Tag: steel guitar

ukulele

Roy Smeck – Ukulele, Hawaiian Steel-Guitar, Banjo – The…

Some days ago I have listened to a radio show with historical recordings, a show that did especially include a set of recordings by Roy Smeck – The Wizard of the Strings. Two pieces recorded in 1928 were followed by an interesting set of live recordings from 1977 .  Maybe my favorite song from this radio show  is I want my momma in which Roy Smeck makes his steel-guitar talk.

This is the complete list of songs form this radio show:

Roy Smeck – ukulele ; Henri Klickmann – piano 12th Street rag Needle Type disc N-138 1928
Roy Smeck – octachorda ; Carson Robison – guitar Twilight echoes Needle Type disc N-136 1928
Roy Smeck – electric Hawaiian guitar ; John Goodman – guitar Third man theme live at ENHS 1977
Roy Smeck – electric Hawaiian guitar ; John Goodman – guitar I want my momma live at ENHS 1977
Roy Smeck – ukulele Tea for two live at ENHS 1977
Roy Smeck – ukulele I want to be happy live at ENHS 1977
Roy Smeck – ukulele & harmonica Ragtime medley live at ENHS 1977

You can listen to the Radio Show at: http://wfmu.org/playlists/shows/8210

(needs Media Player Classic to play)

Roy Smack was one of the super stars of the 1920s and 1930s. He took part in the very first movies with sound recording, and he also was one of the first to use some multi track recording techniques. This can be seen in the following video where Roy Smeck plays four different instruments:

Another great movie shows Roy Smeck’s imitation of “Bill Robinson’s Tap and Stair Dance”. Roy Smeck uses his ukuulele as a fantastic drum set replacement.

Roy Smeck could play the ukulele and the harmonica at the same time, and without any device to hold the harmonica. He just holds the harmonica with his lips and plays it – you can see this in the following video after ca. 4:40.

Read more “Roy Smeck – Ukulele, Hawaiian Steel-Guitar, Banjo – The Wizard of the Strings”

guitar

The Early Electric Guitar / Hawaiian Lap Steel Guitar…

The history of the electric guitar began in the early 1930s. Especially the Hawaiian lap steel guitar was electrified and used by several Hawaiian bands of the time. British Pathé has documented such performances, those are certainly very interesting documents for the history of the elctric guitar.

Rudy Starita 22/06/1936

Now Pathetone has pleasure in presenting the popular radio and variety band leader Rudy Starita with the newest in musical instruments, the electric guitar.

M/S of Rudy Starita introducing the electric guitar

“Hello folks, let me introduce the electric steel guitar, for the first time, featuring some Hawaiian song”

The video shows some closeup views of this electric steel guitar and also of the amp.

EDDIE PEABODY AND HIS BEACHCOMBERS

EDDIE PEABODY 10/10/1938

Eddie Peabody shows  ‘The Electraphone’ – his all-electric string band – and tries out each electric guitar so we can hear the sound they make individually.

Eddie’s band, The Beachcombers, enter wearing sailor suits and start to play the instruments – the electric ones being left on a central table as if drawing their power from it! (Probably didn’t have any flexes.)

It looks like the Electraphone was a complete “electric music box” with electric guitar, electric mandolin, electric banjo and electric steel guitar all mounted to a table. The table beneath the instruments did obviously contain the amp and the loudspeakers, no cables are visible. The table has two logos “VEGA” on it and the inscription: All Electric.

 

Al Shaw 28/09/1939

M/S as Al Shaw tells a story about his holiday and uses his electric guitar to create the sound effects, such as train, dog, car, seagulls and ship. Various shots of trains and ships to highlight the story.

Al Shaw uses the electric steel guitar to produce special sounds to illustrate his story. He makes use of the volume control to modify the sounds. The instrument he uses looks exactly like the one used by Rudy Starita in the first video.

More infromation about the history of the electric guitar can be found in the wikipedia: electric guitar


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