The World’s Most Recorded Drummer was the first to integrate schools in Cecil County!

Bernard Purdie
Bernard Purdie

Most people don’t realize that the world’s most recorded drummer, Bernard Purdie, was a graduate of the Cecil County school system!  He was also the first African American student to attend a white school in the county.  He attended Elkton High School as apart of optional integration and graduated in 1960.  Schools in Cecil County, however, didn’t fully integrate until 1964.  Another person who was apart of optional integration was Delbert Jackson, the current supervisor of the “Home and Hospital Program” with the school system; He graduated in 1964 from Elkton.

After graduating from high school, Mr. Purdie moved to New York City to launch his drumming career.  He would go on to perform with musicians like Aretha Franklin, B.B King, and the late Isaac Hayes, just to name a few.  He is also best known for his drum solo at the beginning of the song, “Shaft” and for being the drummer for the original cast of the musical, “Hair”.

A biography written about Mr. Purdie is expected to come out soon.  I will post information about that when I hear about it!


~ by Kyle Dixon on October 31, 2008.

3 Responses to “The World’s Most Recorded Drummer was the first to integrate schools in Cecil County!”

  1. Someone Noticed this great post about Bernard. Good to see a piece about this hometown drummer, who made it big up on the blog.

  2. Yep, I remember Bugsy for school. He was a great guy and lots of fun to be around. I knew he was going places. He really made it to the big time. Keep post these things. They’re great.

  3. Thanks for the comment! I had a chance to meet Mr. Purdie back in May when he did a concert in Elkton. He seems like a really nice guy. I will definitely keep this going.

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