A couple of weeks ago I received an email from Gérard De Smaele  who, a few years ago, obtained a full set of 13 audio cassettes of a collection of original recordings, both cylinder and record of the Classic Banjo Greats from, the now late, Wayne Adams of Canada.

Wayne was a regular attendee of ABF rallies and a prolific transcriber of CB music from these original recordings producing both 1st and second banjo parts. Many of the Vess Ossman and Fred Van Eps music scores now available were the work of Wayne.

Unfortunately I do not have all the transcriptions which (I believe) are now in the collection of Eli Kaufman.

Gérard  has made digital recordings and these have been audio processed by Jean Leroy to remove ''some" tape hum and hiss, but not over processed as old recordings ofter are.   I have all the tracks and they have been compiled to a database in a suitable format to play and download.. Many of the recordings are new to me and probably new to you too!

BUT hold your breath as the page design and player with databases are still being written.


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Here is a quick taster for you  :-)

Fred Van Eps playing the odd titled piece from 1918  "SING LING TING" No, I have never heard of it either. 

SING LING TING by Fred Van Eps 1918

Another great foot tapper from when Classic Style Banjo was King.

Gérard de Smaele is a guy from Belgium who is  a banjo ' aficionado ;

i don 't know him in person , but éric Stefanelli does , he used to meet him some years ago if i remember correctly

Thanks Marc,

I didn't know that Gérard was from Belgium. I wonder if he knows Claude Burvenich as she is a cracking Classic Style player that I have met at UK banjo rallies.

Is Eric still playing as I know that some time ago he was concentrating on his calligraphy?

yes , éric S  is still playing  , some CB too , but he is in his " plectrum banjo period " , with  some beautiful 4 strings instruments , Vega phone  , Weymann and his late B&D  n° 7  or 8 made by Richelieu .

I can hardly wait! Maybe Joel can find those transcriptions...?

"Sing Ting Ling" was pressed by Okeh and appears to the earliest of his Okeh recordings. On the flip side of "Oh Lady, Lady!"

I've got some of the transcriptions which I got from Wayne Adams in 1993.

UPDATE on Wayne Adams Collection:

After spending weeks editing, compiling and then creating a website database and front end player (with much help from my son who is a professional database programmer!..thank you Dave) I was ready to upload all the Wayne Adams Collection. I kept Mr. de Smaele regularly informed with screen shots as all the work progressed, BUT just before I was to press the upload button I received an email from him informing me that he had been in discussions with a publisher in France to sell the Wayne Adams tracks on a CD set, so I could not use them after all!  So good luck with that Gerard.

As all the database software had been written I decided to go through all my records and audio recordings and discovered that I already had 99% of the tracks in my NING collection,  so after a more weeks of work cleaning, editing and researching I, with the help of Tapis d'Orient, aka. Tony Bryan as proof-reader,  have finished MY list of Classic Banjo recordings and am making them available for everyone to both to play on the website and download for their pleasure at home :-)

Check out my next post for details and visit the NEW database here:  Classic Banjo Original Recordings

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