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Dave Tough
(1908 - 1948)

Dave Tough was famous (and infamous) for several things. He was a subtle and versatile
drummer who hated to solo. He was an intellectual whose career was often rather aimless.
Tough was also a painfully thin alcoholic whose drinking got him into trouble on a regular basis
and shortened his life. Although he did not officially attend Austin High School (he was at
nearby Oak Park High), Dave Tough was early on associated with the Austin High Gang,
becoming a close friend of Bud Freeman. Tough played at holiday resorts during his summer
vacations of 1923 and 1924 and then became a fulltime musician the following year.

After playing with Sig Meyers, Husk O'Hare's Wolverines, Art Kassel and Jack Gardner
among others, Tough and Danny Polo took a boat to Europe in 1927. He spent two years
overseas, mostly playing with George Carhart on the Continent, returned to the U.S. briefly,
and then went back to Paris and worked with Mezz Mezzrow and Carhart again. After coming
back home in May 1929, Tough worked with Benny Goodman, Red Nichols, played locally in
Chicago and then took time off due to illness. Tough was largely outside of music during much
of 1932-35. After being with Ray Noble's Orchestra briefly, he played with Tommy Dorsey's
Big Band (1936-37), Red Norvo, Bunny Berigan, Benny Goodman (where he was Gene
Krupa's replacement during Mar.-July 1938) then back with TD through the summer of 1939.

Dave Tough became a regular on the dixieland circuit for a time, playing with Bud Freeman's
Summa Cum Laude Band, the Jack Teagarden Big Band, Mezz Mezzrow and Joe Marsala in
addition to a return engagement with Benny Goodman. He also had several additional periods
outside of music due to illness. After short stints with Artie Shaw, Woody Herman and Charlie
Spivak, Tough spent part of 1942-44 in the Navy where he played with Shaw's Naval Band.
He made a strong impact during 1944-45 as an important member of Woody Herman's First
Herd where his drumming was quite influential. Tough was one of the few dixielanders able to
do a credible job playing bop-oriented music.

After leaving Herman in Sept. 1945, he worked with Joe Marsala, Eddie Condon (1946),
Jerry Gray, Jazz at the Philharmonic, the Charlie Ventura-Bill Harris Group and then Muggsy
Spanier (1947-48). However alcoholism and illness plagued him and he died from head injuries
gained after falling down in a Newark street. Dave Tough, who in some ways was the Bunny
Berigan of the drums, just led one record date, four titles cut for Jamboree (and later reissued
by Onyx) in 1946.
Source: Scott Yanow; All Music Guide


I have designed this book for the advanced student who has a
knowledge of the rudiments of drumming. The book deals with the
three forms of paradiddles - single, double and triple, each form
represented and mixed in each of the two hundred exercises.

This will assure him of improved coordination, technical development
and fluency of sticking in his practical day to day playing. It will be
invaluable to the individual, while practising these exercises, to play
two or four foot beats to the bar.

To my knowledge, this is the only book published that is devoted
entirely to varied paradiddle exercises.

In conclusion, I have found that too little time is devoted to the
practising of varied combinations of paradiddles, and it is my sincere
hope that this book will prove to be an aid in acquiring a well-rounded
system of drumming.

Dave Tough, Bill Harris and Charly Ventura

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