October-November 1980

At the root of Louie Bellson’s talent lies a wealth of knowledge, perseverance and the hunger for constant improvement. His consistent quest to remain abreast of the times and changes is rewarding to him and his audiences all over the world. He was genuinely thrilled about the 1980 Modern Drummer Reader’s Poll in which he was voted #3 Best All Around Drummer and #2 Best Big Band Drummer.

Seated in the kitchen of his spacious country-style home in Northridge, California, Bellson relates that training and practice began at age three, and has not become any less important to him today.

“I come from a very musical family,” he stated. “My father had a music store in Moline, Illinois for many, many years. At about three-and-a-half years old, my father took me to a parade and the minute I heard the drum section, that sound just enveloped me. I pointed to the drums and said, ‘That’s what I want to play,’ and he said, “Well, we’ll see.’ But when I got home from the parade. I just kept saying that I wanted to play the drums and he said that I was so definite about it that he knew I was ready for my first lesson.

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