Evelyn May & Stan Gee,
Cutty Wren Club,4th.July ´04. Instrument trivia: The banjo is a 1976 U.S.A. made Harmony ´76 Bicentennial model, with the ´Three Minute-Men´on the Resonator. I also have a Blue one with an ´American Eagle´ on the resonator, and a matching Red; White & Blue Regal ´Bicentennial´ model Guitar. As you may have guessed, We bought these especially for our ´4th. of July Independence Day Celebration´ shows, so when we recently got the chance of a couple of new ´Stars & Stripes´ soprano ukuleles, we naturally added them to the kit. Being new & relatively cheap, they don´t sound great, but the do add to the overall ambience!
Due to the current interest in the GoldTone ´Cello Banjos, a friend suggested I post some info about a couple of items in my own collection that obviously provided the inspiration for the GoldTone banjos. They are two of the first banjos produced by the Gibson company in 1918-19.
The 4-string is Gibsons take on the Tenor and simply designated T-B, later TB-4 and has a 12\" hollow rim. I have it tuned a 4th.lower (Irish pitch) with nylon strings for a meatier sound. The 5-string with its 14\" hollow rim is quite unique. You may have seen the occasional 6-string Guitar-Banjo, and maybe even the rarer 4-string ´Cello-banjo, with the same specs. but this 5-string version is so rare, I have not only never seen another one like it, I have only ever seen one other photograph of one like it !!!
I used to have it at concert pitch, but due to the interest in early banjos at low pitch, I now have this a 5th. lower, which also puts it in a more practical range for Eve & myself singing together. It must be obvious now where Goldtone got their inspiration from, so if this has sparked any interest do please get in touch to swap info. & pix?
I neglected to mention just in case it is not self evident, that this banjo is not only an aesthetic vision to behold, but a joy to play, even with thick plunky strings! You can hear a snippet of what it sounds like on Andy Dalton´s blogspot:
Chordially Stan Gee
& The Gibson
& The Gibson
Guitars & sundry items for sale currently in stock, (plus instruments undergoing renovation)
Maya Bluegrass style 5-st.
Styled after Ode (Flange) & Vega resonator models. Has a few chips from the headstock but is in otherwise good condition, with excellent original hard shell case O.C. £260
Tanglewood Bluegrass 5-string:
Excellent budget copy of a Gibson ´Hearts & Flowers´ Mastertone style 5st.Banjo. Loud & Bright, making it ideal for Bluegrass, but is adaptable to a multitude of other styles! In excellent ´As-new´cond. £265
Harmony ´Deluxe 30´Tenor:
50-60´s U.S.A. made; Walnut coloured Bakelite Rim & resonator; 23\" scale, 19 fret neck; guitar style tuners good condition; original Good soft shell case; loud & bright! £220
Slingerland ´May Bell´ Tenor:
U.S.A. 1920-30´s Vintage; 19 fret 23\" scale length; 10 & 5/8\" Maple rim with new Remo head; round hole flange resonator with attractive transfer decoration. Original H/S/Case; heavyweight, Loud & Bright! One for the Collector &/or pro player! £330
May Bell ´Queen´Tenor Banjo;
Made by Slingerland, U.S.A. 1920-30´s Vintage; 19 fret 23\" scale length; 10 & 5/8\" Maple rim; fancy ´Diamond Hole´flange resonator with attractive transfer decoration. Original H/S/Case; heavyweight, Loud & Bright! One for the Collector &/or pro player! £350
VEGA Style ´N´ Tenor-Banjo:
Made in the U.S.A. circa 1920´s, this 17 fret open-back tenor is in pretty good nick! Very little wear to the ebonised Pearwood fret-board on a straight solid Mahogany neck; 1/2\" thick x 3 & 3/8\" deep x 10 & 15/16\" rim is laminated Maple, stained dark to match neck, with attractive faux Tortoiseshell binding on outer edge. Nickel plating is good on the tension ring & ´Little Wonder´ Tone-Ring; 26 original shoes & adjusting nuts, and approximately 75% of the tension hooks. Original dodgy pegs have been replaced with modern Planetary geared tuners for fine, positive tuning. New plastic head & bridge. Currently strung in Jazz tuning, but would make a cracking Irish session banjo. Now with a rough but repairable similar period hardshell case. £750
Ozark Tenor Banjo SOLD!
B&M Concert Grande full size Classic in Hardshell Case £125
A genuine Made in Spain Classic. Laminated construction to keep within the Student Budget but some nice features like the real Marquetry soundhole Rosette,
plus good fitting Hardshell Case. A great sound and good playebillity for a very reasoble price. £125
´Concerter´ Dreadnought Ac.
Early copy of a Martin D-18 made down to a price, but some nice touches like an adjustable bridge, and not a bad tone for a budget guitar. Soft cover. £40
Richwood 12-string Guitar: Photos to follow.
YAMAHA Solid Top Acoustic: Photos to follow.
Harmony Sovereign Copy by Aria: Photos to follow
Budget guitars always in stock! for beginners &/or tinkerers; all sizes from tiny to 4/4; from £5 to £20 dependent on condition!
Gibson UB-2 SOLD!
Gibson UB-2: Sunburst, undergoing renovation P.O.A.
Gibson UB-2: Sheraton Brown, undergoing renovation P.O.A.
Keech Uke-Banjo basic U-B. undergoing renovation. P.O.A.
´MerryBright´basic U-B. undergoing renovation. P.O.A.
Windsor ´Premier´ 8-string Mandolin-Banjo. English made; 30´s Vintage; full 10 & 5/8\" size metal clad rim, with full depth ´Monarch´ resonator; ´Pyxie´ fixed tailpiece.Original Lined & padded fully shaped hard shell case, but needs new hinges. Undergoing minor renovation.Killer Session Banjo! £330
Lyon & Healey ´Old-Time´ open-back 5-String Banjo, MINT plating!.
3 x ´John Doe´ ´Old-Time´ ´Fretless´ 5-string banjos.
Redwing Strings: Made in the U.S.A. Phosphor Bronze steel strings; loop or ball-end; available as sets or singles; in any Guage,to suit any instrument! I guarantee to be able to find the appropriate guage string for any tuning, over any scale length on any fretted string instrument! Average string prices are £.65p each for plain steel; £1.30 each for Wound. Less 10% for sets. Please enquire for a quote specific to your instrument?
Here is a nice unprovoked testimonial from Douglas Rogers, a gentleman who is a professional musician,and who purchased several student guitars: \"Pick ´n´ Strum provides a very friendly, helpful and obliging service. The instruments I bought were carefully, knowledgeably and accurately described. They were despatched at once in sturdy packaging with exceptionally clear labelling. Thank you, Stan!\" And thank you Douglas Rogers!