Slingerland “Root Beer” Pearl Radio King

Slingerland Radio King

Era: 1940
Dimensions: 14" x 5"
Number of lugs: 8
Finish: “Root Beer” Pearl (shell), nickel-plated (hardware)

The badge, beaver tail lugs, and clam shell strainer all suggest that this snare comes from 1940 or earlier, but that’s where any normal characteristics of this weird drum end. It’s hard to determine if the non-cataloged “Root Beer” finish is original, although the Pearl-type wrap looks and feels like it’s been on this one-ply shell for a long time. Need further evidence? The badge and grommet are tight, and the beaver tail lugs have molded their way into the plastic and sit side-by-side, just like Slingerland’s 13" x 4.5" BeBop Models. In fact, the company was known to produce a fair number of non-cataloged snare drums and finishes that were probably either special orders or endorser drums, although we’ll probably never know the origins of this oddball. A final note: This drum was purchased on eBay — which can be strange enough at times — and the seller had originally found it in Mexico.