I hope you’re rockin! Will I see you at the Chicago show this year?
I thought you might like to see this set I just picked up locally. This is how they looked straight out of the cases after being stored since WWII. Don’t let anybody tell you that all of the good ones are gone!
The only drum pattern that was played during the entire 3-4 days was a cadence that our Head Drummer came up with. It was a simple pattern as a way for all the drummers that participated could learn in a short amount of time. The pattern was Flam, Flam, Flam, 7 Stroke Roll-Flam, Flam, Flam, 7 Stroke Roll- Flam, Flam, Flam, 7 Stroke Roll - Flam, Flam, Flam Tap! The drums were covered in that shroud that my mother had sewn, and the snares were turned off. This cadence was played at a very slow tempo [approx. 78 B.P.M.] using 3s sticks. One interesting side note was that only Drummers participated in the funeral. There were no other instruments used during the entire 3-4 days of ceremonies! Quite an honor!
The Bernie Mattison Radio King Model was first introduced in 1936 and had the tapped (no insert) lugs. I’ve dated the drum in this article at 1937-39 because the lugs have inserts. The 1937-39 Slingerland catalogs list this drum as the Band Model Radio King.
The first of these is the best-known drum engraver of our time, John Aldridge. Some years ago, John Aldridge wanted a hand engraved drum. When he discovered he couldn't afford it, John learned how to do it himself, and brought this lost art form back to the drum industry.
These non mass-produced drums sets were made by the company that provided the metal hardware and hardware designs for the big drum companies in the 1900's. Based in Worcester MA, Walberg and Auge is considered to be, "the biggest unknown name in the history of twentieth-century American percussion" Check out the unique mix of hardware. This drum kit was hand built to 'Perfection' by Robert George Bernard (RGB) in December 1968. The shells are the early 60's 6 ply Gretsch Jasper shells with the COOLEST MIX of Gretsch, Ludwig, Rogers and W&A hardware. Whatever RGB had near him when he decided to build a set. So unique and one of a kind.
Sea Green was in the Slingerland catalog from 1928-1938. Mark has dated this drum from 1939 to 1941. Mark has also mentioned this is the only Sea Green Radio King that he has ever seen...there is another...more on that later.
This drum was on EBay about 13-15 years ago. It was an early morning (1 am) ending auction so I waited up for it and sniped it right at the end. The drum was found in a closet at the Long Island Grotto #44 Masonic Lodge in Brooklyn, New York. There was a name pin that came with the drum so I googled Walter T. Morris, Long Island Grotto #44 and made some phone calls but no one was interested in helping me with the history of Walter T. Morris so I’m just reporting what I have in front of me.
As you can imagine, these drums sing! This is by far, my personal favorite era of Ludwig Drums. These are the shells of greatness. These mahogany shells have amazing tone, warmth & projection. Making this set even more special is the fact that the Transition Badge was used for such a short period of time (58-60) and the incredible optional 14x14 floor tom was ordered, as this kit is a born together set. All the drums match perfectly with zero flaws in the wrap.
The set I am featuring from my drum room is a 1970s Amber Vistalite Pro Beat set from Ludwig. They are strikingly beautiful. The Pro Beat sets have a 24X14 bass drum, 18X16 floor tom, 14X10 and 13X9 mounted toms. Most Pro Beats set have a 16X16 floor tom as well. When I bought this set there was no 16X16 with it. I plan to purchase one to add to this se
The William S. Hart All Gold snare drum, made by Ludwig & Ludwig in 1925, owned by one family since then, is about to see the light of day. Some lucky person is going to be able to buy it and I hope I get to chronicle the story. Donn Bennett is the broker - www.DonnBennett.com . Since William S. Hart started off as a Shakespearean actor, I will quote the Bard with a little bit of a change as I daydream about this drum….. “This is such stuff as dreams are made on”.
This is a 1965 Swingtime Outfit in the not so often seen Wine Red Ripple Pearl.
It’s a bit of a tongue twister to say indeed! I have learned (thanks to many of the Rogers experts online) that this is one of the rarest wraps Rogers produced and was not a particular big seller. To me it seems that most vintage drum companies “Pink” drums did not sell well when they were first introduced to the public all those years ago. And that low number of kits makes for quite a treasure hunt today.
Being the house drummer for Los Angeles’ longest-running (and only) jazz jam at the late Billy Higgins’ non-profit The World Stage means playing music without or without charts, including original music, at the drop of a hat. We have many name and not-so-name high-level players sitting in on a regular basis. This isn’t the type of gig that will make a person rich, but the immense riches to be had just by keeping the rust off my jazz chops is priceless! Or at least I thought so until a short time ago….
This full dress drum set dates back to the mid fifties, and its beautiful "fan" decor is made of painted engravings and inlaid brilliants ... Three ply shell with re rings, rounded bearing edge ... Nickel-plated zamack lugs, polished aluminum hoops and nickel-plated brass rods... Metric sizes GC 60cm (23.6") / CC 35cm (13.8") / Tom 30cm (11.8")... and calf skins.
I've completely restored this drum set which was shown during the exhibition "Roll & Swing, the drum set's birth in France" at the MUPOP french museum.
The Ludwig Standard drums were introduced in ’68 to compete with the lower value import drums made overseas. The unique thing about Ludwig Standard drums is that its shell was the exact mold found in all classic shells of that time. Consumers were getting quality grade shells offering the Ludwig signature sound. However, the standard series used less expensive hardware cutting the overhead cost. Standard series drums had most essentials belonging to a drum outfit distinctly unique to this line. Everything from utility hardware, shell hardware, finishes and badges. Standard drums were also the first to feature the Granitone sound enhancement coating on the inside of the shell. Standard drums debuted with 3 different configuration styles and 15 finishes.
I saw the pictures on your web site of a nearly complete drum set from the same era. I have an absolutely 100% complete drum set from the 1920's that has the oil painted mountain scene on the bass drum, two sets of spikes, (it was actually used a lot) the foot pedal, the high hat with cymbals, foot pedal and all, the snare and stand, the floor tom and stand, the chicken drum and holder, the wood block and holder, the cow bell and holder, the tambourine and holder, the accessory table with cymbals, cymbal stands, the complete set of turtle shells, etc . . . I can send you pictures if you want. I am willing to sell it all for the right price, though shipping may prove to be difficult. I have been told by many that it may well be the last complete set from that era. My uncle played them a lot. He got them in high school and played in many big bands. He was the drummer in the local Lansing, MI band called Buddy K and played with the Dorsey brothers and many other big bands that often traveled without drummers.
This one is a blast from the past that I really never did an article about. This drum is on pgs. 14-15 in my book: THE CUROTTO COLLECTION. The story behind the purchase of this drum took a few turns for the worse before I was able to get involved. This drum was listed on EBay in the early 2000s. There were a number of bids, a lot of interest and the drum was reaching a pretty good price. All of a sudden a number of bidders withdrew their bids because someone had posted to the seller that his drum was a “6-lug” drum.
NEW ORLEANS (October 11, 2018) — The New Orleans Jazz Museum will debut a new exhibition, Drumsville!: Evolution of the New Orleans Beat. Launching on November 8, 2018, the exhibit will celebrate both the New Orleans Tricentennial and International Drum Month, along with the development of the drum kit in New Orleans and the ongoing evolution of rich local drumming traditions.
Ludwig(WFL) started making cocktail drums in the 50’s as a means for singers and lounge acts to quickly get on and off a stage using up as little space as they could. Several different models were made including a set that included a 4x13 snare drum that attached to the side of the drum. This model was known as the Las Vegas model and was made around 1959. Other models had the main drum that relied on a set of snares that pushed up against the head to create a snare effect. A baffle was used inside to separate the bass drum sound from the snare sound. Ludwig’s stand up cocktail drums came in a 16x24 size and some of the lower end models were single headed leaving the bottom open.
Over the 14 years I’ve known Keiko, she has shared countless Elvin stories. One reoccurring story was about a collection of Elvin’s promotional posters they’d collected in their 30 plus years of touring the world. They came up in conversation many times, but we never discussed them in much detail. Earlier this year, the posters came up again. I eventually purchased the posters along with a forgotten cache of Elvin’s gear that had been stored in a friends garage in New Jersey (more about that soon). The posters arrived in a couple of Elvin’s old Jazz Machine trap cases. There were about 100 unique posters, photos and paintings, many of them with multiples, that Elvin and Keiko personally collected from gigs spanning 4 decades. They were collected from all over Europe, Asia, South America and the US.
I recently had an idea after looking at some old black and white vintage drummer photos. What I wanted to do was set up a photo shoot with one of my vintage kits and pose like the old drummers did in those cool promotional photos.
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.
The drum set I am featuring from my collection this month is a Slingerland Modern Jazz Outfit catalog number 9N. The drum sizes are 20X14, 14X14, 12X8, and a 14X5 Sound King chrome over brass 8 lug snare drum with a "Zoomatic" strainer. All drums have "Rim Shot" rims. I always call these rims "Stick Savers", but I saw that they weren't called that in the late 60s catalog. The interiors are coated with the tan or "chocolate milk" paint used in the late 1960s. The Niles, Illinois badges are black and brass ovals with serial numbers. The awesome feature about these drums is the ultra-cool Gold Satin Flame Pearl wrap. I just love the Satin Flame wraps. The wrap looks so good on these drums. I'm always looking for the "pot of gold" and this sweet drum set is just that.
Rick Smith presented another successful vintage and custom drum show at The Sphinx Shriners Center in Newington, Connecticut. This years’ featured clinician’s were Gregg Bissonette and Richie Morales. Once again, both the clinics and dealer booths were jammed with drumming enthusiasts of all ages. It was standing room only in the auditorium for Gregg and Richie. Both of their presentations were educational, inspirational, and entertaining
This set is a 1961/62 Slingerland Modern Jazz Outfit in Capri Pearl finish, which very hard to find in good shape. This time I finally found one. This really is some finish. I’ve not had much experience with this wrap in GOOD shape so I am now going to say it is my current favorite vintage drum finish. Just wow.