This installment of Vintage Happiness is on my first Leedy love. This was the first Leedy set in my collection and the one that made me buy several more Leedy sets!
I became a big fan of the art deco lugs and T-rods from this era. This is the era that many collectors refer to as the “Slingerleedy” period when Slingerland owned Leedy and manufactured these drums as well as Slingerlands from 1955 through 1966. This is a 1965 Leedy Shelly Manne Outfit No. 11 in Sparkling Champagne Pearl.
The set consists of a 14x20 bass drum, 9x13 tom, 16x16 floor tom, and the fantastic 5.5x14 Shelly Manne snare with the Broadway throw off. The drums also have the “chocolate milk” interiors, which is consistent with Slingerland manufacturing. Read More
I just got this drum from my good friend and fellow collector Mark Cooper. This drum came to me in excellent shape so very little was needed to be done hence the short story. Read More
The floor tom is the real story with this set. I don't know the history concerning this set first hand, so I am going to put forth a guess as to why the floor tom is a matching Slingerland made Leedy drum. We all know that Bud Slingerland bought Leedy from Conn at the same time William F. Ludwig bought the Ludwig brand from Conn. This was in the mid 1950s. I believe someone had purchased this Leedy and Ludwig set in 1954 as a three piece set. That was not uncommon at all in those days. He later went back to the music store, maybe in 1956 and asked if he could purchase a matching floor tom for his set. By this time Slingerland was able to fill the order for the store to sell to the customer. Read More
The set really has a unique look to it. I was unfamiliar with the wrap and when I was first sent the photos, I was immediately interested in the set. Further findings led me to see the Rogers version called Black Onyx. The drums were bought from a fellow vintage collector Butch Carlson who owns American Vintage out of Los Angeles. We had met at The Hollywood Drum Show years earlier and he also has provided me with the exceptional 1968 Ludwig Lemon Strata kit I wrote about in March 2016. Thanks again Butch! Read More
This is an awesome drum find. It is really amazing to find a survivor drum like this in original unmolested condition. Everything is there. The tension rods, washers, even the snare wires are original. This is truly a work of percussion art. It is a 1930s black nickle over brass 6.5"X14" engraved shell Leedy Broadway parallel with gold plated engraved hoops and hardware. I can't even imagine how beautiful this drum must have been when it was brand new almost 90 years ago. Read More
from Catalog “O”: “Contrasting shades of gold always create a beautiful effect---so, here we have blended a satin and a bright Nobby Gold finish that attracts and holds the eye like magic. Drums such as these cannot fail to help you progress. ‘Full Dress’ finish Drums are not a fad---they are here to stay.” Once again I learned something new ; I always thought that “Full Dress” meant the diamond shaped (and other shapes) pearls and sparkles that were applied to the factory finish on a shell. Read More
Fred Gretsch still owns the Leedy name, and several years ago I asked Fred Gretsch if we could do some special Leedy USA drums using Craviotto solid shells. I liked the idea because Leedy was one of the companies that used solid shells for their snares at various times, and I thought it would be great to do some solid shell snares made in the USA with the Leedy name, but with Johnny Craviotto's incredible shells. Read More
Here’s the latest snare drum to enter into the collection. This drum was willed to me by a good friend who had passed away a few years ago. My friend’s wife was ready to sell some of his snare drums and she told me that her husband had specified that I was to be contacted in order to help her sell the drums. The drum in this article was originally found in “as is” condition in an antique store many years ago by my friend’s mother. The drum is in 100 % original factory condition. Read More