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Late19th/early 20th century old time string band prints

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Jul 29, 2019 - 4:49:22 AM
61 posts since 1/16/2017

I am looking for a collections of black and white photos of old time string bands to potentially get printed to frame and put up in my home. Anyone here have some suggestions where to look? 

Think of men in dusty suits holding fiddles, banjos, guitars, etc. on a front porch somewhere in Appalachia. 

There's a bunch of good examples in here:
https://phono-optica.tumblr.com/

Jul 29, 2019 - 5:43:11 AM

4576 posts since 9/21/2007

quote:
Originally posted by DanjoBanjo

I am looking for a collections of black and white photos of old time string bands to potentially get printed to frame and put up in my home. Anyone here have some suggestions where to look? 

Think of men in dusty suits holding fiddles, banjos, guitars, etc. on a front porch somewhere in Appalachia. 

There's a bunch of good examples in here:
https://phono-optica.tumblr.com/


None of those would qualify as "old time string bands."

This photo shows them playing from "Remick Orchestra Folio No. 5."  Jerome Remick published popular music including ragtime, marches, songs, and foxtrots.  While I could not locate the exact publication they are playing from, the others around it all contain popular songs arranged as instrumentals.

https://phono-optica.tumblr.com/image/186539978698

Chances are the violinist is playing the melody and the banjoist is providing a root-chord accompaniment (judging from his textbook classic banjo right hand position).  He is holding a C chord in "standard tuning."

In the other photos I see two members of a local orchestra (likely playing classical music) with their wheelman friend and his expensive bicycle, a Hawaiian guitarist, a proud owner of a guitar and lots of Edison cylinder recordings, and an older couple in a similar duet as the banjo and violin above.

For the sake of accuracy, most photos of "old time string bands" are presented with a strong dose of presentism.  Since the 1920s commercial music style of "old time" has morphed into the modern formula we know today, we presume that is what is being played in these by the musicians in these old photos.

I am often confused by the use of classic banjoists on the cover of "old time" banjo instruction books or records.  It is irresponsible.  The publishers are altering the reality of those photos.

I would be interested in any photos people can produce that include a confirmed "old time string band" that was playing what is now called "old time music" that predates 1900.

If you are okay with photos of banjoists who were playing popular music and not "old time" then I can point you to a collection.

Jul 29, 2019 - 6:18:36 AM

61 posts since 1/16/2017

Thanks Joel - would be totally OK with popular music being played rather than "old time". Would appreciate a reference to the collection you mention

Jul 29, 2019 - 7:12:13 AM
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4576 posts since 9/21/2007

Jul 29, 2019 - 7:37:06 AM

89 posts since 4/10/2018
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Mr. Hooks: That photo collection is awesome! Thanks for posting. I also appreciate your comments and commentary on the history of classic banjo.

Jul 29, 2019 - 4:56:56 PM

431 posts since 5/19/2018

Joel - Thank You for that link. Amazing photos. One can only wonder what kind of music was being played by some of those performers.

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