Welcome to the Bellson Beat!
Celebrating 95 years
of the Enduring works of LOUIE BELLSON
Louie Bellson was deemed “the world’s greatest musician” by Duke Ellington, “the epitome of musical talent and a very gifted composer and arranger” by Oscar Peterson, and “the best person I ever met” by Tony Bennett.
He performed on more than 200 albums with a range of artists, including Duke Ellington, Oscar Peterson, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Harry James, Woody Herman, Oscar Dizzy Gillespie, Louie Armstrong, Lionel Hampton, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, James Brown, Sammy Davis Jr., Tony Bennett, Mel Torme, Joe Williams, Wayne Newton, and Bellson's first wife Pearl Bailey.
Bellson composed more than 1,000 pieces and wrote a dozen books on drums and percussion. He received the prestigious American Jazz Masters Award from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1994. He was also the recipient of awards from ASCAP and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, was a six-time Grammy nominee, and held four honorary doctorates.
For full bio, click Bio & Beyond page.
For more quotes with photos, click Celebrity Quotes page.
Then, write your say in the Guestbook .
Explore A Remarkable Life
From Youth . . . to Legend . . .
. . . The Beat Goes On !
Whether Hometown . . .
"Louie Bellson: Hometown Hero"
Bellson never forgot his roots, in the Q-C area (Moline/Rock Island, IL) where he invented the double-bass drum in his Moline High School Art class in 1941. (left)
During his career, he was a frequent visitor, as shown (on right) with fascinated Q-C youth during a drum clinic.
. . . National . . .
Click below to watch Bellson perform the third movement of his composition
"East Side Suite" on The Tonight Show w/Johnny Carson. (1992)
. . . or International, . . .
Displays, Exhibits, Artifacts
Go to (click) Site-Seeing page.
. . . It's all here!
Begin the adventure! Select your next stop on navigation bar at top.
Then, after exploring the site, Take the Bellson Quiz . <---Click
Click candle for In Memoriam page (Louie; widow; Dee Dee).
2013 Oil Portrait Unveiled
Click pics to watch 4 min. video clip of Mrs. B at the unveiling of the stunning portrait of Louie Bellson by artist Michael Del Priore. Chicago Drum Show coordinator Rob Cook presides (May 18, 2013)
Mrs. B was jubilant!
Announcing ... !
The Louie Bellson Legacy Channel on YouTube
(click image to access)
Now you can …
+ Listen to Bellson tunes (partial or entire albums) on YouTube.
+ Use these tunes (legally!) as soundtracks in YOUR videos of family/friends, etc.
+ Use these tunes to make YOUR video of Bellson compositions.
So, get your creative juices flowing and post your creations to YouTube!
Let us know at email@example.com .
Tunes that'll knock your socks off!
In His Own Words
(Click pics to play)
Watch Louie Bellson discuss his beloved mentor, Duke Ellington in “Reminiscing In Tempo.”
At the 1981 Bands of America Grand National Championship. Louie was featured performing with the U.S. Marine Drum & Bugle Corps and co-hosted the TV broadcast.
While giving a clinic at the Hollywood Vintage Drum Show, Bellson is pleased to be reunited with his Billy Gladstone Custom Snare Drum.
(1995 & 2003)
Watch Louie Bellson in these two interviews by NAMM, the National Association of Music Merchants -- Oral History Program.
Hear Bellson’s 8 extensive interviews as conducted by the Smithsonian Jazz Oral History Program, a part of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.
Louie Bellson is interviewed by Paul Chiaravalle, President of Chiaravalle & Associates at IAJE (Int'l Assn. for Jazz Educators) re: The Rich Matteson Foundation.
(Click pics to play.)