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Music Man Bernard Purdie Reflects On Being 'The Most Recorded Drummer In History

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Bernard Purdie at WBEZ studios, 2017

The prolific drummer Bernard Purdie at the WBEZ studios in July 2017.

Jason Marck/WBEZ

Bernard Purdie is called “The Most Recorded Drummer In History”, and his style is described by fellow musicians as “the funkiest soul beat in the business”.

From Nina Simone to Steely Dan, Bob Marley to Joe Cocker, King Curtis to Hall & Oates, Miles Davis to Todd Rundgren, BB King to Cat Stevens -- the list is incredible. And we haven’t even mentioned Purdie was the long-time drummer and musical director for Aretha Franklin. The legendary musician is in town tonight to play with Deacon Blues at America’s All-Star Tribute to Steely Dan at the Arcada theater in St. Charles.

Morning Shifthost Jenn White sat down with Purdie to talk about his more than six decades behind the drum kit. Purdie says that his early years-playing in carnival and country bands really set the tone, because he was playing a wide variety of music.  

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