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  • Wurlitzer Bass Drum, Model No. 1460

    by Rhythm Scene Staff | Sep 07, 2020

    Wurlitzer Bass Drum

    Donated by Tom Lonardo, Jr., 2009-02-04

    The Rudolph Wurlitzer Company was established in 1856 in Cincinnati, Ohio by Rudolph Wurlitzer (1831–1941), a German immigrant whose family had manufactured and sold musical instruments for over a century before his birth. Wurlitzer’s Catalog Number 118, dated 1921, states that Wurlitzer is the “Largest General Musical House in the World,” and as such, manufactured and sold all types of drums and percussion instruments.

    Page 75 of the catalog bears the heading “The Unrivaled Wurlitzer Bass Drums” and includes the Model No. 1460 Bass Drum, a rope-tuned drum available in ten different sizes, ranging from 12 to 14 inches in depth and from 24 to 36 inches in width. The drum was available in either maple or mahogany shells, and it had detachable leather ears with “improved type cord hooks.” Twelve ears, each with a pair of hooks, are shown on the catalog picture.

    This 12 x 26-inch drum was part of a collection belonging to Tom Lonardo, Sr., who owned Lonardo Piano Co. in Paris, Tennessee from 1963 to 1991. It features a 3-ply mahogany shell—reinforced inside by two maple hoops—and natural-finished maple counterhoops. Though originally manufactured with twelve leather tuning ears, only eleven decorated, leather tuning ears remain. These ears, in conjunction with the eleven “improved” cord hooks on each side of the drum, provide tension on the rope for tuning the two calfskin heads. Inside, a prominent paper label identifies the maker: “The Rudolph Wurlitzer Co. Manufacturers of Drums, Band Instruments. Cincinnati, O. Send for Catalogue.”
  • Shelly Manne’s Gladstone Snare drum

    by Rhythm Scene Staff | Aug 10, 2020

    Gladstone Snare Drum

    Donated by Florence “Flip” Manne, 2011-06-01

    Shelly Manne’s extensive career encompassed every facet a musician could aspire to achieve. Born into a musical family, he began drumming at age 17 in New York, ultimately performing with top-name big bands and small jazz combos comprised of many legendary jazz and classical artists. After moving to California, he established himself as a first-call musician for the major television and movie studios, where he recorded hundreds of TV and film scores, including several of which he composed.

    When Shelly was young, his father, Max Manne, also a famous drummer, was a manager at the Roxy and Radio City Music Hall theatres, where Billy Gladstone, the snare drummer for Radio City Music Hall, was a close family friend. Therefore, Gladstone was the logical choice as Shelly’s teacher, mentoring Shelly as a student and assisting him in acquiring drums for his first professional position. When Glad- stone began to manufacture snare drums, Shelly was one of the first to receive one.

    Gladstone built about 50 snare drums, many of which no longer exist. Shelly’s drum is labeled “No. 1.” However, Gladstone had also begun to work on a second drum for the New York Philharmonic’s snare drummer, Buster Bailey. As it was completed before Shelly’s drum, Gladstone affixed the label “Drum #0” on the Bailey drum, which is currently on loan to the PAS museum collection.

    Shelly’s 8-lug drum is constructed from a 6 x 14-inch, three-ply, wooden Gretsch shell, finished in black lacquer, with no interior reinforcement rings. The hardware is gold plated, making this the only Gladstone drum in this color combination.

    Typical of Gladstone’s drums, its unique features include his patented 3-way tuning system, which al- lows one to tune only the top, only the bottom, or both heads simultaneously from the top of the drum by using a unique 3-way key that is stored on the side of the drum. It also features an internal muffler mechanism with numerical measurements to retain specific placements of the muffler, as well as his efficiently designed snare-strainer mechanism, which moves the on-off lever away from the drum in order to quickly release the snares.

    The drum has its original calfskin batter head, but the bottom head is now plastic, and its snares are 12-strands of wire, each wound on both ends with leather. The snares are individually adjustable. The drum has been in possession of either Shelly or his widow, Florence “Flip” Manne, from the time it was built until its donation to PAS. Its nameplate states: “To Shelly Manne with Admiration, Billy Gladstone April 9, 1950. Drum No.1.”

  • Deagan "Roundtop" Orchestra Bells

    by Rhythm Scene Staff | Mar 09, 2020

    Deagan Roundtop

    Deagan No. 1228, Roundtop Orchestra Bells in flat case. 

    Deagan Roundtop 2

    The performer’s side of the instrument, showing the convex shape (both top and bottom) of the bars, as well as a sturdy leather handle with which to carry the instrument when the lid was attached. 

    Donated by Carroll Bratman 1993-01-11 

    Manufactured during the early decades of the 20th Century, the J. C. Deagan Company’s “Roundtop” Orchestra Bells are considered the highest quality glockenspiels, or orchestra bells, manufactured. Constructed from the best steel available at that time, the instruments produce a long, sustaining tone with brilliant, penetrating dynamic contrast. The solid oak cases and quality of workmanship have allowed many of the instruments to continue in use to the present day. 

    Deagan’s Catalog “D” (ca. 1914) boasted that the “Roundtop” Orchestra Bells “have the best tone of any Bell in the world, and are very much easier to play than Flat Top Bells, owing to the fact that the top being slightly convexed, the full tone of the Bell is produced whether the Bell is struck at an angle or struck squarely, while the Flat Top Bells it is necessary to strike the Bell absolutely square in order to produce the full rich tone of the Bell. Owing to the peculiar shape of the Roundtop Orchestra Bell, all counter-harmonies or overtones are entirely eliminated, and when the Bell is struck nothing but the pure fundamental tone is heard. Owning to the fact that the tops of the Roundtop Bells are slightly convexed, there is no flat surface to reflect the light in the operator’s eyes; a fault so common in Flat Top Bells. As the underside of the Roundtop Orchestra Bells are convexed, there is less surface of the Bells to come in contact with the supporting felt, thus leaving the Bell more free to vibrate.” 

    The bars were triple plated to prevent rust, and came in four sizes: 7/8 x 3/8 inch, 1 x 7/16 inch, 1 1/4 x 7/16 inch, and 1 1/2 by 1/2 inch. Each size of bar was available in 2-, 2 1/2-, or 3-octave ranges. They were available in either folding cases or in solid “flat” cases.

    This instrument is Model No. 1228, a 25-bar, 2-octave (C to C) instrument. The bars are 1 1/4 x 7/16 inch in size, mounted in a flat case. The case measures 18 5/8 inches at its widest end and is 25 inches long. The list price in 1914 was $40.00. 

    Deagan Roundtop Detail

    Detail showing the lowest natural bars. Note the pitch “C” stamped “Deagan Roundtop.” 

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