Freddie Waits Day

April 27, 1943 – November 18, 1989

I Remember Britt

Drummer Frederick “Freddie” Douglas Waits was born April 27, 1940 in Jackson, Mississippi.

After cutting his teeth backing R&B and Blues acts, he became a house drummer for Motown recording tracks with the Temptations, Marvin Gaye, the Supremes and Stevie Wonder.

Upon hitting NYC, he became a much in demand sideman in groups led by Sonny Rollins, Freddie Hubbard, McCoy Tyner, Johnny Hodges, and many greats.

Ella Fitzgerald gave him the nod to be part of her world touring band. Waits was also part of the pathbreaking drum/percussion ensemble M’Boom led by Max Roach.

About the video:

Not the greatest video, but the sound comes through clear as a bell. It looks like it was recorded in front a live studio audience.

The music comes from the period documented by leader Lee Morgan’s three-record set “Live at the Lighthouse” recorded during a two-week engagement at the Hermosa Beach club, California, in July 1970.


Lee Morgan, leader, flugelhorn
Bennie Maupin, flute
Harold Mabern, piano
Jymie Merritt, bass
Freddie Waits, drums