The story of the man is also the story of the drum. In many ways, they are one and the same; sharing the very vortex of Hell on Earth in the meat-grinder of what would become the Army of the Potomac. At only five foot, three inches tall, a 35 year old cigar maker from Jackson County, Maine, "took the dollar," the oath of allegiance, to become a Private in the Union Army as a Drummer. James D. Deas mustered into Company C, 5th Maine Infantry Volunteers in Portland, Maine, for 3 years of duty that would change his life forever.
When the 5th Maine was mustered into service on June, 24, 1861, it had a full complement of 1046 men and received an additional 500 recruits during the next 3 years. By the time the original members of the regiment mustered out at Saco, Maine, on July 27, 1864, only 216 men were left present. Of what was left of the 500 additional recruits that still had time to serve, they were transferred to the 7th Maine Regiment. During its 3 year term, the 5th would serve under Generals McDowell, McClellan, Burnside, Hooker, Meade and Grant, and would be engaged in every major battle fought in the Eastern Theater from First Bull Run to Petersburg.
by Chet Falzerano
I have been a vintage drum collector for 30 years… 50 years if you consider one of my first drum sets was Gretsch, launching a near life-long quest researching these fine instruments. One drum has eluded my collecting efforts for many years. This drum was a collaboration between one of my favorite drummers, Max Roach, and my favorite drum company, Gretsch. The Gretsch Max Roach Model Snare drum, introduced in the late 1940's, was a four by fourteen inch wood-shell tube-lug snare drum. Nothing new. Similar drums were manufactured in the first quarter of the 20th century, maybe earlier. In fact, as John Aldridge notes in his wonderful book Guide to Vintage Drums (Centerstream Publishing, 1994) on page 15, "As early as 1883 Emile Boulanger was thinking way ahead of his time. Producing drums for the Duplex Drum Company, Boulanger actually had a patent for a double tension, single post, tube lug snare drum." So what's the big deal, you ask? The same big deal as the Slingerland "Gene Krupa" Radio King, the WFL "Buddy Rich" Super Classic, or the Gretsch "Gladstone" snare drums (though the latter was more than just an endorsement deal). These drums were associated with a particular stylist who had a phenomenal impact on drum history. We drummers enjoy arguing the virtues of our preferred brands. More often than not, it is an association with our drum heroes that formulate these preferences. Product endorsement is big business. Sports, music, you name it, manufacturers spend countless hours and dollars attracting the "stars" of their industry to partner with their products. It is part of "Selling the Sizzle" that has worked for many years and rest assured, will work well into the future.
The 2012 Nashville Drum Show & Snare Drum Olympics was a rousing success! Over 50 vendors displayed their wares, quite a few "name" drummers were in attendance, and the live music could be heard all afternoon and evening long. We are currently in the planning stages for next year's show; stay tuned for the date and details!
I recently learned that a film titled The Savoy King: Chick Webb And The Music That Changed America has been selected for the 50th annual New York Film Festival. It will screen Saturday, September 29 at noon, and Tuesday, October 2 at 3:30pm. The documentary brings alive the untold story of drummer/bandleader William Henry "Chick" Webb, the "little giant" who taught himself to drum and taught the rest of the world to swing. I earnestly encourage anyone with an interest in drumming, in jazz, or just generally in music to attend a screening if at all possible.
When I write articles about people or drum related companies, I usually ask about past articles that have appeared in other magazines. I was surprised to find out that none of the drum or music magazines has ever published an article about Andy Foote and Drum Supply House. It's been in business since 1995 and is a very popular resource for drum builders. Andy has played an important role in the growth of the custom drum building industry during the last two decades. He is a very upbeat and energetic person and is very passionate about the art of building drums.
Hello Mr. Lawrence.......My name is Dave Grim and I live in VA. We met at the Delaware Drum Show and you signed my "Autographs of the Stars " drum case. I thank you again for doing that for me. I truly look forward to the NSMD magazine and have been a subscriber for a number of years. I'm 65 years old and do not play drums at all professionally.
Editor's note – I received a call from Jim Moritz who wanted to have his reproduction Slingerland grommets mentioned in the magazine. He started telling me his story about working at Slingerland as a teenager and about his new Slingerland restoration business, Chicago Drum and Restoration. He had the best summer job a drummer could ever have. I asked him to write it all down and send us some pictures. -GL
I've been around Slingerland Drums all my life. My great uncle and Dad both worked at the Chicago and Niles plants. Dad operated the shell machines and in the early 70s Bud Slingerland appointed him foreman of the woodshop; he remained with the company until the closure of the final plant in Algonquin.
Charles Connor and the invention of the rock and roll beat
By George Lawrence
Interview conducted by Bill Ray
Much has been written about Little Richard, the iconoclast musician who is credited with being the architect of rock and roll, along with Ike Turner, Elvis Presley, James Brown, and other frontrunners in the 1950s. What is lesser known are the origins of the rock & roll drum beat, invented by Charles Connor, the original left handed drummer in Richard's road band, the Upsetters. He is The Guy who is credited with creating our beloved "Straight 8th note beat"
Fork’s Drum Closet in Nashville Tennessee is one of the biggest and best drum shops in the nation with a clientele that reads like a Who’s Who of drummers. Over the past 29 years Gary Forkum, his wife Melissa, daughter Jaimie and son Matt have developed a beautiful store in the heart of Music City’s historic 12th South district nestled between two major recording centers, Music Row and Berry Hill. It is also one of the best sources in the nation for vintage drums and vintage repair and refurbishing .