My connection with Farris Coursey, Nashville’s FIRST “A” Team Drummer came with the set of Cleveland era Roger drums he used from the early 60’s till his death. I bought them off consignment at Forks Drum Shop from Farris’ daughter, Carole Prendergast. Chris Scruggs heard about them first and was going to buy them, and I told him, “if you decide not to buy them, I’ll take them.” Chris waved his approval, and I brought them home.

Original Forks Listing photo. missing is Farris’ 20″ Zildjian Ride. the rack tom “utility holder” and the ride cymbal arm are retracted.

The drums had been in Carole’s attic for years and although in great shape, they needed some TLC. I went through each drum, sizes 20” bass , 13” and 14” toms with a 14” Powertone Rogers snare all in white marine pearl.

20″ bass drum

5×14 Powertone snare drum w tall rims

Farris’ arrangement notes on snare head

9×13 rack tom with peanut lugs

 14×14 floor tom

I removed the hardware from each drum, cleaned and polished all parts and shells and carefully put them back together, going even as far as documenting which lug nut went into which lug and where each lug was originally positioned on the drum.

damaged floor tom brass “bread & butter lug”

The snare and the bass drum still had their original Rogers calf heads although the bottom snare head had a rip and had to be replaced. Sam Bacco supplied a replacement.

original damaged calf snare head

The other toms had 60’s vintage Rogers plastic heads and I decided to ask Sam Bacco for a calf tom batter for the 13” rack tom since I didn’t have a set that was set up with calf heads. I left the 14” floor tom alone, it sounded fantastic. The floor tom had the old “Stay Tite” leg mounts and a swivo matic utility holder 58-62 (diamond plate) on the rack tom. All the lugs were the old bread and butter pressed brass lugs which are very fragile. When the new replacement steel lugs were offered a few years ago I replaced my snare lugs and Jim Petty supplied all new floor tom lugs so I could play the drums without worry. One day I hope to replace my bass drum lugs, but luckily, the originals are crack free.

Floor Tom “stay tite” floor tom legs

I found a 1960’s Nashville Banner (Nashville’s old evening newspaper) wadded up in the bass drum. Newspaper was commonly used as bass drum interior baffling back in the day. I used it myself on my first drum kits.

Bass drum w/newspaper damping

Since restoring these beauties, I have enjoyed playing them on occasion. They appear on several Marty Stuart tracks including “Friend of Mine,” “Tomahawk,” and “Jody the Fly, (Romance in Laguna)” They also made a video appearance in the “Country Star” performance video by Marty and the Superlatives


Whenever I need that beautiful calf vintage tone, I have the perfect instrument and I’m proud to carry on the legacy of Nashville’s first “A Team” timekeeper, Farris Coursey.

Enjoy these beauties,..(and yes, the snare stand is Slingerland, from my first real 1968 Drumset)