Bernard Purdie: the most recorded drummer of all time

Album cover for Bernard Purdie's album "Soul Drums"

Album cover for Bernard Purdie’s album “Soul Drums”

Bernard Purdie has been a name in session drumming since he played on James Brown’s Cold Sweat in 1967. Born in 1939, the session drummer is one of the most recorded musicians in the world. Aside from playing on multiple records for Brown, including Get on the Good Foot, Purdie’s catalog of work also includes performances on songs for Aretha Franklin, BB King and jazz musician Dizzy Gillespie. Purdie is also credited on the soundtrack for the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band movie that was released in 1978.

Aside from his work on other peoples’ albums, Purdie also put out solo albums, titled Purdie Good and Soul Is…Pretty Purdie. The drummer is most known for his iconic funk shuffle, known as “The Purdie Shuffle,” which can be heard being played by other drummers like John Bonham on Led Zeppelin’s “Fool in the Rain.”

Purdie still plays on records today at 73 years old, most notably on the Broadway soundtrack to Hair in 2006. His timing as a drummer is still unmatched today, and he still performs at clinics across the country.


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