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Drumming Trailblazers: Duthart, Catherwood, Blackley & Jelly

The Pipers' & Pipe Band Society of Ontario recently uncovered in storage a trove of old 78 RPM records. The task of digitizing has begun. Featured here are four recordings estimated to have been made in 1950 (this date is based, in part, on each drummer's stated band affiliation) and feature legendary snare drumming names, Alex Duthart, James Catherwood, Jim Blackley and Gordon Jelly. Follow the links for more information on each musician. Accompanying each drummer is Pipe Major Donald Shaw Ramsay, then of the Edinburgh City Police Pipe Band.

The drums played would have heads made of natural material. The first synthetic drum head was plastic and invented in 1957.

You can read more on this era of drumming at Piping Press.

While the recording quality is poor compared to today's standard we are grateful that these recordings were created, purchased and, finally, carefully stored by a thoughtful pipe band drumming fan!


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