Leroy Drumm

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Leroy Drumm
Leroy Drumm 1984.jpg
Bluegrass songwriter
Background information
Birth name Leroy Maxey Drumm
Also known as Leroy Drumm
Born (1936-09-26)September 26, 1936
Origin Algonac, Michigan, U.S.
Died November 26, 2010(2010-11-26) (aged 74)
Waynesboro, Tennessee, U.S.
Genres Bluegrass, traditional bluegrass, country music
Occupations Songwriter, welder
Years active 1960s–2010
Associated acts Cal Freeman,Pete Goble, Hurricane Creek, Hot Rize, IIIrd Tyme Out, The Country Gentlemen

Leroy Maxey Drumm (September 26, 1936 – November 26, 2010) was born in Algonac, Michigan is an American and a bluegrass/country music songwriter who served in the United States Navy, in the 3rd Division as a sonar man aboard the USS Soley (DD-707), an Allen M. Sumner-class destroyer and deployed to the Mediterranean from July 1956 to February 1957. Upon leaving the navy he worked as a general laborer and welder in and around Detroit, MI. He is widely known for his collaborations with Pete Goble, a long time friend and Stacy Richardson of the Hurricane Creek bluegrass band. Leroy wrote the song "Colleen Malone", recorded by Hot Rize on their Take It Home, that won the IBMA’s Song of the Year award in 1991. Leroy Drumm's and Pete Goble's songs have made them something akin to the Rodgers and Hammerstein of bluegrass. Their songs have been recorded dozens of times by probably an equal number of bands.[1]

Career[edit]

Leroy Drumm was a songwriter that some in the bluegrass world only knew by name in the shadows of another. Although he never could play any musical instrument or sing, he along with Pete Goble and others was able to turn his poems of heartache, life and memories into songs of today and yesterday. Leroy and Pete penned such bluegrass favorites as "Georgia Girl", "Julianne", "You Can Keep Your Nine Pound Hammer", "Leaving You and Mobile (Too)", "Blue Virginia Blue", "Natural Thing To Do", "Bad Day in Akron", "Big Spike Hammer", "Tennessee 1949", "I’m Only a Phone Call Away", "Many Hills of Time", "Poet With Wings", "She’s Walking Through My Memory", "Dixie in My Eye", "Circuit Rider", "Joe’s Last Train", "I’m Only A Phone Call Away", and "Woman Dressed In Scarlet".[2]

The duo began writing together in 1971 and since then their songs have been recorded by such notable artists as The Osborne Brothers,Bluegrass Cardinals, The Country Gentlemen, Doyle Lawson, Jimmy Martin, Larry Sparks, Josh Williams, Don Rigsby,The Eddie Adcock Band,Joe Mullins,Special Consensus, IIIrd Tyme Out, Hot Rize,Audie Blaylock and Lost & Found among others.

Leroy Drumm and Stan Nelson at Hartselle BGF - 2007

In 1974 Leroy and Pete had four songs recorded on the Country Gentlemen's album Remembrances & Forecasts, "Willow Creek Dam", "Delta Queen", "Billy McGhee The Drummer Boy", and "Circuit Rider". In 1976 he was honored to have the Country Gentlemen use his song "Joe's Last Train" as the title track of their next album and his song "This Land Must Die" was the No. 6 track on that same album. In 2006 The Complete Vanguard Recordings[3] was released and the four tracks of his were used from Remembrances & Forecasts.

One of his last projects with Stacy Richardson was a favor for a World War II veteran named Private James W. Bozeman who went to church with Stacy. Leroy was asked to write a song about the Battle of the Bulge and the account from a combat medics point of view in the 94th Infantry Division. His lyrics composed with Stacy's melody was posted on the 94th Infantry Division's website as a tribute to American heroes who fought and died in World War II.[4]

His son Roger started a publishing company in 2008 called "Sound of Drumm's Music" in which to publish many of his other works so his legacy would live on. Although it has never fully got of the ground before Leroy's death, the lyrics are still being worked by Roger for future endeavors for the entire Drumm Family.

Bob Mitchell [5] of Radio Bluegrass International and WKWC-FM Owensboro, Kentucky did a one hour tribute to songwriter Leroy Drumm. The international segment features bands from Australia, the Czech Republic, Sweden, and Italy. It was recorded on January 15, 2011 at WFPK-FM 91.9, Louisville KY.

Personal life[edit]

Drumm was married twice in his life, his first wife Carlie Mae Morrison was the mother of his six children, Rodney, Leroy Jr., Dolly, Barbara, and Roger and one other.

He had much heartache throughout his life and it carried on even when it came to his musical or poetic talent. With these heartbreaks and heartaches came some of his best ideas for the words he would write. He wrote an email to his son in 2008 and stated;

“Song writing or poem writing is an art or craft, one is born with it. One can’t teach it or I don’t think one can learn it. No... one has to be born with it their heart and mind. It isn’t always pleasant to live with but it is forever there.

Ideas for songs or poems come from varied sources, but mostly from life itself. Really, anything that inspires a poet’s heart or mind is a source. Life of course is the greatest source. Second to “life” is a broken heart, unlike the gas in a car’s gas tank, a broken heart or life never runs out of gas …… it keeps going and going. A life-time ago, when I was sixteen, I got my first broken heart from love gone wrong and tried to write about it. In fact I still remember the title "Well dear be careful with your heart". The broken heart I felt at sixteen I have been able to fall back on throughout my life and it is included into every broken hearted song I've ever worked on such as ”I Die A Little More Each Day", "Tennessee 1949", "Seen Through The Eyes Of A Dreamer" etc.... Same girl and same broken heart. As I said, it keeps going and going and going.” He walked away from writing many times due to his disgust with some in the industry and each time he would swear he would never return, but he would. Maybe them heartaches that haunted his heart kept calling him back from inside."

Death[edit]

Leroy died due to complications of respiratory and heart failure at his home in Waynesboro, Tennessee, on 26 November 2010, the day after Thanksgiving. The end was far from pleasant, but everyone, to include himself, knew that he was ready to go. He had wrote a song with his friend Stacy years before titled "I'm Ready To Go" and that song fit almost to a tee to how it all ended.

Discography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.mjfranksguitar.com/news_images/TS-Fall-06-10.pdf
  2. ^ "Leroy Drumm". Album Credits. Retrieved 2011-11-17. 
  3. ^ "CD Review: The Complete Vanguard Recordings - The Country Gentlemen - By Kathy Coleman". Countrymusic.about.com. 2011-02-24. Retrieved 2011-11-17. 
  4. ^ "Battle of the Bulge Poem". 94thinfdiv.com. Retrieved 2011-11-17. 
  5. ^ "Bluegrass Music Online | RBI: Radio Bluegrass International | International Bluegrass Music Museum". Bluegrassmuseum.org. 2008-03-09. Retrieved 2011-11-17.