Both manufacturers have roots in jazz, flourished in the ’70s rock era, and remain powerhouses today. Madison Avenue’s most creative minds couldn’t have come up with a more powerful ad campaign than Ringo playing Ludwigs on The Ed Sullivan show. A set of Gretsch drums are in the cover design of The Rolling Stones’ Get Yer Ya-Yas Out!
It was 1909 when Avedis Zildjian came over from Turkey and set up shop in Boston to begin modern cymbal manufacture. Although the company existed in various forms in Istanbul since the 17th century, it was during the early jazz era when the company began to grow exponentially.
On a 1909 recording of the U.S. Marine Band playing Sousa’s “Semper Fidelis March,” the drums are definitely present. A number of recordings of the drums are on wax cylinder from the early 1890s onward, but if we’re talking traps, the first recording is New Orleans drummer Tony Sbarbaro on drums with the Original Dixieland Jazz Band in 1917 by the Victor Talking Machine Company.
The advanced hand stroke technique characterized by a whipping motion was conceived by Sanford Moeller with the 1925 publication of The Art Of Snare Drumming (also known as “The Moeller Book”). Legendary instructor Jim Chapin was its biggest champion in the U.S.
The first drum media to resemble a modern enthusiast magazine, bi-annual publication The Ludwig Drummer contained articles, playing tips, and endorser news. Its first incarnation was in circulation from 1926 to 1948. It was later resurrected by the Conn-owned Ludwig & Ludwig in the 1960s and ran until 1976.
As the leader in the house band at Chicago’s Savoy Ballroom starting in 1931, Webb not only began to earn the moniker “King Of Swing,” but also his crown as the first drummer bandleader.