Bellson toured with Jazz at the Philharmonic (1954-55), recorded many dates in the 1950s for Verve and was with the Dorsey Brothers (1955-56), Count Basie (1962), Duke Ellington (1965-66) and Harry James (1966). He has been continually active up to the present day, leading big bands (different ones on the East and West Coasts), putting together combos for record dates, giving clinics for younger drummers and writing new music. Bellson has recorded extensively for Roulette (early '60s), Concord, Pablo and most recently Music Masters.
Louie Bellson played with Count Basies band, he is better-known for his two-year stint with Duke Ellington in the early 1950s. He started a percussion trend by adding a second bass drum to his set; he also threw in a small tom-tom for good measure.
Bellson married Pearl Bailey in 1955 and often toured with her. Eventually, he began to head his own groups, and he has remained active into the 1990s.
Known for his versatility, Bellson has headed big bands, "Big Band Dynamite" live in 1979, "Peaceful Thunder" in 1994. At age 72, Louie has recently put out a new album entitled "Air Bellson." Duke Ellington, once said Bellson is "the greatest musician alive."
The inventor of the two-bass drum kit is famous for his collaborations with the Ellington, Basie, Dorsey and Goodman bands and his work with Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong and others.