Wire Brush, used by Ray McKinley

Wire Brush, used by Ray McKinley

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Description (Brief)

This wire brush was made by Ludwig Drum Company in Chicago, Illinois, 1970s. It is a drum brush with a white plastic handle with a red plastic tip. No wire bristles, wire stick only. The brush is stamped:


This wire brush is from a drumset used by American jazz drummer, singer, and bandleader Ray McKinley around 1969-1980. Ray McKinley (1910-1995) made his first recordings with Red Nichols, where he worked with Glenn Miller and Jimmy Dorsey, in 1931. McKinley continued to work mostly with Miller and the Dorsey Brothers (Jimmy and Tommy) through 1939. He then was a member of Will Bradley’s band through 1942. After enlisting in the Army in 1942, McKinley joined Glenn Miller’s American Band of The Allied Expeditionary Forces (AEF). After Miller’s disappearance in 1944, McKinley co-led the band with Jerry Gray.

After the war, McKinley formed his own band and worked as a freelance musician. In 1956 he was commissioned by the widow of Glenn Miller to organize a new band under Miller’s name using the original library and style. This band made a successful tour of Iron Curtain countries in 1957 and continued to tour the United States until 1966. McKinley played drums while Buddy DeFranco fronted the band from 1966-1974. McKinley continued to perform through the 1980s.

Currently not on view
Object Name
McKinley, Ray
Ludwig Drum Company
place made
United States: Illinois, Chicago
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
overall: 34 cm x 1 cm; x 13 3/8 in x 3/8 in
overall: 1/2 in x 7/8 in x 13 3/8 in; 1.27 cm x 2.2225 cm x 33.9725 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Gretchen H. McKinley and Jawn McKinley Neville
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Musical Instruments
Music & Musical Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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