Any of these drummers could’ve been legends in the world of rock and metal, but instead they were legends in the world of jazz and big band. Watch them absolutely crush in the video below.
Back in the 1930s, Viola Smith was called “America’s Fastest Girl Drummer.” Playing with mallets on a kit that looks like it was teleported from outer space, Smith absolutely ripped during a 1939 performance with her all-female band, the Coquettes. She continued to play drums for her entire life until passing away at an incredible 107 years old. She even cited playing drums as a reason for her continued vitality into her hundreds.
Names like Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa may be familiar to the average music fan, but how about Freddie Crump? Starting his career 100 years ago, Crump was a real vaudeville showman as well as a percussionist. He complimented his drumming skills with comedic acrobatics, blazing a trail around his kit as he kept immaculate time. Thank goodness we have YouTube so we cans till watch this man do his thing.
We’ve also got some jazz-era showman drummers to blow your minds, including the stylist Ray Bauduc and the iconic Lionel Hampton. And for drumming speed freaks, we’ve got an incredible showing from the one-and-only Joe Harris.
Take a trip back in time and watch these insane drummers from before rock and metal existed below.