Bernard "Pretty" Purdie was born on June 11th, 1939 in Elkton Maryland. He was the eleventh of fifteen children. Bernard took an interest in rhythm at a very early age and he used to sit on the step of the local drum teacher, listening to his lessons as money was very tight in the Purdie family his parents could not afford drum lessons for Bernard.
By the time he was fourteen and after much practice with a pair of drum sticks he'd purchased his own real drum kit. He had then become the most important provider for his family, playing with country and carnival bands anyone who would pay him to play. These early experiences would give Bernard an education in nearly every style of music.
Purdie moved to New York in 1960 and played with Lonnie Youngblood before he landed his first big gig with King Curtis. This would kick start his amazing career as a top session musician. In 1970 he moved onto another great gig drumming for Aretha Franklin after which he became a first call drummer on all types of dates ranging from jazz to soul, to rock. Just to give you an idea of the people and bands that Bernard Purdie has worked with here is a brief list. Paul Butterfield, Larry Coryell, Miles Davis, Hall and Oates, Steely Dan, Al Kooper, James Brown, Tom Jones, Isaac Hayes, Donny Hathaway, B.B.King, Ray Charles, Joe Cocker, and Cat Stevens. As well as his drumming Bernard was aslo producing solo albums. It has been said by many that Purdie has the funkiest soul beat in the business he has laid down the groove on over 3,000 albums. He is the creator of the famous Purdie Shuffle which came to the attention of John Bonham from Led Zeppelin who used it on Zeppelins Fool In The Rain. Bernard Purdie has seen samples of his beats used on countless Hip-Hop or Rap and Acid Jazz records. He still actively plays and records to this day. I recently read a book with him saying that, not alot of people know this but I fixed some tracks by The Beatles. Bernard said that he doesn't mind owning up to it now as he was paid to say nothing at the time of recording over the songs. I hope this gives you all an idea how much of a superb drummer Bernard Purdie is. Have a listen to Steely Dan's song Home at Last which features the Purdie Shuffle listen out for those ghost notes.