Saw some posts from 2010 about whether or not CC Richilieu from Oregon, WI made any long neck banjos. In the early 1980's I lived in Madison and made many, many trips to Rich's shop to play his wonderful banjos, spend time with Rich - he was a great man - and try to get him to build me a long neck. He always declined saying his shop wasn't set up to make them. After a year or so of trying, I bought a 5 string resonator banjo. Time passed and I found out he had made a long neck for Tommy Makem. I asked Rich again to make me a long neck and he agreed. Tommy Makem's long neck was a Vega PS-5 copy with a maple neck but a White Layde tone ring that Rich used on his banjos and none of the inlays that Rich used. Mine was made from 75 year old Brazilian rosewood - rim and neck - and had the upgraded peghead with inlays. The neck inlays were "Praire"style which were much less ornate. The banjo was marvelous with a thin neck, low action, great tone and volume. When I first held and played it, the feeling was unbelieveable. It sounded soooo good and played so easily. A couple of years later, I had the opportunity to show it to Tommy Makem. He played it for 30 minutes and asked if I would consider selling it to him. I declined. He said he had stopped using his Richilieu because the neck "moved too much" when he was traveling. He had returned to the Vega PS-5.
I was out of the states from April 2009 and October 2011 and I left the Richilieu with my son for safe keeping. This proved to be a bad decision because the Richilieu was gone when I got back. My son had some unemployment and housing problems during my absense. I have never been able to get him to tell me what happened to the Richilieu. I would love to have it back. By way of identification, Rich put a "E. Lynn Edgemon" nameplate on the hardshell case.
Anyway, Rich told me he was never going to make another long neck banjo. So, as far as I know, he only made two.
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