Monday, April 18, 2011

The Hollywood Ace Swing Model Radio King Snare Drum

The Slingerland Drum Company introduced the first Radio King Snare Drum in 1936. The drum came in two sizes, 5 x 14 and 6 1/2 x 14, and it came in either a wood or metal shell. Shortly after it's appearance in the marketplace, Slingerland added the name Gene Krupa to the model nameplate. Sales skyrocketed. The Gene Krupa name was gold. For the next 50 years, Slingerland took every opportunity it could to associate the great Gene Krupa with its snare drums and drum kits. See previous blogs dated Apr 12th, Feb 27th 2011, and Dec. 20th 2010.

But Gene wasn't the only drummer to have a Radio King Snare Drum named after him. In 1936, Ben Pollack had a wood hoop model named after him. In 1937, Ray McKinley also had one. And for 3 years, from 1939 to 1941, Slingerland offered the Buddy Rich Radio King Swingster Model to aspiring drummers.

In 1939, Slingerland began offering the Radio King model you see pictured here. It was not associated with any particular drummer. It was simply known as the Hollywood Ace Swing Model Radio King. Two sizes were available, a 7 x 14 and a 8 x 14. Prospective buyers had a choice of chrome or nickel plated hardware. This cream puff came with 16 "beaver tail" lugs and the famous Radio King Snare Strainer. This strainer, which pulled the snare wires away from the head, rather than directly up into it, was a great success and was used by Slingerland until the mid 1970's.

The shell, of course, was constructed of solid maple. It was truly the strength of the Radio King and this drum remained in production from 1939 to 1957. In 1958, the solid shell was dropped and a 3 ply shell was substituted. Also, the 8 x 14 size became history and a 5 1/2 x 14 was added. This model was produced from 1958 to 1976.

The Hollywood Ace is now a part of history. But all in all, this Radio King Snare Drum had a long and very successful run.

1 comment:

  1. So, the "Radio King Snare" trade mark was only made up to 1957,correct?