Be-bop legend Buddy DeFranco

May 31, 2015 784

During a career that spanned seven decades, Buddy De Franco played with the likes of Gene Krupa, Tommy Dorsey and Count Basie, and led the Glenn Miller Orchestra. But it was his adaptation to be-bop, with its lightning fast tempo and blazing riffs, that landed De Franco gigs with Billie Holiday, Art Blakey, Dizzy Gillespie and Ella Fitzgerald, earning him the undisputed title of the greatest be-bop clarinetist of all time.

De Franco, who died on December 24, 2014, was born in Camden, N.J., in 1923 and grew up during the Depression in South Philly. As a young music student, De Franco showed signs of talent, so much so that his father spent almost a month's salary to buy him his first clarinet from the window of a pawnshop.

Read more


You may be interested