This is a beautiful, one of a kind, 1949 Ludwig & Ludwig Gold Sparkle “endorser's” drum set. This set was bought from the original owner and Ludwig endorser, Dusty Neely. Dusty Neely was a Hollywood Big Band drummer in the 1940’s playing with his friends Gene Krupa, Frank Sinatra, Stan Kenton and Benny Goodman. He was Fred Astaire’s rehearsal drummer and replaced Buddy Rich as the drummer for the Tommy Dorsey band. He appeared in several films. “The Fabulous Dorseys” as the drummer with the band and with Lou Costello and George Pemberthe in “In the Navy Now” along with other films. Dusty moved to the Seattle area in the early 1950’s where he performed with his wife Norma in the “Sophisti-Cats” for many years and opened Carousel Music in Everett, Washington. You can “Google” Dusty Neely for more information on his career.
This set was purchased from Dusty as he was closing Carousel Music not too long before his passing in 1994. The story Dusty told was that this set was made for him by the Ludwig Company in 1949. He was a Ludwig endorser and had to argue with them about making him a 20” bass drum, the first Ludwig made. At the time the drum companies felt the bass drum should be larger but Dusty wanted this smaller drum for its more compact size but powerful sound. Dusty was a bit ahead of his time. When it was built, the set consisted of a 20”x14” bass drum, 8”x12” tom, 9”x13” tom, 16”x16” floor tom and a 6 ½”x14” snare drum. Unfortunately the original snare drum (Dusty’s favorite) and the 12” tom were stolen from the bandstand one night. We have tried to reconstruct the set with original drums from the era but after many years of trying to acquire a 12” tom we ultimately decided to convert a 1960’s 12” Ludwig tom to accompany the set. The replacement 8" x 12" tom has been outfitted with Imperial lugs and a white enamel badge to match the rest of the outfit.
The gold sparkle wrap shows some crazing and a few spots but is in overall very good condition. The chrome plating is in excellent condition and makes a nice, bright contrast to the gold sparkle. The wrap on the replaced 8" x 12" tom is slightly brighter than the rest of the set, and this drum has a few small extra holes, but doesn't stand out when looking at the overall outfit. The two ride toms mount directly onto the bass drum shell with adjustable clamps making them more secure while playing when compared to the common bass drum hoop clamps of the era. This is one of the earliest examples of a modern drum outfit produced by one of America's top drum makers. It will serve its next owner well on the performance stage, on display, or both.
|Extra Holes or Modifications||replaced 8" x 12" ride tom has extra holes|
|Shell Size||8x12, 9x13,16x16,14x20|
|Shell Finish||Gold Sparkle|
|Badge Type||White Enamel|