Bernard "Buddy" Rich (September 30, 1917 – April 2, 1987) was an American jazz drummer and bandleader.
Known for his virtuoso technique, power and speed, Rich was billed as "the world's greatest drummer" during his career. He performed with many bandleaders, most notably Tommy Dorsey, Harry James, Count Basie, and led his own "Buddy Rich Big Band".Rich was born in Brooklyn to Jewish-American parents Bess (née Skolnik) and Robert Rich, both vaudevillians. His talent for rhythm was first noted by his father, who saw that Buddy could keep a steady beat with spoons at the age of one. He began playing drums in vaudeville when he was 18 months old, billed as "Traps the Drum Wonder". At the peak of Rich's childhood career, he was reportedly the second-highest paid child entertainer in the world (after Jackie Coogan).
At age 11, he was performing as a bandleader. He received no formal drum instruction and went so far as to claim that instruction would only degrade his musical talent. He also never admitted to practicing, claiming to play the drums only during performances and was not known to read music.