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For most of the company's pre-1970s history, Slingerland's manufacturing processes were not standardized in the way that modern large-scale manufacturing companies' are.Exceptions to nearly every strict product taxonomy existed.The cutaway design was first used in 1977 by the Santa Clara Vanguard under drum captain Fred Sanford and the Oakland Crusaders under Tom Float.Famous drum corps such as the 27th Lancers of Revere, Massachusetts under Charlie Poole, the Bridgemen of Bayonne N. under Dennis Delucia, the Chicago Cavaliers under Gus Barbaro and Brian Callahan, the Pittsburgh Royal Crusaders and the General Butler Vagabonds all used Slingerland equipment in the late 1970s and early 1980s.They stopped production quickly after their introduction due to a patent infringement suit and a cease and desist warrant from Ludwig regarding Slingerland's foray into acrylic drums. Slingerland marching drums were produced as early as the 1920s.By the 1970s, the Slingerland line of marching equipment had become very popular in marching bands, colleges, and drum corps.Radio King bass drums and tom-toms were made from mahogany, with maple reinforcement hoops.These drums are known for their "thuddy" sound; very warm, with quick decay.
Single-ply wood drums are known for their resonance and bright tone.
These drums were introduced in 1936-'37, and remained Slingerland's flagship snare drums and drum sets until 1957, when the Radio King model briefly disappeared from the product line.
Between 19, Radio Kings were reintroduced and remain the premier product for the Slingerland Drum Company.
The final nail in Slingerland's coffin, was demand by Gibson, that in order to become a Slingerland dealer, music stores also had to carry Gibson guitars.
This was not feasible for the "Mom & Pop" music stores, who simply couldn't afford to carry both lines, given the stratospheric costs.Beside long time endorser Buddy Rich, Slingerland in the 1970s garnered drummers Danny Seraphine with Chicago and Nigel Olsson still playing with Elton John.