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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Bluegrass Album Band Banjo


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mastertone250 - Posted - 01/15/2011:  20:13:54


I was at the music store, where i teach. They got the new Saga music catalouge in and there was a article in front about the bluegrass album band banjo. Apparently Richard Kelson( i think thats his name) is going to make replica's of the bluegrass album band banjo and sell them i guess under the goldstar name. Greg have you heard about this? Silvio?

josh95843 - Posted - 01/15/2011:  20:57:34


have not heard but i know the banjo was a 3 original 5 string no hole with leaves and bows and it belonged to richard i think. without a doubt some of the best banjo tone in history

lightgauge - Posted - 01/16/2011:  01:15:35


Isn't that the original story of how Goldstar was started ?

silvioferretti - Posted - 01/16/2011:  05:31:13


Yes that's the way the Gold Star banjo was originally started, as a copy (albeit a pretty loose one) of Richard Keldsen's RB-3. A month ago or so Richard spent some time at the China factory in China working at changing something in the Gold Star line, to build them closer to Richard's prewar RB-3. I don't think the changes will include a no-hole tone ring like the one on Richard's banjo, alas, but who knows? As for defining that -3"the Bluegrass Album Band's banjo", well, something could be said, as Crowe used that banjo only on the first couple or three Bluegrass Albums, and his RB-75 on several if not all the other volumes of the Bluegrass Album Band saga. I agree that - at least to my ear and heart - the sound that Crowe got on the kick-off of "Blue Ridge cabin home" defined the "prewar sound" possibly more than any other banjo. Well, wait a minute, there is Crowe's Banger sound on "Old home place", and Crowe's...

Ebanjo - Posted - 01/16/2011:  05:51:16


Silvio, Isn't Richard's banjo pretty close to the Banger as far as serial #'s or FON's go? That is what a friend of ours told me anyway. I'd sure like to have one of these new Goldstars if it's going to be a little closer to Richard's banjo.
Eric Ellis

silvioferretti - Posted - 01/16/2011:  10:06:13


Eric, I never saw the s.n. / FON on Richard's banjo, so I don't know... I also don't know how long it's going to take for the "new and improved" Gold Stars to hit the market. I know I may (just may...) get my first Gold Star as an endorser at the Frankfurt trade show, but it won't be a "new and improved" model, it will be the GF-1952 that I "designed". With the help of the Gibson factory in the '30s, Mr. Scruggs and others...

josh95843 - Posted - 01/16/2011:  11:10:24


ebanjo banger is a 9467 and i am pretty sure richards is in the three digit range maybe a 807 not sure though

josh95843 - Posted - 01/16/2011:  11:10:27


ebanjo banger is a 9467 and i am pretty sure richards is in the three digit range maybe a 807 not sure though

David Schenkman - Posted - 01/16/2011:  16:10:36


Silvio,

I don't imagine that Crowe's right hand could have anything to do with that sound, could it? I was told that "Banger" has a no-hole ring, but I've never thought to ask him. I have a no-hole style 4 in the shop with the original skin head on it; it is a tone monster!

Dave
Turtle Hill Banjo Co.
turtlehillbanjo.com
banjoukes.com

RB100 - Posted - 01/16/2011:  16:23:11


quote:
Originally posted by silvioferretti

Eric, I never saw the s.n. / FON on Richard's banjo, so I don't know... I also don't know how long it's going to take for the "new and improved" Gold Stars to hit the market. I know I may (just may...) get my first Gold Star as an endorser at the Frankfurt trade show, but it won't be a "new and improved" model, it will be the GF-1952 that I "designed". With the help of the Gibson factory
in the '30s, Mr. Scruggs and others...

Silvio,
I own one of the GF-1952 Gold Stars and it is a great banjo...this is one of the 12? (as I understand it) that was produced in 2009...just wondering if the GF-1952 you will be receiving is one of this group of banjos?

Bill


Edited by - RB100 on 01/16/2011 16:24:33

mastertone250 - Posted - 01/16/2011:  20:21:51


the way this article was talking, is gonna be a "exact" replica of the Album Band Banjo. Down to the no-hole ring.

RB3WREATH - Posted - 01/17/2011:  02:47:46


Richards banjo is an original PB and he bought the 5 string neck from Sandy Rothman That belonged to Crowe before Sandy bought it. Richard bought his flathead from Steve Benzein. The Gold Star line was already in full swing when Richard put this banjo together . So, this is funny how rumors get started.
Joe

RB3WREATH - Posted - 01/17/2011:  04:10:24


I have a question. Did Richard ever change the Gold Star flanges to pot metal? either on the GF 100's or the Early Crowe models.

Joe

Oldtwanger - Posted - 01/17/2011:  04:57:00


quote:
Originally posted by RB3WREATH

Richards banjo is an original PB and he bought the 5 string neck from Sandy Rothman That belonged to Crowe before Sandy bought it. Richard bought his flathead from Steve Benzein. The Gold Star line was already in full swing when Richard put this banjo together . So, this is funny how rumors get started.
Joe



Good morning, Joe. Actually, the neck on Richard's banjo was the original for JD's 20-hole -3, 116-3. When Crowe bought the banjo from Harry Sparks in about September 1967 , it had a different neck on it with the FE pattern that JD preferred. Sparks offered him the original but JD wasn't interested in it. Apparently the neck was then sold to Sandy by Sparks.

I was with Crowe at Martin's Place in Lexington the night he bought the banjo. He sold me his spare banjo that night so that he could buy 116-3. Oh happy day!

RB3WREATH - Posted - 01/17/2011:  06:08:57


quote:
Originally posted by Oldtwanger

quote:
Originally posted by RB3WREATH

Richards banjo is an original PB and he bought the 5 string neck from Sandy Rothman That belonged to Crowe before Sandy bought it. Richard bought his flathead from Steve Benzein. The Gold Star line was already in full swing when Richard put this banjo together . So, this is funny how rumors get started.
Joe



Good morning, Joe. Actually, the neck on Richard's banjo was the original for JD's 20-hole -3, 116-3. When Crowe bought the banjo from Harry Sparks in about September 1967 , it had a different neck on it with the FE pattern that JD preferred. Sparks offered him the original but JD wasn't interested in it. Apparently the neck was then sold to Sandy by Sparks.

I was with Crowe at Martin's Place in Lexington the night he bought the banjo. He sold me his spare banjo that night so that he could buy 116-3. Oh happy day!


I knew the banjo Crowe bought was a Flying Eagle an he preferred that neck. The real story emerges from the ashes, thanks

Joe

Ebanjo - Posted - 01/17/2011:  06:09:26


Thanks Josh, I didn't know what the serial/FON # was on Richard's -3. Silvio, let me know how the GF-1952 turns out when you get it. Hope it will be a hoss.
Eric Ellis

josh95843 - Posted - 01/17/2011:  12:58:14


yea that makes since because the 20 hole 3 of crowes does have a 5 string tension hoop

Oldtwanger - Posted - 01/17/2011:  13:27:37


quote:
Originally posted by josh95843

yea that makes since because the 20 hole 3 of crowes does have a 5 string tension hoop



116-3 shipped from Gibson on March 26, 1935 as an RB-3.

granada40 - Posted - 01/18/2011:  15:05:48


When will Saga start selling them?

jfb - Posted - 01/18/2011:  16:48:22


Does anyone know if the above mentioned Steve Benzian, and where he is today? Does he still have an old flathead? Has he ever attended Banjothon? I sold him a couple of banjos back in the seventies, but nither was a flathead. I have some small black and white photos of one he had then, and it looks to be different than the banjo discussed above. He was an MD in San Francisco back then. Thanks for any replies, and back to topic..

silvioferretti - Posted - 01/19/2011:  04:24:15


Eric, the GF-1952 I played at IBMA was a very good banjo, it sounded kinda dry for a maple banjo but I liked the "compressed" sound it had (Tony Rice would possibly define it "tight"), it's a great sound for cutting through a band in a one-mic setting. It's going to be my "trade show axe" though, as I've got a couple or three better banjos to play with Red Wine...

Dave, the Banger has a no-hole tone ring, alas I've never played it but I know it for certain (because Crowe said so ). And Frank Schoepf has a nice story about no-hole flatheads, including -4s, eh Twanger?

BANJOBOB549 - Posted - 01/19/2011:  07:15:27


Still have pictures of banger while In my posession for 2 years. Close-ups of banjo with resonator off. Shows numbers in resonator and nohole ring . F E neck etc. After I returned the banjo, Crowe said the neck was not up to par, and had a new neck built. Told him no wonder its sounded so bad. Leave me a banjo everyone raved about, with a bad neck,,Why would a friend pull a stunt on me like that,, I,ll never know

David Schenkman - Posted - 01/19/2011:  08:21:33


Thanks, Silvio. That's what I thought. I believe my no-hole is the third known from the same batch as Frank's. Mine was a PB-4 and Wyatt Fawley made a wonderful Flying Eagle neck for it. I got it from the family of the original purchaser (in 1929) and it is absolutely as made (I even have the original bill of sale). I just couldn't bring myself to replace the original skin head. There's something really neat about having an 82 year old banjo that's never been apart.

Dave
Turtle Hill Banjo Co.
turtlehillbanjo.com
banjoukes.com

mdenny4 - Posted - 01/19/2011:  12:08:25


Not to get too off topic, but does the banjo Crowe used on those first few albums have a fat or standard rim? Then again, Crowe could pull sound out of a Vega without strings.

josh95843 - Posted - 01/19/2011:  12:39:59


not 100% sure but i would say its a standard rim

David Schenkman - Posted - 01/20/2011:  18:11:51


I believe it has the "fatboy" rim.
Dave
Turtle Hill Banjo Co.
turtlehillbanjo.com
banjoukes.com

BANJOBOB549 - Posted - 01/20/2011:  18:16:11


It is a fat boy rim,,,,,,,

mdenny4 - Posted - 01/20/2011:  19:57:17


Thanks for the information guys.



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