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Jul 27, 2021 - 8:21:50 PM
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14198 posts since 10/30/2008

I've heard and read a lot about banjoist Harry Reser, but never heard him til I found this old record on a Facebook page about old records.

Banjo Boogie. I believe Mr. Reser must be playing an electric banjo, by the odd tone.

Anyone who knows more, please inform me. Did Reser play tenor or plectrum banjo?

And didn't he have something to do with the Gibson Model X banjo?

youtube.com/watch?v=xLxtbg03RbU

Edited by - The Old Timer on 07/27/2021 20:23:52

Jul 27, 2021 - 9:03:55 PM

Omeboy

USA

2946 posts since 6/27/2013

Reser played both tenor and plectrum, but greatly favored the tenor for his extensive single string work.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Reser

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdWRWwHfY98

Jul 27, 2021 - 9:04:04 PM

8929 posts since 8/28/2013

Reser could play either banjo type, but mostly played the tenor. He also played guitar, and either clarinet or saxophone (I can't recall which) or maybe both. He composed a number of well known and often played pieces for tenor banjo. You should check youtube for more of his playing. For speed and accuracy of picking, he was hard to beat both then and now.

I don't think he's playing an electric banjo here. The banjo sounds much like it does on his other recordings, although the recording quality isn't all that wonderful, being an independent label.

Jul 28, 2021 - 6:15:16 AM

12421 posts since 1/15/2005

quote:
Originally posted by The Old Timer

I've heard and read a lot about banjoist Harry Reser, but never heard him til I found this old record on a Facebook page about old records.

Banjo Boogie. I believe Mr. Reser must be playing an electric banjo, by the odd tone.

Anyone who knows more, please inform me. Did Reser play tenor or plectrum banjo?

And didn't he have something to do with the Gibson Model X banjo?

youtube.com/watch?v=xLxtbg03RbU


I own Harry's 1917 Gibson A-4 mandolin.  I bought it at auction (from New York) probably 30 or more years ago.  There were probably a couple of dozen instruments that sold from his estate, but do not remember if there were any banjos in it.  There probably were but just way more money than I had to spend.

Jul 28, 2021 - 7:26:13 AM
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962 posts since 6/25/2006

I think his earlier recordings are his best - worth checking out 'Banjo Crackerjax 1922-1930'. He was playing a Paramount banjo with the Clicquot Club Eskimo ensemble and then played a Gibson 'All American' tenor banjo and I have also seen later photos of him with a VegaVox tenor banjo.

Jul 28, 2021 - 8:40:01 AM

11005 posts since 4/23/2004

There are several Reser experts who feel that Harry actually preferred the plectrum...and that his most famous compositions play more logically on one. His film playing "Tiger Rag" shows him on the plectrum. BTW, The soda bottle references are their sponsor "Cliquot Club" soda. They were known as the "Cliquot Club Eskimos" hence the icicles and northern lights backdrop (and fur coats).

https://youtu.be/JEe35HEX3Ec

I agree, the banjo in the recording sounds acoustic.

Edited by - trapdoor2 on 07/28/2021 08:48:13

Jul 28, 2021 - 8:58:01 AM

6433 posts since 9/21/2007

I bought a nice looking book about him from ebay UK some time ago but fear that I have not read it. It looks like the seller still has a few copies.

Jul 28, 2021 - 11:53:02 AM

11005 posts since 4/23/2004

Funny thing. Apollo released this in 1947, a year before Arthur Smith's seminal recording of "Guitar Boogie" (1948). Arthur actually recorded it in 1945 (with some guy named Don Reno on backing guitar). I wonder how Reser got the music...?

Of course, Smith wrote and recorded "Feudin' Banjos" with that Reno guy back in '55. Two banjos, one Tenor (Arthur) and one 5-string (Reno).

https://youtu.be/TmMk9tsCjsc

Jul 29, 2021 - 10:25:41 AM

12421 posts since 1/15/2005

Wonder how much Arthur won off of the Dueling Banjos lawsuit ...... guessing a bundle.

Jul 29, 2021 - 4:52:31 PM
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hoodoo

Canada

800 posts since 10/6/2017

I love his version of Jeepers Creepers

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