Other Major Figures

Sonny Greer, George Wettling, Cozy Cole, Jimmy Crawford, O'Neil Spencer, Cliff Leeman and Ray Bauduc

in Drumminʼ Men

Published in print December 2002 | ISBN: 9780195157628
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849468 | DOI:
Other Major Figures

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William Alexander “Sonny” Greer, singer, entertainer, bon vivant, drummer of distinction, was integral to the sound and rhythmic feeling of the Duke Ellington Orchestra. He was there at its inception in 1923 and remained until 1951. The relationship with Ellington and his family lasted all of Greer's life, even beyond Ellington's death in 1974. The bond between the drummer and the world of his piano-playing friend was strong indeed. An essentially self-taught drummer, he had one teacher: vaudeville drummer Eugene Holland, who gave him musical pointers and served as a prime example of how a man should carry himself. Also a dancer, singer, and sartorially splendid man, Holland set the pace for Greer, but life truly began when the drummer and Ellington got together in Washington.

Keywords: Sonny Greer; Duke Ellington; Eugene Holland; Cotton Tail; Main Stem; Ellington Orchestra

Chapter.  5629 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: American Music

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