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Tracing a Banjo

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Tannywheeler 20 Sep 04 - 02:17 PM
GUEST,coyote breath in South Dacola 20 Sep 04 - 02:41 PM
BanjoRay 20 Sep 04 - 06:21 PM
GUEST 20 Sep 04 - 08:11 PM
Sorcha 20 Sep 04 - 08:45 PM
The Fooles Troupe 20 Sep 04 - 09:27 PM
Tannywheeler 21 Sep 04 - 11:30 AM
BanjoRay 21 Sep 04 - 11:47 AM
GUEST,Celeste 21 Sep 04 - 12:05 PM
GUEST,Songster Bob 21 Sep 04 - 04:44 PM
Tannywheeler 21 Sep 04 - 10:11 PM
The Fooles Troupe 21 Sep 04 - 10:26 PM
Tannywheeler 22 Sep 04 - 03:46 PM
The Fooles Troupe 22 Sep 04 - 07:34 PM
GUEST 23 Sep 04 - 01:01 PM
The Fooles Troupe 23 Sep 04 - 09:34 PM
Desert Dancer 24 Sep 04 - 12:53 AM
Tannywheeler 24 Sep 04 - 12:04 PM
GUEST 24 Sep 04 - 03:56 PM
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Subject: Tracing a Banjo
From: Tannywheeler
Date: 20 Sep 04 - 02:17 PM

Looking for an A. C. Fairbanks banjo -- gold-plated thingys around the belly, built in the 1970s or '80s, with a provenance that places it in Houston, Texas at that time.

Figure a 'Catter might know this one, or know someone who knows...

Hally (my Mama) had this one. It was stolen. Don't want it back, just to know if it's being loved and played somewhere.

When she acquired it her paying jobs were -- um -- spotty?, iffy?
It didn't get insured. A friend helped her get another, fairly good, instrument. When she finally got enough work to get insurance this other banjo had been taken, too. Another friend saw a yukky banjo in a junkstore. Proprietor was an acquaintance, had been told it was not a fab instrument, so gave it to her. She had some repairs done, put good strings on it and insured it up the wazoo. Then she left it in the back seat of her car (instead of hiding it like she had the other 2). Noone would touch it! The thieves in Houston, she decided, knew quality and wouldn't fool with anything else!

All help and info gratefully accepted. Tw.


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Subject: RE: Tracing a Banjo
From: GUEST,coyote breath in South Dacola
Date: 20 Sep 04 - 02:41 PM

How recently stolen?

a friend of mine had his stolen and within a couple of weeks he was able to "ransom" it back. Cost him $200. The thieves probably got much more than they could have through a pawn shop and safer too.

CB


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Subject: RE: Tracing a Banjo
From: BanjoRay
Date: 20 Sep 04 - 06:21 PM

Join the Banjo-L mailing list and ask them - If some of those people can't help, it's unlikely anyone can.
Cheers
Ray


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Subject: RE: Tracing a Banjo
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Sep 04 - 08:11 PM

Based on the description (of your mother) she appears to be sort of wayward person who would have hocked it and then claimed it stolen to satisfy questions from family and friends.


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Subject: RE: Tracing a Banjo
From: Sorcha
Date: 20 Sep 04 - 08:45 PM

What an areshole comment, Guest. Guess you can't even bother.


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Subject: RE: Tracing a Banjo
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 20 Sep 04 - 09:27 PM

You put a piece of paper over the top and press lightly with a pencil - not too hard as it will break thru. It will be easier to trace if you first run over the instrument with a steam roller.


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Subject: RE: Tracing a Banjo
From: Tannywheeler
Date: 21 Sep 04 - 11:30 AM

Thanks, Sorcha. Nothing "wayward" about Hally. She went through a time of spotty temp jobs where her choices were sometimes rent or food. Been there, done that. Probably lots of us have. But she loved that A. C. Fairbanks banjo -- go-into-a-burning-building-to-save-it love; debate-whether-to-save-it-or-a-grandchild love. This is a state-of-the-art, luthier-made instrument.

Foolstroupe, if I had said "Locating" would that have forestalled -- nah, you'd probably have described where someone should "locate" a banjo... Would "Looking for" have saved me? Probably not. You're very quick and inventive, but not lacking in goodwill. Thanks for the grin.

BanjoRay: What is the "Banjo-L mailing list" and how do I access it?

Coyote Breath: (is South Dacola anywhere near South Dakota?) Hally died in 1989. This would have happened in between '84 and '87.

I was right about asking 'Catters for help.   Tw


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Subject: RE: Tracing a Banjo
From: BanjoRay
Date: 21 Sep 04 - 11:47 AM

Tannywheeler, Banjo-l is a discussion list. When you join it, you get all the emails that get sent to the list by a member, and if you send one in, all the members get it. The members are all banjo players from all over the world, and many of them are world experts on the subject. They mostly stick to the subject of banjos - history, players, styles of playing, recordings, types, banjo makers and repairers, lost banjos etc. Buying, selling, religion and politics etc are not allowed. They're a very helpful bunch of people. You can join at this page. It's easy to leave when you've had enough.
I hope this helps.
Ray


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Subject: RE: Tracing a Banjo
From: GUEST,Celeste
Date: 21 Sep 04 - 12:05 PM

Mike Holmes's Mugwumps site has a stolen banjos list. Dealers check it and are sometimes able to alert owners when a stolen instrument shows up.

The list is consolidated with Banjo-L's list, so you don't have to join Banjo-L to access it. Here's the link.


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Subject: RE: Tracing a Banjo
From: GUEST,Songster Bob
Date: 21 Sep 04 - 04:44 PM

A.C. Fairbanks banjo from 1970? Really? Did someone revive the name? AC Fairbanks of Boston was the forerunner of the Vega Co. (actually, a competitor till a fire in 1905(?) led to Vega taking over the Fairbanks Co.), so if it's a real Faibanks, it wasn't a junker, but was instead an heirloom.

Unless, like I said, someone revived the name for a modern instrument company. I haven't followed companies that much (though in 1970 I was doing so, and don't remember that company as being contemporary).

Bob


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Subject: RE: Tracing a Banjo
From: Tannywheeler
Date: 21 Sep 04 - 10:11 PM

It will come as no surprise to anyone that I know from nuthin' about banjos.   Mama knew more and called it an A. C. Fairbanks and was more than delighted to have it. She acquired it in the late '70s or early '80s. I never knew the details of the deal. In Houston. Texas.

Hally owned 3 banjos during the 1980s -- the first 2, the best instruments, during very lean economic times. She developed an ingenious hiding technique, but not ingenious enough. The first was stolen, hiding technique revised, but second was stolen, also. That's when she acquired the junker.   Tw


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Subject: RE: Tracing a Banjo
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 21 Sep 04 - 10:26 PM

Politeness forbids me from telling you where to "locate" a banjo...


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Subject: RE: Tracing a Banjo
From: Tannywheeler
Date: 22 Sep 04 - 03:46 PM

Foolstroupe, if I had my druthers I'd "locate" one in my mother's arms, or Roger Sprung's, or Danny Barnes'.

Haven't noticed politeness interfering with you telling stuff, but I'm still kinda new here. If it weren't for how helpful and kind most folks here are, I would only be here for the laughs.   Tw


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Subject: RE: Tracing a Banjo
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 22 Sep 04 - 07:34 PM

I do hope you find what what you are looking for. I too have fond memories of objects from my childhood, but have sometimes found that locating the actual object was not as satisfying as the memory of it.

Robin


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Subject: RE: Tracing a Banjo
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Sep 04 - 01:01 PM

Well, take a very large piece of paperand lay it on a dard surface; lay the banjo on top, get a pencil ... oops! guess I took the thread title too literally!


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Subject: RE: Tracing a Banjo
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 23 Sep 04 - 09:34 PM

... and didn't bother to read it at all...


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Subject: RE: Tracing a Banjo
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 24 Sep 04 - 12:53 AM

When she says, "Hally", she means Hally Wood, folks, a not insignificant figure of the folkie past: member of the New Lost City Ramblers, collaborator with Alan Lomax, and... I hope Tannywheeler will say more.

Scroll down on this page: Elektra 10-inch discography to O' Lovely Appearance of Death.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Tracing a Banjo
From: Tannywheeler
Date: 24 Sep 04 - 12:04 PM

Yikes -- Becky -- not a MEMBER of NLCR -- but friend of members. She did tune research/header notes for songs and tunes/etc., for the book now published as "Old Time String Band Songbook", which came out originally as "New Lost City Ramblers' Songbook". Collaborator with several Lomaxes, not just Alan. And singer -- and (like most folks) lots of other stuff. Tw


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Subject: RE: Tracing a Banjo
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Sep 04 - 03:56 PM

I was a babe at the time... thanks for the correction. :-)

~ Becky


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