Even as a school-boy, I listened to Gene Krupa in the late 50's when he was with Benny Goodman and their recording of the hit, Sing, Sing, Sing (1937)*. It is the legend that this piece gave birth to swing and it remains my favourite to this day. He also appeared himself in a movie, 'The Glen Miller Story' (1954), played beside Louis Armstrong and 'Basin Street Blues' became cult classic.
Krupa was the man behind the drum kit set up as it became standard equipment for most drummers after him. Zildjian, the drum company, learnt a lot from Krupa. His compositions include, 'Some Like It Hot', 'Drummin' Man' and 'Drum Boogie' the enthusiast's ultimate drum dream.
In 1959 when this movie was shown in Singapore, a drumming competition was held to promote it. Louis Soliano who was one of the contestants won the trophy and dubbed The Gene Krupa of Singapore. Until today good friend Louis is still among the top drummers in Singapore.
*100 most important American musical works of the 20th Century.
Singapore's music legend and our own Gene Krupa, percussionist and singer, Louis Soliano.