Phil Wilson's 1950s Gretsch Set

Greetings vintage drum lovers,

Old man winter has finally made it. It's probably cold where you are and probably you are getting some of the "white" stuff around your home or business. Being from Georgia, we hardly ever get snow, but I like "white" drums falling into my lap.

I bought this wonderful white pearl 1950s Gretsch set a while back from a man who brought them right to my door from New York. I'll tell you more about how I was lucky enough to get them after I describe them.

I believe this set is from the late 1950s because I have been studying up on them in "The Gretsch Drum Book" by Rob Cook and John Sheridan. If you don't have this book you need it. It is a great source of information about everything Gretsch. The shells are heavy three ply with silver sealer inside that dates them in the late 1950s. There are no orange labels inside that started in the early 1960s. The round badges were used from the 1930s through the 1960s. These "round badge" Gretsch drums are very collectible. They are also great sounding drums. The sizes of these drums are bass 20"X14", the ride tom is 12"X8", the floor tom is "16X16". The matching snare is 14"X5". The snare has the Micro-Sensitive strainer. There is a diamond plate cymbal mount on the top center of the bass drum. The distinctively Gretsch bass drum T-rods have been used since 1958. Another cool feature is the long lip extension rod to raise the tom tom.

One good thing about having my name out there as a collector is I get calls when someone wants to sell a vintage drum set. I can't buy them all, but I try to give advice to everyone who calls or E-mails me. A man from New York E-mailed me to try to get some advice about this drum set. He had no idea they were valuable. He had listed them on Craig's list trying to trade them for a Kayak. He said he had twenty responses all wanting to buy him a Kayak and get these drums. He ask me if I wanted to buy them. He told me I was his second call.  He had already called a very well known drum seller. This drum seller is a friend of mine, and he had given him a dollar amount that he felt they were worth. I ask him if my friend had offered to give him that much. He said well,no, but he said "that's what they are worth." I said," they are only worth what someone will give you for them." He laughed and asked if I would like to see them. He said that he and his family rode right by my town going to Florida for vacation, and he would bring them if I wanted them.

I was very excited when he arrived at my door and we unloaded this set. It was very dirty and needed a lot of love and attention, but I could tell it was a very desirable set. I made him an offer of cash and he accepted it. He said,"I have another old drum I want to give you". He reached under the seat and pulled out a 1960s Keystone badge  Ludwig Supersensitive. It was in excellent condition. That was just a bonus to the deal. I was smiling when he left.

Every now and then do a roll, Phil Wilson