A little Gretsch drum trivia.

john gerrard

Senior Member
Today I got to play at a my home town community celebration. The sound crew had a drum set already set up to play. When I looked up I couldn't believe my eyes. There was a set of Gretsch drums that I had first played on back in the late 70's on the WWVA Jamboree in Wheeling,WV. For those who don't about the WWVA Jamboree it was the second longest running live radio show in the USA. Second to the Grand Ole Opry out of Nashville. These drums have backed up more country stars that you can count. They were the house set. They have backed up some of country music's top stars. I know for a fact that they were there when Brad Paisley got his start and back even further for some of country's best. Talk about mojo. I was like a reunion to play them again. I would love to see them in the Country Music Hall of Fame. They belong with Buck Owen's silver Tele, and Willie's Martin guitar.
 

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opentune

Platinum Member
wow nice history, nice set. the middle tom support bar through the bass drum looks enormous. i have no doubt the drums sound awesome. i like that finish but they would look so much better with a white reso.

and what kind of music does your band play?
 

john gerrard

Senior Member
It is so sad the condition that these drums are in, but it is what it is. The drums sound absolutely like crap from the drivers seat but the guys running sound can do magic, I got to hear other bands playing from out front and they sound great. By the way that is a 24 inch kick and through that p.a. and those guys running sound, it sounds like thunder. I can remember playing them in the 70's and if you remember back then the whole thing was one headed drums. Well the first time I played them, no bottom heads and Senhiser 421's stuck under each tom. As much as I hated that even back then they did sound so good on recordings. Actually I believe that I had a lot to do with them learning to do sound with the bottom heads on. They were and still are the only sound crew in the area. I did a festival with my drums and I had the reso heads on. They told me that I needed to take the bottom heads off for them to mike them. Remember this was in the later 70's early 80's. I told them that drums were meant to to have two heads on them and to learn how to deal with it. Long story short------look at the heads on the bottom of the toms in the picture. It's been a great weekend, and playing those drums again was the icing on the cake.

p.s. that band is a died in the wool,Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson country band.
 
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paradiddle pete

Platinum Member
A nice piece of history there John. I played a kit exactly like that for 20 odd years, loved that kit. If I remember right walnut was the only finish I could get in a 24" bass drum back then at least that's what they told me. I still have some recordings of the kit and the bass drum does indeed sound like thunder. Thanks for sharing ..
 
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