Drum History

A podcast all about the rich history of the drums - and how they became what they are today! Join Bart van der Zee as he speaks with experts about the curious journey of the ever-evolving drum set.

Music History
Hal Blaine: The Story of an American Drum Legen...
Hal Blaine is one of the most recorded drummers in history and is an icon from the golden age of session musicians. We learn about Hals parents heroic journey to America, Hal's early years and time in the Army, and his meteoric rise as a first call studio drummer. Mike Megaffin's business card says "Hal Blaine Disciple" and he definitely lives up to that title with this very in-depth episode. Mike spent lots of time with Hal and learned tons of great stories about the years that Hal Blaine spent working for mafia types in seedy nightclubs through his rise to the top and love of all things luxurious.
83 min
Franks Drum Shop Est. 1938 with Rob Cook
Franks Drum Shop was one of the four original drum stores in America and was a Midwest hot spot for drummers like Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich, Louie Bellson and many more as they passed through town. From 1938 to the mid 1980's, It had a world class repair shop, amazing sales floor, and a lesson program that had teachers that were absolute legends like Roy C. Knapp. Rob Cook wrote his first book in 1993 about Franks Drum Shop which originated from his life being changed by a visit to Franks as a very young man. This is a very interesting episode that his information that only someone like Rob Cook can provide!
68 min
(FREE BONUS) Gigging Horror Story Turns into Vi...
Join Patreon to hear 65+ bonus episodes for only $2 a month and great perks up to $15 a month. This was a really cool bonus with Chris that I wanted to share so everyone could hear what the bonus episodes are like, you can also watch the video on YouTube to see the "No Rhythm Man" which he talks about in this episode.
9 min
Gigging Drummer Survival Guide with Chris Georg...
Chris has come up with a great list of tips and tricks for gigging drummers of all levels. He shares how his Honda Fit has been converted into a mobile drum repair shop and everything that he keeps on hand to make sure he never misses a beat. Not only is Chris a long time gigging drummer around the Boston area, he is a successful animator going back to shows like "Dr. Katz", and "Home Movies". Now he works as a presenter for Adobe by day and a gigging drummer by night.
59 min
A Look at the Northup Drums Museum with Timothy...
The Northup Drums Museum is one of the only "PlaThe Northup Drums Museum is one of the only "Playing Museums" in the world where you can play some of the most rare drums known to man. You can walk in the door and play a Slingerland Black Beauty, a Ludwig Top Hat and Cain kit and 30 other rare drum kits, plus cymbals, traps, and great memorabilia! Tim is an antique dealer by trade and has taken his families historical dairy barn and turned into an antique store upstairs, and one of the finest drum museums in the world downstairs, Enjoy this episode!ying Museums" in the world where you can play some of the most rare drums in the world. You can walk in the door and play a Slingerland Black Beauty, a Ludwig Top Hat and Cain kit and 30 other rare drum kits, plus cymbals, traps, and great memorabilia! Tim is an antique dealer by trade and has taken his families historical dairy barn and turned into an antique store upstairs, and one of the finest drum museums in the world downstairs, Enjoy this episode!
56 min
Drums and Ethnomusicology with William Johnson
Will takes us on a fascinating deep dive into what Ethnomusicology is and how it applies to drums and percussion around the world. We learn the process of how to study different cultures and learn about the music, the instruments, and how to appreciate and apply the styles. Will is a cool guy who has a great way of explaining an interesting educational topic. Enjoy this episode!
62 min
A Look at Wood and Weather Drum Shop with Josep...
Joe has created a very unique drum shop in Massachusetts that offers some extremely rare drum sets that are presented with his unique style. He is a young guy but has accumulated a vast knowledge of instrument through years of hunting down vintage drums and presenting at the drum shows. Every drum shop is different and it is fun to speak with the owners to see what makes their shop different and special - I look forward to doing more in the future!
54 min
The History of Orange County Drum with Michael ...
OCDP is one of the most iconic brand of the late 90's/Early 2000's with endorsees like Travis Barker, Chad Sexton, Adrien Young, and Taylor Hawkins. My guests are Michael Kelley who was a part of OCDP from the very beginning through the mid 2000's and Jarrod Fallon who is an OCDP enthusiast, collector, and restorer. These two guys together cover the somewhat mysterious background of this iconic brand that was a part of the rock and roll zeitgeist of the early 2000's. We discuss the early days as a So-Cal drum shop, the wild designs, vented snares, famous endorsers, the rise and fall of the company and much more!
75 min
(The Vault) The History of Leedy Drums with Rob...
Rob Cook, founder of the Chicago Drum Show and Author of "The Complete History of Leedy Drums" and "The Leedy Way", gives us the complete history of the Leedy Drum Company. The amazing story begins with U.G. Leedy producing snare stands in his apartment in Indianapolis and evolves into becoming the largest manufacturer of drums in the world. Rob also teaches us about George Ways involvement in the rise and fall of Leedy.
56 min
A Look at DrumArchive.com with Andy Youell
Drum Archive is the online home of more drum catalogs in one place than you will find anywhere else in the world! Andy has created a resource that I personally use multiple times a week and has become essential for vintage drum enthusiasts to learn and research about the instrument that we love. He shares the story of how and why he created this site and why he has such a passion for archiving drum catalogs.
42 min
The Biography of Chick Webb with Chet Falzerano
Chick Webb fell down the stairs as a child and smashed multiple vertebrae which left him with a serious physical handicap, but he still managed to become one of the best drummers in the world in his short 30 year life. Chick Webb is one of the god fathers of modern drumming and was revered by Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa, and every top drummer of the 1920's and 30's. Chet is the author of a great Chick Webb biography book and has extensive knowledge about Chick, Billy Gladstone, and vintage Gretsch drums. Chick died very young but accomplished an incredible amount in that time - enjoy this great underdog story!
50 min
(Drum News) Robbery at Gretsch Drum Co. in 1927!
A group of armed bandits robbed the Payroll at the Gretsch Manufacturing Co. in 1927! This article has never been seen by the modern Gretsch family or Gretsch employees and is a glimpse into an exciting and scary situation that happened in Brooklyn at the factory!
3 min
Gretsch: The Eternal Brand with Lucas von Gretsch
Lucas takes us back to the Victorian Era when Gretsch was founded in 1883 and gives a family members inside scoop on this iconic drum brand. Lucas covers the origins of the company up to the 1950's in this episode which includes the birth of the drum set, the explosion of jazz, the great depression, and surviving through World War 2. We hear about all of the Gretsch family members and the important role each person had in the development of the brand over the last 138 years.
76 min
(Drum News) "Drums Behind the Iron Curtain" - P...
English Newspaper articles about Premier selling drums behind the Iron Curtain to Soviet Russia and West Germany. This was a big part of Premiers business at the time and this made the evening news around the UK!
6 min
(The Vault) Discovering Gene Krupas Lost Drum C...
This is a classic episode that I am excited to re-release! Charlie Watts purchased Gene Krupas long lost drum collection - what is better than that?! I also announce the start of a new series that I am launching simultaneously with the release of episode. Listen to learn more!
49 min
(Drum News) 1938 - Gene Krupa Will Teach You Dr...
1938 Drum Newspaper Ad for Gene Krupas "Drum Method" book from the Daily News in New York City. Gene Krupa is one of the god fathers of modern drumming and is responsible for many drummers picking up the sticks in the mid 20th Century.
3 min
The History of Pork Pie Percussion with Bill D...
In addition to Pork Pie, Bill has been the man behind the scenes doing work for DW, Tama, Mapex, new Rogers, OCDP, Gruv-X and a number of other brands for over 3 decades. Bill has also been building drums, doing edges, and painting drums for massive artists like Tre Cool, Chad Smith, Mike Bordin, and countless others all out of his small California shop where he has had a huge influence on the drum industry. This episode is full of great information about the full history of Pork Pie, but also things like the brand new Rogers drums that Bill is building in his shop, the Gruv-X brand he created with Russ Miller, and lots of interesting industry stories along the way.
85 min
The History of WFL Drums with Kurt Ekstrom
WFL Drums was born in 1937 when William F. Ludwig sold the rights to use his name to CG Conn and he became a competitor with Ludwig and Ludwig Drums. Kurt is an expert on this roughly 18-year period where William F. Ludwig and The Chief (William II) operated out of the Damen Ave factory as WFL Drums and created beautiful drum sets and hardware that are still revered today. We discuss the initial opening of the factory, the war-time era, and the eventual purchase of the Ludwig name back from Conn in the mid-1950s. Kurt has a great collection and really knows his stuff - enjoy this episode!
60 min
The Roots of the British Invasion with Daniel G...
This episode is all about the musicians who inspired the famous British Invasion drummers of the 1960's well before the music reached American soil. Daniel takes us through the 1950's in England to learn about the circumstances that created the famous Rock and Roll sounds that swept across the world, and we learn the geographic factors such as growing up in the completely bombed out post-WW2 England. Plus the impact that the first wave of touring American Rockstars had on the young impressionable musicians of the UK.
78 min
From Double Drumming to Double Bass Drums with ...
Cadan takes us through his masters thesis which covers the long and often misunderstood history of the drum kit. His studies included interviews with Thomas Lang, Daniel Glass, Steve White, Matt Brennan and many more which he shares in this episode. The title of his thesis is "From Double Drumming to Double Bass Drums" and we not only discuss many historical elements along the way, but the process in which he researched and documented topics which have no living primary sources and have multiple theories.
58 min
Ludwig Supraphonic History with Uli Salazar
The Ludwig Supraphonic is known as the most recorded snare drum in history and has an amazing background that dates all the way back to 1914! Uli Salazar is the Senior Marketing and Artist Relations Manager at Ludwig and he gives us a great deep dive into the technology that evolved over a 50 year period leading up to the release of the Supra in 1964. We talk about the lugs, the shell design, the throw-off, and tons of great details about the Supraphonic!
59 min
Perspectives on Punk Drumming with Steve Lauden
Steve Lauden is the author of "The Forbidden Beat: Perspectives on Punk Drumming" which explores the history of punk percussion with personal essays, interviews and lists featuring their favorite players and biggest influences. Steve breaks down the early history of punk drumming form the 60's proto-punk, through the iconic 70's and 80's, up to the modern pop-punk of the 2000's through today. We dig into some of Steves favorite stories and lessons that he learned from many of the legends he interviewed including D.H. Peligro, Tre Cool, Rat Scabies and many more!
54 min
(From The Vault) The Death of Trap Drummers wit...
(Originally released in April 2018) What was it like to be a Trap Drummer in the silent movie era as talking pictures take over and your job was becoming obsolete? Listen as Kelli and I discuss how this great percussion genre became extinct. Trap Drummers were percussionists who performed alongside silent films and performances before the advent of "Talkies" (talking pictures). Using a wide array of instruments and devices (contraptions), Trap Drummers aimed to make audiences believe these sounds were one with the film or performance.
42 min
Drums on Sesame Street with Bill Sherman
Bill is the Music Director on Sesame Street and shares tons of great information on the famous drummers that have played on the show like Questlove, Anderson Paak, Evelyn Glennie, plus we discuss Buddy RIch and his performance with with Animal on The Muppets in the 80's. Bill talks about how it works when a Muppet plays the drums and how it is synced up with a real drummer and also the importance of music and rhythm on Sesame Street and all kids programming. Bill has worked on many cool things outside of the muppets including Hamilton, Tick Tick Boom, In the Heights, and he co-hosts a podcast with Questlove called "Questlove Supreme"
42 min
The New Milestone Percussion with Ronn Dunnett
Ronn discusses his new acquisition of the classic Canadian brand, Milestone Percussion! Milestone was founded in the 1970's by Michael Clapham, and then was later purchased by Paul Mason and became the also beloved, Tempus Drums. Now, in 2022, Ronn has brought the original brand back to life and is relaunching with the extreme attention to detail that we have all come to expect from all Dunnett products. Ron doesn't spare any details of what he thinks went wrong with the original run of the company and what he is doing to improve and make it a long lasting Canadian brand. We also learn about Ronn's work process and great info on all of his brands - Dunnett Classic Drums, George Way Drums, and now Milestone Percussion.
62 min