|Height:||124 cm (4' 1'')|
|Birth Day:||February 10, 1905|
|Death Date:||Jun 16, 1939 (age 34)|
|Birth Place:||Baltimore, United States|
|Height:||124 cm (4' 1'')|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
Jazz and swing music drummer who played with the Chick Webb band, which featured the then-unknown Ella Fitzgerald.
As per our current Database, Chick Webb died on Jun 16, 1939 (age 34).
He worked as a newspaper boy. His first professional drumming gig happened when he was eleven years old.
Webb was born in Baltimore, Maryland, to William H. and Marie Webb. The year of his birth is disputed. The Encyclopædia Britannica and Allmusic indicate 1905, and this seems to be supported by census information. Other publications claim other years. During Webb's lifetime, a December 1937 Down Beat magazine article, "The Rise of a Crippled Genius", stated he was born in 1909, which is the year that appears on his grave marker. In 1939, The New York Times stated that Webb was born in 1907, the year also suggested in Rhythm on Record by Hilton Schleman.
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. Drummer 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". Webb was unable to read music, and instead memorized the arrangements played by the band and conducted from a platform in the center. He used custom-made pedals, goose-neck cymbal holders, a 28-inch bass drum and other percussion instruments.
Webb married Martha Loretta Ferguson (also known as "Sally"), and in 1935 he began featuring a teenaged Ella Fitzgerald as a vocalist. Webb and Fitzgerald performed hits such as "A-Tisket, A-Tasket", which was composed by Van Alexander at Fitzgerald's request. Despite rumors to the contrary, "Ella was not adopted by Webb, nor did she live with him and his wife, Sally," according to Stuart Nicholson in his Fitzgerald biography.
At the Savoy, Webb competed in battle of the bands contests with the Benny Goodman Orchestra and the Count Basie Orchestra. Webb lost to Duke Ellington in 1937. Although a judge declared Webb's band the winner in 1938 over Count Basie's, and Basie himself said he was relieved to come away from the contest without embarrassing himself, musicians debated the result for decades.
In November 1938, Webb's health began to decline; for a time, however, he continued to play, refusing to give up touring so that his band could remain employed during the Great Depression. He disregarded his own discomfort and fatigue, which often found him passing out from physical exhaustion after finishing sets. Finally, he had a major operation at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore in 1939. Webb died from Pott disease on June 16, 1939, in Baltimore. Reportedly his last words were, "I'm sorry, I've got to go." Webb was buried in Baltimore County, in Arbutus Memorial Park, in Arbutus, Maryland.
On February 12, 1940, a crowd of about 7,500 people attended a Chick Webb Benefit in Baltimore, Maryland. In attendance were Sally Webb, Chick's widow, his mother Marie Webb, his sister Mabel Porter, Governor Herbert R. O'Conor, Fitzgerald and boxing champion Joe Louis.
Webb's death hit the jazz/swing community very hard. After his death, Fitzgerald led the Chick Webb band until she left to focus on her solo career in 1942 and caused the band to break up. Art Blakey and Ellington both credited Webb with influencing their music. Gene Krupa credited Webb with raising drummer awareness and paving the way for drummer-led bands like his own. Webb's thundering solos created a complexity and an energy that paved the way for Rich (who studied him intensely) and Louie Bellson.
Chick was married to Martha Loretta Ferguson.
Currently, Chick Webb is 117 years, 3 months and 7 days old. Chick Webb will celebrate 118th birthday on a Friday 10th of February 2023. Below we countdown to Chick Webb upcoming birthday.