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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: 276-18 A Little Banjo History and Memories


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/377572

jfb - Posted - 09/05/2021:  17:57:36


I was surfing YouTube this afternoon and was elated to see the first old Mastertone
I ever owned, The Henry Williams, being played and discussed by Charlie Cushman, and Tony, what a treat for me!
A few (not needed really) that differed from the memories of the current owner, that are in my memory. 276-18 was bought by me, more near 73-74 , than the 71 that Tony said was the year he had acquired it. I have the receipt somewhere where I paid him $900 for it. Had it been a flathead, my search would have ended before it even started, but it was a first step to others that came my way. I sold the banjo to banjo friend Terry Keener, so Tony is the fourth owner I assume? It’s a great, fine sounding banjo, 100% original five string, much like the Butch Robbins in Jim’s book. I still remember the almost tears look on Mr Williams face, as I left his porch near Martinsville Va, and how elated I was on the way home! I hope Tony doesn’t mind me posting this, and I would love to see it in person (are you listening Tony lol ) once more, what a fine old banjo! I will be near tears when my turn comes around.

jfb - Posted - 09/06/2021:  05:02:42


Someone had ask for me to post the link
to the YouTube video

m.youtube.com/watch?v=20Fqgryeo08

Hope that works. The date I purchased it from Mr Williams was Sept 15, 1974.
The case had his name, and Greensboro
There are photos on Greg Earnest site,
and I think they are also on my home page. I think I kept it for a year or so before I found my first flathead.
Y’all take care and stay safe.

Leslie R - Posted - 09/06/2021:  05:48:37


Enjoyed the video. What a fantastic banjo.
It was interesting that Charlie identified the neck as French walnut, not mahogany. I was hoping he would indicate something about the resonator veneer but it didn’t happen.
Remarkable how Charlie can pick up a banjo he has never seen, put on some picks he has never seen and go to town with it.
Thanks for posting this.

jfb - Posted - 09/08/2021:  07:48:01


Thanks Leslie
It’s a good banjo for sure? Even if it is
an arch top. Charlie is among the very
best, and should rightly be included in the Masters category if he’s not already
Here’s an item that should belong on Greg Earnest site for 276-18. The receipt is my writing, but the signature is by Mr Henry Williams own hand, Sept 15, 1974.


BanjoLink - Posted - 09/08/2021:  08:17:01


quote:

Originally posted by jfb

I was surfing YouTube this afternoon and was elated to see the first old Mastertone

I ever owned, The Henry Williams, being played and discussed by Charlie Cushman, and Tony, what a treat for me!

A few (not needed really) that differed from the memories of the current owner, that are in my memory. 276-18 was bought by me, more near 73-74 , than the 71 that Tony said was the year he had acquired it. I have the receipt somewhere where I paid him $900 for it. Had it been a flathead, my search would have ended before it even started, but it was a first step to others that came my way. I sold the banjo to banjo friend Terry Keener, so Tony is the fourth owner I assume? It’s a great, fine sounding banjo, 100% original five string, much like the Butch Robbins in Jim’s book. I still remember the almost tears look on Mr Williams face, as I left his porch near Martinsville Va, and how elated I was on the way home! I hope Tony doesn’t mind me posting this, and I would love to see it in person (are you listening Tony lol ) once more, what a fine old banjo! I will be near tears when my turn comes around.






That's great stuff John!

Emiel - Posted - 09/08/2021:  08:37:46


quote:

Originally posted by jfb

It’s a good banjo for sure? Even if it is

an arch top. 






The banjo sounds great. It there really any reason to convert these prewar Gibson archtop banjos to flatheads? What I mean, you don't need to apply a Stanley-type set-up to an archtop, it can also sound different…



Nice video, by the way.


Edited by - Emiel on 09/08/2021 08:46:10

jfb - Posted - 09/08/2021:  10:35:31


Thanks John
And Emile, If I still had that banjo, there is absolutely no way I would ever consider cutting the rim. It sounds fine as is! Personally, I think it left Gibson the way it is, regarding the marquetry put fling on the resonates sidewalls, but there’s no
way to know for sure. It’s in the photo of him as a young man. Now, I would stick in under the Zeiss scope, and take a close look :) I would love to have a digital scan of that neck shape to stick on the CNC.
Mighty fine old banjo in as good condition as it gets.

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