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Chick Webb and His Orchestra - JPop.com
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Chick Webb and His Orchestra

Chick Webb and His Orchestra

Chick Webb and His Orchestra


William Henry Webb, usually known as Chick Webb (February 10, 1905 – June 16, 1939) was a jazz and swing music drummer as well as a band leader. Chick Webb was born in Baltimore, Maryland to William H. and Marie Johnson Webb. Since childhood, he suffered from tuberculosis of the spine, leaving him with short stature and a badly deformed spine. He supported himself as a newspaper boy to save enough money to buy drums, and first played professionally at age 11. Read more on Last.fm
William Henry Webb, usually known as Chick Webb (February 10, 1905 – June 16, 1939) was a jazz and swing music drummer as well as a band leader. Chick Webb was born in Baltimore, Maryland to William H. and Marie Johnson Webb. Since childhood, he suffered from tuberculosis of the spine, leaving him with short stature and a badly deformed spine. He supported himself as a newspaper boy to save enough money to buy drums, and first played professionally at age 11. At the age of 17 he moved to New York City and by the following year, 1926, he was leading his own band in Harlem.

Jazz drummer Tommy Benford said he gave Webb drum lessons when he first reached New York. He alternated between band tours and residencies at New York City clubs through the late 1920s. In 1931, his band became the house band at the Savoy Ballroom. He became one of the best-regarded bandleaders and drummers of the new "Swing" style. Drumming legend Buddy Rich cited Webb's powerful technique and virtuoso performances as heavily influential on his own drumming, and even referred to Webb as "the daddy of them all".

The Savoy often featured "Battle of the Bands" where Webb's band would compete with other top bands (such as the Benny Goodman Orchestra or the Count Basie Orchestra) from opposing bandstands. Webb married Martha Loretta Ferguson (also known as "Sallye"), and in 1935 he began featuring a teenaged Ella Fitzgerald as vocalist. Despite rumors otherwise, "Ella was not adopted by Webb, nor did she live with him and his wife, Sallye," according to Stuart Nicholson in Ella Fitzgerald; A Biography of the First Lady of Jazz (page 36). Charles Linton, who was with the Chick Webb band, told Nicholson, "He didn't adopt her. Later he said to me, 'I'll say that I adopted her, for the press people.'" In November of 1938, Webb's health began to decline, and from then until his death he alternated time on the bandstand with time in hospitals.

He died the following year in Baltimore. After his death, Ella Fitzgerald led the Chick Webb band until she left to focus on her solo career in 1942. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..

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