What Effect Did The Great Depression Have On Black Music A History of Ludwig Drums and the Ludwig Black Beauty Snare

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A History of Ludwig Drums and the Ludwig Black Beauty Snare

Home of Ludwig’s Black Beauty Trap, Ludwig & Ludwig was founded in 1909 by brothers William F. and Theo Ludwig. The brothers started their innovation in a simple Chicago garage, and their first innovation was a bass drum pedal that was faster and superior to anything else available at the time.

In 1916, the brothers came up with the spring action, the basis of the current Timpani balanced action pedal.

By the mid-1920s, the brothers had become known for making some of the finest ukulele-banjos in the world, still prized by collectors today.

When the Great Depression hit in the 1930s, the company merged with CG Conn., but William was not satisfied with the new structure, so in 1936 he formed his own company, WFL Drum Company, creating the famous Speed ​​King Pedal Company. Ludwig is one of the first models ever produced.

Ludwig was bought back by Conn. in 1955 and reopened as the Ludwig Drum Company.

The fledgling company struggled for almost a decade until 1963, when The Beatles, a band emerging from Liverpool, accidentally found a set in a London shop window. Ringo spotted the set while the band was touring London and immediately fell in love.

Sales skyrocketed after Ed Sullivan appeared on the show with a new kit and the famous Ludwig Log on bass drums.

In 1966, the now successful Ludwig Musser purchased the Marimba Company and presented Ringo with a gold-plated drum as a thank you for turning his fortunes around.

John “Bonzo” Bonham of Led Zeppelin was the next superstar drummer to use Ludwig drums. His iconic yellow Vistalite drum kit is synonymous with 1970s rock drumming. Vistalite is the trade name used by Ludwig in the 1970s for synthetic drums.

In 1973, his father, William F. After Ludwig’s death, he took over and the company became part of The Selmer Company in 1981.

Since its first day in that Chicago barn, the company has been at the forefront of innovation, introducing many previously unimagined materials into drum manufacturing. In addition to Vistalite drums, the company also produced stainless steel drum kits, but production was discontinued in the early 1980s due to high production costs.

Today’s most popular and sought-after drum, the Ludwig Black Beauty was first produced in the 1920s. The Ludwig Black Beauty snare drum, a hand-engraved black nickel-plated brass shell drum, is highly prized by collectors and players alike. Black Beauty was reprinted in unengraved or machine-engraved form in the late 1970s and again in the 1990s.

When The Ludwig Black Beauty drums reappeared in the late 1970s, they were again made of brass. In the early 1980s, when the company changed ownership, the wheels changed to bronze, made for economic reasons.

It’s experiencing a current resurgence and is a favorite addition to most collections.

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