HELLO AND HAPPY FALL!
The air is cooling down and the leaves are beginning to change colors. It's time to put away the summer clothes and get out the long sleeves and sweaters. I have a very "cool" old drum kit to show you this month. I know I featured a black diamond kit last time, but this black diamond set has "greened" a little giving it a completely different look. The set I want to show you is a 1941 Leedy. I have all five pieces. It was bought as a set in the year they were made and was owned by one gentleman until his death a few years ago. The man played this set with an orchestra until he purchased a Ludwig set in the 1960s. He put this set away in storage and that's where it stayed until his son decided it was time to find a new owner.
I'll tell you more about how I was fortunate enough to acquire them later. The sizes are: bass drum 28"X14", toms 16"X16", 13"X9", and 12"X8". The matching Broadway Parallel snare is 14"X8". The shells are plies with re-rings. The lugs are Beavertails introduced in the late 1930's. The insides of the bass drum and snare are painted white like Ludwig. Conn owned both Ludwig and Leedy when these drums were made. They were made side by side and yet maintained differences. Conn finally joined the two lines in the 1950s and made Leedy Ludwig Drums. The Ludwigs bought the Ludwig line back in the mid 1950s and Slingerland bought the Leedy line. You already know all this, I'm sure.
These drums were made in Elkhart, Indiana. The workmanship is excellent. The date stamp inside is January 1941. That was just months before Japan bombed Pearl Harbor bringing the United States into the World War.
The mark inside also says "For Pearl". This means the shells were marked for a pearl wrap finish. The black diamond finish still looks very good although age has made it look sort of green. The hardware is nickel. The heads are calf with the exception of the bass drum batter head.
The son called me and told me he had gotten my number at the music store. He asked me if I would be interested in a very old Leedy drum set. After catching my breath, I calmly said, "sure, when can I come see them." Never say what do you have unless it's a very long drive. My wife went with me, and there they were all spread out on the garage floor. He said the head with orchestra name and his Father's shield logo had been destroyed. The mounts were gone and some of the rods and clips. He gave me a great deal , because he was tired of storing them. It was very exciting to load them up. I have enjoyed the clean-up and having the great piece of history in my collection. Oh, What about the Ludwigs?, some of you are thinking. He said his step-mom had disposed of them and I could tell it was not a subject I wanted to pursue.
Until next time, Phil Wilson