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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: RIP Borgy Borgerson, 1928-2019


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/360363

guitarbanjoman - Posted - 01/15/2020:  09:29:42


Canadian members of a certain age will mourn the passing of one of our banjo legends....

timescolonist.com/news/local/o....24010122

When I think of Borgy, I think of this immortal line...

"OK, boys! Now we're gonna play "I've Been Working On The Railroad"!

... and if we don't smarten up, we'll all be working on the railroad."

mike gregory - Posted - 01/15/2020:  09:36:49


Here's something about him:



 



guitarbanjoman - Posted - 01/15/2020:  13:04:53


Thanks, Mike! Very thoughtful of you.

In case anybody is wondering about Borgy’s unusual banjo sound, he played tenor tuning but tuned his C string an octave higher...

Meestro - Posted - 02/06/2020:  16:05:12


quote:

Originally posted by guitarbanjoman

Canadian members of a certain age will mourn the passing of one of our banjo legends....



timescolonist.com/news/local/o....24010122



When I think of Borgy, I think of this immortal line...



"OK, boys! Now we're gonna play "I've Been Working On The Railroad"!



... and if we don't smarten up, we'll all be working on the railroad."






 

Meestro - Posted - 02/06/2020:  16:17:16


Hi Will,

I can’t believe you and I have never met. I used to play with Borgy a lot, including at the Fort Erie Racetrack near you on a number of Sundays in the summer. I was very honoured to have arrived from Toronto heading unexpectedly straight to his bedside at his retirement home and stayed with him, holding his hand that day until he passed while my wife took his wife home to eat and get some rest. The actual plan was for my wife and I to stay with his wife Eunie for 5 days and head to the home each day for a few hours. It was a pleasure to play some of his recordings while he was laying in a coma-like state but he did squeeze my hand often when certain songs came on. We were told that day that hearing is the last sense to go so it was fitting for both of us to listen to banjo music together for the last time. He was a great friend, musician and mentor to many and Jo-Ann and I were very honoured to be so close to he and Eunie for exactly half of my life. Thanks for posting this. We played a slideshow and the video from his American Banjo Museum Induction at his Celebration of Life.

guitarbanjoman - Posted - 02/06/2020:  18:49:48


Ha! That’s funny, I used to play at the Fort Erie racetrack too, Ernie, in a strolling dixieland band.



Our brief was to play in the paddock area at first and then wander around and play in different watering holes. There was one such up on the top floor known as the “Player’s Lounge”, so we wandered in the door and struck up an energetic version of “Bill Bailey” or some such tune.



One guy was seated at the bar with some friends. He was wearing a suit with a black shirt and a white tie, and he had one of those buzz-box things on his throat that you get if you have throat cancer.



He patiently waited for us to finish and then came up and said these unforgettable words through his buzz-box...



“Hey, you guys wanna get the #$&* out of here? You’re bothering the players.”



We decided to take his advice, made a hasty departure and crossed that particular venue off our list!


Edited by - guitarbanjoman on 02/06/2020 18:51:23

Banjo Den - Posted - 02/07/2020:  20:31:40


Hi Will, I've tried to e-mail you a few times but either I have your e-mail address wrong or it's no longer working. I hope all is going well for you. Drop me an e-mail if you have a chance. Denny

guitarbanjoman - Posted - 02/08/2020:  05:59:43


Hi, Denny! PM sent!



Will


Edited by - guitarbanjoman on 02/08/2020 06:00:16

guitarbanjoman - Posted - 02/08/2020:  06:14:18


To return to the original theme of the thread, Borgy...

My first introduction to him was during my one-year stint as a student at the Memorial University of Newfoundland, in St. John’s NF... circa 1972-73.

I was a bluegrass and old-timey banjo player at the time but somehow chanced upon Borgy’s LP “Radio” at the local K-Mart and decided to chance spending a few bucks on it.

I’ve now forgotten most of the tunes on that record, but my main memory is of hearing Borgy’s version of “Some of These Days” I was instantly hooked!

“Wow, this dude sounds like he’s playing two banjos at the same time!”

And that’s when I first started trying to turn my five string into a four...

****

Ernie, I am glad to learn that you were able to be with Borgy at the very end of his life. What a blessing for him and his wife, who I only met once.

I did have the chance to visit him at his house during a visit to Victoria in 2003.

I remember him saying something like, “If there were ever any banjo players around this town, they must have died of starvation years ago.”

A funny, charming man. I am privileged to have known him and my other Toronto TB pal, the amazing Tim Allan.

Will

Hot Club Man - Posted - 02/11/2020:  10:07:56


Great sounding banjo from Borgy Borgerson. Great player. It is interesting to hear he tuned the C on his tenor an octive higher.

Just a thought--anybody tried the bottom C an octive up on the plectrum banjo--DBGC (1st to 4th)--If so what gauge string would you use? Sounds interesting. Guess one will miss the low notes on the C string though------

guitarbanjoman - Posted - 02/15/2020:  18:13:28


There was a guy who used to play with Toronto’s Climax Jazz Band who did use the very same plectrum-with-a-raised-C tuning which you mentioned, Michael...



I think his nickname was “Captain Jack”, but I can no longer remember his real name...


Edited by - guitarbanjoman on 02/15/2020 18:13:58


guitarbanjoman - Posted - 02/16/2020:  06:18:29


Sorry about including my photo in there... it happened by accident and i can’t get rid of it no matter how I try...

mike gregory - Posted - 02/16/2020:  06:43:30


quote:

Originally posted by Hot Club Man

Great sounding banjo from Borgy Borgerson. Great player. It is interesting to hear he tuned the C on his tenor an octive higher.



Just a thought--anybody tried the bottom C an octive up on the plectrum banjo--DBGC (1st to 4th)--If so what gauge string would you use? Sounds interesting. Guess one will miss the low notes on the C string though------






I did, around 1965, because I wanted a high note,  picking with my singers, trying to sound more like a 5-string.



It worked ok.



Just used a  10 ga. first string.

Hot Club Man - Posted - 02/16/2020:  12:48:37


Hi guys



Must give that octive C a try.


Edited by - Hot Club Man on 02/16/2020 12:50:44

majesty - Posted - 02/16/2020:  15:33:27


You may like it very much. I use it for certain gigs,

but I have my tenors tuned both ways.

Hot Club Man - Posted - 02/18/2020:  04:28:21


Put an octive C on my plectrum 4th banjo--DBGC. OK for chords. A slightly 'different' sound.
But a no-no for solo work as miss the C bass note and a 4 string chord (normal low C) sounds fuller than a 3 string chord.

I think what would--possibly--be a great sound would be to have two C's an octive apart as the 4th string. That would mean having 5 tuners on the peghead. Ummmmm????? 'Food for thought'.

guitarbanjoman - Posted - 02/18/2020:  16:09:50


Michael, it may cost you a few bob to find out... but this ”plectral five” has been for sale at Bernunzio.com for donkey’s years...

bernunzio.com/product/bacon-da...-5-23644/

They are asking US $2500 for it but I suspect that that price is extremely negotiable...

...only thing is, if your tuning experiment doesn’t pan out, you may have trouble trying to re-sell it just like they are...

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