Music career[ edit ] Bellson playing in Bellson was born in Rock Falls, Illinois in , where his father owned a music store. He started playing drums at three years of age. At 15, he pioneered using two bass drums at the same time, a technique he invented in his high school art class. In , he married jazz singer Pearl Bailey. They were my influences. All three of us realized what Jo Jones did and it influenced a lot of us.
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Music career[ edit ] Bellson playing in Bellson was born in Rock Falls, Illinois in , where his father owned a music store. He started playing drums at three years of age. At 15, he pioneered using two bass drums at the same time, a technique he invented in his high school art class. In , he married jazz singer Pearl Bailey. They were my influences. All three of us realized what Jo Jones did and it influenced a lot of us. Gene helped bring the drums to the foreground as a solo instrument.
Buddy was a great natural player. Ellington called these concerts "the most important thing I have ever done. Both Ellington and Louie, says Mrs. Bellson, were deeply religious. Bellson accepted. Bellson was also a poet and a lyricist. His only Broadway venture, Portofino , was a resounding flop that closed after three performances. He was at work with his biographer on a book chronicling his career and bearing the same name as one of his compositions, "Skin Deep".
In addition, "The London Suite" recorded on his album Louie in London was performed at the Hollywood Pilgrimage Bowl before a record-breaking audience. The three-part work includes a choral section in which a voice choir sings lyrics penned by Bellson. In between, he continued to record and compose, resulting in more than albums and more than compositions.
He also created new drum technology for Remo , of which he was vice-president. As of , among other performing activities, Bellson had visited his home town of Rock Falls, Illinois every July for Louie Bellson Heritage Days, a weekend in his honor close to his July 6 birthday, with receptions, music clinics and other performances by Bellson.
Yale University named him a Duke Ellington Fellow in He received an honorary Doctorate from Northern Illinois University in A combination of full symphony orchestra, big-band ensemble and voice choir, "Tomus" was a collaboration of music by Bellson and lyrics by his late wife, Pearl Bailey. Bellson was a nine-time Grammy Award nominee. Bellson and Bailey adopted a son, Tony, in the mids, and a daughter, Dee Dee born April 20, The union lasted until his death in He is buried next to his father in Riverside Cemetery, Moline, Illinois.
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