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Bobby Thompson's Baldwin/Ode banjo

Friday, October 18, 2019

This is an interesting description of Bobby Thompson's banjo - especially the details about how he set it up for HIS playing, and to get the sound HE wanted.  Kinda reminds me of Jason Skinner's detailed description of how Don Reno set up his famous "Old Nellie" to match what HE wanted.

Obviously, neither of them got too "wrapped around the axle" worshipping the "Prewar Sound"........

BTW, wonder if that kitchen towel Bobby used inside his banjo is for sale............LOLOLOL!   



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Playing Since: 1956
Experience Level: Purty Good

Paul Bock has made 3 recent additions to Banjo Hangout 

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Occupation: Retired Navy (E-9) and retired electrical engineer.

Gender: Male
Age: 78

My Instruments:
Circa 1982 "Snowflake Special" hand-built flathead 5-string Bluegrass resonator banjo. Victor 5-string Banjola serial # 9. Gold Tone CC-100+ 5-string openback.

Favorite Bands/Musicians:
Most everybody is a favorite now, especially Tom Adams & Craig Smith, but Don Reno was my first favorite back in 1953. Also into classic-style bare finger picking of ragtime, etc.

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Profile Info:
Visible to: Public
Created 2/23/2005
Last Visit 10/22/2019

Born in Richmond, VA, and raised on a farm. Started teaching myself banjo in 1956, won the North Carolina State Fair banjo contest in 1963. Played with local groups between 1960 and the late 1980s but had to quit due to injuries to the fingers of my right hand. I've been trying to get back into it since 2005 but it's slow going because of arthritis in the finger joints. I jam occasionally and for almost two years played a number of gigs as half of the Bluegrass Duet "Lost Corner" but it was too time-consuming. At present I am dabbling with classic finger-style using a Gold Tone CC-100+ with nylon strings. My instruments include a 5-string banjola by Victor (formerly EVD) Instruments which is a lot of fun for folk music, jazz, classical & Irish pieces. **************************************************************************** In the real world, I'm a retired Navy Master Chief Petty Officer (E-9) and a retired electrical engineer with over 20 years experience in radio broadcasting, defense electronics and telecommunications. I have B.S. and M.S. degrees, am a Life Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and co-holder of a patent in electronic design. I also hold several commercial radio operator licenses (Radioelegraph, General Radiotelephone, and GMDSS Maintainer, all with the Ship Radar Endorsement. ***************************************************************************** My other hobbies include Amateur Radio (licensed as K4MSG since 1957 and have always been an avid radiotelegraph operator). I've also spent time dabbling in various digital modes including meteor scatter and Earth-Moon-Earth (aka "moonbounce") communications. I'm also a sporadic amateur astronomer. I love to read, especially history, and have dabbled in historical research on topics of interest including evolution of the 5-string banjo, development of certain types of telegraph keys, wireless telegraphy, the Revolutionary War involvement of my ancestors, etc. My wife & I enjoy travel, especially cruising on Princess Cruise Lines (15 cruises so far, including 6 transatlantic crossings).

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