This post could probably qualify as vintage, but probably one of the early influential drummers, Gene Krupa, will have his drum kit displayed at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.
You should really look up this guy. Maybe Benny Goodman rings a bell with some of you, but Krupa was famous in the days of big bands and some have credited him as one of the first guys to use a drum kit.
There’s a story out near Baltimore, Maryland, about a family in Catonsville donating the set to the Smithsonian. Take a look at the photo—definitely well worn, but still in good shape. Man, if only that set could talk. I went ahead and attached an old autographed photo of him playing back in the day with that set, but go ahead and check out what it looks like now.
Here’s an excerpt:
“With Benny Goodman’s clarinet and Lionel Hampton’s vibes, the museum now has pieces that belonged to three of the four members of the Benny Goodman Quartet, one of the first racially integrated groups in jazz, he said.
Only something from pianist Teddy Wilson is missing.
“It’s a wonderful addition to our national collections,” Hasse said about the drums. “It vividly depicts a story of one of America’s leading percussionists.”
As representatives from the Smithsonian arrived at Hay’s house in Catonsville Monday morning, they treated a small group of family members to a history lesson as they examined the drums, which include markings from Krupa’s time with the Benny Goodman Band in the 1930s.”