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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: "Mr. Banjo" - Jose Silva


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.banjohangout.org/archive/217778

beezaboy - Posted - 10/11/2011:  08:04:48



Jose Silva, tenor banjosist.  Any information about him?



I've got a little, but not as much as expected, for a musician with a line of Kay banjos named after him.


banjot - Posted - 10/12/2011:  06:02:12



Years ago I picked up a five string plectrum tubaphone and someone I considered very knowledgable told me it may have belong to Jose Siva or one of his students.  I assumed he was known for playing the five string plectrum. This one had a fifth peg in the center of the headstock. If I'm not mistaken, they also said he was from Pittsburgh....I'd love to know more. (I have no recollection of what happened to that banjo.)



Tom Mylet



 


beezaboy - Posted - 10/12/2011:  06:38:55



Jose Silva was from Madiera Island, Portugal.



Came to the U.S.(Calif)  in 1910 at age 7.



He died of cancer 1962.


kparker - Posted - 11/22/2011:  11:59:40



Jose (Joe) Silver was my uncle.  He navigated from Portugal to Hawaii, to Northern California where he did some lumber jacking and also played in a "Dime-a-Dance" band (where he met my aunt).  Eventually they moved to the Midwest, ending up in Siren, Wisconsin, a small town in Northwestern Wisconsin.  Uncle Joe and Aunt Lavonne built (actually Uncle Joe DID build) a small house and lived there with their dog, BoBo until Uncle Joe died.   Aunt Lavonne moved to Florida and died there a few years later, also from cancer.  We have lots of memorabilia of Uncle Joe's, including copies of a record he made.  He wrote for Fretz Magazine, and also wrote the guitar instruction books (one we have is still in manuscript form - he was unable to finish before his death).  We have many wonderful memories of our aunt and uncle - his banjo playing was magical and his personality so much fun.  We have a big problem here - none of our children or grandchildren or great-grandchildren knew them and are not at all interested in the keepsakes we have (yet).   We tell the stories, but not sure if they're even listened to or appreciated.  We have Aunt Lavonne's banjo, a small one Uncle Joe had made for her.  We don't know what happened to the rest of his banjos.  Our there somewhere should be a model riverboat that he built using only hand tools (about 3 feet long).  Aunt Lavonne gave it to some Wis. museum in the 60s and that particular museum is gone and we have no idea where it went.



 



 



 


beezaboy - Posted - 11/22/2011:  15:15:10



kparker - Thanks for your post.  In response I sent you a private message thru BHO.



In the event you do not get my private message please contact me at:



jhoft@knology.net.



I know the whereabouts of one of Mr. Silva's banjos and you will be impressed when you hear.


Mark Oberfell - Posted - 12/08/2011:  09:25:40


Here's some info from of mine that played with Jose.
im. I remember him
My name is Keith Marugg. In the Fall of 1959, I played with Jose Silva at the Hilltop Casino in East Dubuque, IL.6 nights a week for two weeks. I was 18 at the time. The gig was 3 shows a night and dancing. It was a supper club that had illegal gambling at times. Joe packed the place. I remember that he had charts for everything he did. They were very well written and easy to read. He did lots of Stephen Foster etc.. The audience really liked him. He was very professional. I remember him dressed like a River Boat Gambler with a top hat and long coat. I made $80 per week for 30 hours...union scale. I imagine he was paid $175. We probably had 1 or 2 other acts on the bill. All of the acts rented a cottage from the club owners wife. It was on the club property. I backed one other banjo player in my year at the Hilltop. His name was Dick Savey. He was from Missouri and a student of Eddie Peabody.

Jose was a pleasure to play with. I earned my living playing drums for 30 years and played tons of shows, and Joe was as entertaining and professional as any act I've worked with. I hope this was interesting to you.

beezaboy - Posted - 12/08/2011:  11:53:22



Hi Keith:  Thanks for the entertaining information about Jose Silva.  I suspected that he must have played clubs but your experience is the first real data about that part of Mr. Silva's professional life.



Attached is a photo of Mr. Silva in top hat.  With your information I now think that the top hat may have been somewhat of a Silva trademark.



I would like to discuss Mr. Silva with you in greater detail.



Can you send an email to John Hoft: jhoft@knology.net?



Or call: (706) 569-7358




Jose Silva

   

beezaboy - Posted - 12/08/2011:  12:13:39



Keith:  Me again.  I'd really like to know and hear from you about the format for Jose Silva's show at the Hilltop!!


Mark Oberfell - Posted - 12/08/2011:  13:56:20


Keith will be contacting you.

beezaboy - Posted - 12/08/2011:  14:09:04



Thank you.


Mark Oberfell - Posted - 12/08/2011:  16:27:21


Here's Keith's phone number 563 556 4750

beezaboy - Posted - 12/08/2011:  17:57:33



Thank you.  I'll call during daytime hours tomorrow.


banjot - Posted - 12/09/2011:  07:38:04



i wasn't aware that there was a Jose Silva Kay banjo and have not idea what it looked like but while the photo mentions he was played a Kay, the banjo in the photo appears to be a number 9 Tubaphone(?)



Tom Mylet


twalker - Posted - 02/08/2012:  07:14:32



i've had a kay silva banjo for a few years and could not find much about the player besides his name.  anyone have any sound clips of him playing?





Edited by - twalker on 02/08/2012 07:19:32

beezaboy - Posted - 02/08/2012:  09:41:26



It appears that Silva recordings are rare.



Hopefully, someone on BHO or elsewhere will be able to help.



Meanwhile, I have attached the circa 1956 Kay Silva Banjo Brochure and a photo of my Silva peghead.



Twalker looks to have model #1.  Mine is model #2.  I have not seen a model #3



Edited by - beezaboy on 02/08/2012 09:42:46



Kay Silva Banjo Brochure


Kay Silva Banjo Brochure


Kay Silva Peghead

Slingerland - Posted - 02/08/2012:  09:53:55


John- Great stuff, thanks for sharing!

beezaboy - Posted - 02/08/2012:  10:24:37



Holy Cow!  I just got a PM and a coupon for eye drops.  Perhaps twalker's Silva is the #3.  Walker - where are you??



What is the model name of your Silva banjo?



Meanwhile - we would be grateful for some direction for getting  Jose Silva sound recordings.



Mr. Silva died in 1962 so anything we find will probably be a record.


twalker - Posted - 02/08/2012:  11:11:33



mine says "artist" at top.  Thanks for posting the brochures,  i have never seen them.   Mine originally had kluson sealfast tuners, but someone had replaced them before i got it. i have some pictures of the tone ring in my profile.



Edited by - twalker on 02/08/2012 11:20:24

Dr Ralph - Posted - 02/08/2012:  11:30:15



Seems Mr Silva was hailed as the worlds most accomplished banjoist back in 1959



keysy.com/journal/1959-12-16.pdf



Did he play with "The New Orleans Red Heads" ?



Edited by - Dr Ralph on 02/08/2012 11:32:20

beezaboy - Posted - 02/08/2012:  14:22:48



Thank you.  Twalker has the top of line Artist.  Gold Plated!!  First one I've seen.



Dr. Ralph - I think Jose Silva was a solo artist.  I have not found anything that links him to any musical.groups.  Thanks for the link to The Guilderland Journal.  It yielded a new tidbit about Mr. Silva.  Jose Silva played the tenor banjo, plectrum banjo, plectro-five banjo, probably the guitar and piano.  And now we have an eyewitness account of his playing the ukulele!


Dr Ralph - Posted - 02/08/2012:  16:13:10



quote:


Originally posted by beezaboy




Thank you.  Twalker has the top of line Artist.  Gold Plated!!  First one I've seen.



Dr. Ralph - I think Jose Silva was a solo artist.  I have not found anything that links him to any musical.groups.  Thanks for the link to The Guilderland Journal.  It yielded a new tidbit about Mr. Silva.  Jose Silva played the tenor banjo, plectrum banjo, plectro-five banjo, probably the guitar and piano.  And now we have an eyewitness account of his playing the ukulele!






Theres an interesting item on this site



newspaperarchive.com/robesonia...1/page-7/



It's a newspaper called The Robesonian & the article is dated Thursday September 1st 1955



Part of the article says:



"Silva 50 was 21 when he took up the banjo. He's loved playing it ever since. Although the banjo was reduced to a novelty instrument, Silva played along with it's ups & downs".



"I never let it go he said, I kept up the tradition, I can play any fretted instrument but whenever I'd try another, folks would say play the banjo Jose".



Silva credits the younger generation & the Ames brothers with their "Man with a banjo" recording with bringing the banjo back to it's popularity, "​We are in an era when the younger generation wants to hear a lively tempo he said"



​Born at Funchal Madeira Islands off the cost of Portugal, Silva came to the United States with his parents when he was 4 years old.



" We sailed in an old windjammer around the Cape of Good Hope" to the Hawiian islands & then to California, It to us 30 days to make the trip, I'm glad I can't remember it" he said



​Silva now lives in Siren Wis



​At the convention of the national association of music merchants in Chicago he revealed plans to teach the banjo in high schools throughout Wisconsin for it's bureau of concerts. Beginning in the fall he will visit 410 high schools where he will give 30 minute lectures & banjo concerts, next year he will do the same in Minnesota's High Schools " That means I will give between 12 & 25 banjo concerts a week" he said happily.



Heres a link to the Ames Brothers song "Man With A Banjo"



youtube.com/watch?v=dM918nHvigM



The photo accompanying the article can be seen here



apimages.com/



Edited by - Dr Ralph on 02/08/2012 16:30:08

beezaboy - Posted - 02/08/2012:  17:21:49



Dr. Ralph - Thank you for the links.  I have been using the newspaper archive to try to follow Jose Silva's career.  Quite a number of articles appearing in school newspapers or school news in the local paper about Silva's performance with the history of the banjo theme.  Note that in The Guilderland Journal, Mr. Silva was Brazilian.  That is something Mr. Silva invented (don't know why).  The account you quoted from in previous post is correct.


Dr Ralph - Posted - 02/08/2012:  17:38:35



quote:


Originally posted by beezaboy




Dr. Ralph - Thank you for the links.  I have been using the newspaper archive to try to follow Jose Silva's career.  Quite a number of articles appearing in school newspapers or school news in the local paper about Silva's performance with the history of the banjo theme.  Note that in The Guilderland Journal, Mr. Silva was Brazilian.  That is something Mr. Silva invented (don't know why).  The account you quoted from in previous post is correct.






Glad to be of service



There is a nice photo accompanying several of the articles showing Jose Silva with a large banjo & a little girl called Cathy McCartney sitting on the banjo



I have tried to post the link to the photo but it is very long



apimages.com/OneUp.aspx?st=k&a...&page



Edited by - Dr Ralph on 02/08/2012 17:53:46

beezaboy - Posted - 02/08/2012:  18:30:13



Dr. Ralph - Thanks again.  I've seen the photo with the giant banjo and little girl.  It is an AP photo and can be purchased from AP for about $90.  I had to decline.


Dr Ralph - Posted - 02/08/2012:  18:36:28



The reason I asked if he played with the New Orleans Red Heads is because of this



discogs.com/viewimages?release=2992694


beezaboy - Posted - 02/09/2012:  04:01:30



Dr Ralph - Thanks for the link to "Roaring Banjos" record and "Mr. Banjo".  Probably not Jose Silva because Mr. Silva died February, 1962 and this budget record company seems to have artists with a song portfolio a tad later in the early 1960's.  The Beach Boys and Jan and Dean started surfing in 1963 and beyond.



"Mr. Banjo" was not the exclusive property of Jose Silva.



Attached is a Silva "Mr. Banjo" from 1955.  Also attached is a banjoist unknown to me right now who had a show called "Kid Bits" in 1957.  I do not have access to the Encyclopedia of TV Shows to determine who the 1957 "Mr. Banjo" is.




Mr. Banjo - Jose Silva 1955


Mr. Banjo - Unknown Guy 1957

Dr Ralph - Posted - 02/09/2012:  04:34:46



quote:


Originally posted by beezaboy




Dr Ralph - Thanks for the link to "Roaring Banjos" record and "Mr. Banjo".  Probably not Jose Silva because Mr. Silva died February, 1962 and this budget record company seems to have artists with a song portfolio a tad later in the early 1960's.  The Beach Boys and Jan and Dean started surfing in 1963 and beyond.



"Mr. Banjo" was not the exclusive property of Jose Silva.



Attached is a Silva "Mr. Banjo" from 1955.  Also attached is a banjoist unknown to me right now who had a show called "Kid Bits" in 1957.  I do not have access to the Encyclopedia of TV Shows to determine who the 1957 "Mr. Banjo" is.






Theres a link to your mystery banjo player here he was also known as Banjo Billy



youtube.com/watch?v=pJyYI5yhx1U


Dr Ralph - Posted - 02/09/2012:  04:53:13



Heres Banjo Billy today talking about his time on WLBW-TV  "Banjo Billy's Funboat"



youtube.com/watch?v=d4_y3dv-YHA



youtube.com/watch?v=RYEJ8YOzkX...p;list=UL



Edited by - Dr Ralph on 02/09/2012 05:00:58

beezaboy - Posted - 02/09/2012:  18:03:41



Dr. Ralph - Nice detective work finding the other "Mr. Banjo" aka "Banjo Billy".  Thanks.  I still don't have his name but now two television shows to search for.


Dr Ralph - Posted - 02/10/2012:  03:25:38



quote:


Originally posted by beezaboy




Dr. Ralph - Nice detective work finding the other "Mr. Banjo" aka "Banjo Billy".  Thanks.  I still don't have his name but now two television shows to search for.






His real Name is Dave Herbert there is a little more about him here & some more photos



shop.vendio.com/beatlelist/ite...ndex.html



I am struggling to find any further details about Jose Silva though frown



 



Edited by - Dr Ralph on 02/10/2012 03:28:42

beezaboy - Posted - 02/10/2012:  05:13:03



Dr. Ralph - You are a heck of a researcher.  Thanks for the new info.  I purchased the Banjo Billy photo and have written a letter to Mr. Herbert asking if he would like to share information about his banjo career.  I am interested in the history of the tenor banjo in the Forties and Fifties and that is how I learned about and began my search into the career of Jose Silva.  I have found that information about Jose Silva is found mostly in niche magazines that have not been indexed or abstracted.  So, finding published data has been catch as catch can.  I have a run of Fifties Fretted Instrument News that I ordered from Bowling Green State University in Ohio that is being processed so maybe when those magazines come in there will be some articles about the career of Jose Silva.


Dr Ralph - Posted - 02/10/2012:  06:15:32



quote:


Originally posted by beezaboy




Dr. Ralph - You are a heck of a researcher.  Thanks for the new info.  I purchased the Banjo Billy photo and have written a letter to Mr. Herbert asking if he would like to share information about his banjo career.  I am interested in the history of the tenor banjo in the Forties and Fifties and that is how I learned about and began my search into the career of Jose Silva.  I have found that information about Jose Silva is found mostly in niche magazines that have not been indexed or abstracted.  So, finding published data has been catch as catch can.  I have a run of Fifties Fretted Instrument News that I ordered from Bowling Green State University in Ohio that is being processed so maybe when those magazines come in there will be some articles about the career of Jose Silva.






Ha Ha..too much time on my hands at the moment as I am off work with back problems



Good luck with your quest, if you need anything else looking up let me know & I'll see what I can find



I will keep looking for info about Mr Silva & will let you know if I come across anything. yes


Dr Ralph - Posted - 02/10/2012:  06:47:27



Just found another link that may or may not help, it's for backdated issues of BMG for sale



bebops.co.uk/page0020.htm



If you look at the listings



1951 - 10  it shows a listing for Jose Silva & 1967-3 shows a listing for Dave Herbert



Hope this helps



By the way their contact details etc are on



bebops.co.uk/



Edited by - Dr Ralph on 02/10/2012 07:03:24

beezaboy - Posted - 02/10/2012:  10:49:52



Dr. Ralph - Thank you again.  You are really helping me with the Jose Silva project!  I am sorry to hear that my fortunes are getting a boost, in part, because you are not feeling well.



I'm a little red faced too.  Thank you for the lead to the 1951 BMG.  Of all things.  I had the magazine in a large stack of BMG's I acquired several years ago BJS ("Before Jose Silva").  I've attached the cover and the short profile contained in this issue.



Jose Silva also was also featured in the February 1960 issue of BMG and Polle Flaunoe was kind enough to furnish that issue through email.  Bebops does  not ship to the colonies.




BMG - October 1951


BMG - October 1951

Dr Ralph - Posted - 02/10/2012:  10:57:03



quote:


Originally posted by beezaboy




Dr. Ralph - Thank you again.  You are really helping me with the Jose Silva project!  I am sorry to hear that my fortunes are getting a boost, in part, because you are not feeling well.



I'm a little red faced too.  Thank you for the lead to the 1951 BMG.  Of all things.  I had the magazine in a large stack of BMG's I acquired several years ago BJS ("Before Jose Silva").  I've attached the cover and the short profile contained in this issue.



Jose Silva also was also featured in the February 1960 issue of BMG and Polle Flaunoe was kind enough to furnish that issue through email.  Bebops does  not ship to the colonies.






If you see something on Bebops site that you want let me know, I can buy it & send it over.yes


beezaboy - Posted - 02/10/2012:  13:37:17



Dr. Ralph - Thank you for the Bebops offer.  I haven't had a chance to look at Mr. Herbert's BMG things so maybe there might be something there that will require that Bebops' requirements be circumvented.


Dr Ralph - Posted - 02/10/2012:  17:13:38



No problem mate, just let me know as & when


Dr Ralph - Posted - 02/15/2012:  11:15:50



John



That's awesome news good luck with everything, I'm glad that some of my sitting around has been productive.



If I can be of any further assistance let me know. yes


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