Updated: Aug 19, 2019
A couple of weeks ago Next Level Chops featured Mr. Sticky Wicket's 1942 Slingerland Radio King drum kit.
"I bought this kit from Mark Jeffs of Rusty Drums at the National Drum Fair in September 2012. It was just in from the States having been sourced by Mark's contact over there. It was from a newspaper advertisement I believe.
I was actually only looking for a WMP 26" RK bass drum to use with my 22" post War set but this kit was so original and beautiful I just had to have it. 2012 was in fact the 10th Anniversary of the NDF (National Drum Fair) and John Ruddick's MYJO was to perform with guest drummers. I was in fact setting up my regular Radio Kings kit to perform the 'Hawaiian War Chant' routine with Garry Allcock. Garry suddenly came over and told me that he'd seen someone unpacking a 26" WMP Radio King bass drum.....I was over there like a shot!!!
This Vintage Drum passion is definitely a disease....what do you think?
Anyway, I still use the 26" bass drum put together with my post War 13"& 16" x2 Tom-Tom set up for my Swing Orchestra gigs but I thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk about and play this kit (or attempt to!) in it's original configuration!"
When Sticky purchased the 40's Radio King kit he was given some information of the kit's origins. Here is a letter from the original owner's son Ed:
"Dad brought the kit in the June of 1942 from his local music store in Hillsbrough, New York state. He was playing in a local dance band at the time and was a big Gene Krupa fan. (i remember watching 'Some like it Hot' and 'Ball of Fire' some years later with Dad) Soon after buying the kit Dad joined the war effort, joining the Navy. He was based in Bridgeport in Connecticut for most of the war, playing in a Navy Band with his drums during this time.
Dad continued to play after the war, mostly in smaller groups although mom said he pretty much gave up after me and Barbara were born. I remember Dad getting the kit out in the Den every time we had watched a Krupa movie, or he would set it up on a weekend and play to family.
As you know we sold the kit to you when Dad passed away and we moved mom to here retirement home, she was please to see it going off to someone who was gong to enjoy it, and it's great to see the kit with it's new owner in England, thanks for the photo.
Hope the new owner enjoys and cherishes it as much as Dad did, I would have loved to keep it, but it was only for sentimental reasons.
By the way, we never got to the bottom of the upside down badge, mom remembers it being like it from new, and she said Dad took it up with the shop, but nothing was resolved. I guess the war got in the way?
If you'd like to find out more about this wonderful Drum Kit, or hear the magnificent Sticky Wicket perform a solo on this kit then please take a look at the video below.
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