Monday, March 24, 2008

William F. Ludwig, II Passes

The Chief
William F. Ludwig II

"It is with deep regret that we report the passing of the patriarch of the Ludwig Drum Company, William F. Ludwig II, respectfully known as “The Chief.” Bill was 91 years old and has been in declining health for a few years. The Chief passed from this Earth to his position as principal timpanist in heaven’s orchestra on Saturday, March 22nd, 2008. We can hear that thunderous roll now.

"Bill Ludwig lived a long and productive life and was a mentor to so many percussionists and the music industry. He was a true leader that developed so many percussion products and marketing concepts to promote music and percussion education and further along the advancement of percussion instruments and performance throughout the world.

"We are so blessed to have known and worked with this powerhouse of a man for his vision, dedication and passion for percussion. It is said that the greatest legacy that anyone can leave in this world is “making a difference.” Well, Bill Ludwig made a difference in our world of drums and percussion that is legendary and we are all the heirs to his accomplishments.

"Thank you Chief. You inspired us to carry on from here. You will be missed, but always remembered and honored.


"Jim Catalano - Ludwig"


Three Generations of Ludwigs
William Ludwig, Sr., II, and III

The Chief's Autograph on
1911 Rope Field Snare Drum
(manufacturer uncertain)
Collection of E. Mirsky

William F. Ludwig, II plays "Three Camps"

Other Tributes:

"Hail to 'The Chief', In memory of William F. Ludwig II, 1916-2008" by Michael Boo, on DCI's website.

"William F Ludwig II – A Personal Tribute" on ADC Drums and Percussion's website.

"William F Ludwig II, September 13, 1916–March 22, 2008" by Rob Cook.

1 comment:

  1. Bill Ludwig was a very special man who will be greatly missed by all who knew him. I am very proud to have been able to call him a friend -even though I only knew him for the last few years of his life.

    He was such a great supporter and lover of all types of music, and especially loved everything about "drumdom." He was a lover of field drums, proudly displaying his family's collection in his home and traveling around the country giving a presentation about drum history. He decided to share his collection with the entire world when he donated it to the National Music Museum in Vermillion, South Dakota, and it can now be seen on their website and much of it on exhibit in their galleries.

    Drum Taps to you, Bill.

    Jayson Dobney


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