Born : 6 July 1924 in Rock Falls, Illinois, USA.
Died : 14 February 2009 in Los Angeles, California, USA.
He is credited with pioneering the use of two bass drums, a set-up he already used at the age of 15. He received the prestigious Jazz Masters Award from the US National Endowment of the Arts in 1994 and was made a “Living Legend” by the Kennedy Centre in 2007.
He was married to singer Pearl Bailey from November 1952 until her death in 1990.