I got this drum from Bun E. Carlos at the 2013 Chicago Vintage Drum Show. Bun E. Carlos had the only two known Leedy & Ludwig Zebra snare drums, a 4 x 14 Broadway New-Era and a 5 x 14 Broadway Standard. He sold me the 5 x 14 Broadway Standard. The drum was previously owned by Mark Cooper of Coopers Vintage Drums and a special thanks goes to Mark for the additional info on this drum. Bun E. also helped me to authenticate the Zebra finish by giving me a few photos of his Leedy & Ludwig “Salesman Sample” floor tom shell that shows the Zebra finish as one of the samples. Bun E. added this: "The wrap was available to the general public. Aside from your drum, and my 5 drums, I've seen only 2 other Zebra drums, a big bass drum and floor tom on EBay a few years back. Only 8 drums, rarer than an original Triumphal!!!!! Haha!!"...? I love Bun E.’s wry sense of humor.
1950-55 LEEDY & LUDWIG 5 x 14 “ZEBRA” BROADWAY STANDARD MODEL
The Shell: Mark Cooper told me that the shell was originally painted black when he got the drum. I must commend Mark on the excellent job of removing the black paint and preserving the original Zebra finish. I still had to get my licks in so I did some additional cleaning and polishing. The shell brightened up nicely. The badge is clean with a tight grommet. There were three extra holes, one at the strainer where a P-85 was probably added at one time and two at the butt plate where it looks like a regular butt plate had replaced the original extended butt plate. Fortunately the holes were small (approx. 6-32) and were easily repaired by my good friend Al Schneider (the original Drum Doctor). The white interior shows its age but is in original condition. There was no visible date stamp, it was probably worn away over the years.
The Hardware: All of the nickel plated hardware was in very good shape and cleaned/polished up nicely. No parts were missing. I found a nice pair of Leedy & Ludwig logo calf heads that fit perfectly. The drum came with original Leedy & Ludwig logo wires.
The story goes that the Zebra finish was made for The Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus. There was an RB B & B Circus advertisement showing a Zebra drumset. I vaguely remember it but I have not been able to locate it. Feel free to weigh in if you know of this advertisement or any other Zebra drums.
Enjoy! Mike Curotto