Monday, June 11, 2012

The WFL Super Classic Snare Drum

Drum Companies, depending on the size of their advertising budgets, have always tried to build up an impressive list of endorsers. The Slingerland Drum Company, particularly during the Big Band era, had the most impressive roster of players.  Gene Krupa was Slingerland's best salesman and the famous Radio King Snare Drum soon became known as the Gene Krupa Radio King.

The Ludwig Drum Company,on the other hand, made great drums but their list of drummers wasn't nearly as impressive as Slingerland's. In the late 1940's, William  F. Ludwig set about rectifying the situation by signing Buddy Rich to endorse Ludwig Drums.(See blog dated Feb.3rd 2011). In 1947, Ludwig introduced the Buddy Rich Model Super Classic Snare Drum.  This 8 lug beauty came in one size only--5 1/2 x 14.  At the same time, there  was a snare drum called the New Classic or Ray McKinley that was sized  6 1 /2 x 14 (See blog dated  May 24th, 2011). But that drum was a different animal  entirely with 16 twin lug casings. Which brings me to the 6 1/2 x 14  Black Diamond Pearl sweetheart you see pictured.

I've never been able to find a picture of this drum in any WFL or Ludwig catalog. In the1980's, Ludwig produced a drum called the Rock/Concert model that was very similar, but that's about it. In the 40's, there was nothing like this. There were no 6 1/2 x 14 models with these lugs and this strainer.  There was a model called "the Contest" but it had a very different snare strainer on it. So this beauty seems to be a real one off.  Perhaps some Ludwig employee became creative while working on the snare drum line one day. I'm not even sure if the drum has a title. I'm calling it the WFL Super Classic Snare Drum only because it shares all the same qualities as the Buddy Rich model. The shell is made of mahogany and the strainer is the Classic P87 Snare Strainer that was remodeled in 1969.  The later strainer is still in use today.

What matters, of course, is how the drum sounds and, in this context, it's a real winner. It might not have a place in the official Ludwig Drum Company history book, but no matter. As the reader can see and I can attest to, Beauty is not simply skin deep.

No comments:

Post a Comment