Well, I had not heard it before !

It is a great piece from two masters of the  5 string Zither banjo.

MERRIE COMPANY played by Alfred Cammeyer and Olly Oakley

I have added the score for banjo and piano to the MUSIC LIBRARY for FREE download.

Enjoy !

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Thanks for sharing this. I have not heard this one before either - it's a good quality recording too.  I really like their duet of Chinese Patrol (even though the only recording I have heard is pretty scratchy) - they give it some welly!

Yup, that's a dandy.

Do you know who is playing which part? It is a Camm composition but I would think Mr. O would be playing 1st...?

Great stuff. Did Cammeyer always record with his zither banjo?

They did 3 discs/6 sides together, and they are all great.  Some of these were done by Derek Lillywhite on his old LP, but as solos.

Cammeyer and Shaeff did a few as well, but they are much harder to find (and they used surnames on the records)....the ones above are not the easiest to find, either.

I really like Cammeyer.

Rob, I believe he was pretty much strictly ZB....to my knowledge so far, I have not encountered him on regular banjo.  Since he is credited with the "invention" of the ZB in the late 1890's and he and Clifford Essex (the person...I think his first foray into the music biz other than as a player) started as a partnership making and selling ZB's, I think Camm was/is so associated with the ZB that he mainly stuck to it for biz reasons as well.  The Cammeyer ZB's from the 20's and 30's are my favorites, though I don't have physical experience with any others other than paying attention to pictures of all of them when I can.  It seems to me the Camm's are the best made and most adjustable, but they do seem to have a tendancy to have glue joints and veneer come apart over the years...I am not sure if this is from years in humid Enlgish lofts, or just the manufacturing, but they are hide glue joints.  They have a nice well thought out way to support the neck at the body to combat string tension, and the Vibrante and Patent models I have have almost a combination rim stick/coordinator metal rod for the dowel stick, which to me looks like they would deal with repair and necksets and set up better than most other ZB's.  

I have yet to restore my 2, but I will report on that process when I get into them after our house/shop move in a year or two.

I know you and Ian had Amboyna's....and Windsor made a similar series of them, coincidentally to this thread subject, an Ollie Oakley model.

Those ZB's have the body and neck made as one, so to me, a neckset or action change with the structure looks to be....not impossible, but not a project I'd prefer to get into.

I think Derek Lillywhite favored the Camms, and his LP says he used a Vibrante on that LP.

Jody knows quite a bit about ZB's and has read Cammeyer's book, which I have yet to do as it sits on my shelf looking at me, and he also has the "Banjo on Record" reference book that collectors use, so he can likely chime in with more wisdom that me on this.

Carrie-"they give it some welly!"...they sure do....in collecting British vernacular, what exactly is the loose meaning of welly in....stupid current American words?  Is this like kicking the *SH-T* out of it with your wellies?

The zeebee expert on this forum is Dave Wade. Most of what I know is from having played a good number of them and studying how awful they sound when mis-strung and how beautiful they can be made to sound with the right strings and and bridge.

The Cammeyer book has no banjo information at all. It's entirely anecdotes about rubbing shoulders with high society.

 My Amboyna, Rob's, and Ian's are all the same banjo.  There is another Abbott Amboyna relatively near you in Tenneseee. It was recently gifted to ETSU in Johnson City. If you're ever over that way I'm sure Roy Andrade can arrange for you to study it.  I've seen that banjo when it lived in San Francisco but I can't recall if the fingerboard is concave like mine. That is a strange design feature, the purpose of which eludes me.  It's like a reverse radiused fingerboard. 

I have recently reclaimed my Cammeyer Patent from Paul Hostettter's workshop. He never got around to restoring it. It has no apparent structural problems but it is as you say :the veneer has broken off in pieces everywhere. It is a gorgeous banjo. I might try to carefully glue each piece back again but some of it is so brittle it is likely to fracture sooner or later. I'd rather find a way to strip it all off and re-cover it with more stable materials.  Beyond my current abilities. 

Chris Cioffi said:

Jody knows quite a bit about ZB's and has read Cammeyer's book, which I have yet to do as it sits on my shelf looking at me, and he also has the "Banjo on Record" reference book that collectors use, so he can likely chime in with more wisdom that me on this.

Yes, Chris, I bought the beautiful Amboyna from Ian, and sold it to Jodi. It's good to keep these things In House :-) 

I really did not like the sound and the feel of the ultra-thin steel strings - I had it set up properly with a gut 3rd, etc. But, having just listened to the videos I made, it doesn't sound bad at all. And I do love Cammeyer's compositions...

Anyway, I don't want to be the cause of thread drift. Back to the record. 

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