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Curtis McPeake's Granada Specs?

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Jun 24, 2020 - 7:14:27 AM
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276 posts since 4/26/2007

I came across a copy of Curtis McPeake's "A View From McPeake" album a few weeks ago (Amazon had one in stock) and have been absorbing it on the way to work every day. It's fantastic, and even in the year 2000 when it was released, Curtis hadn't lost much zip on his fastball.

The liner notes state that Curtis played both his 1937 RB-75 "Ole Betsy" and his 1935 RB-Granada ("Lefty") on different tracks. As expected, they both sound incredible. I may even prefer the tone of "Lefty" to that of "Betsy", if we're being honest. A little sweeter, a little more sustain.

Why isn't Curtis' Granada talked about more often? Anyone have any additional details on it? Being in the shadow of Curtis' more famous five, I'm wondering if Lefty hasn't been receiving it's share of attention.

*Mods, if this needs to be moved to an alternate sub-forum, please do so.

Jun 24, 2020 - 7:24:20 AM

2463 posts since 1/16/2013

Hey Andy, That Granada is probably the best RB flathead I've played. I like it better than Betsy personally. I've been blessed to have played it numerous times and it's always been "sweet" on the tone side.
 
Originally posted by HuberTone

I came across a copy of Curtis McPeake's "A View From McPeake" album a few weeks ago (Amazon had one in stock) and have been absorbing it on the way to work every day. It's fantastic, and even in the year 2000 when it was released, Curtis hadn't lost much zip on his fastball.

The liner notes state that Curtis played both his 1937 RB-75 "Ole Betsy" and his 1935 RB-Granada ("Lefty") on different tracks. As expected, they both sound incredible. I may even prefer the tone of "Lefty" to that of "Betsy", if we're being honest. A little sweeter, a little more sustain.

Why isn't Curtis' Granada talked about more often? Anyone have any additional details on it? Being in the shadow of Curtis' more famous five, I'm wondering if Lefty hasn't been receiving it's share of attention.

*Mods, if this needs to be moved to an alternate sub-forum, please do so.


Jun 24, 2020 - 7:33:57 AM

291 posts since 10/24/2013

Curtis's Granada is a 1932 according to Banjo Philes. It is a FINE Banjo.
As far we know, it is the last RB Granada made. TB and PB Granada's were made after it, but not RB's.
Curtis lives about 5 miles from me and I have pictures And Video of me playing it.
Out of respect for Curtis's privacy, I have never posted them. Maybe sometime I will, but not without Curtis's permission.

Jun 24, 2020 - 7:36:25 AM
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291 posts since 10/24/2013

Jim, I agree. I also like it better than Betsy

Jun 24, 2020 - 7:42:41 AM

2321 posts since 12/31/2005

Both "View" and "Vintage 76" are still listed as being for sale on his site if that is active. Both are killer albums. He used to come to the B3 Vintage show in Spartanburg. I was not expecting to see him and looked up and there he was. Super nice man.

Jun 24, 2020 - 7:45:34 AM

2463 posts since 1/16/2013

Curtis say's 1935... But Curtis has a bit different "dating system".
 
Originally posted by Bill Byler

Curtis's Granada is a 1932 according to Banjo Philes. It is a FINE Banjo.
As far we know, it is the last RB Granada made. TB and PB Granada's were made after it, but not RB's.
Curtis lives about 5 miles from me and I have pictures And Video of me playing it.
Out of respect for Curtis's privacy, I have never posted them. Maybe sometime I will, but not without Curtis's permission.


Jun 24, 2020 - 7:49:49 AM
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291 posts since 10/24/2013

I would take Curtis's word above Banjo Philes. After all, he worked for Gibson.
As far as I'm concerned, Curtis's word is final!

Jun 24, 2020 - 7:56:46 AM

heavy5

USA

1303 posts since 11/3/2016

Really appreciate the talk about some of the GREAT older players & their instruments !
I was corresponding here not long ago about what I don't remember & mentioned a players name & the member said "so who is Eddie Adcock" .
Can't fault the younger folks for what they've missed ---- I guess we need to better use a platform here for means of exposure for our great/late predecessors like maybe "Other Banjo Related Topics' .

Edited by - heavy5 on 06/24/2020 08:00:29

Jun 24, 2020 - 7:57:41 AM

276 posts since 4/26/2007

quote:
Originally posted by 9470 Granada
Hey Andy, That Granada is probably the best RB flathead I've played. I like it better than Betsy personally. I've been blessed to have played it numerous times and it's always been "sweet" on the tone side.

Wow Jim, that's pretty cool. Can't imagine what it sounds like from either the player's perspective or a listener a few feet out in front. Did it do that thing where it "vibrates" into your chest as you're playing it? I've heard that about Sonny's Granada...

It's amazing that someone could have a flathead RB-Granada and it's generally considered to not be their "main" banjo. I believe this also applies to Crowe and Bela.

Wonder what batch it came from? 

Edited by - HuberTone on 06/24/2020 08:01:58

Jun 24, 2020 - 8:03:44 AM

2463 posts since 1/16/2013

Andy, 9865 batch. If I remember right, Curtis acquired the Granada in the late 80's. There's a great story to go with the acquisition thereof.
 
Originally posted by HuberTone
quote:
Originally posted by 9470 Granada
Hey Andy, That Granada is probably the best RB flathead I've played. I like it better than Betsy personally. I've been blessed to have played it numerous times and it's always been "sweet" on the tone side.
 
Originally posted by HuberTone

I came across a copy of Curtis McPeake's "A View From McPeake" album a few weeks ago (Amazon had one in stock) and have been absorbing it on the way to work every day. It's fantastic, and even in the year 2000 when it was released, Curtis hadn't lost much zip on his fastball.

The liner notes state that Curtis played both his 1937 RB-75 "Ole Betsy" and his 1935 RB-Granada ("Lefty") on different tracks. As expected, they both sound incredible. I may even prefer the tone of "Lefty" to that of "Betsy", if we're being honest. A little sweeter, a little more sustain.

Why isn't Curtis' Granada talked about more often? Anyone have any additional details on it? Being in the shadow of Curtis' more famous five, I'm wondering if Lefty hasn't been receiving it's share of attention.

*Mods, if this needs to be moved to an alternate sub-forum, please do so.


 


Wow Jim, that's pretty cool. It's amazing that someone could have a flathead RB-Granada and it's generally considered to not be their "main" banjo. I believe this also applies to Crowe and Bela.

Wonder what batch it came from? 


Jun 24, 2020 - 8:04:54 AM

291 posts since 10/24/2013

9865-1  The only one in the batch

Edited by - Bill Byler on 06/24/2020 08:05:50

Jun 24, 2020 - 8:14:30 AM

276 posts since 4/26/2007

Thanks Jim and Bill, fascinating it's the only one from that batch. Love to hear the story of how Curtis got his hands on it, but I also know it may be more of a private matter.

Also interested in the dating system Curtis prefers to use, as he may be the highest authority on the subject.

Edited by - HuberTone on 06/24/2020 08:25:37

Jun 24, 2020 - 1:21:49 PM
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RB3

USA

755 posts since 4/12/2004

Joe Spann's book has Factory Order Number 9865 listed as RB-Granada, 1931.

Jun 24, 2020 - 5:31:47 PM

Brett

USA

2274 posts since 11/29/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Bill Byler

I would take Curtis's word above Banjo Philes. After all, he worked for Gibson.
As far as I'm concerned, Curtis's word is final!


I’ve just learned something new, when did Curtis work for Gibson?  

Jun 24, 2020 - 5:42:09 PM

291 posts since 10/24/2013

He worked for Gibson as a consultant from approximately 1987 till 1997. I just talked to Curtis and told him about the discussion. Told him to check it out. Although I don’t think he’s a member That I know of

Jun 25, 2020 - 8:20:58 AM
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101 posts since 9/2/2014

Here is a clip of Charlie cushman playing "Lefty" with Jason Bales on guitar. A tremendous tone!

youtube.com/watch?v=cJZ-ECgA1ws&gl=JP

Jun 25, 2020 - 1:49:03 PM
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2153 posts since 1/16/2010

And here's a super early video of Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper doing their big hit "Midnight special"......and guess who is doing some fancy backup on the 5.....Curtis! Not sure what banjo he is playing....but its neat to see him in any kind of action, there aren't a lot of videos of him playing that I've ever really found. Enjoy!

Dow


Jun 25, 2020 - 2:27:20 PM

rcc56

USA

3091 posts since 2/20/2016

So Bill, how's Curtis doing?

Jun 25, 2020 - 2:34:35 PM

291 posts since 10/24/2013

He said he’s doing OK. No coronavirus. He’s been staying home almost all the time. No visitors.
He has a lot of problems with his knees. It’s hard for him to get around. Otherwise he seems pretty good. He said I should come and see him again once this virus thing is over.

Jun 25, 2020 - 2:49:23 PM

rcc56

USA

3091 posts since 2/20/2016

I'm glad he's doing reasonably well. The last time I saw him, the knee problems were just starting to really bother him. Those knees have an awful lot of miles on them.

I don't get up that way much anymore. Me and a friend of mine had made plans to go visit him last year, and had to cancel because my friend got sick. I meant to call him after the tornadoes went through, but one thing drove out another.

I'll have to make it a point to go up there when circumstances permit.

Jun 25, 2020 - 3:29:50 PM

291 posts since 10/24/2013

Yes, just this week Nashville news is reporting Wilson County Tennessee is a new hotspot for the COVID-19. We were doing pretty good, but all of a sudden it hit. I sure wouldn’t want to be the one responsible for taking Curtis the virus.

Jun 25, 2020 - 3:54:33 PM
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Brett

USA

2274 posts since 11/29/2005

In the Wilma Lee video, that’s a pre-Wagonmasters (Porter Wagoner band), George McCormick singing low harmony and playing the epiphone archtop guitar. Stoney and Wilma lee daughter is the backup singer on most everything on the Opry for many years. I think they’re called the Carol Lee singers or ? She is married to the lead singer for the Oak Ridge boys. I think their daughter, in turn, is married to the Fabulous Superlatives bass player (Marty Stuart’s band). I think.
I guess Curtis was around 30 in that video. I like Curtis, have sold him several banjos pre-internet days. Been a long time since I went up there.

Jun 25, 2020 - 8:08:09 PM

rcc56

USA

3091 posts since 2/20/2016

quote:
Originally posted by Bill Byler

Yes, just this week Nashville news is reporting Wilson County Tennessee is a new hotspot for the COVID-19. We were doing pretty good, but all of a sudden it hit. I sure wouldn’t want to be the one responsible for taking Curtis the virus.


Me either.  The virus will have to be long dead and gone before I go up there.  Or visit anyone else of his age.

Jun 26, 2020 - 6:24:17 AM
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73 posts since 7/14/2010

quote:
Originally posted by jellowaydan

Here is a clip of Charlie cushman playing "Lefty" with Jason Bales on guitar. A tremendous tone!

youtube.com/watch?v=cJZ-ECgA1ws&gl=JP


I can't even find words to describe that sustain that i'm hearing. That is an amazing banjo. Of course Charlie is no slouch...

Jun 27, 2020 - 4:43:38 AM
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101 posts since 9/2/2014

Heres another "Curtis"

youtube.com/watch?v=L2otspZYTOE

Jun 27, 2020 - 8:38:41 AM

650 posts since 2/14/2007

Um. Not so sure about the Nashville Brass (misconceived is a word that comes to mind), but Curtis sounds excellent.
 
quote:
Originally posted by jellowaydan

Heres another "Curtis"

youtube.com/watch?v=L2otspZYTOE


Edited by - Barretone on 06/27/2020 08:39:56

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