February-6th-2005, 11:32 AM
Was Krupa's pot bust racially motivated?
I finally tracked down the original version of Twilight Time by Roy Eldridge on a compilation of his old Deccas entitled After You've Gone. The liner notes by Dan Morgenstern include this passage:
"I've always suspected that the media-hyped fake-smelling marijuana rap that forced Krupa to disband was set up by some small-minded bigot who resented how well a black musician could function, as star and section man, in an otherwise white band, and how well the public like the duets that black man performed with girl singer Anita O'Day."
I didn't realize the pot incident 'forced Krupa to disband' and had never heard the suggestion that it was racially motivated.
Can anybody enlighten me on the details of this?
February-6th-2005, 12:13 PM
February-6th-2005, 01:13 PM
Heres some inside information.
A friend of mine who has worked on the periphery of the jazz world in one function or another told me the following. He had worked for Goodman as a staff man before during and after the Krupa incident, and knew Krupa very well , thought him a very nice guy. According to him, it was all a bum rap. Without commenting on whether Krupa had smoked pot in the past or at other times in his career, he told me that Krupa was completely innocent of this particular charge. A bellboy at the hotel in question was busted for carrying pot, and in order to bail himself out, told detectives questioning him that he was only acting as a messenger to deliver some to Krupa. The detectives, happy to get this news for their own reputations, busted Krupa and the rest is history.
I have always found my friend's stories quite credible and have no reason to doubt his word. Different slant on the situation, huh?
February-6th-2005, 01:26 PM
Krupa's conviction was overturned on appeal. Some of the sources on the web I've seen have said the boy later recanted the story, said it was a frame-up by the feds who, for reasons unclear, turned the case over to the local police. I suppose Krupa may have disbanded the group because he was facing jail. Krupa claimed he was a drinker, that pot just put him to sleep!
February-12th-2005, 07:12 PM
Let's ask the wizard! Maybe he can help us!