Jack Sperling, 81; Jazz Drummer With Top Musicians, on TV Shows

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Jack Sperling, a jazz and big-band drummer who performed with many of the great musicians of the 1940s and ‘50s, died Feb. 26, according to his son, Matthew. He was 81.

Sperling played with Bunny Berigan in the early 1940s and with Tex Beneke while in the Navy during World War II and also after the war.

Among the other bands he performed with were those of Les Brown, Bob Crosby, Dave Pell and Pete Fountain.

He recorded with Eddie Miller, Benny Goodman, Charlie Barnet and others.


In the 1960s, Sperling performed with the NBC Orchestra and was the drummer on such NBC variety shows as those of Steve Allen, Dean Martin and Andy Williams, and on “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In.”

His film work included playing with Henry Mancini in “The Days of Wine of Roses,” and he performed live or in the studio with Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Mel Torme, Rosemary Clooney, Lena Horne, Doris Day, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr.