Monday, February 16, 2009

Louie Bellson (1924-2009)

Drummer, bandleader, composer Louie Bellson died on February 14, 2009.

Louis Bellson is the epitome of what Paul Gonsalves means when he says, "He's a beautiful cat, man!" For in spite of his outrageous beauty, Louis Bellson is truly a beautiful person. With never a thought about getting even or getting the better of any man, he has the soul of a saint. There is nothing too good for someone he likes, and I don't know anybody he doesn't like, or anybody who doesn't like him.

Duke Ellington, Music Is My Mistress (New York: Doubleday, 1973), 226
Louie Bellson Dies at 84 (All About Jazz)
Louie Bellson (Official website)
"Skin Deep" (Nat King Cole Show,1957)

comments: 3

Pete said...

Bellson was from Rock Falls, and I swear I could remember my dad saying that while he was in college in the late 1940s he saw Bellson perform regularly in the Quad Cities - but now after reading his bio it looks like Bellson was already in the big leagues by then. Another unfounded family legend, I guess.

Michael Leddy said...

Could be legend, but name bands could have been playing the Quad Cities, no?

Pete said...

Possibly, but the Quad Cities was fairly small potatoes, even back then. My dad gave me the impression that he saw Bellson regularly, which seems very doubtful.