Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Buddy Rich Model Super Classic Snare Drum

The great Buddy Rich endorsed and played different drums from various companies throughout his playing career. He was one of the few drummers who received free drum kits and cash payments for his endorsement.

At one time or another, he endorsed Rogers, Vox, Ludwig, Fibes, and Slingerland, but he spent most of his career switching between Slingerland and Ludwig, always searching for the perfect snare drum and playing whatever drum suited his fancy.

In 1946, the WFL/Ludwig Drum Company aggressively courted him and wooed him away from Slingerland. The Ludwig execs felt the need to sign him to combat the influence that Gene Krupa had with Slingerland. Krupa played Slingerland Drums his whole life and sold many drum kits to aspiring big band drummers.

Ludwig rolled out the red carpet and featured him on the cover of their 1948 and 1949 catalogs. They featured him in adverts as their number one Drum star. I posted one of these on an earlier blog. (See blog entry Sept 10, 2010). They also named two snare drums after him, the 5.5 x 14 Buddy Rich Super Classic and the 3 x 13, or the 4 x 14, Buddy Rich Be-Bop model.

The pictured drum is the Buddy Rich Super Classic in a White Marine Pearl wrap. It's a 3 ply mahogany/poplar/mahogany mix. The drum comes with the P-87 strainer, also referred to as the Classic strainer. The Super Classic originally came with calf heads, but Remo Weather Kings do quite nicely. In fact, with the literally hundreds of drum head choices now available, one could make the Buddy Rich Super Classic a very versatile snare drum. It's a fine snare drum and, like most Ludwig Snare Drums of the time, it's solidly built.

Buddy stayed with Ludwig from 1946 to 1959 until the Rogers Drum Company signed him as an endorser. He played Rogers until 1966, then spent about 6 months with Vox, then Fibes for a short time, and finally returned to Slingerland. He spent 10 years with Slingerland and returned to Ludwig in 1977. During his last years, he played a restored set of 1940's Slingerland Radio Kings.

Buddy Rich was a one of a kind. Truthfully, any snare drum that bears his name occupies a special place in Drum History.

No comments:

Post a Comment