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Banjolele information

Trevor 05 Jan 12 - 06:03 AM
GUEST,Wodehouse afficionado 05 Jan 12 - 09:05 AM
GUEST,leeneia 05 Jan 12 - 11:37 AM
Musket 05 Jan 12 - 11:46 AM
GUEST,Auldtimer 05 Jan 12 - 12:06 PM
GUEST,Songbob 05 Jan 12 - 12:22 PM
GUEST,leeneia 05 Jan 12 - 12:39 PM
Trevor 05 Jan 12 - 12:41 PM
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Subject: Banjolele information
From: Trevor
Date: 05 Jan 12 - 06:03 AM

Hello all. I have acquired a Jolli Joe banjolele. It seems to be made of cast metal, has a vellum resonator and the head carries a badge which says 'Jolli Joe, The UK Uke'.

It's in a crocodile skin-effect case which is embossed 'John Grey & Sons London' and has a sticker on the inside of the lid with 'A Few Useful Hints' on fitting and tightening a vellum head and placing the bridge.

I've had a squint on Google but nothing that really helps me to date the instrument or find out any background at all.

Any thoughts please?

Cheers.


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Subject: RE: Banjolele information
From: GUEST,Wodehouse afficionado
Date: 05 Jan 12 - 09:05 AM

It may have belonged to Bertie Wooster


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Subject: RE: Banjolele information
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 05 Jan 12 - 11:37 AM

Yes, that is right. In one of Wodehouse's many novels, Bertie Wooster is attempting to master the banjolele, which he had heard in a jazz band.

I've never figured out when exactly Bertie was supposed to have flourished, have you, Afficionado? The late 1920's or early '30's, though no ugly reality such as the stock market crash or the Depression is allowed in Bertie's world.

!920's jazz bands used the banjo as a rhythm instrument. (They also used violins.) The banjolele would have been an offshoot of that.

I suppose you tune it like a ukelele.


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Subject: RE: Banjolele information
From: Musket
Date: 05 Jan 12 - 11:46 AM

I notice that they have crept up in value since the resurgence of interest in George Formby, what with the recent documentary and the national profile of the GF Society being heightened by Frank Skinner.


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Subject: RE: Banjolele information
From: GUEST,Auldtimer
Date: 05 Jan 12 - 12:06 PM

Banjo ukuleles are often called banjoleles BUT as far as I am aware only the ones made by a firn called "Keech" are realy banjoleles. It is a bit like a "Hover" being used as a general name for all vaccuum cleaners. The Keech banjos had a aluminum core and a wooden drum suround, giving a brighter more resonate and louder sound. Being a failed banjo uke player myself, I did have a couple of Keech banjos in the past, both were in rather poor condition and distorted to the point of being unplayable. They did not keep their shape but they did keep their price and I had no problem selling them on, even when pointing out all the bad pionts.


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Subject: RE: Banjolele information
From: GUEST,Songbob
Date: 05 Jan 12 - 12:22 PM

Figure 1935-45 for the date, given what US makers were doing for the same instruments. The all-aluminum "Dixie" models were made into the early 50s as well, I understand.

I think I've heard of Jolli Joe, but can't recall where, so I'm not much help.

Bob


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Subject: RE: Banjolele information
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 05 Jan 12 - 12:39 PM

George Formby? Is that the George Formby that sells the grill or the George Formby that sold furniture finishes?

Oh, THIS George Formby...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSc-e-QffTs


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Subject: RE: Banjolele information
From: Trevor
Date: 05 Jan 12 - 12:41 PM

Thanks folks.


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