William F. Ludwig II dies, aged 91

Rhythm is sad to announce the passing of William F. Ludwig II, head of the Ludwig Drum Company. We received this fitting tribute from the fine people at Ludwig:

"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."

Rhythm extends its condolences to Bill's friends, family and colleagues at the Ludwig Drum Company.

Chris Barnes

I'm MusicRadar's eCommerce Editor. In addition to testing the latest music gear, with a particular focus on electronic drums, it's my job to manage the 300+ buyer's guides on MusicRadar and help musicians find the right gear for them at the best prices. I dabble with guitar, but my main instrument is the drums, which I have been playing for 24 years. I've been a part of the music gear industry for 20 years, including 7 years as Editor of the UK's best-selling drum magazine Rhythm, and 5 years as a freelance music writer, during which time I worked with the world's biggest instrument brands including Roland, Boss, Laney and Natal.