Bernard Pretty Purdie is arguably the most recorded drummer in the world. He hit the New York music scene in the early 1960 s, and landed his first hit with Mickey and Sylvia the beginning of a stellar career. This led to his 25-year association with Aretha Franklin. Purdie has been a regular guest in the studios of the stars of Jazz, Soul and Rock, working together with Lonnie Youngblood, King Curtis, Les Cooper, Paul Butterfield, Larry Coryell, Miles Davis, Hall & Oates, Al Kooper, Herbie Mann, Todd Rundgren and Cat Stevens, as well, as regularly producing his own solo albums. Who provided the backbeat for Steely Dan's "Aja ? And for whom have Isaac Hayes, Donny Hathaway, B.B. King, Joe Cocker, Jeff Beck and Alan Jackson reserved that stool behind the drum kit? Bernard Pretty Purdie. He has anchored sessions with the Rolling Stones, James Brown and Tom Jones with equal ease. The list is incomplete. It must be, because no other drummer in the last four decades has seen the interior of a recording studio as often as Bernard "Pretty" Purdie.
BERNARD PURDIE was born June 11, 1942 in Elkton, Maryland, as the eleventh of fifteen children. As a six-year-old, he began banging out rhythms on improvised equipment. At 14 years of age he purchased his first real drum set and became the most important provider for the family – earning his pay playing with country and carnival bands. This "schooling" enabled Purdie to "feel my way into nearly every kind of music, 'cause I had to know all styles and was never afraid to try something new." After finishing high school and spending a year and a half at Morgan State, Purdie moved to New York City. And that’s where it all started. Purdie remains a sought after studio and live performer. He lives in New Jersey, but still travels domestically and internationally – a lot!