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Oct 26, 2020 - 6:24:20 AM
405 posts since 6/12/2017

I recently heard some clips of Obray Ramsey playing old time on a Resonator, posted by David Hoffman on youtube. I liked it. Does anyone know of any other old timer recordings of old time on a Resonator?

Oct 26, 2020 - 6:48:27 AM
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plars

USA

205 posts since 11/26/2007

I’m pretty sure Ola Belle Reed played on a resonator banjo most of the time. There should be tons of info online about her.

Oct 26, 2020 - 7:16:39 AM
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hoodoo

Canada

741 posts since 10/6/2017

Most of the old-timers that we know and love from the early recording days played on a resonator banjo, Dock Boggs, Wade Ward, Buell Kazee etc etc etc

Oct 26, 2020 - 7:40:54 AM
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R Buck

USA

2848 posts since 9/5/2006

Yes Ola Belle, Wade Ward, Dock Boggs and many more played on resonator banjos. Why not? Well they are heavy but otherwise it is not a bad sound.

Oct 26, 2020 - 7:54:59 AM
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56047 posts since 12/14/2005

If the Nashville Brass can play Bluegrass on a trombone, there are no boundaries as to who can play what on which.

 

Oct 26, 2020 - 7:56:27 AM
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2387 posts since 4/7/2010

I never let the fact the banjo has a resonator to influence my choice of what I play. Though I mostly play old-time on open-back banjos, one of the better banjos in our house when I was growing up was a 1963 Gibson RB-250.

When I played in the finals in the 2016 Appalachian Stringband Festival contest at Clifftop, I used a mid 1970's Iida, low end bluegrass banjo. It had the sound I needed for the tune I wanted to play.

Bob Smakula

Edited by - Bob Smakula on 10/26/2020 07:58:39

Oct 26, 2020 - 8:51:09 AM
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2204 posts since 1/16/2010

Uh....Grandpa Jones...

Oct 26, 2020 - 9:19:47 AM
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3406 posts since 5/29/2011

Stringbean played a resonator model Vega.

Also check out Larry Sigmon from Calloway, Virginia. He plays clawhammer style on a Gibson RB100.

Edited by - Culloden on 10/26/2020 09:21:43

Oct 26, 2020 - 9:37:12 AM
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Eric A

USA

872 posts since 10/15/2019

quote:
Originally posted by R Buck

Yes Ola Belle, Wade Ward, Dock Boggs and many more played on resonator banjos. Why not? Well they are heavy but otherwise it is not a bad sound.


Not necessarily super heavy, unless you got one of those big old boat anchor flathead tone rings in there.  Then, yeah...  smiley

Oct 26, 2020 - 10:21:13 AM
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Terry F

USA

97 posts since 2/16/2015

My custom made banjo by Jeff Weitzel has a resonator & a scoop.
I play what I want on it.

Oct 26, 2020 - 10:30:25 AM
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ChunoTheDog

Canada

440 posts since 8/9/2019

quote:
Originally posted by 6stringedRamble

I recently heard some clips of Obray Ramsey playing old time on a Resonator, posted by David Hoffman on youtube. I liked it. Does anyone know of any other old timer recordings of old time on a Resonator?


Any and all of Ralph Stanley's recorded and filmed clawhammer performances were played on Gibson RB5 and Neat Stanleytone archtop banjos. Sounded very good. 

Oct 26, 2020 - 11:05 AM
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janolov

Sweden

40797 posts since 3/7/2006

Sometimes I wonder who began to say that Old-Time must be played on an open back. That person is/was a great liar!  As can be seen above, a lot of Old-Time music was played on resonator banjos, by banjo players that really have has a great influence on the Old-Time music.

Oct 26, 2020 - 12:24:50 PM
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Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

24100 posts since 6/25/2005
Online Now

The late Cathy Barton played an aluminu-shell resonator Ode. She sounded great. Clarence Ashley played an archtop RB-250; Doc Watson played a resonator Vega. Charlie Poole played a Mastertone. And so on...

Oct 26, 2020 - 1:03:43 PM
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1151 posts since 5/19/2018
Online Now

There was a recent thread on just this subject here:

banjohangout.org/topic/367023

When you look at most of the great Traditional players, they played resonator banjos

Just a few:

Clarence Ashley
Wade Ward
Doc Boggs
Ralph Stanley
Charlie Poole
Uncle Dave Macon

List goes on and on. Others I’m sure will add, and it’s going to be 2-3 dozen long of folks who recorded on 78’s and the early LPs.

Never understood why some people think that clawhammer “Must” be played on an open back banjo. Probably goes back to the old time renaissance in the 60’s and Tommy Jarrell and Kyle Creed using open back banjos.

Oct 26, 2020 - 1:32:28 PM

collegiate

England

97 posts since 3/3/2011

Is this an open back resonator ?
James


 

Oct 26, 2020 - 6:10:24 PM
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QldPicker

Australia

104 posts since 4/17/2020
Online Now

Ivy Sheppard of The South Carolina Broadcasters.

youtube.com/watch?v=xZc8urUYyy8

Oct 26, 2020 - 9:54:13 PM

Paul R

Canada

13345 posts since 1/28/2010

Don Stover: Check out "Things in Life", clawhammer on a resonator. A great two-way player, BG and CH.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCIBgiVvM7o&feature=emb_logo

Oct 27, 2020 - 3:13:25 AM

405 posts since 6/12/2017

quote:
Originally posted by mike gregory

If the Nashville Brass can play Bluegrass on a trombone, there are no boundaries as to who can play what on which.

 


lol. Bluebrass?

Oct 27, 2020 - 3:15:25 AM

405 posts since 6/12/2017

quote:
Originally posted by collegiate

Is this an open back resonator ?
James


Here's Clifton Hicks reviewing a banjo with something like that setup https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJcyiPUJbHM

Oct 27, 2020 - 5:26:28 AM

collegiate

England

97 posts since 3/3/2011

Thanks 6string rambler
The banjo I have is about the same vintage but has got no makers or owners marks on it. It was a wreck when I was given it by a neighbour
I put new friction tuners on it, a calfskin head, made a two footed bridge and restringed it with steel strings. I found the action was so high it was unplayable. The neck was more or less straight and I figured out it was the rim that had been distorted by using steel strings.
It was beyond my ability to re-dowel the neck and I did not think it was worth paying somebody to do so so with nothing to lose I drilled a new hole through the rim nearer to the head for the end bolt of the dowel stick. This tilted the neck down. I restrung it with nylon strings and it sounds great. The resonator is attached to the rim by brass nails with rubber spacers to allow a 1/8" gap.
The square hole through the rim at the neck for the dowel stick has been mutilated so I have used small hardwood wedges to align and secure the neck.


 

Oct 27, 2020 - 6:46:58 AM

405 posts since 6/12/2017

quote:
Originally posted by collegiate

Thanks 6string rambler
The banjo I have is about the same vintage but has got no makers or owners marks on it. It was a wreck when I was given it by a neighbour
I put new friction tuners on it, a calfskin head, made a two footed bridge and restringed it with steel strings. I found the action was so high it was unplayable. The neck was more or less straight and I figured out it was the rim that had been distorted by using steel strings.
It was beyond my ability to re-dowel the neck and I did not think it was worth paying somebody to do so so with nothing to lose I drilled a new hole through the rim nearer to the head for the end bolt of the dowel stick. This tilted the neck down. I restrung it with nylon strings and it sounds great. The resonator is attached to the rim by brass nails with rubber spacers to allow a 1/8" gap.
The square hole through the rim at the neck for the dowel stick has been mutilated so I have used small hardwood wedges to align and secure the neck.


I wouldn't know. Ask the banjo repair section. Ken Kevan usually has tons of solutions. About the history try asking clifton hicks, he knows all about these rare banjos

Oct 27, 2020 - 7:30:04 AM
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7112 posts since 11/4/2005

Oct 27, 2020 - 12:11:19 PM
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Players Union Member

janolov

Sweden

40797 posts since 3/7/2006

Are there any OT players from the old times that really used open back (original recordings from 1920's to 1940's and the revivals)? I can think of the Round Peak players (Tommy Jarrell, Fredd Cockerham, Kyle Creed and others) and Pete Seeger. But who else played open back then?

Oct 27, 2020 - 12:16:17 PM
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8149 posts since 3/17/2005

Don Borchelt forgot to include himself in the above post.

Oct 28, 2020 - 7:57:15 AM
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7112 posts since 11/4/2005

janolov asked: "Are there any OT players from the old times that really used open back (original recordings from 1920's to 1940's and the revivals)? I can think of the Round Peak players (Tommy Jarrell, Fredd Cockerham, Kyle Creed and others) and Pete Seeger. But who else played open back then?"

I would bet that a number of them did, often because the less expensive banjos were usually open back in those days. There was not a lot of money in making recordings in the 20s and 30s, unless you were one of the players who really hit it big, like the Carters, or Jimmy Rodgers. Players like Dock Boggs, who we worship today, only cut 12 sides, and while the first 8, cut in 1928, were popular enough to bring him a good living as a full time musician for a couple of years, by 1930 he quit playing, pawned his banjo, and went back to the mines. The famous picture below shows him in those years, playing what looks like a fairly nice open-back. When Uncle Dave performed on stage, he would surround himself with two or three Gibson RB-1 banjos, at least one of which was open-backed, the easier to twirl around while he played.

 

I think that the whole point here is that the old timers did not have the prejudice against resonator banjos that is rampant among old time pickers today, and often preferred them when they finally had the cash to get one.

Chip Arnold wrote: "Don Borchelt forgot to include himself in the above post."

I have a very big ego, Chip, but not that big!  wink  But thank you for the nice compliment.  

- Don

Edited by - Don Borchelt on 10/28/2020 07:59:15

Oct 28, 2020 - 8:06:17 AM
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217 posts since 1/26/2020

I play on a Dobson 1867, but I'm guessing that doesn't really count?
In general, I just find resonator banjos bulky. But I have no issue watching/listening to them. Didn't Roscoe Holcomb play a resonator banjo?

Blaine

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