Fred Gretsch remembers Louis Bellson

February 18, 2009

With the passing of Louie Bellson, drumming has lost a genuine innovator. Drummers around the world have lost a sweet and gentle man who was at once an icon and a comrade. And the Gretsch family has lost a cherished friend.

When Louie was making his mark on the drumming scene in the 1940s and ‘50s, playing with the great bands of Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, and Harry James, he did it on Gretsch drums. When he wanted a unique double bass drum setup with a totally unprecedented tom-tom configuration, he brought his design to the Gretsch factory in Brooklyn, New York. There, the Gretsch craftsmen made Louie’s vision a reality. And Louie went on to make drumming history.

Everyone at Gretsch is proud to have been a part of Louie Bellson’s history. We mourn his passing, and our hearts go out to Francine Bellson and the rest of Louie’s family. But at the same time, we join drummers everywhere in celebrating Louie’s greatness, as well as his unparalleled contribution to the art of drumming.

Fred Gretsch
Fourth Generation Drum Maker

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