Keg Purnell

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William "Keg" Purnell (January 7, 1915 - June 25, 1965) was an American drummer.[1] His influences include Chick Webb and Big Sid Catlett.

Purnell was born in Charleston, West Virginia in 1915.[2] He studied at West Virginia State College from 1932–34, and played with the Campus Revellers while there. He toured with King Oliver in 1934-35, then played freelance and with his own trio in the late 1930s. In 1939, he worked with Thelonious Monk.[1]

Purnell played in the bands of Benny Carter (1939–41), Claude Hopkins (1941-42), and Eddie Heywood (1942–52).[2][1] He also recorded with Rex Stewart, Teddy Wilson, and Willie "The Lion" Smith. Late in his career he played with Snub Mosley (1957 and subsequently).[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Vollmer, Albert (January 20, 2002). "Purnell, Keg". Grove Music Online. doi:10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.J365600. ISBN 978-1-56159-263-0. Retrieved 2022-01-25.
  2. ^ a b Feather, Leonard Geoffrey (1966). The encyclopedia of jazz in the sixties. Horizon Press. p. 247.