio City where Louie turned me on to asparagus! He was shocked to know I had never tried it before that night. Louie was a Graceful, Peaceful, Sweet, Loving, Generous, Kind Hearted & Well Respected man. He treated me with respect & dignity far beyond what I was deserving of. He even sent me a hand written letter of recommendation after the first time I worked for him! Praise God it wasn't the only time we worked together. I look forward to seeing Louie in Heaven, Just as soon as I can pull my eyes off Jesus... if that's possible! Sincerely, Chad B Mrs. B: Amen, Brother Chad!
Francine, This is my second time in this guest book. When you and Louie came to Duke University, I was the guy who commmented to you on how much of a inspirational couple you both were and how refreshing it was to see true love. It really struck me also how much of a child-like quality Louie still had about playing the drums. In those few moments, you really inspired me to not only to become a better man, but I swore that when I met the right woman, I could only aspire to be like the bellsons and show that love in a everyday choice. I was really enlightened and sad to hear of the passing of Dee Dee !!! I am the same age as her and on Valentines Day, Will be getting married for the first time. I will also become a Husband, father and Grandfather --all on the same day. What would scare most people has really opened my eyes to what some people have had for a long time. That is--you can never be more blessed than to have the love of family and friends. Most people in life are lucky to just have one great friend. Louie and Dee Dee were extra blessed to have so many genuine people in their lives. After meeeting you that one time, I will never forget the openess and humblr way that you carried yourself even when things got tough. If there is ever a time that you need a true friend, then I am only a click away. Keep up the great work you do and may everyones legacy be so enriched witrh the love and care that you show each and every day ! Bless you always !! Michael Coxe Selma NC P.S. Got any advice on how to change a diaper Mrs. B: CONGRATULATIONS!!
Taking a cue from Team Bellson, just listening to Louie's drumming whether fast or slow, we fans can never be sad. His music and virtuosity will keep us upbeat. As for Valentine's Day, Louie you are always in our hearts no matter what holiday it happens to be.
Mrs B, I can't believe it has been a year since Louies passing. I can still remember meeting you and Louie at Seven Springs in Pennsylvania and earlier at the Holiday Inn in the Oakland secti0n of Pittsburgh years ago. God Bless you and I know He is taking care of Louie
Francine: I'll never forget Louie playing with us at Bellagio, and of course the hundreds of gigs with Dee Dee. All the Kool Kats hope you are well. Ray Mrs. B: Reader note: The Bellagio in Las Vegas.
Francine, Several years ago you and Louie came to the Rehoboth Beach, DE jazz festival. I was lucky enough to meet you both and spend the weekend getting to know you, "the percussionist and the physicist". I even embroidered Louie at jacket at my shop. My brother was a drummer, so I grew up loving Louie's music. That weekend I learned what wonderful people you both are. Take care-be strong, and know that the world loves you both. Gwen Palmer Mrs. B: I really appreciate your reaching out to me at this time. FYI, Louie & I took turns wearing that beautiful jacket which we regarded as both a work of art & love! So we won't lose touch again, please join our mailing list (small box atop any page) to receive notices. Thanks.
I had the chance to meet Mr. Bellson and attend his clinic. He wasthe most personable man I have ever met. His talent in drumming is next to none. he was absolutely phenominal. I still love to listen to music he has made over the years. his Airmail Special album is fantastic. Thanks for all music memories. Mrs. B: Thanks, Rick. Please join our mailing list (small box atop any page).
Hi Aunt Francine! I just wanted to let you know that there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of you and Uncle Louie and many past great family memories. When you're young, you don't realize that everything can change or be gone in a moment. This has been a hard lesson for me to learn. Even though I don't consider myself to be much, I am proud to be from the family that I am and happy just to be "Frank's daughter". I miss you and love you and want you to know you are in my thoughts and prayers. You are close to my heart. Love always, Chrissy Mrs. B: My Lord! I was just on the phone talking to my father back east when your note came in. Chrissy, you sure know how to make your ol' Auntie feel loved! See you at the memorial dedication later this year. (For details, go to "Mrs. B's Calendar" page http://louiebellson.info/calendar.html )
Louie Bellson was the Drummer Ever
The first time I heard about Louie, was about 1975, when my drum instructor let me listen (to the) Thunderbird record. Amazing.... Since then I loved his technique, his music and became a great fan. Louie is part of history music. Let´s keep him alive always. Juan Carlos Sosa Trombert Ecuador Mrs. B: Juan Carlos, thanks so much for sharing!
The story goes like this: Louie and Pearl were in Frankfurt, Germany in about 1987 to do a one day USO concert at the Abrams Facility in what also doubled as the post movie theater – seems they were performing in London and flew over for the day. I find out they’re going to be there on a Friday afternoon, and drive up 2 hours on Sunday to be at the 1:00 show. And, in line were a lot of older folks (I was only 26 at the time) in their sixties who seemed amused I was a fan of Pearl Bailey. When they asked me how long I had been a fan of hers, I told them I wasn’t and that I was there, “to see Louie go to work.” That earned me the response of, “Louie who?” Argh!!! Anyway, the show was great – Louie was incredible, and I guess I must (have) made a nuisance of myself with my constant cheering of “C’mon Louie! There ya’ go!” After the show, some of the Frankfurt muckity-mucks gave Pearl a plaque and she gave a few of them a couple of pairs of Louie’s sticks. So, now the show is over and a few of us are on stage chatting with Louie and admiring his Red, White and Blue Remo drums. I notice a fella on the floor pointing at me. I look around and he nods his head, “Yeah, you.” I walk over to this guy dressed in a dark blue suit and realized he was the one who had made the “thank-yous” to Pearl and Louie, and he was holding one of the pairs of Louie’s sticks. He says to me, “I take it you’re a fan of Louie Bellson?’ Realizing the nuisance I must have been, I laughed and told him Louie had always been my idol. He hands me one of the sticks and says, “Well, I guess this will mean as much to you as it does to me.” I thanked him for his kindness and he went away. For the next week, I visited several base offices of folks who were familiar with the Frankfurt brass asking who he might be, as I had (still do) the picture of him giving Pearl the plaque and telling the story. It was about a week before someone said, “Oh yeah, that’s the Commander of V Corps. His name is General Colin Powell.” Someday, I’d like to find out if he still has the mate to my stick. Mrs. B: Thank you so much for sharing!! Note to readers: Mr. Merrill related this story to me at NAMM and I encouraged him to submit it here in the Guestbook. Any more stories out there? We're listening!
Mr. Bellson was a giant in his trade. He leaves a wonderful legacy. I always enjoy practicing the material in his drum instruction books. Mrs. B: Thanks, Peter. Please join our mailing list (small box atop any page).
An influence on so many different levels. A genius, a gentleman and a god. Mrs. B: Thanks, Colin. Please join our mailing list (small box atop any page).
Hi Mrs. B! My husband Jerry and I met you at NAMM yesterday. We are truly enjoying the cd! I am so sorry that we didn't think to take a picture with you! Jerry is the man that shared the story with you about having seen Louie at a concert he did at Cerritos College in the 70's and Louie gave Jerry his sticks; he ended up using at a gig and breaking! What luck! It was a pleasure to meet you! God bless you now and always! Elena Anaya Mrs. B: Thanks for your note, Mrs. A; you gave me such a lift!
Francine...it was so nice to see & speak w/u again at NAMM. Below is the link to the article I wrote on Louie. When the website page opens...scroll down & click on - Mike Smith on Louie Bellson. http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs021/1101840097653/archive/1102477726819.html Also, I will get my "keepsakes" book out, scan the letter Louie wrote me & send it to u. God Bless...& Louie could not have married a nicer woman. Mike www.mikesmithpercussionist.com http://thejazznetwork.ning.com/profile/MikeSmith Mrs. B: Mike, thanks for the compliment. I needed that! Everyone, this article is really good. Take a look. For more like this, go to the interviews at the bottom of our Homepage.
I am honored to have known Louie Bellson. when I was seventen I worked with Pearl Bailey his wife and his band. he is the kindest man you'll ever know. rest in peace Freda Mrs. B: Thanks, Freda. You are/were always a true friend.
Louie and you are often in my thoughts and prayers. The music world not only lost a great musician but a wonderful humanitarian and a friend. Mrs. B: Amen to that!
We lost Ed Thigpen today. Another drumming giant is gone. I'm sure he knew Louie well. I would sit with Ed at his home in the Wilshire district and we would listen to Louie on Ed's hi fi and Ed said to me: "You forgot all about HIM didn't ya?!" RIP Ed. You'll be missed. Mrs. B: My Lord! Thanks for letting us know. You're right that Louie and Ed were quite close. I'll never forget Ed having us by his house in Copenhagen where he cooked a scrumptious meal for us. (Article on his 1/13/10 passing: http://jazztimes.com/articles/25625-drummer-ed-thigpen-79-dies-in-denmark )
Will "Skin Deep" be published?
Louie Bellson was always one of my favorite Jazz musicians. Its amazing to see those old videos and realizing he pioneered the double bass set up way back then. Mr Bellson will always be admired. My son who has taken on the drummers role has learned of Louie hopefully he will learn from Louies experiences. Mrs. B: Thanks for sharing. We notice that you're not signed up on our e-mailing list. (Perhaps your son is?) If not, we invite both of you to fill out the small box atop any page on the website to receive notices.
His playing represents past, present, and the future. One of the greatest I've ever watched play. Mrs. B: Please sign up on our mailing list (small box atop any page) to receive notices. Thanks.
Dear, Dear Francine: The "Louie Bellson: Hometown Hero" slide show is extraordinary. I watched. I smiled. I shared. Mrs. B: Thanks, Roy. Now take a look at the action-packed Videos (on the "Watch Videos Here!" page. To everyone: This is the (newlywed!) Roy Gray who conducted the nearly 40 fantastic interviews found (near bottom) of the "Homepage". Take a listen!
I saw the late Louie play before his passing away. A Rock Falls show at a local church. He played very well. I enjoyed the show very much. Of all his chops, I enjoyed his compassionate playing of the double bass drums with a soft tap on the ride cymbal. That was alarming to enjoy. The coming of JAWS is my responce. His eyes would look at all of us in the audience. I have seen him play twice. Both times were enjoyable. The first time I was able to meet him in person. I shook his hand, he smiled, I talked a little about myself as a drummer and then I recieved an autograph. He is a very kind man.
I really enjoyed watching "Hometown Hero". Thank you. Mike Amaral Mrs. B: You're welcome! Note to all: For more slideshow tributes, go to the "Press Coverage" page & page down to near the bottom. Enjoy!
HAPPY NEW YEAR MRS. FRANCINE BELLSON! CONGRATULATIONS! YOU MADE IT TO SEE ANOTHER YEAR. GOD IS GOOD. AMEN. I KNOW THAT YOUR HEART MAY STILL BE HEAVY FOR BOTH OF YOUR LOSSES, BUT DO KNOW THAT I AM PRAYING FOR YOU DAILY, THAT THE HOLY LORD GOD FATHER ALMIGHTY WILL SURROUND YOU AND PROTECT YOU WITH HIS HOLY WINGS, GRANT YOU HIS STRENGTH, AND RESTORE YOUR PEACE AND JOY, WHILE HE SHOWERS YOU WITH HIS LOVE IN JESUS' NAME. AMEN. SHOULD YOU EVER NEED ME FOR ANY REASON, PLEASE KNOW THAT I AM HEAR FOR YOU. BE BLESSED. A FRIEND OF JESUS (JOHN 15:14) AND SERVANT OF GOD, REV. ALVIN MCKINNEY alvinmckinneysax@aol.com
Francine, I hope 2010 is kinder than 2009. We will see you this spring/summer at the dedication. Friends, Tracy and Rhonda Mrs. B: Agreed! It's a date. (Note to readers: Reference is to the official unveiling/dedication of the Louie Bellson monument at the gravesite in Moline, IL. For info, go to the "Schedule" page of this website. If you've already visited, we'd welcome your comments.)
I just learned of Louie's passing. When he was VP ... at Remo he visited my local drum shop Kirk Scott's Drum City here in San Antonio, Texas. Unfortunately I never met Louie, but everyone I knew said nothing but wonderful things about him and that what a gentleman he was. Never a negative comment. He was a gigantic inspiration to me as a musician and how one should live life. I know he's already behind the drumkit playing with the legends upstairs. May God be gracious to you and keep you Loiue, thank you for sharing your talent. Mrs. B: Thanks for your kind words. We notice that you're not signed up on our e-mailing list. Please fill out the small box atop any page on the website to receive notices.
Hi Francine The photo chronology of Louis is wonderful, all those press clippings and various shots from his life bring back so many memories of Louis and his music. I am so grateful that the Lord allowed our paths to cross in such a small way and to be in the same room as him and stand next to him. I have the Zyldjian China cymbal he played when you were in Sydney. I play it when it fits the job, it is not in a cupboard or hanging on a wall, Louis would want it "working" and earning its keep so to speak. Happy a great and happy New Year and think of good things and good times in all your thoughts of Louis. Best Wish! John Hewitt Sydney Australia Mrs. B: Agreed! And thanks.
I have mounted on my music room wall an LP "Big Band Jazz From The Summit" signed by Louie, and Bob Gafaell (a dear departed friend, and owner of the Summit when Louie played there.
We lost one of the greatest drummers of all time this year. His music will live forever.
Dear Francine, Thanks so much for posting the wonderful tribute to Louie. It's beautiful, like you. I have been thinking a lot about you and Lou this holiday season. Although nothing can fill the void especially at this time, I hope you know that there is a whole world of people that love you beyond what words can express. My wish is that 2010 is filled with many wonderful things for you. Happy New Year with much love. Mrs. B: Thanks, Andy (my "play son"). Be sure to keep abreast of updates on the Press Release, Drums & Music, News and other pages.
Louie was the best and the only one who could stand up to buddy. AND, louie was Italian too! Mrs. B: OK? 'Nuff said. (smile)
Wow! Thanks so much for the gift of "Skin Deep". Words can't convey what I feel about the music and Louie's spirit. He was simply the best. New Year's blessings to all. Mrs. B: You're welcome, John. Now enjoy the rest of the site -- especially the videos.
Hi Mrs. B: Thank you for the holiday gift. Louie at his phenomenal best on 'Skin Deep'! A Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year to you and all Bellson fans! Mrs. B: Thanks, Herb, for receiving our gift. You're a dear. (You won't believe the number of people making inquiries that are found right on the website.)
Friends of the late great Louie Bellson: I am heartbroken of his passing because he was an inspiration for me and my drumming and a compassionate person as well. I cannot say I preferred the double bass drums, because I am huge on the hi-hat, so I never adopted two bass drums. However, Louie Bellson was unique in this aspect and made it compliment his extraordinary drumming. I can see a lot of me in him, just like I did in Liberty Devito of Billy Joel and Phil Collins. I am truly sorry for his passing and if you could, please pass on to his family my deep sorrows. He was really loved I know. Thank you for this wonderful website. Your friend and drummer forever, Ernie Mink (P.S.-I am always open to comments at erniemusic2 (at) yahoo (dot) com Mrs. B: Thank you, Ernie, for sharing your thoughts and for the compliment.
Just a note to say that I am thinking of you and Louie today--with love and affection. His creative genius--both as the consummate drummer and as a composer--brought joy and healing to a world in dire need of those gifts. Rest in peace beautiful Louie. And, Mrs. B--and everyone here: know that very same joy and healing this holiday season too! Dean Taylor Mrs. B: Thanks, Dean. We can all use a lift right now.
I met Louie Bellson once in my life to observe his clinic and later, his performance with one of the many college jazz bands he performed with throughout the years. I was able to talk with Louie for a short time after his clinic. He autographed my Radio King snare drum head. He was a very impressive and congenial man, one of the best drummers on the planet. If someone asked me to rate the greatest of all-time drummers in the world, Louie would be in the top 2...What more can you say about this Pro. Thanks for your talent, Louie. Rob S. Mrs. B: Thanks, Rob. Please sign up on our mailing list (small box atop any page) to receive notices.
Ive had the momory of "skin deep" in my mind it seems like forever......a masterpiece. Mrs. B: Agreed. Check out Mrs. B's Gift Shop for a CD with that song. Also, please sign up on our mailing list (small box atop any page) to receive notices. Thanks.
Dear Francine, I was sorry to hear of Louie's passing. I remember how kind he was and so hands on as a matter of fact I still have my special tambourines and drum sticks. Louie always had a smile on his face and glad to help where he could. I was happy to sing at your wedding "Evergreen", just to be a part to the start of your beautiful life together was a memorable. To share a visit with you both from time to time at church was nice. Having known him was a pleasure, to remember you both together a Joy. Peace and Blessings ~Regina Mrs. B: "sing ... 'Evergreen'" Yes you did!! Ms. Streisand lookout! By the way, please sign up on our list (small box atop any page).
I was fortunate to meet and spend time with Louie in the UK in the early 1970s. His playing was the inspiration for my taking up the drums many years earlier during which time I wore out two records of 'Skin Deep'. We were both playing Pearl kits when we met and the time spent discussing drum shells etc. is an event I shall never forget. He was the superlative musician who still had time for working drummers like myself. He was quite simply the best of the best> Mrs. B: My word! The Louie Bellson experience in a nutshell. Thanks, Roger.
louie and myself met in los angeles @ m.i I had auditioned there and he heard me playing and met me in a hallway he felt that I should just go out and play he said what are you doing here go play so I said thanks and left never been back I never got to meet his daughter dee dee she sounded so wonderful I'll surely miss them both
Dear Mrs. Bellson, I didn't know Louie had passed. He was a legend in our family for a reason other than his phenomenal talent. My father, (and I always thought this was factual) who was also a drummer, lived with Louie in the W. 80's in a brownstone owned by Larry Storch's mother. I went online last night just to see what Louie was up to and found this sad news. My father always held him in his highest esteem. When I was 11 and my Dad decided to take us all with him on the road to Reno. We stopped in Lake Tahoe to visit him. Pearl was there but he was at a rehearsal. I remember they had just gotten Tony only recently and she took us in to see him sleeping. Life goes by so fast. I read the long biography and couldn't fit in a time that jibed with his story so maybe it is just folklore now. Sorry to take so long but my heart goes out to you as my father only passed a couple of years ago. Last night I thought maybe they'll get to jam together. Mrs. B: We really appreciate your sharing, Karen. So we won't lose touch, please sign up on our mailing list (small box atop any page) to receive updates. Thanks.
In the 1980s, myself & close friends Couldn't wait for Mr. Bellson to perform at Disneyland. We would go everytime. I would sit there & be blown away. We were teenagers, but we knew Mr. Bellson was the best. Just a month ago I purchased the Remo, Limited Edition, Louie Bellson snare drum. It sounds amazing #441. Thank You
Happy Holidays to all, especially to you Mrs. B. We remember Louie and the joy he brought us throughout his years as a musician. His heavenly gig must be just that ... Heavenly! Mrs. B: Thanks, Herb. I needed that!
Louie played two bass drums before Keith Moon and Ginger Baker could sit up. Mrs. B: Thanks, Larry, you gave me a chuckle! So we won't lose you, be sure to sign up on our mailing list (small box atop any page). Note for the history buffs among you: In the Maestro's own words quoted from the Smithsonian Jazz interview, p. 15. (Go to our "Bio & Beyond" page for link) Bellson: I got the idea in 1938. I was in high school. I made a drawing of the doublebass-drum kit, the one that you see on this [photo]. My teacher said, “What are you doing?” I said, “This is a diagram of a new drum set, a new kind of a drum set.” I explained to him that most drummers only use one bass drum. I’ve got two bass drums. He said, “Work on that.” So he passed me on that. (actually, he got an "A") I was interested in taking my idea to the various drum companies, but they thought I and Buck Rogers should go to the moon. “You’re crazy.” “I know I’m crazy, but that’s my idea.”
When I was 15 I heard Louie's Skin Deep. It inspired me to take up drumming and has been an inspiration to me all my life. The Mozart of percussion. I met Buddy Rich once and he spoke of Louie in glowing terms. A great accolade from Buddy. Mrs. B: Please sign up on our mailing list (small box atop any page) to receive notices. Thanks.
I met Louie back in the late '80's at Racine's Animal Jazz Series at our zoo. He was friendswith my drum instructor Joe Pulice and that's how I met him. He was really nice and easy to talk to, and put on a great show that night. The drum solo was awesome!! He will be missed. Mrs. B: Please sign up on our mailing list (small box atop any page) to receive notices. Thanks.
Lorsque j'étais enfant, vers l'âge de 4 ou 5 ans, j'ai découvert un LP de Louie Bellson dans la discothèque de mes parents. J'ai été littéralement fasciné par ce musicien, à priori si lointain de mon propre instrument ( je suis violoniste ) ... Quelle musique ! Quelle joie ! Merci, Monsieur Bellson, je vous réécoute toujours avec autant de bonheur. ;-) Philippe DESCAMPS Musicien Professeur de violon en Belgique et en France (translation provided by Mrs. B.) When I was a child, about the age of 4 or 5 years, I discovered an LP of Louie Bellson among the albums of my parents. I was literally fascinated by this musician, à priori so distant from my own instrument (I am violinist) ... What music! What joy! Thank you, Mister Bellson, I will always listen to your music with as much happiness. ;-) Philippe DESCAMPS Musician Professor of violin in Belgium and in France Mme. B: Merci, le Professeur. S'il vous plaît me permettre de savoir si je n'ai pas traduit ceci bien.
Dear Mrs. Bellson, You do not know how saddened I was when I googled Mr. Bellson and found out that he'd passed away. He was for me everything, a friend and a father figure. I left the U.S. for Sweden five years ago ... and because of that I had no knowledge of what was going on over there. How are you doing yourself? ... think of the good times you had and live happy. All my prayers are with you. God bless his soul and God bless you both for the things you did for me. I am really honored to have known him and served him when I was home in San Jose, CA. A great man he was and he is going to be my hero for the rest of my life. I miss him so much. I wish I was there for him when he suffered and could take his pain. May God bless his soul. Love, Efrem Berhanneh Stockholm Mrs. B: I can't help but think that God has sent you to me now to comfort me. Louie and I had so many wonderful memories of you! You live in Sweden now? My Lord, we performed in Denmark only a few years ago. I sincerely thank you for your kind remarks and wish you only the best.
My name is Rodger Collins and although I didn't personally know Louie Bellson but I did know his brother Hank and his wife Lucille Bellson. I met them when I was performing at the International Hotel in Las Vegas. Louie's musicianship was fascinating to me and I also came to admire him because of the wonderful comments Lucille would share with me about Louie as a person. I recently finished listening to one of the greatest blues CDs that I have ever heard, "Count Basie and Big Joe Turner (The Bosses)." Louie Bellson was the drummer on the session. His skill was just fantastic. As a recording artist known for recordings with driving drum and dance beats ("She's Looking Good" and "Foxy Girls in Oakland") I totally appreciate the creative genius of Louie. As a friend of Roy and Kathy from "Jazz, Joy and Roy" I am grateful that they told me about the delightful, indomitable Francine Bellson This latest award and recognition for his genius is long overdue. Rodger Collins Mrs. B: We couldn't agree more! You can watch video clips and check out Louie's recordings on the Gift Shopping page. Also, we cordially invite you to sign up on our mailing list (small box atop any page) to receive notices. Thanks.
Louie was the most totally musical drummer I ever heard. My favorite album was "Thunderbird" on the Impulse label. He had speed, musicality, and most importantly grace in his playing. He was the last of the real drummers (Krupa, & Rich). There will never be another Louie Bellson. Mrs. B: Thanks for your thoughts, John. So we won't lose touch, please sign up on our mailing list (small box atop any page) to get e-blasts.
i just found about Dee, from the bottom of my heart, I can't tell you how sorry I am to hear this news. She will be remembered by me and I'm sure by many others as a great talent. If there is some comfort is saying, she is now with her father, they both are now in heaven, doing the greatest show of all. Sincerely, Phil Ambros Mrs. B: Thanks, Phil. Sorry you're just finding out now, but we didn't have your e-address. So, please sign up on our mailing list (small box atop any page) to receive notices. Thanks.
I had the priviledge of hearing Mr. Bellson and Sonny Emory in a drum clinic back in the 1990's. All I can say is that Mr. Bellson absolutely rocked the house with his drumming. Mr. Emory was playing linear groooves but Mr. Bellson was "off the hook" that night. What a great Drummer and he was nice too!!!!God Bless to all Family sincerely, rn
Louie Bellson is one of the greatest drummers ever. I really love his drumming, From Bellson to Rich to Weckl to Gadd to Colaiuta to Smith. Every jazz drummer has its swagger, and every solo bring powerful finishing touch. Louie, God bless you and one day I want to be like you. RIP! Mrs. B: Thanks for sharing, Shawn. So we won't lose touch, please sign up on our mailing list (small box atop any page) to receive notices. Thanks.
On behalf of the entire Roy Gray radio family, congratulations to our favorite former Silicon Valley engineer, Francine Wright Bellson, as Louie Bellson's gift to the world will be honored with a memorial certificate of recognition from U.S. Congresswoman Diane Watson of the 33rd Congressional District, Los Angeles. Mrs. B's note: The "radio family" Roy refers to is the "Jazz, Joy & Roy" program on International Christian Network (ICN) online radio. To hear samples of his extraordinary work, listen to the (over 40) interviews he conducted at the June 29 Memorial. (Homepage, page halfway down) Or click http://louiebellson.info/home.html
Aunt Francine, I think you are doing a fantastic job of keeping Uncle Louie's Legacy alive. . . . I am in the process of purchasing the old ranch we lived on as kids with Tony and Dee Dee. It would be an honor to have you put on concerts and speak about life with Louie Bellson. Thanks for taking such great care of my Uncle and I hope you get some needed rest. I will keep in touch. Felix Mrs. B: Felix, it's so good hearing from you! Thanks for the care & kudos.
My regrets are two. One, I didn't take up the drums earlier in life and two, I never got to see Louie play "live" or meet him in person! "The drummer drives, everybody else rides!" Mrs. B: Nick, I certainly like your tag line (drive/ride)! Regarding never having seen him live, the next best thing would be to go to the Video page & enjoy! (Click http://louiebellson.info/watch_videos.html )
The Bellson Legacy has a great sound to it and it can be something which keeps this wonderful man's music alive and swinging. Louie lives on in the hearts and minds of all who heard, saw or met him. Happiness tip- a Bellson track a day blows the blues away. Mr Moorhead's story reminds me that back in the Seventies I was playing in an octet in Europe. I very much liked the charts on the "Thunderbird" album and mentioned this to Louie. He mailed me his own score and my guys painstakingly wrote out their parts from these precious pencilled pages. Needless to say I mailed the original material back, extremely moved by his trust and generosity. I'm sure more and more stories will come in illustrating what an extraordinary human being he was. I watch the video material that's around and Louie's ever-present smile lights up my day. Mrs. B: And fans like you light up mine! Thank you, Pete.
In 1995, I was searching for full band arrangement of his "Skin Deep", so I called Louie. He gave me the name in Brooklyn who handled his arrangements. Brooklyn had all of them but "Skin Deep", so I called Louie back. He said, "OK, I will mail you the arrangements with the promise you will copy them and mail the originals back." So I did. Can you imagine Buddly Rich doing that? I shared that thought with Louie at his 80th birthday party, and he had a good laugh. I have the 19-piece arrangement with Louie's notes on the drum chart ... a prized possession. Mrs. B: Gene, you are a delight! This is exactly the kind of remembrance Bellson fans want to read in the Guestbook. Thanks for sharing.
Francine, We hope that the rest of 2009 will be easier for you. Get in the lounge chair, catch your breath, and we will see you at the monument dedication ceremony in 2010. Love, Tracy and Rhonda Mrs. B: Thanks for your concern & encouragement. I needed that! (online hug)
A great loss in our music,condolences.
Mrs B: In 1977 I was attending John Marshall High School in Cleveland Ohio. Mr Omar Blackman my Band director informed me of a Drum Clinic at Cleveland State University. The clinician was of course Louie Bellson. The clinic was great. When the clinic ended I noticed Louie packing up his drums and getting ready to leave. I finally got the courage to approach him. I told him I was having trouble understanding how to incorporate a fill into my playing. Louie stopped his packing put the some of the drums back on the stage and procceded to give me a mini drum lesson. I still remember that lesson to this day and I tell all my drum students about his great love for humanity. He was not only a great drummer/musician he was also a wonderful human being. Thank You and God Bless Richard C. Everhart Drummer/Drum Teacher Seattle Washington Mrs. B: We really appreciate your sharing, Richard. And we don't want to lose you so please sign up on our mailing list (small box atop any page) to receive our notices. Thanks.
Greetings from a Bellson fan in Sweden Dear Francine, I still carry Louie Bellson in my heart. And I always will. A wonderful person and the greatest drummer ever. Who I had the honour to meet in Stockholm, Sweden 1962. Again I want to thank you for sending me signed pictures, drumsticks and t-shirts before. Here is a photo of me (with a Louie Bellson t-shirt) when I visited a music shop in Copenhagen, Denmark, last week. http://thumbp2.mail.mud.yahoo.com/tn?sid=2549477767&mid=AG5Iv9EAAVFfSpux1AFkPnUN/oI&partid=2&f=808&fid=Inbox God bless you, Carl-Gustaf Edhardt Sweden Mrs. B: Carl-Gustaf, how handsome you are in your LB logo shirt! And that looks like John Coltrane looking down from above in the background. (Note to all: To obtain your shirt, go to/click Gift Shopping page.)
Hello Francine, Thank you for your appreciation of our sacred dance to Louie Bellson's sacred worship music - (Jesus Is My Savior) for Louie Bellson's Memorial. I will make sure the other dancers receive their appreciation cards from you. It was an honor. My mom was always thrilled to come to EBC and see Louie at the church and met him several times. Since I'm an original Illinoisan and my parents lived there since we were little, it was nice to have affinity from someone from the same state. My oldest son is a drummer and I really wanted him to take lessons from Louie but I think our schedules and timing just didn't make it so. Thanks again for your loving support and continue to Be Blessed by His Grace and Mercy. Felicia Rogers Lovejoy Praise Dancer in Christ Jesus Our Lord and Savior Mrs. B: Ref: the June 29 Memorial Service at Emmanuel Baptist Church, San Jose, Calif. This was a superbly choreograped dance to "Jesus," track 4 of Bellson's 2006 CD, The Sacred Music of Louie Bellson. (Go to/click Gift Shopping page.)
Simply one of the best ever. R.I.P.
Louis was a huge influence on me and my drumming ever since he came and played with our band at the(Houston) High school for the performing arts in 1974.He was ALWAYS generous with his knowledge,time and talent.God bless you,Louie! Joel Fulgham Mrs. B: Thank you for sharing. Please sign in the small box atop any page so you can receive our notices. Thanks.
Francine: Thinking of Louie today. What a sweet soul. Innovative and encouoraging, so talented and so generous with his talent. The two of you signed a postcard for me one day. Its among my treasured possesions. May God's blessings follow you all of your days. John Barnes Mrs. B: Thank you for your blessing -- I need it. By the way, I notice that you're not on our mailing list. Please sign in the small box atop any page so you can receive our notices. (If you're in the midwest, perhaps you can make it to the Headstone Dedication in Oct.) Thanks.
Hi Francine, I just wanted to say what an honor it was to be included as a guest drummer at the Tribute to Louie Bellson at the San Jose Jazz Festival. I felt great inspiration in playing Louie's drums and performing with his personal drumsticks that he used. There were many great comments about every aspect of the concert from so many people. It was a fitting tribute indeed! Each musician of the Musician's Warehouse Big Band REALLY stepped up to the plate and played their best. Albert Alva, Fred Berry and the Gospel singers "Joy" all had seamless and inspired performances. Your words and Dr Herb Wong really set the stage for the concert and each song. Special thanks to Band Leader Terry Loose, a fine musician and a selfless man of class. He was the glue that REALLY made this happen (along with you) in putting in so many hours of hard work to make this concert happen. Most every musician (and many audience members) said the same thing, "Louie was looking down on us from above." And also, "He would have been SO proud". I agree. Thanks again Mama Fran, and may God Bless You ALWAYS!
Louie, you'll be greatly missed. You were and still are an inspiration to drummers all over. I'm glad I had the privilege of hanging out with you watching you drum. Mrs. B: Steven, we don't want to lose you. Please sign in the small box atop any page so you can receive our notices. Thanks.
I saw Louie in person in Charlotte, NC in 1956. He was playing in the Dorsey Brothers band. He was the only drummer using two bass drums at that time. After the concert, I walked up to the stage to see this incredible drummer up close. I was too shy to speak to him but I did observe something I will never forget. It was the fact that he had worn a hole in one of his shoes and was still wearing them. I was shocked but understood this man was all about music, not his wardrobe. He will not be forgotten by me.
We are so sorry to here about your loss. If there is anything we can do just call. If you just want to talk I am here for you
Louie Thank you for all the memories. You will not be forgotten, I will see you at the Bema Seat. Until that day... Christian Drummers Hall of Fame Mrs. B: Please sign in the small box atop any page so you can receive our notices. Also, we invite you to share with us something about your organization. Thanks.
First of all, I deeply mourn your loss of Louie's daughter, Dee Dee. I do not know much about her but after hearing her sing. She's amazing! I am Buzzy Loveland's daughter, Chrissy and I've been listening to the duo of Louie and Buddy Rich play at Tonight's Show via Youtube.com, gotta hear this again. These men along with my dad, Buzzy made me miss Dad's playing drums again. I really enjoyed hearing the drums. I'm glad I had the opportunity to be part of the drums family especially coming from Buzzy. Thanks Louie for the memories. Gosh, I miss hearing the drums!! Christine (Loveland) Cerro P.S. My dad told me Louie hugged me when I was young. I couldn't remember but was surprised to hear of Dad's story. I feel proud and honored to be hugged by the greatest drummer ever! Thanks!! Mrs. B: Chrissy, be sure to watch all the Louie Bellson video clips on the Music/Video page.
Your family has suffered such great pain in only a couple of months. My prayers are with you in this time of great sorrow. Love and Many Blessings, Joseph Paul Fox, Esoteric Artist, Sculptor & Drummer.
dear francine, please accept our sincere comdolances for your loss of dee dee...who we knew from her school days here in DC.
Francine, we are so sorry. When it rains it pours, it seems. Our prayers and thoughts are with you still. Bryan Shelburne
my dear Francine, first, my most sincere condolences to you for the new loss... i remain certain that you will receive the love and support that, i absolutely believe, you richly deserve. . . . for what it's worth, you are, you have always, been in my thoughts and in my prayers. you continue to reside in my heart. Mrs. B. knows Mrs. B: (Writer has identified self to me).
My computer is down today. (I'm writing this from a store). Please be patient -- your entry will be posted soon. Thanks, Mrs. B.
I'm praying for the family in the home-going of this young gifted woman. The Macedonia Baptist Church of Sterling and I are praying for you Francine and your strength during these times. We miss your presence and know that God will lift and keep you strong. If you need us for anything you know we are only a call away. Love you. Pastor Ron Alexander Mrs. B: Macedonia is one of the two churches Louie & I would attend whenever we were in the Rock Falls, IL area.
So sorry for both of your recent losses Francine. Do know that our thoughts and many prayers are with you. I know that the Lord will give you strength in the midst of this most difficult time. Mrs. B: Bellson was inducted as an honorary member of the CJA Network in 2007. (Click left photo for Nov '07 interview. Click right logo for his CJA Artist page.)
My heart and condolences go out to Francine Bellson for the passing of Dee Dee Bellson, especially so soon after the homegoing celebration of Mr. Louie Bellson. She was beautiful young lady and spirit and will be missed. I had the pleasure of meeting once back in 1996 during the Annual Louie Bellson Jazz Festival in Rock Island, Ill. May the Lord grant you His Strength during this season, and restore your peace and joy in Jesus' name. Amen. Mrs. B: Note: Saxophonist Alvin McKinney was also a featured performer at that Quad-cities concert.
We are so sorry to hear of Dee Dee's passing; especially so soon after losing her father, one of the world's great drummers, Louie Bellson. Our condolences are with the Bellson family and we trust that Louie and Dee Dee are together once again and resting in peace. With deepest sympathy, BOB & WILLI ZILDJIAN
It has now been over 5 months since we lost Lou. I still have trouble believing he’s no longer with us. In fact, I sometimes catch myself checking my local area jazz clubs upcoming schedules for his name. I first met Bells as a teenager in 1979. I went to see Pearl Bailey only because I knew Lou would be leading the band. After the show, I approached the stage in hopes of speaking with The Man. After a few minutes of chatting he invited me back stage and so began a 30 year friendship. The last time we spoke was at the cocktail party before Zildjian’s ADAA show in 2003. I treasure that last hug and kiss and can still recall the smell of his wonderful cologne. He was an icon, mentor, friend and most importantly a great human being who taught without knowing he was teaching. I saw how a huge figure in music history treated the known and the unknown with the same respect and warmth. I will miss Bells more than I can say. Thank you,Francine, for the many happy years you gave Lou and the incredible care that you provided to him. He was so happy and lucky to have found you. Randy Mrs. B: Whether "Lou" or "Bells", you've got him pegged. Thanks, Randy.
Dear Francine, I am sad to hear about the passing of you step daughter and wish you all the best through these difficult times. I hope it helps to know that you are in my thoughts. Best Wishes, Clinton Cameron
Dear Mrs Bellson. I was a great friend of Dee Dee's when she lived out here in Los Angeles. I was contacted last week by her friend Crystal who infomed me of her passing. She will be sadly missed. Dee Dee and I spent many nights jamming together. Her voice was unforgettable and she always had a smile for everyone. I will miss her and please accept my condolences. Best regards, Stuart Smith. Guitarist/Sweet. Mrs. B: We invite you to join our email list. Sign in the small box atop any page. Thanks.
Dear Mrs. Bellson, I was a friend of Dee Dee's in high school, and we dated back then for a short while. She was an inspiration to me to follow my path to music. What a wonderful soul - smart, funny, generous, and beautiful. Such a tragic loss. God bless you and I hope you can find comfort in knowing she's at peace. Sincerely, Joe White Burbank, CA Mrs. B: Just to remind everyone -- Dee Dee's performance on Star Search with Ed McMahon. (To watch, just click photo) -----> Tip: Fast forward cursor to 2:20 for Dee Dee's song.
Our hearts go out to you Francine in this, your time of sorrow. Know that you are in our prayers. Fred & Quereda Mrs. B: Note: Fred Berry (trumpet), former Band Leader of Louie's Northern California Big Band, will be a featured performer at the Louie Bellson Memorial Concert Aug 8. Go to Schedule page for info.
Mr. Bellson is the sole reason that i have made a career out of drumming for the last 35 years. It's that simple. growing up in Los Angeles in the sixties i would have to say that i saw Louie play with the big band or small group 25 times at Dontes jazz club in North Hollywood and of course his frequent appearances at Disneyland. I met him only once, and he was the kindest gentlest person i have ever met. He took the time to stop by the table i was sitting at with my father when he could be resting up for his next set. He asked me about myself, what i wanted out of life and seemed to truly care. I saw him one other time maybe 20 years later at a coffee shop in Sherman Oaks and i couldn't resist walking over shaking his hand, and letting him know the affect he had on my path as a musician. When i heard of his passing i felt a piece of me had passed as well. It's taken me a while to write this comment on the site, but now with the tragic passing of Dee Dee Bellson.....Well, it's just heartbreaking. my prayers are with the family, and close friends of the Bellsons. Mrs. B: "...sitting ... with my father when he could be resting up for his next set..." Michael, you've really pegged Louie there! Thanks for the memory.
Francine, we are so sorry. When it rains it pours, it seems. Our prayers and thoughts are with you still. Louie's performances certainly created great memories for us. Those were magic moments for The U.S. Army Band and the Blues Jazz Ensemble. Sareta and I loved our time with you and Louie. We hope the burden of all the details you are dealing with is a light one and that everything falls into place the best it can. The Bellson legacy and your own is in good hands with you. God bless you in everything. Our love, Bryan and Sareta Shelburne Mrs. B: Dear Col. Shelburne, I still remember my gallant uniformed escort that evening so many years ago. How thrilling for me! And thanks for your confidence in me to carry on now with the same dignity and duty as displayed by the men (and women!) of those bands.
So very, very saddend to hear of these losses. My Uncle, Nick Dimaio and his wife Jean were all such great friends at one time, and my sister and I remember fondly, spending the summer traveling around to some of the gigs they did! Mrs. B: Thanks for sharing. BTW, are you on our mailing list? Please sign in the small box atop any page so you can receive our notices. Thanks.
Condolences and prayers to the Bellson family on your recent lost. Bereavement touches all families differently. Peace & patience, Brother John
Hello Francine: My sincere condolences to you and Hank in the passing of Dee Dee. I really enjoyed the conversations we shared together and will miss her beautiful voice. I know this has been a difficult year for both you and Hank. My prayers are with you. Take good care, Francine. Jackie Stein
My heart goes out to my friend Francine and family during this time of loss. Louie was a musical giant and will be missed. The sadness is deepened to hear of the passing of his daughter. However our faith in the greater beyond and God's promise gives of hope and comfort and the will to go on. God's Blessings to you.
Hello Francine, I was saddened by the surprising news of Dee-Dee's passing. I'm doubly sorry for your losses and join the fans and followers who hope that our remembrances can afford you some comfort. Salvador Niebla
Sis Bellson, Danielle and I send our warmest sympathies to you on the lost of yet another loved one. It has certainly been a life altering year for you and it is our prayer that God would comfort and stregthen you in ways that you cannot imagine. We will continue to keep you in our prayers. Rev Kevin & Danielle Montgomery
Hello Francine, I'm so sorry and very shocked to hear of Louie and Dee Dee's passing. It was so surreal when I attended Louies services in Bel-Air. He was a great man and inspiration to me. It truly was an honor knowing him as well as Dee Dee. The world has lost two great people and talents. Take solice in knowing they are both together now in heaven and looking after you. May God bless you and hold you during this difficult time. Rory James Mrs. B: We see you're not on our mailing list, so please sign in on the small box atop any page. Thanks.
Hello Francine I am so very sorry to hear about your loss of Louie, and Dee Dee. May God Bless you and comfort you with his love. Lance Kellogg
So very sorry for your heart breaking losses. The Lord is in the midst of these final farewells and His Victory will prevail. He will give you strength and endurance to continue His purpose for you on this earth. May he surround you with His love from many sources. Gail Ganley Steele
I´m silent. Father and daughter has passed away. They are going to see Our Lord. They hear The Hevenly Marching Band playing " NOW The saints are marching in". R.I.P.
I am truely sadded to hear about your loss may the god of host comfort you and keep you. i will keep you in prayer. Sincerly leslie
Hello Francine I want you to know that you have my very deepest sympathy on the passing of your husband and step-daughter. Oh Francine, I know that with God's grace you will get through this most difficult time. I want you to know that I am here if you need me. Sincerely Cynthia Smith 'Sabina' Gatlin
Whenever Louis saw me at a concert or venue he was playing, he would always come over to me to say hello and give and get a big hug!! he was down-to- earth and real!!! WINSTON Mrs. B: Thanks for the remembrance. We notice you're not on our mailing list, (or maybe you have a new e-address). Please sign in on the small box atop any page. Thanks.
francine once again i find myself writing to tell how sorry i amfor your loss.i sure hope the years to come are much more mellow and kind to you god bless you.louie,dee dee,and all my friends at remo,,,your friend t patrick mccarthy
So Very sorry to hear the sad news about Dee Dee especially so soon after Louie's passing. Please accept sincere condolences. Stu
Louie has been a big part of my life since 1954 and an Icon I have always looked up to and derived inspiration from.I was fortunate to have been introduced to him in 1960 in Las vegas. He still inspires me. In 1985 I saw himat the Pantages theater and I left feeling I had wasted 33 years playing drums after seeing that. I spoke to our mutual friend Freddie Gruber shortly after that and finally began to feel better about myself and my efforts in drumming I loved and stilllove Louie and I feelsad that such tragedy has come to the family. We gave lost one of the greatest people of the century and I send my condolences to the family and Louie's loyal fans like me all around the world. Gene Stone
I send my love and prayers across all time and space for Francine and all of your families. If the energy and spirit of our lives count for anything, then both Louie and Dee Dee have contributed pure magic that will inspire and live for all time. God bless.
Francine, while our condolences express our pains for your loss, please know that you are in my Prayers for your health and stability. Your Dad is also in my Prayers. The God we serve is mercyful and mighty. Because He Is I am Roland Esq Holmes Los Angeles,CA. Mrs. B: Amen, brother!
Francine, I know your strength comes from God. I truly saddened to read about Dee Dee's passing. I pray that God continues to help you through all of this. Thank you again for being a blessing to so many even during these trying times. I know you're smiling and encouraging somebody even today. Love to you, Mildred
Dear lady, what can be said but I am thinking of you & pray for your healing of these wounds of heartache. Take care of yourself & be blessed in your time of need. Sincerely, Gail DroopingFeather
I am so sorry for the loss Francine,it was bad enough to lose Louie.Please accept my condolences.Trevor.U.K.
Dear Francine I am so very sorry to hear of your sad loss of Dee Dee. This must be so hard to bear after the loss of dear Louie. My thoughts, prayers and love are with you at this time. With love Peter
My dear friend Francine, There are no words for the magnitude of your losses. Only a merciful and kind God can comfort you in the devastated places of your heart. My only wish is that I could wrap my arms around you, look into your eyes and tell you that I love you. After 25+ years of friendship, I wish there was more that I could do in your time of grief. I pray God's healing anointing be poured out upon you. If you ever feel compelled to call me, my number is 614-226-0266. Grace and peace, Cheryl
Dear Francine, My heartfelt condolences for your loss of Dee Dee. Still getting used to Louis not being here. Jon Belcher
Dear Francine, We think of you often. We were so sorry to hear about Dee Dee. It's wonderful how you are keeping Louie's memory alive. He was such a sweet soul. Keep up your good work for Louie. Much Spiritual Love, Linda & Moody Mrs. B: Thanks, L&M. You don't know how much this encouragement means to me. But then, you two were always my "cheering section."
Dear Francine, I am saddened to hear of the passing of Louie's daughter Dee Dee. Josie and I send our prayers to you during this difficult time. I know your faith is strong and God will be your strength and comforter. With love, Tony and Josie Cirone
I am saddened and sorry to learn of your loss of Dee Dee. Please know that there are many in the world at this time who are sharing your sorrow. Cindy (A Louie Fan and Jazz Drummer)
I'm so sorry to hear of DeeDee's passing! Please accept my sincere condolences on behalf of all Louis's followers. She will be missed as is Louie.
Dear Francine My deepest condolences.with the loss of Dee Dee. May the music and memories keep remember them for ever Adrian Schackmann-Netherlands
Francine: I have to wonder why this happened to Dee Dee. Perhaps the pain of having lost both Pearl and Louie was too much. I was at Louie's LA funeral but did not meet you. I'm sure this was the last thing anybody thought would happen. I heard Dee Dee sing on YouTube and she had a great voice. I am so very sorry. Such a shame to have lost her, and at such a young age. Too many die too young. First Michael Jackson, and now this.
God's Speed.
I am so very sorry for your loss of Dee Dee. Love always, Kathy O.
Dear Francine, I'm deeply sorry to hear about Dee Dee. Please accept my sincere condolences. BUTCH
A great drummer,a great person.Always appreciated his fans,never turned away a request for an autograph. gave away many a set of sticks to his many fans.
Mrs Bellson, My deepest and trieste (portuguese for sad) condolences for you. My closest friend's father told me at his funeral "children are supposed to bury their parents,parents are not supposed to bury their children" I can't help to think how you are doing at this time. My family and I are praying for you. Words are, at best meek.
What a magnificent voice she had. So sad, too young. May she R.I.P. and meet up with her Dad and make beautiful music in heaven together.
Francine--May I say to you first that no man could have such a smart, warm, kind, and sincere woman like yourself. I met and talked to you at DUKE when he played there last and it was a real honor not only to meet Louie but especially to you and seeing how much love you gave that man and the sparkle that was in his eye !! I was the last person to have my picture taken with him at duke and as a trucker / drummer--it has traveled with me since that time. I will never forget your kindness and laugh !! Louie was FIRST class as a drummer all his life but more so as a model of how to live life to the fullest !! As I waited for him to sign our picture, he was asking if he could play some more with John. He had the look of a child who got his first drum set !! His Magnetism was like being around a life long friend. As a couple, you both set a very high standard that is very refreshing to be around. He certainly was blessed to have known and played with so many great people of all ages !! I am also sorry to hear of Dee Dee ! God has blessed us all with having souls like these in the world. Their memory will live on for a very long time !! Wish you all the best and know that we all will meet again in the sky !!! Love Michael Coxe Mrs. B: Preach, Brother! Louie & I would pray before each gig that our conduct as a couple would draw others to Christ. Thanks for the confirmation!
Francine, My thoughts go out to you. Again, words seem insufficient. Thinking of you. Mike
I am suddenly saddened by the news of dee dee's passing. She was a beautiful soul and bright shining light in this world. I am sad for all who knew her for she was deeply loved by all and it is a loss for so many close to her. I will always remember Dee Dee's warm, sincere and welcoming smile which, not unlike her father, always touched deep beyond the surface and spoke louder than words ever could explain. I will miss never getting that chance to enjoy her presence and her talent again and I remain in prayer for the extended Bellson family and friends at this time.
Enjoyed his drumming and copped a few of his riffs and beats.So sorry to hear about his Step Daughter Dee Dee.My deepest Sympathy to remaining Family Mrs. B: Clarification - she was Louie's daughter, my step-daughter.
Mrs. B. - You have had an extremely difficult year. I am so sorry to hear of Dee Dee's passing. She was so young. Dee Dee and I used to live 30 minutes from each other when I lived in Virginia. Although I only saw her once, she was a gem and a wonderful person. She and Louie will be sadly missed but will remain in our hearts forever. May God bless you in your times of need and may his hand guide you through these most trying times. Keep the faith and live by God's word, for he will comfort you during your times of grief. All Peace and Love, Susan
Francine,"You are always on my mind" Always with you in prayer. Thanks for sharing me in your life. Thanks for the tributes. Larry A.
Dee Dee was an angel. I met her when I was very young. Pearl and Louis use to come to dinner at my father, Marty's house. DeeDee, we miss you madly...David Paich
Hi Francine,I'm terribly sorry to here about Louis' Daughter DeeDee and hop that everbody is doing well,you guys have already had a difficult year and I hope that you are able to deal with DeeDee's death alright as well.I'm off to practice with Mike McKee Guitarist in the downtown area tonight as we have a Christian Folk Band we are putting together and will be practicing at Pike's Perk in just about 1/2 hour.My condolences to your family once again and hope that you're doing fine!!Your Good Friend,LeightonR.Hogue
A Memory Moment
See p. 4 of the liner notes in The Sacred Music of Louie Bellson CD. Song: No One But God - "Bellson smiles at the recollection of singing this melody to and with his daughter Dee Dee when she was a very young child." Click/hear clip-->
Our deepest condolances from Jazz Joy and Roy fro m Roy,Kathy and the rest of JJR radio family Mrs. B: Note - to access "Jazz, Joy & Roy" on ICN online radio, or to audit interview clips from the recent Bellson Memorial, go to Homepage (scroll down to near bottom).
www.Swinginghamburg.de is sending all the best to all who loved and love Louis Bellson snd his music and we hope that his influence well stay for ever – we are sure it will. Swingingly Gerhard Klussmeier President of the jazz-society Swinging Hamburg e. V. Mrs. B: Note: Herr Klußmeier was kind enough to send me the issue in which the notice on Louie's passing appeared. (2. Quartal 2009, Nr. 29 / 8. Jahrgang, p. 36) For German readers, click pic for website --->


Dear Mrs. B. Hope you are well. Thanks for continuing to promote Louie so that the world never forgets him. I will be in Moline in a few days and would like to stop by and pay my respects to Louie. Can you tell me where he is buried at Riverside Cemetery? The last time I saw him was in Davenport at The River Music Experience. He always made time for us after each concert and that night was no different. As I stood in line I could see he was beginning to get tired after about 10-15 autographs. When it was my turn I bent down to get closer to him. As he struggled to sign my Rogers drum head I told him that that was okay, I just wanted to tell him I loved him. I'll never forget the look on his face as he gazed up at me. As I walked away I turned back to look at him again and he was still looking at me. That was an incredible moment, and an incredible connection with him that I will remember the rest of my life. Mrs. B: Dear Ken, Your letter left me misty eyed because this is the Louie Bellson we all knew and loved and you've captured the memory of the moment well. How timely for you to plan visiting the gravesite now as the headstone was painstakenly designed, manufactured and finally installed at the site earlier this summer. Although the official dedication has been postponed, everyone is welcome to visit anytime. In fact, there's even a permanent vase there for those bringing flowers. As for the exact location, stop by the Riverside Cemetery office for directions.
The following is an excerpt from my letter in the 2008-2009 anniversary issue of JazzBeat: "...I remember vocalist Peggy King who sang with the likes of Charlie Spivack, Ray Anthony and Ralph Flanagan getting together with a quartet of big band/jazz musicians Eddie Samuels, Buddy Clark, Al Viola and of course Bellson to record an album of classic standards 'My Funny Valentine,' 'They Didn't Believe Me' and 'Let's Fall in Love' to name a few. Louie Bellson ranks with the best of them including Krupa, Rich, Max Roach, Cozy Cole, Shadow Wilson, Shelly Manne, Sid Bulkin, Irv Cotler and Sonny Igoe. In the realm of Big Band music, Louie Bellson will never be forgotten. May he rest in peace." I consider it an honor to have this listed in the 'Guestbook.'
Francine- First my condolences to you....I just want to say a big THANK YOU for the kindness you and Louie showed to me during the time I worked at REMO. I remember one evening in the REMO's N.Hollywood facility when Louie and myself and Hank..(don't remember if Albert was there) look through some old black and white photos I had. I knew some of the artist pictured.. but Louie knew them all and got quite excited telling me stories about almost everyone in those pictures! I was writing down names and stories like mad trying to keep up...This wasn't long after the accident and I was worried because he was so animated when he saw those pics. He said seeing them it brought him fond memories, which in turn made me happy just to have spent that time with him. I still have those Christmas cards you and he would send out. I miss Louie and I miss you. Once during a difficult period of my life.. (you didn't know this) but the kind words you and Louie always spoke helped me enormously and I will never forget it.. (maybe you do know.....) As Albert said "Thanks for having a site where we can share our feelings" Bill Carson Mrs. B: Dear Bill, long time no see. And so we don't "lose" you again, please be sure to sign up on the email list (small box atop any page). Thanks for your note; it has supplied me with the boost I need!
I had not seen Dee Dee's Star Search performance before this, so thanks for making it available Francine. Dee Dee stopped the show! I have many happy memories with Louie, Dee Dee and Francine. One I fondly remember, is all of us going out to Laughlin, Nevada, for some performances with Louie. I was also fortunate enough to collaborate on some big band musical arrangement with Dee Dee as well. For me, I honor her life through all the good memories and good music that she left us with. Thanks Francine, for having a site where we can share our feelings. Albert Mrs. B: Albert Alva (librarian, copyist, arranger, saxophonist) maintains the Louie Bellson Music Library. (See Contact page). Dee Dee's performance on Star Search with Ed McMahon. (To watch, just click photo) -----> Tip: Fast forward cursor to 2:20 for Dee Dee's song.
Francine - I was saddened to hear of Dee Dee's untimely passing. I am happy that I got to meet her on several occasions with you and Louie. If there is any blessing, it is that he did not have suffer this heartbreak. I'll call you soon. Love, Ilse Mrs. B: Artist and friend Ilse Jouette has captured Louie Bellson’s energy and eventful music career in a beautiful water-color collage. (Click drawing for info.)





I met Louie when at about 12-yrs. of age, I was invited to see him while he was visiting relatives in North Phila. I was impressed by his demeanor and his fine tailoring...he was a cool dude in the vernacular. Anyway, Louie recognized my fascination with the drums as I had just started to play, and was bowled-over by those 'double base'drums. His 'Skin Deep' blew my mind, and I and my brother, who also loved drums, tried our best to cop thos licks. For sure Louie will be missed, as we all loved him as a person and as a musician.
Francine, I send my best wishes to you as you wind through this time after Louis's passing. I just heard yesterday, so belated condolences in your bereavement from my heart. And I know you must be suffering from the news of our sweet Dee Dee's untimely passing and I also send you my love and prayers for your strength in these days. I am crying tears for many today. I feel honored to have met Louis and have been enriched by his stories and talent, I'll never forget our time together in Las Vegas. Today I am heartsick to hear about Dee Dee's passing, I loved her so much and in my life, the word that described her the most was grace. In heaven I know she is a light for all. In every way she inspired me to become a more loving or polished person, always forgiving, always giving whatever she could to help anyone she could. ... Love three times, Lanie, Helane Fontaine Mrs. B: Dear sweet Lanie, I've just returned from the East coast today July 19 (see News page) and got your post. Believe me, I really appreciate your kind remarks. Will write more later.
Happy Birthday ... Uncle Louie. We miss you.
Such a wonderful drummer Such a wonderful musician Such a wonderful person himself God bless you Louie - We'll miss you dearly, -Bob Zildjian
Such a wonderful drummer, such a wonderful musician, such a wonderful person himself. God bless you Louie, we will miss you dearly.
When I first heard Louie play with a Big Band at the 1939 World's Fair in Flushing, NY at Fountain Lake, I hated him immediately. How could anyone play with such perfection when I was only in my second year of drum lessons? I could never catch up with this guy, let alone exceed his prowess with two sticks. Of course, over the years Louie charmed me back into his fan base. But I still only use one bass drum. So there! RIP Louie, you will always remain a top notch drummer and a very special person!
Waiting for Internet and ICN Radio! My "Dream Drum Night" was when Louie visited as a guest for UMO Big Band in Helsinki years ago. Too few people were there! One of the listeners was Mr Erkki Valaste, a finnish "old-timer" drummer, who replaced Sam Woodyard during an Ellington Concert once here in Finland.
Sorry to miss the memorial concert for Louie..I'll be gigging in NY please alert me to any other event or oppurtunity to contribute...PY
Wow...I was sadden to hear of passing of Louie...I was able to see a number of his performances....He was a grreat drummer,entertainer and gentleman.. Michel Amaral Mrs. B: Michel, please join our mailing list by filling in the small box atop any page. And don't forget to tune in for the broadcast tomorrow. Thanks.
anything for you.... is that louie playing ? no it,s buddy he thinks he is louie ha THAT IS THE TRUE STORY PS GOD THE KING..........LOUIE BELLSON...........PHILLY
TIME HAS PAST WHEN WE LOST THE KING OF THEM ALL.I MUST SAY AS A DRUMMER MY HART IS BROKEIN MUSIC AND JAZZ IS NOT THE SAME NO MAN LOVED MOOR THEN HIM WORLD CLASS DRUMMER PHIL AMBROS Mrs. B: Phil, please join our mailing list by filling in the small box atop any page. Thanks.
once again i want to write as i thought about a story about louie,as i was in a drum shop in willow glen ca,louie walked in,and took the time to give me a quick drum lesson,what a guy,a real gentleman,look at just some of these whos who in the drum world,that have something to say or a story to tell about this wonderful gentleman,he always made time to give advice or give you tips,i know his plate is full with those great gigs in the sky,miss you louie see you again,see whats next,your friend t.p. mccarthy
Thank you for the invitation to be with you all in Louies celebration tomorrow. This will be a treasured memory for the rest of my days. God's Blessings to one & all. Please take care of yourself, Mrs. B. Sincerely. DF Mrs. B: NEWS FLASH! We were just informed that, due to several computer crashes at the station, the Memorial Interviews will be split into 2 shows and moved to Mon-Tue July 6-7, same time 7:00pm - midnight (pacific time). They're sorry for the delay.
Francine, Thank you for sharing Louie and your life with him. The Monday night memorial let us see again just how much God was a part of Louie's life. The music he wrote that you used that evening was very special. We have his CD's and can continue to enjoy Louie through his music. We appreciate the hospitality of all of the people at Emmanuel Baptist Church. They all are to be commended. Keep in touch, girl! With Love and Sympathy, Bob and Arlene Lopes San Jose, CA Mrs. B: It was sooo good to see you! I will transmit your compliment to the Church.
My thoughts were with you last night. I'm so happy that God blessed Emmanuel with Louis and that you so graciously shared him. Mrs. B: To all N. Calif. fans who may have missed the spectacular Memorial Service last night, we hope you can make the Aug 8 Louie Bellson Memorial Concert at the San Jose Jazz Festival. (See "Schedule" page for details).
Hello Mrs. Bellson I use to go to Emmanuel Baptist Church. I so enjoyed every time Louie played. We shall miss him. May offer this poem I wrote in his honor. GOD bless. GOD smiled on me Sent me an angel to love An added blessings Like the seed of music that took root and grew Letting me express, letting me share The beat, the sound Emitting from a blessed soul Touched by the hands of the,"ONE" My life played out Like a book with pages not yet written Roads taken leading in directions Not touched by a heavenly love, a heavenly path Took me through detours leading back Like a river flowing Lighted by grace, back home Stages shared with many Memories made, not to be forgotten Now a part of history Written with the hearts, the souls and music Of those now waiting with angel wings To meet and greet at journey end Like a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow My steps are purposeful My way is clear My path is set No need to ask for directions Whispered words reaching my ear Like the little drummer boy Will you play for me? A resounding yes echoing back Spoken from my lips So my dear be still, be silent Listen rap-tap, rap- tap ,tap I am sitting next to, I am playing for the ,"KING" So do not cry for me , I am home Blessings, PW
Mrs. B., Although I cannot attend the memorial services, I want you to know that I will be there in spirit and look forward to the next opportunity to connect with you. Know that you are in my thoughts and prayers during this challenging time. Louie is with the angels... Sincerely, Cynthia Smith Gatlin 'Sabina' Mrs. B: Thanks for your RSVP to the June 29 Memorial Service. For all Northern Californians, don't forget the Aug 8 Louie Bellson Memorial Concert at the San Jose Jazz Festival. (See "Schedule" page for details).
When I was a teen (I am 74 now!), I saw the movie "A Song Is Born". I saw it again last week on Classics! A renewed thrill, sat here all by myself wishing my kids, grands or great grands were with me! They missed these "GREATS"! I played the 33 sound track till it turned white & died. Does anyone have it? or info, been searching for years! Louie looked like a teen himself! Loved "Redskin Rhumba!" Actually, loved them all. Still sing "Daddy O" to myself! Cracky old worn out voice!. TY F. B. So nice to hear from you! FYI, My old grampa dug deep to buy this record for me, his income was only $81.00 a month, called old age pension then! My grandparents raised me, we were so poor, I went to a neighbors to hear my record! Imagine! They gave me a player that had been their kids, a sort of tinny toy one, no wonder the record died young! What a great gift "memory" is, ay? Mrs. B: Agreed! Thanks so much for sharing the richness of "the way we were" with the rest of us. As for LB looking "like a teen," that movie came out in 1948 so he was 23/24 at the time of the filming. But when you live right & healthy like he did, you stay young forever!
Louie Bellson and Buddy Rich are a gift from god. Mrs. B: Bob, as I told the previous writers, don't forget to sign onto our e-mailing list. (small box atop any page) Thanks.
Having played on Louie's band at the tender age of 20, I handled the jazz chair. Louis, as well as Pearl, always encouraged me to "go for the wall." This meant, play what you feel and let it out. This is what Louis did. Thus he led by example. He was a true artist, as well as brilliant player. However, his humanness out-weighed just about any other musician I have ever been privileged to work with. TONY HOROWITZ Mrs. B: Thanks, Tony. As I told the previous writer, don't forget to sign onto our e-mailing list. (small box atop any page)
I was 12 years old and had been playing drums for three years in 1977 when I saw Louie and his band play at the Cape Cod Melody Tent. My father took me to meet Louie after the show and he gave me a pair of his Slingerland hand crafted drum sticks. I'm 44 now and have been playing drums for 35 years and those sticks have never even been taken out of the plastic. Thanks Louie! Mrs. B: Thanks for your note, Neil. Now don't forget to sign onto our e-mailing list. (small box atop any page)
Louie was an inspiration to everyone he met, not only with his dedication to music, but with his dedication to family, friends, and God. If everyone lived their lives like Louie, the world would be a better place. I miss him dearly. Mrs. B: Amen, Brother!
Hello, Francine. It is good news that the DVD "The Musical Drummer" is released. It is World's Greatest Drum method!! I remember conversation with Louie of the last year. I look forward to seeing it at Japanese store. Yokohama, Japan Mrs. B: For anyone interested in this truly outstanding DVD, go to the Gift Shop, or click cover for link. --->













Mrs. Bellson, I met Mr. Bellson on August 21, 2008 at a local restuarant (Mega Bite Pizza) here in San Jose. I did not know who he was but he needed help & I helped him. Afterwards he came to our table where my wife and I were sitting and thanked me for helping him in his time of need. He seemed like the most nice person a person could meet. I am very sorry to hear of his passing.
send me anything you can concerning the late GREAT LOUIE BELLSON and i THANK YOU. George Zeiler
ATTN: Don't miss online (partial) broadcast online tonight at 7:00 pm pacific time. <--- DIRECTIONS: Click http://www.theicn.com/online/pages/stations.php?stationID=113187 Then click TUNE IN and wait for the broadcast to start. Afterwards, let us know how it affected you here on the Guestbook.
ATTN: Don't miss (partial) re-broadcast online tonight 7:00 pm pacific time. DIRECTIONS: Click http://www.theicn.com/online/pages/stations.php?stationID=113187 Then click TUNE IN and wait for the broadcast to start. (Afterwards, let us know how it affected you here on the Guestbook).
the best ever.
This man was truly an inspiration. He did what he loved doing for a lifetime. No doubt he's doing it now. Ciao! Willie & Rebecca
As the video of the late great Louie Bellson was played at Church Sunday, there were young people that I was sitting next to up in the balcony crying. I thought, "Young people -- Wow!" LB had hit the hearts of young people! Mrs. B: Amen. I knew I wasn't alone! (For those who missed it, watch on Homepage.)
A true TROOPER and a true GENTLEMAN. They don't make soldiers like this anymore. Shalom. Mrs. B: Amen! I am SO happy to hear from you two. Louie loved frequenting your establishment, and we'll all miss the exciting sessions we had there. Hope to see you at the San Jose Memorial Service June 29. (Go to Schedule Page for info).
I remember my dad telling me many years ago that he saw Louie who was then in high school practicing in the back room of his father's music store. I live in Moline and don't know where the store is. A memory I have of Louie Bellson was when I worked for the Rhythm City Casino in Davenport, Iowa. Louie put on a demonstration in the "Guest Service Center" which I videotaped within six feet of him. The crowd was very enthusiastic and appreciative. Louie signed an apron with his picture on it with the caption: 75 and still cookin, although he was more like 79 then. He later played with Ray Charles in the Adler Theater, one of Ray's last appearances.
Wonderful, pleasant show and Francine Bellson was marvelous with her insightful remarks. Roy Gray has a smooth delivery and he and Mrs. B. delivered an entertaining hour. Oh, yes...the music was good too!
Francine, your interview was FABULOUS! You taught me a few things. Thanks!
Dear Francine, It’s hard to know where to start with 40 years of personal and professional memories of the most incredible man I have ever known, and will ever know. I have learned that the measure of a person’s life is not of the material things that they leave behind when they pass from this world, but what they have left us in the way of knowledge, inspiration, example and love. Louie had an abundance of all of these things and he gave so selflessly of them always. The 1st thing that anyone would notice in speaking with Louie was that he made you feel as if nothing else existed except you. He looked right into your eyes and made you feel very special, and he was sincere about it. It wasn’t just that though. Louie would literally go many extra miles (literally and figuratively) For me, the 1st example of this was in 1970 when I was 15. I came to the LA area from Pennsylvania for a 2 week vacation. Louie drove over 100 miles each way to spend an afternoon with me at the Pro Drum Shop in Hollywood. That was the 1st of countless examples that taught me to “go the extra mile” to help people and especially kids if at all possible. Louie ALWAYS answered each and every letter that I sent to him when I was growing up and into my adult life. In speaking with many other people, they say the same thing. He always had time for everyone. Louie would always stay around after a concert and make sure and spend time with everyone that wanted to speak with him. To me, this was truly amazing because… I have never known a more productive human being in my life than Louie. He knew he had a God given gift with his very special and great talent, and he felt it carried great responsibility. He took that responsibility very seriously in a number of different ways. He never took his talent for granted but used it every day of his life to his utmost ability. And what an ability that was! He did not ever forsake any of the many areas of his vast abilities whether it was in performing, writing, inventing, teaching, and indeed learning. As we all know, he was very humble about his talent and was a perpetual student of music. He was the best type of mentor and teacher, because rather than tell me that I should do this or that, he would teach me through example. He always encouraged and supported me. Many times I would play at his rehearsals and he would watch me play while reading his chart along with me as I played it. He wanted to see how I would interpret his drum charts. I can almost still feel his hand resting on my shoulder as I played. That certainly reassured me that I would never again be nervous, no matter who I performed for or with. I would always ask Lou many questions. He was always happy to answer every question. I always learned so much. He would allow me to record these conversations to study, transcribe and hopefully someday publish. And yes, I DID get him to talk about himself. A few things that people may not know about Louie are; He NEVER drank alcohol, coffee or soda. At no point in his life did he ever do any kind of drugs, not even marijuana. He never smoked cigarettes. Louie knew that keeping his body healthy was of great importance. He told me that when he was growing up that he got in the habit of drinking water and fruit juices because that’s just the way his parents raised him. He made sure to exercise whenever possible. He told me about his diet. All these things were important to me to know how a person could be so productive and have so much energy. Lou told me that he would write music every single day. Even if it was only a few measures of music, it would be a part of his daily routine. He confirmed to me that he had (what I called) a “magic box” where he would store the musical ideas that he wrote. He would save these ideas and draw upon them to compose new tunes, arrangements and drum music. Louie knew that the best gift he could ever give was a gift from his heart. A few years ago I took him to one of the many rehearsals with the Musicians Warehouse Big Band in San Jose. When we got there he said, “I have a little birthday present for you”. Then he pulled out an advanced snare drum solo that he wrote called “For Andy”. I was in tears. Not only did he write this solo for me but it was written on manuscript paper that was about 70 years old and came from his father’s music store. After I made a couple of copies of it, a friend who owns a frame shop (and is also a drummer) framed it and he used museum quality glass. He would not allow me to pay him because he felt that he was taking part in history by framing it. It proudly hangs in my living room and is one of my most cherished possessions and is challenging and very fun to play. Louie has done this for other drummers too as well as writing tribute songs for famous and not so famous drummers as well as songs he wrote for other musicians using their name in the title of the song. Louie was all about the giving of himself and contributing for the advancement of music, drums and drumming. He invented many things that drummers take for granted. He didn’t care if he got credit for his many inventions. He didn’t care if someone stole his drum invention ideas and made money. He just wanted to help drummers. So, I’d like to set the record straight. Louie Bellson invented; The first practice pad drum set Disappearing bass drum spurs 1st used by Gretsch in the 1950’s Disappearing cymbal holder 1st used by Gretsch in the 1950’s Many types and models of Zildjian cymbals and was instrumental in the development of many types of drum head models made by Remo, Many types of combination drum implements made by Mike Balter such as the stick-brush, stick mallet and many others. It would be interesting to see if Remo and Zildjian have a list of the products that they developed because of Louie’s suggestions. I think it’s long overdue that Louie got recognition for ALL of these VERY important inventions. I think the number of recordings Louie is on is much more than is generally reported. Most articles list the recordings he is on as about 200. I believe that number is way too small. There are recordings that Louie made that he forgot about until someone brought these recordings to his attention. Just two examples of this are when someone once asked him if he ever played with John Coltrane. Lou replied, “No, I don’t think I ever did”. A short time later after a concert, someone brought an LP to be autographed where Louie played with Trane on the record. Another time, I brought him a recording of Meade Lux Lewis and Louie playing on an album. Just boogie-woogie piano and drums. He had forgot that he recorded that record and I remember the sheer joy in his face as I played the music and the memory of that recording came back to him. I’m sure that we have not seen the last drum book by Louie as he was working hard on a new book. Once we got together and were playing different beats and fills on the drums. I showed him a beat that I use called “The Airplane Beat”. Several days later he left a message on my phone and said, “Andy, I’ve been trying to figure out that Airplane Beat you showed me the other day and just can’t seem to get it. Would you write it out for me so I could study it and practice it”? I was STUNNED! Here is the greatest drummer in the world asking me to write out something so he could learn it. I am thinking, “What’s wrong with this picture”? Then, I finally realized that not only did he want to learn this beat, but (by example) show me that no matter how accomplished a musician is, there are always new things to learn. Needless to say, I wrote it out for him with different variations to apply it to different styles of music. Many times later he would tell me how much fun he would have practicing it. There are so many more memories, and although this may be a bit lengthy, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention YOU Francine, the love of his life for the last 16 years. Your worlds did indeed revolve around each other through your faith in Jesus Christ, your Lord and Savior. I will ALWAYS cherish the memory of joining hands with you and Louie and saying grace before eating one of your fabulous meals that were prepared with so much love. In closing, I just want to say that I have a lifetime of practicing of the examples that Louie gave me both professionally and especially personally. He was my best friend, and now he is my patron saint. Many times we would talk about life, and many times he would start a sentence with; “Well, Jesus said…”. So, I know that Christ was the hero in Louie’s life and it showed by how he lived. In my own life, when a problem arises, I ask myself; “How would Louie do this”? Somehow, when I think in those terms, a solution arises. Louie showed me that just about anything is possible as long as you have a pure heart and believe. God Bless You ALWAYS Francine with Peace and Love. Andy Weis
ATTN: Don't miss online broadcast tonight at 7:00 pm pacific time. <--- Click News page at left for the link. Afterwards, let us know how it affected you here on the Guestbook.
I saw Louie as he subed for Buddy Rich at Lennys on the Pike.I sat in the second row of tables and was blown away by this mans talent.During the bands break I bumped into him at the bar.He actually took the time to shake my hand and talk for a few minutes...even though other folks were trying to interupt,he did not rush off.Truley a gentleman that will be missed.God Bless. Mrs. B: David, please sign in (small box atop any page). And be sure to hear the online interview tonight at 7pm. (Go to the NEWS page for the link).
My sister In Christ Francine, please call me soon. I hope to have you for dinner with others friends of the communoty. I still have fond memories of your having dinner in my home before you were mrs. B. I miss you. Be encouraged and know that The lord is with you always. He promised never to leave you alone., "Love & Pryaers" Your Friend, Willie Mae Veal Glasper
Sister Francine Bellson, Please give me a call . I would like to speak to you, Personaly. In Reference to The Services for Brother Louie. $08 274-3024. Thanks. "Love & Prayer" Sister willie mae Veal Glasper
Louie the drummer. Louie the gentleman. Louie the sweet human being. There are no negatives about Louie Bellson. I was a huge fan and I have tried (in vain) to emulate his style. Not only in drumming, but in character. When Louie and I would talk, he talked to me as an equal not just as a devoted fan. I will miss him dearly. I am looking toward to the day when I cross over and see all my relatives who have passed and who will be sitting watching Louie, Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich and Jack Sperling. They will look at me and say, "Where have you been. These guys have been swinging for eternity. Sit back and enjoy." Louie Pastor Mrs. B: Dear, dear Louie P., thank you! You've hit on one of my pet themes: Character. Amen!
Louie is the best! Its terrible that he has passed away. Louie is one of the best drummers/percussionists i've ever heard. He had such great touch, he knew when to play busy and went to keep his cool. He played so well in ensembles and on his own. Louie will be terribly missed. Godbless
Louie Bellson is one of the swingingest drummers in jazz's history. I love to hear his cymbal work and his 'dropped bombs', because that means pure unadulterated enthusiasm combined with great mastery.
The following letter appears in the June, 2009 issue of Downbeat: I was shocked, stunned and saddened reading about the passing of Louie Bellson, one of the premier drummers of all time ("The Beat," May '09). My fondest recollection of Louie as a member of the great Duke Ellington Orchestra was his showcase number, "Skin Deep," when I went to the show at either the New York Paramount, or the Strand or Capitol theaters in the 1940s. At the end of the show, as the stage lowered into the pit, we'd rush to say hello to Duke, Louie, Cat Anerson and other members of the Ellington orchestra. Louie would hand out Louie Bellson Drumsticks as a souvenir (I've got mine). In the realm of big band music, Bellson will never be forgotten. Mrs. B: Thanks, Herb, for your kindness. (And to our readers, his letter is on p. 10.) You can listen to "Skin Deep" right here on this website's Music/Video section!! click http://louiebellson.info/music-34.html or http://louiebellson.info/music-71.html
Hi Francine!!!! I just thought I'd sign-in and let you know I'm praying for you and the entire Bellson family.I hope this is where you wanted me to sign-in and I'll be sending you another letter again soon.The blues-jams I'm going to will be on Sunday Night at Dino's Nightclub and on Wednesday Nights at Southside Johnny's Nightclub as well.My job at Village at Skyline Kitchen for retired individuals is going pretty good.God-Bless You and Take Care!! Sincerely Yours,Leighton Ros Hogue
I'll never forget seeing Louie playing on the Tonight show. What a great drummer/musician. Never be another like him. I'll be checking out the new CD soon. RIP, Louie!
Herewith I and my son would to express sincerest condolences hearing that that big drummer is dead. My son playing with 2.age on drums saw Louie in a TV /DVD report with Pete York, great. Louie was an idol for him beneath CoZy Powell, Ian Paice etc.etc. We want to thank Louie bellson, and wish all the best to his whole family. Keep on rockin' in heaven Louie!
I remember Louie signing an autograph for me when I was 9 at Disneyland, I'm 48 now. I was so in awe of his drumming I could barely talk to him. He just smiled and I just remember him being so kind and gracious to me. On that day I learned what humility meant. He even offered me a pair of his sticks, which I always kept in my stick bag to remind me. Louie was a beautiful human being and I'm a better man for having met him. Love you Louie. Michael Alexander
Dear Louie, Thankyou for your music and for the joy it brought to so many. Special thanks for the fabulous work you did and your playing at the tribute concert when my father passed away with Buddy Rich and Kenny Clare on the Conversations, a Drum Spectacular- Tribute to Frank King concert. I wish I could have shaken your hand. Thankyou James King.
Hi I must admit I was saddened to learn of the passing of the Great Louie Bellson. i have been playing drums since 1973 Louie Bellson was a huge inspiration to me. he had that knack of playing that made it look so simple. He will be greatly missed by everyone connected in drumming. I now write a website for all young drummers around the world simply called musker beats as I work for Bournemouth Youth Services as a youth worker. there will be a feature shortly all about the Mighty Louie Bellson Joe Musker Mrs. B: Please let me know when you do, and be sure to refer your readers to this website www.louiebellson.net. Thank you, Joe.
I never had the pleasure of meeting you Louie, but you have been a great inspiration and drumming influence to me. My thoughts and condolence go out to your family and friends. God bless you Louie...rest peacefully now.
Dear Bellson Fans, I just rec'd permission from Doane Perry, drummer of Jethro Tull www.jethrotull.com. I wanted to provide you with a direct link to his video interview in which the views he expresses remind me so much of Louie's and mine. http://www.notableinterviews.com/jethro-tull-interview/ Enjoy! Mrs. B.
Thank you Louie for everything that you left behind for the rest of us. Your superb musicianship, not only as a drummer but as a serious composer, along with your powerful, subtle, musical and always swinging drumming, combined with your tremendous humanity, was inspirational to everyone who knew you and even to many who didn't. You set an example for so many with whom you came in contact. I observed you interacting with scores of people, not only other musicians but the average person and always admired the way you so graciously treated everyone! How fortunate we were to have you here amongst us, sharing your extraordinary talent, warmth, goodness and humanity........ we are all lucky and richer for you having passed this way. And a BIG thank you to Louie's devoted wife Francine, for her tireless efforts in helping to keep his rich musical legacy alive!!! Mrs. B: Thanks, Doane, but let the people know who you are! I just listened to your online interview. May we post the link to it?
I am terribly saddened to hear of the passing of Louie. My Dad andI had the pleasure of first meeting Louie at a Franks Drum Shop clinic in the mid 60's and had the good fortune of seeing Louie when he visited Chicago play the Jazz Showcase with Quintets, the NIU Big Band, etc. There was always a kind hello, glowing smile,hand shake and how have you been from Louie. I was an employee at the Slingerland factory in Niles andwas fortunate to see Louie when he visited Slingerlandto see his Brother Tony. He was such a gifted and iconoclastic drummer. He played with such grace and a tremendous set of dynamics. As well as his drumming gifts, he was very kind and spent quality time with whomever crossed his path. I remember fondly a time he visited Slingerland and when asked by the employees, graciously accepted putting on a impromptu drum clinic. He was very patient and kind in answering all questions and spent quality time playing his heart out. I will miss his phenomenal, graceful playing as well as his warmth, kindness and zest for life he always exhibited. He possessed so many gifts. Godspeed, Louie.
i'm too young to know you better and tell somethink for you. But the only think i know is how great person you are. Have a nice sleep
louie was a one of a kind... gentlmen,great drummer, composer,dreamer of cool drum sets..boy he he come up with great set ideas..i still look at his sets in awe...he was nice to me from the day we met...god bless..sorry he is gone !! with love carmine
I appreciate Mr. Bellson's service to our country so that we can continue to have the freedom to enjoy the instrument that he so dearly loved. He truly was one of the greatest of the greatest generation. Mrs. B: Amen to that!! (For you 'youngsters', that's the WWII generation; they loved God & Country, and loved & took care of Family). R.R., you'd really appreciate his last CD, "Louie & Clark Expedition 2" with his other 'Greatest Generation' buddy Clark Terry. http://www.louiebellson.info/products.html
Lou and I were very close friends for many years. We played many drum battles together, and he and his wonderful wife Francine have graced our home to share my wifes superb cooking. A greater gentleman never lived. I know he's swinging that big band up there,and now Buddy's got some real compitition. Judy and I shall miss him greatly.....
There was never a kinder, gentler, genorous musician, if not person, than Louie Bellson. Louie never had a bad word to say about anybody and never criticized anyone but only gave them encouragement and guidance as to how to improve. Always helpful and encouraging to younger (and older) players he was a friend to all. While Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa were his friends and colleaques, I think both would have agreed (though Buddy never would have in print!) that Louie as an all-around musician was light years ahead of them both as a composer, arranger, and all-around percussionist. Louie could do it all! What a great band there must be in Heaven with these three taking turns playing! I still (and always will) have a thank you card he sent me after writing him a short fan letter many years ago. Meeting him in person was everything and more than I thought it would be. He graciously answered questions and had no problem with anyone going and checking out the REMO PTS kit he had just floored us with his playing on. Louie had time for everyone and the patience of a Saint. If ever there was a musician who should be a Saint it is Luigi Paulino Alfredo Francesco Antonio Balassoni! God bless you Louie!
Louie was the greatest not only as a musician and drummer,but as a person.I got together with him in the late 1960`s when I was playing drums in the Follies show at the Tropicana .He inspired me to write a drum book,which Bob Yager put out in the 70`s.I can never thank Louie enough .God bless Louie.
Louie Bellson was a great drummer and arranger, maybe in heaven Louie will be in company of others giant stars as Tony Williams, Miles Davis, Cannonball Adderley, John Coltrane,.... Bless You Louie
I only met Louise once and that was when he came over to UK in late 60's early 70's and he was a co-president of the International Drummers Association. I went to a drum clinic which he did with Buddy Rich and then later I saw him with Buddy and great English drummer Kenny Clare and the Bobby Lamb Orchestra in a tribute to Frank King who was secretary of the IDA and died suddenly and unexpectedly. The performance was recorded and is still a treasured album of mine. I last saw him live in 1999 when he came to the UK to perform at the Rhythm Sticks event in London. Louie was not only a superb musician and one of the best drummers that ever lived he was also a gentleman and wonderful human being. He was one of the biggest influences and inspirations of my early drumming days and still is. He will be sadly missed. Boy would I like a front seat at that jam in the sky with Buddy Gene and Louie!!
Louie, you were one of my idols. You, along with Buddy taught me how to play without ever taking a lesson. You were perfection. Inspiration came from your playing, your kindness and your phenomenal gift. When you heard me play on Leslie Baker's Askew CD, you told Leslie, "tell Billy he's swinging". You have no idea how that made me feel. To have a man you have idolized have something positive to say about your own work left me happy and without words. But now you know Mr. Bellson, because you are in Heaven. You have meant so much to us and you will continue to do so, forever. I love you, miss you and may The Good Lord look over you and reast in peace. With Love and Respect, Billy Paul
I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO PLAY WITH THIS MASTER OF THE DRUMS ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS. PLAYING WITH HIM LIVE FOR A MONTH IN VEGAS AT THE DI IN 79 AND ALSO DOING 3 ALBUMS WITH HIM. WHAT A JOY TO BE ABLE TO PLAY WITH HIM, AND THEN HANG WITH HIM OFF STAGE AS WELL. HE WAS A VERY UNIQUE INDIVIDUAL!. SO TALENTED AND YET SO KIND AND GRACIOUS TO EVERYONE HE CAME IN CONTACT WITH. I WILL ALWAYS MISS HIM. I JUST COMPOSED A TUNE FOR HIM. SOMETHING I FELT I HAD TO DO. SINCERELY,...FRANK COLLETT..(PIANIST) APRIL 27, 2009
God Bless Louie! He makes me proud to be a musician, an Italian, and a guy with the same name! Lou Spagnola www.LouSpag.com
Louie-still using your reading book -with my guitar students! You are still doing good work. Rest in Peace
For some reason, I did not know about Louie's passing until today when I saw his name in the AFM International Musician in the "Taps" section. As Louie did many clinics, I was able to attend a couple in San Diego in the 1960's and as a drummer, I was totaly amazed at his left hand control. He could out-perform most good drummers with just that one hand. And what a gentleman. To say he was ONE of the greatest is an understatement...he was THE greatest! Farewell Louie Mrs. B: Thanks for the heads up about the AFM Newsletter. I'll look out for that. Be sure to get his last CD, "Louie & Clark Expedition 2" which was all self-composed. http://www.louiebellson.info/products.html
Louie was an inspiration.
I was fortunate to meet Louie in 1989. He played a show at The Britt Gardens in Jacksonville, Or. The next morning, Louie did a drum clinic at SOU in Ashalnd, OR. I was early and ran into Louie in the elevator. He was just hanging out. I was able to help load his drums into the clinic room. There were about 20 people at the clinic. Louie also let me play his drum that day. It was great! Louie was great! God bless you louie and I will see you again in Heaven. Mrs. B: Amen! Be sure to check out his last two CDs, "The Sacred Music of Louie Bellson" and "Louie & Clark Expedition 2". http://www.louiebellson.info/products.html
We just had the Jazz Fest from our daughter's high school, and I was telling the band director about my own experience at my Jazz Fest, when Louie Bellson came and gave a clinic during the day, and we performed at night. What a great experience!! He commented to each of us with specific feedback and support - it was really electric! That was in the mid '70's. Yikes! But it is a memory that still brings up that excitement, energy, and love of music that I've tried to hand down to my kids, who all look forward to learning and participating in music in varied ways (especially Jazz). How many he must have touched! He was a truly kind person, and leaves quite a legacy, not only in his music, but through his kindness. My best to you and your family - thanks for sharing him!
i met louie at a drum clinic in pittsburgh in 1981.what a nice guy ! he took the time to talk to me and posed for a picture with me and a friend. i still have that picture and i treasure it!
In the mid 1980's I had the honor of being Red Noro's vibes tech and prior to a concert at the Ambassador Ballroom in Pasadena, I sat at the cafeteria table next to Louie Bellson. I remarked that it was an honor to be next to such a great musician. Louie turned to me and said, "Me Too! I'm also very honored to be sitting down to lunch with these great musicians..." They were, Red Norvo, Hank Jones, George Duvivier and Remo Palmier. In these eloquent words of grace, Louie made me feel included and welcome. He was a great musician and a wonderful person and will be missed.
I will miss you and love your spirit forever. Thanks for the most important inspiration I've ever received.
A true original with a God given talent! Thanks for the memories and it was great to meet you. I believe you've got the Lord bopping his majestic head and tapping his feet right now.
God Bless Louie Bellson!
louie thanks for all those drum clinics,i followed your career since i was nine when i started playing the drums,rip louie cant wait to see what you got in instore for us on the other side, see you around louie,thanks paddy
He was from somewhere else, humans can't do what this man did.
I met louie in TO, canada. what a drummer, and what a nice man. I have a picture of louie and me in my office. everyone see us. godbless
What a loss!!! The last of the Greats, is gone. R.I.P. Mr. Bellson
God Bless Louie Bellson.
I've been playing drums most of my life. I've had some modest success. One thing i will never forget is seeing Louie on The Tonight Show when i was very young. He had multiple sticks in each hand, between his fingers. It was flawless. I knew I wanted to play drums, and at that point I knew where the top of the mountain was. Mrs. B: Hopefully that's one of the Tonight Show clips found our our Video page. Click http://www.louiebellson.info/music.html
I shook hands and exchanged a few words with Louie after a workshop that he gave in Sweden in the late '90s. In those few moments, I wasn't only shaking hands with a towering jazz legend and icon, I was shaking hands with one of the kindest human beings ever to walk the earth.
Louis and Francine came to my father's funeral in Alameda, CA in December 2006 (Dave Black) and Louis and Francine became good friends with me that day. Louis and Dave were life long friends and when Louis stepped down from Duke Ellington's band my father took over for Louis(After Louis gave a personal referal to Duke) My father like all those who knew Louis...loved him and spoke very highly of him when his name came up.....I am deeply saddened that we have all lost this irreplacable soul. Louis and Francine provided me much comfort in my time of sorrow and i learned that day what a truly genuine human being Louis was...he was most gracious to me and i will never forget him.....Francine, thank you for sharing Louis with us all and may God Bless you in you time of sorrow.......
How sad ! I grew up in Moline, Il. under the shadow of this great drummer. I can still remember always wishing I could get one of his signature sets he had signed at a local music store. A lasting memory came when my son asked who I thought was the best drummer? He was thinking a rock drummer. So when I told him that I thought that Louie Bellson was the best I had to go on line to show him some of his last performances ,He was blown away that some one as old as his grandpa could play like that. So when Mr Bellson died, My son remembered and commented "How sad,I won' t be able meet him or hear him live!"This World was blessed to have this man and his gift. Prayers to his family! Mrs. B: Thanks, Thom. Be sure to direct your son to this website (homepage, bio, videos, etc.) where he can listen and spend hours learning more about a true American Legend. P.S. Especially the Video page, where he can see Bellson perform as a young man. Smokin' !
GOD MAID LOUIE TO SHOW ME HOW TO PLAY DRUMS PHIL AMBROS
When one is so accomplished as Louie Bellson and yet so kind and humble - it is a wonderful thing! Everything I have ever heard about him was good!!! May God's love surround the family and bring you some measure of peace and comfort.
Hello Mrs. B, How are you doing? I heard about Louie late last week and wanted to send you this and say you are in our prayers. I've also dropped a note to you via US Mail. Louie was definately an angel - "The Drumming Angel" and now he and the boys are jammin' for/with Jesus in heaven. Most of my thoughts are in the note I sent so I'll be brief here and let you know that a piece of LB will remain in our hearts forever. My sister in Christ, may God bless you and keep you in his gentle hand. Jesus will lead you through this difficult time. May God Bless you Sister. Please keep in touch with all of us in hopes that together we will be able to share the LB legacy forever. In Christ, Susan Thomason
Francine....my dear. Please excuse me for just hearing of your husband's death. I am sending you my and my family's prayers. Take good care of yourself and I will get your number to give you a call and check in with you. Van Jackson Mrs. B: G-i-rr-ll! It is SO good to hear from you! There must be a "Cardozo drum" at work out there (how appropriate) because I'm starting to get a number of messages from my high school alumni pals.
I ,ve been a van since 1952 . Louie has always been open to any questions I,ve asked him. I,ll miss his concerts but with the hope in Christ Jesus I,ll be with him forever. Fran it,s the hope in christ that we,ll see him again. Christ Jesus I,ll be with Louie in enternity.
I ,ve been a van since 1952 . Louie has always been open to any questions I,ve asked him. I,ll miss his concerts but with the hope in Christ Jesus I,ll be with Louie in enternity.
My deep sorrow in learning of the passing of one of the kindest and most accomplished gentlemen I have ever met, I will always remember Louie he was such a kind man and what a legacy he will leave. The world has lost one of the legendary artists of our era. Louie was truly unique and can never be replaced. I can only hope that somehow in my lifetime, I can touch just half as many people in the same special way that Louie did in his lifetime. Having had the opportunity to record, engineered, and remix many of Louie's recordings, It was such a pleasure to have worked with such a special spirited soul. It is really treasure of my life that I was able to experience it!! Our deepest condolences to Francine, and family.. Thank you Louie!! Frans Beelaard
Your legacy and your community commitment has left an indelible mark on humankind. A phenomenal musican and a remarkable human being. Francine you have my deepest sympathy.
Louie..you were my hero in life and drums. What more can I say ? I love you and will miss you till my dying day. R . I . P.
I had the great fortune to see Louie perform many times. Being a frustrated drummer meant I was taken to school in his presence. His virtuosity, taste, and artistry are without peer. Meeting him was also a great privilege and pleasure, especially when he learned that my parents also came from the Quad Cities area. (Davenport, Iowa: my father was 2 years behind Bix at the Davenport HS). We will all miss Louie's incredible musicianship. Godspeed, Louie. Bill Meyer
I can remember buying Skin Deep on a Philips 78 rpm record when I was a kid at school. both he and the Ellington band just knocked me and my mates out. The greatest and the best drummer of all time, he made drumming look so easy.
In 1982, Mr. Bellson came to Humboldt State University to perform. He also gave an exhibition for the general student body. I am not a musician, but he performed excellently and was happy to be with other musicians and regular folk like me. After his exhibition he just talked to some of us like he was one of the guys and I could tell he was a special person who delighted in his art and loved being around people. Thank you Mr. Bellson for sharing some of your time with us. It was a pleasure be with you.
How can I adequately express how deeply Louis Bellson's music reached my heart? He is one of my all time heroes and had a profound impact on my music and I am forever indebted to him for that. I miss him and pray for him each day. Mike Clark
I tried my best to steal everyone of Louie's chops... he was a nice man a very very nice man. I was a nobody and he treated me like gold met Louie through lessons with Carl Matolla. I will miss Louie very much. God Speed Louie.
I mourn the passing of the man who totally inspired me to take up the drums...RIP Louie...
Louie did my "P.K. in L.A." album, which was one of the greatest experiences of my life , both professionally and musically. He was a great drummer and a great guy. Peggy King
As a high school musician, I was lucky enough to have Louie sit in with our jazz band and offer suggestions and commentary on our performance. He was a very gracious contributor, and a very warm person...abs a "totally cool cat!"
ms. b... continued best wishes in your loss. thank you for sharing the life of your husband and for minding the "store" at his appearances. you've always been a great supporter of his fans and we deeply appreciate it. what a loss. what a terrible, irreplaceable loss. gbwy... rpb & lee san berdoo
I can truly understand why Louie was one of the Greatest in more ways than one. He'll be soorely missed by Many. First by his beloving wife, Francine. You hang tight, our love and deepest regards are with you. God blessed you both. Jam-on in the Big SkyBand, brother Louie. We're listening up right now. Eugene D. Syes / Legacy Images / Plano TX
i doubt i would be playing drums right now if it were not for louie bellson. his music and influences will always be remembered and for that i'm grateful. thank you louie!!! joaquin...san francisco, ca
when i met Mr. Bellson,at drum city, in the early 60 s,he gave me insperation and encourgement,and some drumming tips,i will be forever greatful for those kind and caring words. because of that metting i went on to have a 40 year career i would have loved to thank him personally. i'll never forget MR. Bellson ,MAY HE REST IN PIECE ,GOD BLESS YOU
I grew up in the Moline area and remember Bellson's Music Shop quite well. Louie Bellson remains one of my life-heros. His family was so proud of him. I am proud to have known him and his family. His legacy of professionalism, creativity and perseverance serve as a touchstone for us all. Our lives have been enriched because Louie Bellson was here. Craig Horn (formerly Craig Athorp) Weddington, North Carolina
He was always smiling when he played, must have enjoyed everything he did. The world is a poorer place now but heaven must be swinging. Terry...Padstow,Cornwall, UK
Francine: I have never met a man as famous as Louie to be so humble. He was a wonderful person and I will miss seeing him at church, even though I didn't attend as much as I should have. I still have all the pictures that you took of Louie with Leigh, Stephanie and me. Thank you God for letting us know a man like Louie Bellson. Please stay in touch. Flo Willis - San Jose, CA
I first saw Louie play at Foothill college in 1962 with his Big Band. Met him again when he played at the Musician's Warehouse with his band in 1998...He and Francine were outside in an autograph line and I had nothing for him to sign..he had a band member remove the head from his snare and signed it for me...a truely amazing caring man. I have that framed in my Drum room. Saw Louis again quietly standing in the back of the Lemmon store on Bird during a clinic held by my second favorite drummer Simon Phillips. Again against all odds I ended up with a signed snare head off Simon's kit...now I think it fitting to frame it and let it take it's place to honor Louie. None of us may have started with Double Bass if it were not for Louie. I last saw Louie at a clinic with Chad Smith, Dennis Chambers and a few local drummers. He was sitting in the same row and graciously posed for a picture after the event. Always giving so much without being asked. I'll miss you Louie!
Francine, Glen and my love and prayers are with you during this time of your loss of your special love. You know you and Louie are special to us. God will see you through this and keep you strong. We will try to see you when you have Louies memorial at Emmanuel in San Jose. We love you.
I knew this great man, and I miss him. We are all sadder for the loss
GABRIAL OUR LOSS IS YOUR GAIN. YOU HAVE SOME GREATS SUCH AS DAVEY,BUDDY, GENE, JOE, SID, SONNY JACK & SO ON. NOW YOU HAVE THE GREATEST LOUIE TO SWING, SWING, SWING WITH. REST IN PEACE LOUIE
Both my wife and I were deeply saddened by Louie's passing. What a kind and caring person he was, and his wife, Francine, also. It meant the world to me that he remembered "good times" from the 60's when I took lessons from him, and bought my set of Rogers Drums from his dad's music store "Pop's Drum City". Louie was the best drummer there ever was, and as a teacher so inspiring. I still play drums today and know that the way I play is because of what lessons I learned from Louie. He was a wonderful person and the world has lost a truly fantastic musician, but our loss is Heaven's gain. He left the world a much better place because of him, and will be truly missed. Mrs. B, our deepest condolences, and also to his family. Thank you, Louie, for all the wonderful music you gave the world so selflessly. You truly had style.
We will always remember the Thanksgiving you and Louie shared with our family. May God Continue to Bless you
I am proud that I was able to participate in the Louie's concert last year. The style of Louie is very important in music. It is really treasure of my life that I was able to experience it!! Thank you Louie!! Takeshi
I only managed to see Louie 5 or 6 times - the first at a Jazz at the Phil concert in Croydon , England and after being stunned by his drumming during the first half of the concert , the Great Man was changing a couple of his cymbals and the temptation to obtain his autograph was too hard to resist and he duly obliged - such a friendly guy - I saw him a few years later when he was the drummer accompanying Tony Bennett - Louie played in the second half with the Buddy Rich Orchestra - Two Greats in one evening - Unbelievable ! In the late 70's Louie accompanied Oscar Peterson in the trio with John Heard on bass and I was lucky enough to see them at the Royal Festival Hall in London - The last time I saw Louie was 20+year ago when his Band played at the Lakeside Club in Frimley , England - Another unforgettable experience - A Big Loss to the World of Music but fortunately we have so many Albums and DVD's by which we can remember this outstanding Gentleman - The World is much poorer for his loss but I'm sure he's looking down on us and guiding the new breed of drummers with his influence GONE BUT NEVER TO BE FORGOTTEN
thanks louie !!! you are my inspiration !!!
Louis was a very nice man. 1994 he gave me his drumsstcks in Stockholm. Somebody took the drumsticks during our dinner and Louis send new drumsticks two months later. He was suerly a nice man and a great frummer. Duke loved him.
It's still hard to believe he's gone. Louie Bellson was one of the great pleasures of being on this planet, and one of the finer things in life. I'm so glad I was able to witness and come to know, in my lifetime, the two greatest drummers, Buddy Rich and Louie Bellson.
Meeting and seeing Louie play live was for me a dream come true. This moment came in 1992 when Louie visited Sydney Australia. I saw both concerts and attended the drum clinic and then to the airport to say goodbye, the whole experience something I will never forget as we are a long way from many things here in Australia. I remember meeting you also Francine (I was the guy who gave you and Louie the bag of fruit). Please accept my most sincere condolences you brought a lot of a special type of beauty and happiness into the life of Louie Bellson. You were very special to him that was obvious I could see it in his eyes as he looked at you. Louie was the nicest man I ever met. These memories will live in my heart eternally just like his drumming and music. Please extend my most sincere condolences to his family. We will miss him always. PRAISE GOD FOR SENDING US LOUIE BELLSON. John Hewitt Sydney Australia Mrs. B:Amen to that, John! It is my personal belief that he was one of "God's ambassadors" to the world.
The "Drum World" will never be the same without Louie. He was my idol for over 50 years. It's comforting to know that he will be with his old pals, Gene and Buddy. It's been a sad time for many, many of us and God bless you Francine for being so kind and caring to Louie. Bob Mertz Irwin, PA Mrs. B: As I've said before, thanks, Bob. I need every "hug" I can get.
Hearing of the loss of Louis Bellson has brought back a lot of memories of high school jazz contests I participated in. One contest was circa February 1979 (30 years ago, unbelievable) at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. We won the overall band competition and we played in the evening concert. The place was packed with over 3,500 people. A lot for a high school kid! Right after us the Augustana College band played and the guest clinician was Louie. About five of us stayed backstage with Mr. Bellson for about half an hour while the college band played. His equipment hadn't arrived from New Orleans and he would call the delivery company every few minutes asking where it was. Five minutes before Louie was to go on stage, his equipment arrived and he asked if we would help him unload it and set it up! Now it seems like such a little thing, but being a part of his life for a short period of time and being able to help him was one of the greatest events of my life. Walking out on stage carrying his percussion equipment was scarier than playing solos in front of all those people, knowing that they were waiting in anticpation of the great Louie Bellson. After he was set up and started playing with the Augustana band, it was so incredibly exciting knowing that we had played a part in making his performance a success. I know I stood backstage in awe the entire time while he played. The electricity and energy nearly blew the roof off the place! I will never forget that evening, the evening I was fortunate enough to meet one of the truly great jazz musicians, but more importantly, great people ever to grace this planet.
Louie was a one of a kind. I had the great pleasure to see him perform on a number of occasions and it was always eye opening. The gift of both musicianship and humanity were profound. He will be deeply missed but he sure is in some great company now. That must be one hell of a band they all have going on up there.
One of my favorite memories of Louie was the Buddy Rich joke he told me many years ago. I've told it countless times since and always use Louie's name, as I do here, because that's the way he told it. Louie Bellson dies and goes to Heaven. He is met at the Pearly Gates by Saint Peter, who tells him, "Welcome to Heaven. God has been anticipating your arrival." Louie is flattered, but asks, "Why in the world would God be waiting for me?" St. Peter says, "God is a drummer and loves big bands. We have a wonderful big band here, all the greatest players in history are in it and God wants you to play drums in it." Louie is again flattered, but thinks for a minute and asks, "But, isn't Buddy Rich here in Heaven?" "Well, yes he is. But, God has some issues with him." Just then, in the distance, Louie hears the sounds of a fantastic drummer playing an amazing solo." Louie asks, "Hey, isn't that Buddy Rich playing the drums?" St. Peter says, "No. That's God. He just thinks he's Buddy Rich."
to one of the nicest persons ,musician that I had ever had the pleasure to know and perform with ......hotep my dear friend.
Many things we encounter in life fad away, but the memory of or loved ones and good friends remain as a good memory and at times a loving companion in thought. Louie as a good friend will remain with LOVING thoughts. Francine and family remain strong in all of your loving recall of this beautiful man I call a friend.
Thank you for your drums, for your amazing music, you are a great inspiration for me! Thank you! See you soon! Celio Angeloni, a brazilian drummer.
I had the incredible opportunity to play a ''drum battle''with Louis in 1995 at Willie's Steak House in Manchester,Ct.Art Benson's Dynamic Percussion hosted the event.It was the shining moment of my drumming career and will never forget it.When Mr.Bellson told me afterward he thought I had ''good hands'' I nearly passed out.He will be missed.I've been a drummer and Bellson fan since 1960. Ralph Onofrio Branford Ct.
I met Mr. Bellson several times and he always remembered me. The last time I saw him was at PASIC a few years ago at the Remo party. I was with Lewis Nash and he took the time to have a long conversation with us concerning life. He has been such an influence in my life for so many years. Mrs. B; You are a joy and really kept him going on and on through it all. I salute you and just keep on doing the great things that you do for his memory! Mrs. B:Thanks, Marvin -- I needed that!
I first met Mr Bellson during the recording Explosion. I was invited by my trumpet teacher Bobby Shew. Mr Bellson had the time to talk to me, and encourage me in the music business. I was fortunate to have been on his last recording. Louie was a True Gentleman and great Musician. Tony Lujan Mrs. B:Thanks, Tony. You were key to the success of that last recording. ("Louie & Clark Expedition 2" for those of you who haven't obtained this Masterwork yet.)
When Louie played Malmö, Sweden in 1984 he came to my place after the show and had tea with honey in it. He also showed me som tricks on my practice pads and he left after a few hours but we continued to correspond for many years after and hes kindness and care I will miss. I'm now touring with my own big band and I will kick some ass for him. Thank's for all Louie you'r one of a kind
Thank you for sharing you. You have turned the light on for me in so many ways. What a beautiful man you are. Thanks for the love. My condolences to the Bellson Family.
I saw Louie do a concert at pierce college in woodland hills some years ago.he gave every kid in the audience a set of sticks. he had time to talk to everyone. his kind will be missed !
So sorry to learn of your passing. You were a real gentleman and a magnificent musician. We met only once and it was a real pleasure.
Me entere de la lamentabgle perdida de un genio como Louie..un pana que ya no este el mas garnde de los grande,pero simpre estara en nuestras baterias...mes condolencias para la familia.
I took lessons from Henry Bellson which is like taking lessons from Louie thus I went to many of Louies concerts and he would go grocery shopping at the store I worked at. I loved Louie he was so easy to talk to and so humble. I loved that about him. I will greatly miss him. He is in heaven with our LORD making the most beautiful music. Thank you Louie for being a great hu man and being an isperation to us all. Your Legacy will live forever. To The Bellson Family, We grieve with you and pray for you.
I am sixty six years old I~ve been a fan since 1952 louie is a great person and christian , I am looking forward to spending eternty with him.
(Note: originally posted) February 26, 2009 louie is playing the big jam i heaven now .....would be great to be there and jam on....best to all the family now!...DIANE DRAKE
(Note: Originally posted) February 18, 2009 A great loss to one of the giants of big band jazz. Members of The Harry James Orchestra send their condolences . Fred Radke, leader HJO www.harryjamesband.com
Louis was one of my first heros, even as a drummer of 8 years old! And remained a constant and important influence throughout my drumming career - and will continue to be so. His gems of wisdom, and almost 'throw away' remarks about technique and musicalitly had a massive effect on my playing, and without his humble genius, I would not be the drummer I am today. Gone in body, but never in memory or spirit! God bless you, Louis.
louie was in san diego ca in nov of 1993 playing I believe the horton hotel in the downtown area of san diego my father and I went to see him I had quite playing the drums for many years at that time . During a break my father and I went up to the area off the bandstand and I told him how amazed I was with his playing(I won't go into details) as this is running little bit long . I was touched by his kindness and his encouragement not to give up and "that I would get it" (the mastering of certain techniques on the drum kit e.tc.) he then gracelessly posed for a photo which I treasure that hangs in my drum room . Louie it took me until 2003 to pick up the sticks again I'll be 62 in may 09 your encouragement that night back in 1993 finally took hold . My condolence and prayers to the family. thank you for letting me share tim burnett
Louie Bellson is the reason I started playing drums at the age of ten. I saw him play a solo at a drum competition and he blew me away. I had the opportunity to win that same competition when I was 18, but Ed Thigpen was judging at the time. That was 36 years ago! I had the opportunity to meet Louie several times and see him play. I spent a week with Peter Erskine and Kenton's orchestra and Louie was a guest artist. I wanted to study with him, but he didn't have time so he hooked me up with the next best thing - his brother Hank. I drove from San Diego to Encino every two weeks for about a year and a half and got to play Louie's and Buddy's charts - what a blast!! I still love to beat those drums and play worship every Sunday. I will never forget the impact that Louie had on my life. He was a gifted and fabulous musician but more importantly he was a kind, honest and giving man. He will be missed.
The last time I seen Louie was in davenport Iowa with my dear sister. She died July 6 on Louie birthday and Louie died on her birthday. She loved him so. They are in heaven together now as they grew up today and went to school together. Her Name was Betty Mae Colvin Salerno of Rock Island Illinois. I'm sorry I was unable to attend the funeral on behalf of my sister.
Long live Louie Bellson! I had lost track of happenings until just recently. I want to extend my thoughts and condolenses to his family, friends and many fans. He'll be missed, but thanks for all the memories Louie! You are the greatest!
I was priveleged to play with Mr. Bellson at a jazz camp 30 years ago. It was an amazing experience. He was an encouragement and inspiration to a bunch of young musicians. I will miss him.
We'll miss Uncle Louie lots. He was so sweet. We love you Aunt Francine, and are glad Uncle Louie had someone as sweet and kind as you! Remember in the days to come that we're thinking of you and praying God's joy and peace over you. Lots of love, Chrissy
Louie, Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich and Jack Sperling all together in a big drumming extravaganza. That is heaven!!!! Our heavenly father has a front seat and his smiling. Louie Pastor
Mr. Bellson heard your many of drum solos don't make them like you anymore i have the upmost respect for you sir ...I been playing since i was six I'm 53 your the best the real deal. little vinnie dee from philly
Uncle Louie, you will be missed, jam on....from, Willie, Jimmy, Pearl, Bobby, Johnny(louis), Tanya, Esther...the Bailey's in PA
Louie, your vibrations will ripple on for eternity.
Louie is jamming in the big band in the sky, ill'e never forget louie for as long as i live, rest in peace,my old freind. and jam on forever. my condolences, cozy
Eres una gran inspiracion para mi Louie, desde el mas alla estas ya tocando la bateria como siempre!! eres mi idolo, descansa, desde Monterrey Mexico
He will be missed he was the best and music will not be the same.He was so much fun to watch when he played drums never lost a beat we have lost a great man may god bless him and all his family,
I'm interested in instuctional sessions and maybe he has launched something into the future, on his behalf. Because there is a huge lack of appropriate training oppertunities. Mrs. B: I must admit, your note "threw" me a bit, being in the midst of condolences. If it's instructional materials you want, check out this site's Gift Shop or Links pages which refer you to Bellson's books and videos; also the new "DrumChannel" website.
very sad time losing louie one of the alltime greats now his with buddy gene and all the other great players bet they will have the biggest jam ever in heaven god bless louie and look after him.
I saw Louie at Montreux in Switzerland in the 1970's and twice in Northern England..his drumming was unbelievable..clear and perfect. I was priveleged and will never forget him nor tire of his solos. My condolences to the family and all his friends.
In the uk a lot of us younger players(62) remember the Oscar Peterson TV shows over here that led us to all his other vast accomplishments.with respect to other elder statesmen like Roy Haynes we've lost the last of the big three big band heroes. We're going to miss those bass drums
We were honored to be present at the beautiful service last night. Louie was an inspiration and left an untouchable legacy for all. We were blessed to know him. May God continue to bless you always.... Cole Marcus & family
I had the pleasure of hanging with Louie in Denver for a week in the early nineties. His passion for drumming and just talking drums was inspiring. Thanks for being a friend Louie, We will miss you.
Louis was an inspiration to me. Monster talent with a humble heart. His talent only exceeded by his generosity. I will miss him and treasure the moments back stage when he gave me his sticks. What a great guy...I will miss him.
The world is diminished by his absence. Dee-Dee, I am sorry for your loss. Rick
I only met Louis once personally, whilst he was on tour in the UK in the 70's and I was a member of the then International Drummers Association and last saw him live in 1999. He was my biggest insparation as a teenager and helped forge my drumming style. A true gentleman, fantastic drummer and above all a wonderful musician. RIP Louis and I wish I could be at that great jam session in the sky with Gene and Buddy! WOW MAN WHAT A GIG !
My heartfelt condolences to Francine and Louie's fans. Sorry Francine I hadn't checked my mail for couple months, was busy taking care of my father-in-law's ill health.
KRUPA,RICH,BELLSON,TOUGH.WE WILL NEVER SEE THEIR LIKES AGAIN.
I am so devestated by the passing of my hero.He was so kind & wonderful to me.His generosity & encouragement,will be a lifelong inspiration.
What a huge loss to the music world. It was an honor to work with such a huge music icon during the ASCAP Jazz Wall of Fame reception. My sincere condolences to the Bellson family and friends. Esther
Thank God For having put Mr. Bellson on this earth to charm and delight music lovers with his prodigious talent. May the jams and concersts continue in heaven; a place where you are at without a doubt. God Bless you Mr. Louie Bellson
We would like to give our deepest condolences to Francene, family and friends of the memorable Louie Bellson. It has been an honor to have had the chance to know Louie. An individual who has marked history and with his kindness, and humbleness showed us what a good hearted gentlemen he was. It was unfortunate that we only had the chance to know him for a short period of time, yet his memory will stay forever part of our lives. With Sympathy, Yanni and Anna Barakos your friends from the Great Greek
I was proud to have both coressponded with and met Louie. A massive talent yet without the need for a matching ego. An example of how to be a decent human being
I cannot believe I didn't hear of this. As a drummer I usual try to tell students or other players of the GREATS. I am not just talking greats, but immortals. I am sorry to the Bellson family for your loss. What a great human being. I wish I was told of Louis when I was younger. I know I would have been a better player. He is a inspration to Musicians and performers everywhere and will be missed.. Thanks for Listen, Friend
Louie Bellson was and always will be an inspiration to me, not just as a drummer but as a human being. He was always kind and giving. The few times I was in his presence will be memories cherished forever. I send along my sincere condolences to the Bellson family.
Not only was Louie B. such a great drummer, but he was the nicest person in the business I ever met. Thanks, Louie, for all the years of musical inspiration, as well as the utter goodness and decency you displayed in your life. As Ellington would say, you were truly "beyond category". You will never be forgotten. David Clements, Road mgr, Mike Vax Orch.; drums, Les Elgart orch.
I'm distressed to know about Louie Bellson passing. I admired him since the fifities when I've bought his Capitol 10 inch LP adound 1951. I followed his career so close as I could, despite living in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. Finally in 1999 Louie played in Rio de Janeiro leading a fantastic big band with several Ellingtonians titled Louie Bellson and the Ellington Alumni to play in the Free Jazz Festival. It was the only time I've heard him live and it was really unforgettable - what a band, what a drummer! After the concert I met him backstage and to0 much for my great surprise I noticed he was suffering from the Parkinson desease. I remained really stunned because he played fantastically on the stage and nobody knew he had that desease. He was so gentle and kind and for some 10 or 15 minutes I had the previlege to talk to this charming man. That night on my way to back home I smiled when I thought to myself: "That night was one of the highlights of my life" - and certainly it was !!! I'll never forget Louis Bellson, the epitome drummer and the epitome of all human beings. R.I.P. Louie Bellson, I'll treasure with passion and devotion all your records and the fond memories of that great night in 1999 when I've met you. Please, excuse my very poor English. Please, remember that after all Portuguese is my native language.
My condolences to the family! He touched us all very deeply. Thank you for the music Louie!
"I met and shared a stage with Louie Bellson for the first time when I was only 10 years old. Only being 10 I had no real understanding of just how great a player Louie was, I was just too young to recognize that. But what a 10 year old child can recognize is sincerity, kindness, inspiration and encouragement. All of the qualities and more that came in this package called Louie Bellson. I NEVER forgot the words of encouragement he spoke to me that day, on that stage. Explaining to me, a 10 year old little girl, that I had the talent and the opportunity to be what ever I wanted to be in the world of drumming and music. WOW...if Louie Bellson said it, to me it just had to be true. 6 years later I was the first girl ever to enter and to win The Louie Bellson Heritage Days Festival Drum Competition. I won a Louie Bellson signature series snare that I will cherish for the rest of my life. In addition to that, again I got the opportunity to further my relationship with one of the greatest ever at an art that I so love. This past October, 2008 at the age of only 18 this "little girl" in awe of one of the greatest ever was asked to perform and do a clinic at The Louie Bellson Heritage Days Festival. There are no words that can describe the feeling of honor I had while I played and watched the gleam in Louie's eyes as he watched me. Louie and I got some special one on one time at the festival this year sharing some thoughts about life, drumming etc...and he even found some time to give me one last brush lesson. Yes, somehow I knew this would be my last dance with one of the greatest men I've had the opportunity to work with, share with and learn from. Louie wanted to make sure that I understood the responsibility I have to pass on my knowledge and always share it with others. I take that responsibility and the words Louie shared with me last October very serious. I can only hope that somehow in my lifetime, I can touch just half as many people in the same special way that Mr. Louie Bellson did in his lifetime. Louie took a piece of my heart to Heaven with him...but I'm convinced he left a piece of his heart with me here. RIP Louie, I won't let you down..." Peace Love & Drums...
Louie Bellson will always be one of my heroes in life. He is not only a drumming hero to me, but also a hero as a man. Louie was a great friend and a huge inspiration to me as a drummer, musician and a human being. He is one of the finest men I have ever known. Gregg Bissonette
Dear Louie, Rest in peace. You've earned your place in heaven. Thank you for your drum work. An inspiration for every drummer around the world. My condolences to the family. Who lost a great man. Tommy Koot Holland
My deep sorrow in learning of the passing of one of the kindest and most accomplished gentlemen I have ever met. I attended clinics Mr. Bellson held for young musicians in LA in the late 60s and early 70s, and his instruction to do good and to be good remain with me today. God bless you Mr. Bellson: you remain an inspiration to my generation. Yours. Dr. John J. Shaw
Francine- Sorry to hear of the loss of your husband. Try to remember the happy times together. Those thoughts will sustain you. The jazz world has certinly lost one of its greatest muscians. Lets stay in touch on email. I rarely get to California unless there is a conference. Toni
Sad news for the Bellson family, and for the entire music industry. Watching Louie play was like attending a clinic. I never failed to learn things while watching him perform. Louie, you will be missed!
I LOVED this guy, even though I only knew him from all the records I have and his appearances with Steve Allen and Carson on those old Tonight Shows. I always considered him THE GREATEST of all drummers: technique equal to Rich and compositional taste equal to Catlett-- the TOTAL DRUMMER! Pearl won't be so lonely anymore... he'll be more at home now with the other Giants of his pedigree. Most are gone and are not being replaced; even The Music is gradually dying off. I'm just glad I have all those recordings. At least his memory will continue to live as long as I do... as long as I can sharply recall all my greatest inspirations. My prayers and condolences for the remnant family....
I was graced by a drum clinic performance of Louies with Steve Smith & Billy Cobham in Palo Alto durring the 80s . A drum clinic attended by many youthful drummers looking for inspiration [me included]. Louie took the show with a double bass performance that sent the youth in the jymnasium to there feet. I am sure steve smith has the same memory. He was the begining, we will carry on. He will be greatly missed!
The Greatest Drummer and Friend
i had the pleasure ,f metting Louie,at Drum City in the early 60's ,i have treasured that brief metting all these years and i will contiue to cherish it . words can not explain ,how Louie's encouragement and inspiration helped me with my musical career,that lasted 41 years. REST IN PEACE
As a high school kid in 1966 I talked with Louis Bellson during a break when he was playing with Harry James at Disneyland. He was so nice to talk to this kid he'd never met and would never see again. He gave me a pair of his sticks which I have today and treasure. I've been a Belson fan from then on. I just bought the CD The London Gig and am really enjoying it. There will never be another LB.....JIM Mrs. B: To complete your collection, you Must get his last CD, "Louie & Clark Expedition 2" (go to the Gift Shop page)
To one of the Great Giants of all time, you will be sadly missed, and you have left an incredible legacy. No one will be able to fill your shoes, although many will try. I am grateful I was able to know you and will always remember when you took my seat at the Zildjian booth at NAMM! May God pour out His blessings upon your family, and shine His Grace upon you.
God rest his soul. Louie was one of the most inspirational drummers of all time. I watch him and continue to learn after playing myself, for over 38 years. He will always hold a place of honor in my memories.
Fracine, "Trust In The Lord With all thy Heart, and lean not to your own understanding, in all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct your Path." I love you and Louie. "Be Encouraged." Your Friend & Sister In Christ" Willie Mae Veal Glasper>
Brrother Louie Bellsison, was my Brother in Christ. I m,et him Through His Second wife Francine Wright, Later she Became The Bride and Wife Of Louie Belson. They were a beautiful Christian Couple who loved The Lord Jesus Christ. I will miss seeing the Both of them Together, We lived in the samr area in San Jose, in The Everygreen silver creesk area, and I often ran into them in various stores in The area always greeting you with smiles and a warm Embrace. I loved them Both and Brother Louie Bellso