Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

943
Banjo Lovers Online


Jan 18, 2021 - 5:23:20 AM
likes this
47 posts since 7/22/2012

This is a worth a look...

libraryguides.berea.edu/sounda...ves/smoak

Includes discussion of Snuffy Jenkins, Earl Scruggs, Don Reno, and others...

To start, if you like, here's a recording with Mr. Smoak playing banjo I heard just recently:

youtube.com/watch?v=FXQVV1Jwx80

Here's one specific link, "Hearing Snuffy Jenkins":

libraryguides.berea.edu/c.php?...&p=403334

Jan 18, 2021 - 6:06:51 AM
likes this
Players Union Member

dbrooks

USA

3968 posts since 3/11/2004

Thanks for the links. Jim and the Cumberlands were very popular in the Louisville area. I have occasionally run across people in the Louisville area who have taken lessons from Jim. It's good to see his name and contributions recognized.

David

Jan 18, 2021 - 6:08:16 AM
like this

3569 posts since 4/5/2008

I picked up a Jim Smoak Banjo Book in the early 70's and I learned several of his tunes with it. in fact, I still have it. I learned his version of Little Rock Getaway and Ladies Fancy just to name a couple.

( I  )===='---<: :}

Edited by - 5stringpicker2 on 01/18/2021 06:09:48

Jan 18, 2021 - 6:30:22 AM
likes this

3281 posts since 9/12/2016

being a local here in his area I always suggested him when someone asked about lessons. His students proved ,that he was a good teacher as well. A shame I was too stubborn myself. I did take one lesson to learn what chord he was playing on a song . A song .that was above our bands collective knowledge.

Jan 18, 2021 - 6:43:42 AM
like this

R Buck

USA

2894 posts since 9/5/2006

Didn't know he was hidden. He was much higher profile than a lot of great banjo players, but certainly not as well known some. I know lots of other pickers deserving much recognition. I guess they pay off is in a life well lived.

Jan 19, 2021 - 2:18:47 AM
likes this

2440 posts since 10/17/2013

Jim Smoak owned a prewar Gibson, RB-4 #9474-3, that used to belong to Oren Jenkins.

Greg Earnest’s site says that the original neck was damaged and a new one was built.

Jan 19, 2021 - 6:37:18 AM

47 posts since 7/22/2012

Note that the audio and video links were not working when I first accessed the page, but the folks at Berea College kindly got them working again!

Jan 19, 2021 - 6:38:33 AM

47 posts since 7/22/2012

The John Henry version is the first I listened to, pretty nice version.

libraryguides.berea.edu/c.php?...&p=403342

Jan 19, 2021 - 6:41 AM
likes this

1417 posts since 10/5/2006

quote:
Originally posted by okbluegrassbanjopicker

Jim Smoak owned a prewar Gibson, RB-4 #9474-3, that used to belong to Oren Jenkins.

Greg Earnest’s site says that the original neck was damaged and a new one was built.


That is correct, Luke.
Chris Warner bought 9474-3 from Jim Smoak about 1968. The original neck was in rough shape – cracked headstock, worn frets, pearl falling out, etc. Chris made a deal with Randy Wood to make a new neck, the old one in trade. Years later both Chris and subsequent owner Larry R Smith tried to track down the original neck but it had disappeared and the trail went cold.
I also remember that the flange broke while Smoak was on the road with Bill Monroe.  He was able to acquire a new flange, but it would not go on over the fat boy rim, so, while riding down the road, he shaved the rim skirt down (with a piece of glass I think) until the flange went on and he could reassemble the banjo for the next gig.

Jan 19, 2021 - 6:43:02 AM

2515 posts since 2/10/2013

I agree with the statement he was not widely known, but I also saw his name appear in publications. And as time goes by, the more I think popularity does not always result from playing ability. I am aware of banjoists who are in a banjo "hall of fame" that could not play as well as unknown local banjoists I have heard. For various reasons, a banjo player may not want to play professionally and receive wide public exposure.

Jan 19, 2021 - 9:01:55 AM

507 posts since 2/21/2005

The 2 albums he made with the Louisiana Honeydrippers are among my favorites. I admire how inventive his playing was with unconventional material while staying true to pure Scruggs style. Great stuff!

Jan 19, 2021 - 7:50:45 PM

47 posts since 7/22/2012

quote:
Originally posted by Richard Hauser

I agree with the statement he was not widely known, but I also saw his name appear in publications. And as time goes by, the more I think popularity does not always result from playing ability. I am aware of banjoists who are in a banjo "hall of fame" that could not play as well as unknown local banjoists I have heard. For various reasons, a banjo player may not want to play professionally and receive wide public exposure


The less famous you are, the less banjo jokes that come your way...

Jan 21, 2021 - 7:12:55 AM
likes this

2515 posts since 2/10/2013

I hear jokes about banjos, but not banjo players. The only people aware of many band members other than the featured performer are folks who also play an instrument. How many non-instrumentals know who Don Rich was ? But many of us listened and enjoyed how well he sang, played fiddle, and played lead guitar.

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.15625