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Barrett Deems discusses jazz drumming

BROADCAST: Mar. 27, 1979 | DURATION: 00:29:10


Barrett Deems discusses his upbringing where he began drumming at age 4 and recalls touring with Louis Armstrong and other musicians. He also talks about meeting drummers in Africa. Music is played throughout: "Flip"- Joe Venuti, "Shine"- Barrett Deems Hottet, "Now You Has Jazz"- Bing Crosby and Louis Armstrong (from "High Society"), "Muskrat Ramble"- Louis Armstrong, "Struttin' with Some Barbecue"- Louis Armstrong, "Slipped Disc"- Benny Goodman, "Stompin' at the Savoy"- Louis Armstrong. Music has been removed from this recording for copyright reasons.


Tap within the transcript to jump to that part of the audio.


Kerry Frumkin And now we welcome you to the Studs Terkel program heard on WFMT each weekday from 10 a.m. to 11 and Thursday nights 10:30. Studs.

Studs Terkel Why thank you Kerry. You know in the studio with me is one of the most colorful of all Chicago jazz men. He's a drummer and a quite remarkable one indeed. Barrett Deems who was 66 recently but more than that Barrett has played with Louis Armstrong in Europe and Artie Shaw and Joe Venuti and way back in the Oriental Theater days, Paul Ash when he and I were young, Maggie, and Barrett Deems and some of his drums and musicians he's played with and mostly his reflections, too, and the nature of a drum in a jazz band and he's known, at least I call him the mayor of the Croydon Hotel. And so Barrett Deems my guest this morning and his music and his thoughts after we hear from Kerry Frumkin and this message.

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Studs Terkel Hearing that scratchy old record, Barrett Deems and Joe Venuti, what year was that Barrett?

Barrett Deems 1936, Studs, in New York City.

Studs Terkel You were playing Joe Venuti, that was forty-three years ago.

Barrett Deems Right. He's the guy that started me out and learned me everything that I know. We made that [unintelligible] the deck I had the blue label on it. Yeah.

Studs Terkel I'm thinking 43 years That's 43 years ago on your drumming is as vital and full of juice and fire as ever.

Barrett Deems Yeah, that's all I live for.

Studs Terkel How'd it begin? Well, I'm asking about the drum you know you and the jazz drum what the drum does to a band, could be a jazz band, before that who is Barrett Deems? Let's go way back 'cause about you. The other drummers admire you very much, jazzmen do. But there's something about you too up there with all your paraphernalia and you're full this- of vitality. I call you a whirling dervish when you're

Barrett Deems playing. Yeah,that's

Studs Terkel So where does it begin? We go back to childhood. Little boy, little

Barrett Deems Well I started playing when I was around 4 years old. My mother went to the dime store and paid 25 cents for a drum and brought it to me and I never would. Funny I never broke that paperhead. I had that thing for five years and never broke it. 'Cause I all I cared about was drums. Then I started studying when I was about seven or eight-

Studs Terkel This is where now?

Barrett Deems Springfield, Illinois.

Studs Terkel This is Springfield.

Barrett Deems Yeah.

Studs Terkel And you were started study.

Barrett Deems [unintlligible]

Studs Terkel Oh. You see you never broke the paper then, in other words, you didn't just bang the drum, there was something about you and that there's little toy drum over here.

Barrett Deems I have one here.

Studs Terkel I'm trying to recreate that mo-, you're a kid, four, five years

Barrett Deems I'll try to play it-

Studs Terkel Blow by blow, Barrett lifts up a little toy drum that happened to be in

Barrett Deems 'used to be a quarter, now it's $7.98.

Studs Terkel Now, it has an eagle on it and a revolutionary war-.

Barrett Deems [laughter

Studs Terkel And that's what you were doing when you were the kid. So but you never broke the paperhead, and that says something, doesn't it?

Barrett Deems They're all paper.

Studs Terkel Yeah but because you were, you were gentle with it, too.

Barrett Deems Well I loved the instrument so much.

Studs Terkel Why? Now we come to that, the drum. You know we know what a clarinet does or the trumpet certainly the cornet and the trombone and for that matter the bass other than the bass and other piano, but the drum. What role does the drum play in a jazz band?

Barrett Deems Well I always said a drum was like building a house. Here you build up a ten million dollar building and you don't put a foundation. So here you go and get a band. You got a lousy drummer and you got a half a million dollar band. So what I discovered the band going to fall apart like the apartment house. It won't stand up. So you gotta have a kicking driving drummer of the band.

Studs Terkel You were saying something about, Oh, the hell with notes, it's time, time, somewhere there.

Barrett Deems For me. I always said the hell with 'em. You know just go in and go would I know it is going to go ding ding ding ding ding. It keeps the band movin'.

Studs Terkel Now how, how is it now when you were the kid, influence you. So you took lessons at the drum in Springfield.

Barrett Deems Yeah.

Studs Terkel And you're 6, 7 years old.

Barrett Deems Then Venuti played that was in high school and Venuti played a one nighter at the Springfield high school auditorium. Everybody liked me. They said, why don't you let him sit in Joe. So he said sure. So I went out and played. So he said to me after the concert. 'You play better than the white guy. You want to come on in three weeks, and I said, "No, I'm too young".

Studs Terkel How old were, you?

Barrett Deems About 15.

Studs Terkel 15, yeah.

Barrett Deems And a year later I ended up with the band. One in New York and that's where Krupa was in there. Davy Tubb, Hickory Huck with Marcella and Adele Girard, and I used to go in and sit in with all those guys. So a Chick Webb and Joe would take me to Harlem and hear Benny Goodman and Chick Webb and everybody.

Studs Terkel Big Sid Catlett?

Barrett Deems Yeah.

Studs Terkel So he all of them who were the influence of any one particular one influence on you?

Barrett Deems I like them all.

Studs Terkel Yeah.

Barrett Deems Just like today I like all the drummers today. I like all the drummers of the past 43 years.

Studs Terkel So it's. What, you've been playing pro for about 51 years

Barrett Deems Yeah.

Studs Terkel You were 15, you brok in with Joe about that. A little after.

Barrett Deems And Joe is the guy that broke me in, he just said, 'You listen to me and I'll make a good drummer out of you. All right?'

Studs Terkel So let's let's go down the line then. You played with Harm-, this is, his shine. You do something remarkable. This is with the contemporary band?

Barrett Deems Yeah that's a band I just, this is my first recording date as a bandleader. But I just made a good hour with Jim Bebe at the Blackstone.

Studs Terkel Would you point out that you play, you and your colleagues in Chicago play jazz at the Blackstone Hotel

Barrett Deems Yeah, it's the best band in Chicago.

Studs Terkel Well, one of the best.

Barrett Deems Well, wait till you hear. We got a bass player, Duke Groner, them guys and Steve on piano and B.B. and me. Charlie Hooks and Emery Thomas[Thompson].

Studs Terkel We're talking now about the Blackstone Hotel every night except Sunday and Monday.

Barrett Deems Sunday

Studs Terkel And they're playing affr-jazz traditional jazz. So what are we going to hear? We're going to Shine

Barrett Deems Shine.

Studs Terkel But this is what this time during a play back when you're reputed to do set as you listen you jump up as you would do, normally, jump up and saying, "time, time".

Barrett Deems Right.

Studs Terkel That's what

Barrett Deems That's what counts, the foundation for the building. [laughter]

Studs Terkel Barrett Deems, Hot Tet. Barrett, I was thinkin' as you were listening, too, at this moment you were moving, too. You said [unintelligible]

Barrett Deems Right

Studs Terkel This is your life.

Barrett Deems That's all I live for.

Studs Terkel And you were saying time, time.

Barrett Deems Time.

Studs Terkel Time, that's what your talking about.

Barrett Deems That's all I live for are those drums

Studs Terkel By the way this album. This album is now available. It's called Deemus, the Barrett, and Deemus, it says here in the notes, Deemus is Barrett's nickname for Demus derived from the name of the great drum god of ancient mythology, [Drumusgotus?]

Deems & Terkel I couldn't read that.

Studs Terkel -who watches and spies all percussionists. Where did this information come from?

Barrett Deems [unintelligible]

Studs Terkel That's what I call original edition to

Barrett Deems That's right. I couldn't read it.

Studs Terkel [laughter]

Barrett Deems The guys say "What did it say? I say, "You read it. I can't make those names"

Studs Terkel But named after Deemus so, we're told. Greek God [laughter] who watches over percussion.

Barrett Deems The Greek God who watches ALL drummers.

Studs Terkel [laughter] Barrett, I was thinkin', you talk to various influences. You know the various drummers you like Big Sid Catett.

Deems & Terkel Davy Tough-

Barrett Deems Krupa-

Studs Terkel Krupa, Chick Webb. Now when we speak of a trumpet man a certain trumpet guy has a lyrical quality around, you know around as a-. Does? Each of these drummers is there a way of telling who plays, each of these drummers have a certain quality no other drummer

Barrett Deems They all play different.

Studs Terkel Well, what is it for example that would distinguish you from another drummer, say, about the time or whatever. What is it?

Barrett Deems Well, I don't know. Maybe I'm a little quicker than some of the other guys. But there's a young boy in town and B.B. and I were talking about, Ray Rosenbloom, that works at the Hilton. He comes in every night and he's a little monster.

Studs Terkel Yeah.

Barrett Deems He's like lightning.

Studs Terkel You like the drummer on the Muppet Show?

Barrett Deems Oh! That's my favorite drummer!

Studs Terkel The

Barrett Deems But I got to get a haircut or all the women that come to the brunch said, You look like that drummer on The Muppet. I say, thank you.

Studs Terkel [laughter] I suppose we should describe Barrett Deems. He's diminutive but he's all fire and there's a beard and the hair. And what? So he? Maybe he was Democrotus. What is that? Demoscritus.

Barrett Deems I can't even pronounce it.

Studs Terkel Demoscritus

Barrett Deems I can't make that.

Studs Terkel And so you are a reincarnation of Demoscritus, the Greek or some ancient god of percussion.

Barrett Deems Like Louie used to say, people would say to Louie, Louie, what do you want Jerry? What are you [impatient] about? He said I want to grow up and be like my drummer.

Studs Terkel You worked with Louis Armstrong

Barrett Deems Eight years.

Studs Terkel In Europe and

Barrett Deems -all over the world. Beautiful man.

Studs Terkel You know there's been on late, late, movies, they show, "High Society".

Barrett Deems Yeah.

Studs Terkel With Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly and Louis's in it and you're are in the film

Barrett Deems Yeah.

Studs Terkel Now somebody sees you with the drums there.

Barrett Deems But they some of them don't know me on account of no beard.

Studs Terkel Yeah.

Barrett Deems And the only thing I don't like about the movie now, they're cutting down on the royalty checks. Started out $500, fifteen years ago. Now they're down to a hundred and quarter. So, I got to write my congressman. [laughter]

Studs Terkel Barrett, suppose we hear something from the soundtrack of "High Society" [album], "The New York Has Jazz". Now what hear here? What are we going to hear here?

Barrett Deems Now you hear jazz. It's where Bing announces everybody.

Studs Terkel You and the combination

Barrett Deems Yeah. Good band. Edmond Hall-

Studs Terkel Oh, Edmond Hall. Clarinet man

Barrett Deems Louis, Billy Kyle, good

Studs Terkel That's a good man. Billy Kyle at the piano.

Barrett Deems Yeah.

Studs Terkel Those are some marvelous jazzmen. You've worked with. We'll ask about, suppose we hear, suppose we hear, Now you have, "Now You Has Jazz". And is as Louis put it, made jazz hot, that is. That's some company you there. So you had, you had Arvell Shaw at the bass and Trummy Young trombone. Edmond Hall at the clarinet. YOU, Barrett Deems, Deemus, at the drums and-

Barrett Deems Billy Kyle.

Studs Terkel Billy Kyle at the piano.

Barrett Deems I had to play good. I was in good company.

Studs Terkel That was at, that was also most of Louis Armstrong's All-Star Band.

Barrett Deems Yeah, the All-Star band.

Studs Terkel You work with Teagarden, too on occasion?

Barrett Deems Yeah. I was with Jack 4 years.

Studs Terkel By the way Crosby was a very good jazz singer,

Barrett Deems Yeah, and he was a beautiful man.

Studs Terkel But, I mean, as far as jazz singers

Barrett Deems Yeah, right. He played, he had good time. Well, he was a drummer, too. But you don't find a lot of guys like today like Louie, and Krupa, and the old school boys.

Studs Terkel You said something about, continuously you speak of time, time. That's what it's about.

Barrett Deems That's what the drummer's for. Just like Gene and Buddy Rich both great drummers but actually as far as playing drums, Buddy was a much better drummer but Gene set down a pattern that the guy out in the field could understand.

Studs Terkel Well, just explain that from before we take a break and hear more of the music and also reminiscences of the Oriental Theatre. You said, set down a pattern. Explain that.

Barrett Deems Well you'd set down a pattern like Gene would start out like even Louis Prima wrote a tune called Sing Sing Sing.

Studs Terkel Yeah. Christopher

Barrett Deems And it didn't go ANYWHERE! Christopher Columbus, it never got off the ground. Benny Goodman had arrangement on it so he played it and then Gene played the tom tom thing. You know that figured that he'd play it then overnight, it was a sensation, and Prima had it for five years and laying in a drawer with mothballs on it and never went nowhere. So Benny and Gene come out and made a big hit out

Studs Terkel of So it was Gene's tom tom, as well as Jess Stacy's great solo-

Barrett Deems Great piano

Studs Terkel But I remember that and it went about 10 minutes.

Barrett Deems That's

Studs Terkel Yeah. But it was the drum, the drum that set

Barrett Deems Benny and Gene. Gene set that pattern.

Studs Terkel We're talking to Barrett Deems who is not only a remarkable drummer but a highly volatile and colorful person to watch and so was the man and the drum. You can't separate the two. Hard to tell where the drum leaves off and where Barrett Deems begins and the other way around. He's playing at with his colleagues and there very good colleagues, too, at the, at the

Barrett Deems Blackstone.

Studs Terkel Blackstone. Who are some of the guys you're playing with there?

Barrett Deems Well, B.B.'s a leader. I've worked with him all along, maybe probably 15 years and I've worked with him on the Dukes of Dixieland Band. Good trombone player. Doesn't get enough recognition that he should get. Then you got Duke Groner on bass. He's one of the finest bass player that I've played with. And Steve [Barrow] on piano, great piano player. Charlie Hooks on clarinet and Emery Thompson on trumpet. He's from New Orleans. He's a dynamite player. And old man Moses on drums.

Studs Terkel That's old

Barrett Deems man [laughter]

Studs Terkel Barrett Deems. We'll take a slight pause now talking to Deemus and more of the music that he made with his colleagues in a moment after this message

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Studs Terkel Barrett Deems I was thinking the drummer. Barrett, a while ago I was saying it's hard tell where you leave off and when the drum begins. This is true now. You, you, your it's with you all the time. A pair of sticks on the table now. You're fooling around before-

Barrett Deems Yeah

Studs Terkel The piano.

Barrett Deems The ashtray

Studs Terkel What did you just do there? There was a glass, a glass ashtray.

Barrett Deems [clinking of glass]

Barrett Deems I gotta have things all the time even when I get on a plane and fly out to do a concert. I pull out the [unintelligible] bag on the planes so the hostess look and say, Hmmm. And then the people come around and look, they say, "Are you from another planet?" I say, 'Yeah! That Deemus planet.'

Studs Terkel [laughter]

Barrett Deems Pretty soon they gather around. Some of the people know me. Say "I know you, Louis Armstrong drummer," So I just don't ever quit. I practice four hours a day now and work every day.

Studs Terkel You are from another planet.

Barrett Deems Another planet. The greek god, Deemus.

Studs Terkel Because you are continuously flying.

Barrett Deems Flyin'.

Studs Terkel Even when you're not on a plane, you're flying.

Barrett Deems Sure. When they first started talking about the flying saucer, I said, 'Heck that ain't nothing I heard about those guys when I was 3 weeks old.'

Studs Terkel You were on it?

Barrett Deems I was on it. [laughter] Deemus.

Studs Terkel Musk- Armstrong and you were out in Europe with Armstrong. This from a live concert doing the traditional Muskrat Ramble. Where was the occasion? What was

Barrett Deems Where were the Beebe, Itlay? I think it's Italy.

Studs Terkel In Italy.

Barrett Deems We hadn't been to bed for two days and the engineer said you guys play better when you don't sleep. Old men guys play better after [unintelligible]. They don't go to bed at night. We recorded right after the gig.

Studs Terkel And this is it.

Barrett Deems Sure when you got to get up at 9:00 in the morning or make a recording you sound terrible.

Studs Terkel Well, you're up now. You came here very early. This is unusual, isn't it?

Studs Terkel Yeah, whoa I haven't been up this early since a cow gave chocolate milk.

Deems & Terkel [laughter]

Studs Terkel What audience was that? That was in Italy, Milan, huh?

Barrett Deems Milan. Yeah. And then we did that [unintelligible]. We had just finished the concert what they call theater, whatever they call it, teatro. We just got out of there about midnight and the manager said you're gonna start recording at 2. No sleep. We went and recorded to 7 in the morning.

Studs Terkel You still practice, don't you?

Barrett Deems Four hours a day.

Studs Terkel Even now?

Barrett Deems Have to.

Studs Terkel Half a century, your practice looks like 4 hours

Barrett Deems Sure, when them bones get old and brittle, you wake up the morning, say uh oh! Ain't nothing. Popcaon is not cooking. [laughter] So you got to practice.

Studs Terkel But you do. But the the remarkable thing is your vitality at the drums today is as much as it was when you first broke in, you know.

Barrett Deems Yeah, I think I contribute that to no booze and no dope. A lot of practice.

Studs Terkel You you you never did fall for that,

Barrett Deems I was too busy wanting to play time.

Studs Terkel Yeah,

Barrett Deems I had no use for that other junk.

Studs Terkel Time was your dope.

Barrett Deems Yeah, that was my dope. I get high playing kicking a band.

Studs Terkel You know I was thinking way back you mentioned Paul Ash one of the earliest bands on stage. First the McVickers Theater.

Barrett Deems Yeah, the McVickers

Studs Terkel The first stage show on a band.

Barrett Deems Right.

Studs Terkel It was Paul Ash with his, he wore hair long

Barrett Deems Oh like I got now.

Studs Terkel Yeah and then, did you, when did you work with Paul at the Orien- and then-

Barrett Deems Oriental Theater.

Studs Terkel Then they built a theater for him, the Oriental.

Barrett Deems They built it, right, the Oriental. I was in the Oriental Theater with them. Oh, that was a long time ago. But what a nice man.

Studs Terkel There again, he was-

Barrett Deems But then he went to the Roxy Theater in New York City. When I was with Louis, he was in the Roxy pit.

Studs Terkel You know what he did he was a pop bandsmen pop guy at the sa- he used a lot of good jazzmen.

Barrett Deems Yes

Studs Terkel -[unintelligible] later on, didn't

Barrett Deems Yeah, he had a lot of great players around here and guys from New York.

Studs Terkel And Harry Barris played with

Studs Terkel him. Yeah

Studs Terkel And now Kwale-

Barrett Deems That's right.

Studs Terkel -and they became the rhythm [unintelligible]

Barrett Deems And the saxophone player Al Klink, great tenor man in New York. He went with Raymond Scott at CBS for years. He was on the Benny Goodman tour when I went over a couple of years ago.

Studs Terkel So your life really is, is part of the history of, of jazz and nightclubs and travels and. And what about who's on you "Struttin' With Some Barbecue?"

Barrett Deems Same band Louis, Drummie, Edmond Hall. Me. Billy Kyle. OH! You mean with Beebe's band? Oh, same band that's down at Flaming Sally's.

Studs Terkel This is "Struttin Barbecue." This is the Flaming Sally's

Barrett Deems Yeah, this

Studs Terkel By Flaming Sally's is, is at the Blackstone

Barrett Deems Right. The

Studs Terkel Their record club.

Barrett Deems Oh, this is Beebe's record. This is a good album.

Studs Terkel So, suppose we hear this one. [pause] You're listening Barrett, questions and a very delicate question involving the drum solo. There's a difference of opinion. You know Frank Holstein was a great friend of jazz and ran

Barrett Deems He hated drum solos.

Studs Terkel He'd walk out every time, even when the big cit-cat, even when Max Roach was playing. He'd walk out of a drum solo he said Frank couldn't stand a straight percussive solo but I know he liked you. Now,

Barrett Deems Yeah, not to throw any bouquets on anybody but he used to say, 'You don't pound'. He said where most drummers pound.

Studs Terkel Now let me ask you, cause something you say, you said for about ideas. Often, I know this happens too often. Sometimes a guy has a drum solo. And we're watching acrobats at work. I mean it's a vaudeville show.

Barrett Deems Yeah.

Studs Terkel You know, calisthenics, tricks.

Barrett Deems Try it.

Studs Terkel And I know it's to get applause and it's, it's, it's very sensational but it's not really music is, I mean there are, there are tricksters involved, and let's face it, there are. But what did, you said you said something about ideas. Ideas that count and not simply speak.

Barrett Deems Yeah. You got to listen to what the other guys play and then after you listen you know what the play behind each guy. Like a lot of drummers play the same cymbal all night long on every chord, which is no good.

Studs Terkel So it depends who the musician is you're playing with the group-

Barrett Deems Yeah.

Studs Terkel -each one is different. And you yourself like you'd play differently behind Armstrong then you would behind say Buddy [Bobby] Hackett, whom you've

Barrett Deems Right, 'cause he's a pretty player. Because he was the most beautiful trombone player in the world.

Studs Terkel Buddy

Barrett Deems But Louis had power, drive.

Studs Terkel And so your drum becomes more like Hackett, pretty, gentle and it becomes dry with Louis. [untelligible]

Barrett Deems Well, I always had my favorite dancer in the world was Fred Astaire. He's the most graceful guy in the world and I always try to play technique like he dances. To me, he's the most graceful person in the world,

Studs Terkel Ah that's it. So you think of Fred Astaire, the dancer and a certain timing that he has.

Barrett Deems Oh boy!

Studs Terkel As for them, you played drums the way you think this guy dances.

Barrett Deems Right 'cause this guy was something else. He's so quick and so precision. To me, he's the greatest dancer ever lived. Him and Bill Robertson. Bojangles.

Studs Terkel Yeah. And so you think of this dancer, rather not the dru-, remember way back. I asked you if, who influenced you who among the drummers, and you liked them all, whether it be Big Sid Catt or Davey Tough or-

Barrett Deems [unintelligible]

Studs Terkel Chick Webb.

Barrett Deems Chick Webb.

Studs Terkel But but you modeled yourself after a dancer

Barrett Deems Right. They all played different, those guys and played great. But you see I couldn't drive the band downtown if I didn't have the rhythm section to go with because this bass player and I worked beautiful together. Duke. It's like I named the rhythm section the rhythm machine.

Studs Terkel You spoke of Krupa a lot. You and Krupa were very close?

Barrett Deems Oh he was a good buddy of mine. I was a pallbearer for him. I still carry a lighter in my pocket that he gave me 20 years ago. Got his name on it.

Studs Terkel In Chicago.

Barrett Deems Yeah.

Studs Terkel You're Springfield, Illinois. We always, as a kid you were very, I take it, very lively-

Barrett Deems Yeah.

Studs Terkel -and active always.

Barrett Deems Always. They used to call me Speedy Gonzalez.

Studs Terkel Long before Speedy Gonzalez-

Barrett Deems Yeah.

Studs Terkel -was called Speedy Gonzalez. Ok. Suppose we hear Goodman. You worked with Goodman, too of course. 'Suppose we hear "Slipped Disc", one of the Goodman sextet pieces.

Barrett Deems Yeah, he's still the

Studs Terkel best. And

Barrett Deems Krupa's on there

Studs Terkel You know what I think? It was a great piece but I think we are off-center. I think it's a 78 we got here.

Barrett Deems Yeah, it's a 78.

Studs Terkel And that 78's a little off-center=

Barrett Deems Yeah.

Studs Terkel -obviously.

Barrett Deems Because it's not that

Studs Terkel No, so let's imagine we heard it and we will here on some forthcoming program I'll play "Slipped Disc" with this particular combination on LP but there was, but it was he and he had by the way, did he introduce tom- no tom toms came before Krupa, didn't they or

Barrett Deems Oh sure. All that invented in Africa. I was in Africa with Louis. We made a movie with Edward R. Murrow and I used to go down after the concert every night, Studs, and go in the jungle and listen to these guys. They were fabulous. To ME, that was the greatest gig I've ever had in my life. Being in Africa watching the guys play.

Studs Terkel So you saw the African drummer.

Barrett Deems Sure they gave me something. They made they them up and gave them to me.

Studs Terkel So they did?

Barrett Deems Yeah, I got 'em at home.

Studs Terkel Did they hear you play drums?

Barrett Deems Yeah. They heard me.

Studs Terkel But because there's something I suppose there you found the great artistry that is the how complicated really is we as we speak-

Barrett Deems Really complicated.

Studs Terkel -primitive and in a put down way. It's very advanced.

Barrett Deems Those guys started the whole thing. They used to play like 12 different kind of rhythm and you'd think they'd never come on. They came out together. They started all that. They were great over there. That was my gig in Africa.

Studs Terkel Then so then, you speak of drums and

Barrett Deems So they gave Louis and his wife jewelry-

Studs Terkel [unintelligible] So they had something called a talking drum.

Barrett Deems Talking drum, that's the one I got at home.

Studs Terkel Yeah

Barrett Deems Send messages.

Studs Terkel Yeah. So there's the idea of ideas.

Barrett Deems And they gave a pearl necklace to Louis' wife. They gave Louis different things. And they surprised me. They give everybody a gift in the band but me, and when I was leaving they presented me with a package. Two African drummers and I kissed them all on the cheek. That's what I really wanted.

Studs Terkel So you got to that two of them I got no ideas and drums

Barrett Deems I brought one down to Beebe one night.

Studs Terkel Well since you mentioned Beebe, this is the band at the, the Blackstone [unintelligible] Flaming Sally's, a "Stompin' at the Savoy" is a classic, this is a Fletcher Henderson piece that was one of the-

Barrett Deems Yeah.

Studs Terkel As is always a, a showpiece and so is a test too. 'Suppose we hear you and the guys and "Stompin' on the Savoy." Now as Armstrong was banned of course you will not Jim Beebe [unintelligible] but thinking Barrett, the way you greet people, you spoke of talking drums. You're a walking drum.

Barrett Deems Yeah.

Studs Terkel You are because you even as you talk you talk like a drum.

Barrett Deems That's

Studs Terkel When you greet people it's a ding ding ding.

Barrett Deems Yeah, it's all I think about, those drums. As you and I ever hit the dives cause I can't go ding ding ding ding ding ding. [laughter]

Studs Terkel So it's like the cymbal [simple?] beat. I was thinking you know for those who haven't seen as well as heard Barrett Deems performing he's there at the drums all his paraphernalia is there but he's commenting all the time too it's non-stop. As someone wrote, ad-lib commentary on life, music, world politics, the weather, what have you, all filtered through. Ding a ding a ding. And Barrett, you'll be you'll be leading the Krupa's old band you'll be leading that in various tours throughout.

Barrett Deems Yeah I have a one-nighter. Beebe let me off to go out and do some club dates. I got a one nighter in Detroit at the Alger Theater, April 14th. Then they got some other band and we get some shopping center. So we get some shopping centers here: LaGrange and Oakbrook. I'm going to call you so you can come out.

Studs Terkel So Barrett Deems, 66, playing drums forever. I want to thank you for being a guest-

Barrett Deems Oh, I appreciate being on your show.

Studs Terkel -and your at the you and your colleagues to Beebe and all your colleagues here at the Blackstone every night except Sundays and Mondays. Thank you very much indeed.

Barrett Deems Thanks for letting me be on your show.

Studs Terkel Ding a ding ding.

Barrett Deems Ding a ding a ding

Studs Terkel This is our program for this morning and after we hear from Kerry Frumkin, a word about tomorrow's program.

Kerry Frumkin This week's Delta Sunday Opera on WFMT is one that's become a great favorite with opera audiences in Chicago. Britain's Peter Grimes and in the title role is tenor John Vickers 3:30 p.m. Sunday brought to you by Delta Airlines. It's a case of great savings and one of limited time. You haven't much time left to save. Twice at the Chalets. Dozens and dozens of wines are reduced in price by the bottle. And when you buy a case you save even more. A fine Bordeaux for example 1970s Chateau La Gard is just $4.99 per bottle and buy the 12-bottle case only $56.95. That means you're paying only $4.75 a bottle or go to California and pay just $2.99 for Beaulieu Latour Cabernet Sauvignon or Beu Velour Pinot Noir or save even more by purchasing a 12 bottle case at the Chalets for $34.95. Fifty-one ounce magnums of C.K. Mondavi Zinfandel and Chablis are reduced to $3.49 at the chablis- The Chalets that is but only $19.95 gets you six of those magnums in a case less than $3.35 per magnum. Cheese bargains include imported Brie at $2.99 a pound, Danish Cream Havarti for $2.29 a pound when you buy a pound or more at one of the three Chicago Chalets. The Chalets and Gold Standard Liquors in River Grove and Skokie. The Glencoe Chalet or the Chalet International on Skokie Valley Highway in Highland Park.

Kerry Frumkin What about tomorrow, Studs?

Studs Terkel Well, tomorrow, you know WBBM-TV, Channel 2 has an interesting, an interesting documentary on what happened to guys in street gangs and thoughts about them, sort of reflections with various people who are involved one way or the other observers and some cops on the southside, pastor too. It's on WBBM I believe this Thursday night and so of the produce of the show Scott Craig who will be our guest, as well as Clarence Page, who's assistant city editor of the of The Chicago Tribune who's been doing some of the interviewing of the people. So tomorrow then Scott Craig and Clarence Page as guests. Until then take it easy but take it.

Kerry Frumkin You've been listening to Studs Terkel heard on WFMT to each weekday from 10 a.m. to 11. And on Thursday evenings at ten-thirty.