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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


Amazon tip (Partnerlink)

Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Masters Volume 1 (Amazon partnerlink)

historical recordings

British Pathé – Historic videos with mandolin, banjo, ukulele…

The French ukulele site ukulele.fr pointed me today to British Pathé.

British Pathé is one of the oldest media companies, the founder of the company – Charles Pathé – began already in the 1890s to work with moving images.

They produced weekly movies with the events and news of the week for the cinamas and by this have collected a huge archive of movies from between 1900 and 1970 when they stopped producing the cinema newsreel.

The movies are now freely available for viewing on their website British Pathé

You can search for words like mandolin, ukulele or banjo to find movies with those instruments.

Einige interessante Videos mit Mandoline habe ich hier einmal zusammengestellt:

Dyke’s Romany Mandolin Band (1938)

This video shows some nice mandolins, obviously Calace models, and also a big mandoloncello. There are also some other videos with groups of mandolins and guitars.

Dieses Video zeigt die Spieler des Ensembles, die teilweise schöne Calace Mandolinen spielen, ausserdem ist ein großes Mandoloncello zu sehen. Es gibt noch einige andere Videos mit Ensembles mit Mandolinen.

Gaston Palmer (1937)

Gaston Palmer is using a mandolin with a small bowl and juggels with it, and at the end plays some notes on this mandolin.

Read more “British Pathé – Historic videos with mandolin, banjo, ukulele and guitar”

bluegrass

Bluegrass Special – Bill Monroe – A great Bluegrass…

When I heard Bluegrass Special for the first time, I was immediately fascinated by this tune. This tune is contained on the CD 16 Gems with 16 early recordings by Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys.

I have learned this tune from the CD and wrote it down for me, and soon we started playing this tune in our bluegrass band, and we still like to play it today. This tune is very good to improvise, because its based on a simple blues harmony scheme in A.

Bill Monroes recording – mainly the guitar accompanyment – remembers me very much to the gypsy swing of Django Reinhardt, I wonder if Bill Monroe listened to this kind of music when he composed Bluegrass Special. Anyway – this tune has much power, and when you play it a little bit harder it almost sounds like a rock and roll tune.

One special thing in Bill Monroes version is the use of an accordion at the end of the tune.

I have found a great live version played by Bill Monroe in the following youtube video:

Bill Monroe Blue Grass Special

A biography of Bill Monroe in German can be found in the German wikipedia: Bill Monroe

A biography in English can be found at ask.com: http://www.ask.com/music/artist/Monroe/663

I have found another video of this tune that is interesting. Frank Wakefield and some friends play this tune spontaneously and with much energy and interesting improvisations. This was recorded at a mandolin camp, where Frank Wakefield was teaching.

Bluegrass Special

Frank Wakefield ran into some old friends who were playing at Bill Monroe’s childhood home in Rosine, Kentucky and decided to join them. Frank, Campbell Mercer and Skip Gorman on mandolin, Wayne Lewis and Joe Isaacs on guitar. Josh Jonston on guitar, Mike Fulkerson on banjo and Mark Hargis on bass. This was part of the weekend activities for the Monroe style mandolin camp put on by The International Bluegrass Music museum in Owensboro, Kentucky. Frank was a teacher at the mandolin camp.

CD Tip: 16 Gems – Bill Monroe (Amazon partnerlink)

Americana

Dan Mangan – Robots

Some days ago I have heard a song in the Canada Live Podcast that sticked to my mind. The singer is named Dan Mangan and was just elected as Artist of the Year of the XM Satellite’s Verge Music. I do especially like the end of the song, where the audience is asked to sing the chorus with the singer:

Robots need love too, they want to be loved by you.

Another interesting thing is, that a Weissenborn guitar is used in the arrangement of the song, a special kind of Hawaiian slide guitar.

On Dan Mangans website danmanganmusic.com you can find this:

After two sold out CD Release shows at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre, Mangan looks forward to bringing his four-piece and new material across Canada in October and throughout Europe in November / December ‘09. To boot, Mangan recently took home “Artist Of The Year” from XM Satellite’s Verge Music Awards, beating out acts like Joel Plaskett and Alexisonfire for the top spot – a high profile award with a $25,000 cash-prize.

Dan Mangan will go on tour in Germany in late 2009, and I think the Germans will like his songs too.

This is the CD version of robots in a video with some drawings of robots:

Dan Mangan – Robots

And this is a live version of Robots:

Dan Mangan – Robots – Vancouver Folk Fest ’09

Additional information

Dan Mangan Website


CD tipp (Amazon partnerlink)

Club Meds – Dan Mangan