Frank Capp, big band and studio drummer, has died.

Frank Capp

FRANK CAPP, 86, on September 12 in Studio City, Calif. A swinging drummer who found his initial fame playing with Stan Kenton’s Orchestra at the age of 17 and later with the Neal Hefti and Billy May bands. He settled in Los Angeles and became a busy studio musician playing with everyone from Ella Fitzgerald, Harry James and Charlie Barnet to Stan Getz, Art Pepper and Dave Pell.

He recorded often with Andre Previn‘s Trio (1957-1964), as well as Benny Goodman, Terry Gibbs and Turk Murphy, among others. He was the drummer on Sonny and Cher’s recording of “I Got You Babe.” Capp worked steadily on television shows and in the film studios and was leader of the Capp-Pierce Juggernaut Big Band whose sound was favorably compared with the 1970s Count Basie Orchestra.


Lew Shaw started writing about music as the publicist for the famous Berkshire Music Barn in the 1960s. He joined the West Coast Rag almost thirty years ago and has been a guiding light to this paper through the two name changes since then as we became The Syncopated Times.  47 of his profiles are collected in Jazz Beat: Notes on Classic Jazz. Volume two, containing profiles from 2013-2016 will be available on Amazon soon. He taps his extensive network of connections and friends throughout the traditional jazz world to bring us his Jazz Jottings column every month.

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