Thursday, March 12, 2009

RIP Louie Belson

As you may know, jazz musician (drummer and composer) Mr. Louie Bellson Jr. passed away on Feb. 14, 2009.

While he was born in Rock Falls, Illinois, Mr. Bellson grew up in my hometown, Moline, Ill. Mr. Bellson was a 1942 graduate of my high school alma mater, Moline High School. His last performance in the Quad Cities was at the Redstone Room in Davenport, Iowa. He was born Luigi Paulino Alfredo Francesco Antonio Balassoni on July 6, 1924.

Referred to by Duke Ellington as "the world's greatest drummer and musician," he has the "second highest number of appearances at the White House (only Bob Hope had more)" and was acclaimed by music greats such as Dizzy Gillespie, Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald and more.

Honestly, I don't know a lot about Louie Bellson or his music. I just knew that he made Moline very proud, and that people who did know him were happy they did.

As a Moline native as well as the wife of a singer and musician, I'm posting this to honor a man who brought joy to many people and whose music will continue to do so for years and years to come.

Mr. Bellson was buried in my neighborhood in Riverside Cemetery in Moline. These photos were taken the day after his burial on March 4. He has been laid to rest beside his father, Louie Bellson Sr.

Rest in peace.

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