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The 2 drummers that Charlie Watts said were some of his favorites

Charlie Watts


The 2 drummers that Charlie Watts said were some of his favorites

Born in  Bloomsbury, London back in 1941, Charlie Watts joined The Rolling Stones in 1963 and became a fundamental part of their sound. He was a member of the group until he passed in 2021 at the age of 80.


His drumming influenced countless musicians all over the world during the almost six decades he kept the Stones beat going. He was also known for being more quiet and reserved when compared to his bandmates, so he didn’t talk to the press a lot like they did, for example. But he did revealed once who were two of his favorite drummers of all time and explained why.

The 2 drummers that Charlie Watts said were some of his favorites

In an interview with Jas Obrecht, for the Stones own magazine Inside the Voodoo Lounge, which was sold inside the venues and newstands during the Stones 1994 world tour, Watts listed two of his favorite drummers of all time.

Davie Tough

“One of my favorite drummers is Dave Tough – nobody knows anything about him, really. He’s one of the Austin High School Gang, out of Chicago in the ’30s. Played with all the big bands, and he played with the famous first Herd, Woody Herman’s. He’s the drummer on ‘Caldonia’ and ‘Northwest Passage’ and all that. He’s a legend. Every band leader wanted him in the ’30s. Skinny guy,” Charlie Watts said.

It’s no secret that Watts was a huge fan of big bands and Jazz, hearing a lot of music from the 40s, especially. Davie Tough was born in 1907 and was active as a drummer from 1925 until 1948 when he passed away too soon at the age of 41.

During his career, he performed with many famous artists like Jack Gardner, Art Kassel, Sig Meyes, Benny Goodman and Red Nichols. He struggled with epilepsy throughout his life and he tragically passed away after falling down and hitting his head on the street in Newark, New Jersey.

Big Sid Catlett

“And another guy I’d love to have seen play. This is drummers we’re talking about was Big Sid Catlett, who was around for the same era. They were the two drummers that were famous – Big Sid and Davie Tough. Davie Tough was a skinny white man, really skinny. (He) was a really loud player, apparently, from what I’ve gathered asking people like Mel Lewis about him.”

“And Big Sid was a huge black man, but very light. So they were totally contrary in their stature to the way they played, which is very strange. Ahmet Ertegun is the only one I actually asked a lot about this. Ahmet is very interesting, and his brother was,” Charlie Watts said.

Big Sid Catlett was three years younger than David Tough, he was born in 1910 and coincidentally, passed away also at the age of 41, just like Tough. He is recalled as one of the most versatile Jazz drummers of his era. His playing evolved with the music and he adopted as the new style of Jazz called bebop emerged.

He played with many incredible musicians during his career. Some of them were Benny Carter, Don Redman, Fletcher Henderson and McKinney’s Cotton Pickers. Big Sid passed away in 1951, a victim of a heart attack while visiting friends backstage at a Hot Lips Page benefit concert in Chicago.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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