Many thanks for the info. I shall have a serious look at them, and give it some thought. The Patents were most helpful. We are never too old to learn a new trick or two. I wonder if there is a special design for a zither banjo.
Of course, I'd be happy to. I've been meaning to see what I had versus the ones you've posted versus the ones that library made available in pdf form a few years ago, anyway. I'm greatly impressed by the offerings you've made available; you must be a man of great patience to watch your scanner creep across browning paper that way.
Anyway, I had some other scanning to do and will add in that issue and post it somewhere here. There's some interesting stuff to be found in those issues; I got a passel of them years ago before the "internet" made things a little more available and I used to spend hours perusing them after I was done with work; strange facts and references would surface to odd slang terms or early banjo pieces that predated the cake walk or ragtime by many years generally agreed upon as those forms "first apps." (In fact, there's a piece called "Uncle Joe's Cake Dance" in the issue following the Weston death notice -- 1890!) I love that Stewart feels the need to make it clear that he's hastily paid overdue royalties to Weston's widow in the obituary itself. What a jerk.
I feel sort of bad because I have a fair amount of material which I simply don't have the time at the moment to scan in, though I hope to do a book at some point collecting the best of it.
In the meantime, I greatly enjoy your taciturn videos and to-the-point postings, especially when you play a new Weston piece; I dunno why he's not a more studied composer; I mean, he's an African-American banjoist who left behind a legacy of actual, published music, right? So thanks for focusing on him.
I think I've got about a dozen or so original Weston sheets, though they're bound and so difficult to scan; I can try to make up a list for you, as well, if you're interested.
P.S. I just saw I can "add you as friend," which I will do, if there's no objection!
Many thanks for your comment which I much appreciate. It is certainly worthy of reply. You are absolutely right about A D Cammeyer not arriving in England until 1888. However, you seem to be under the common misconception that it was he who 'invented' the zither-banjo (ZB henceforth) and if so, it's time that particular myth was laid to rest once and for all.
Here's the story of the 'Engish' ZB as I know it. I've put 'English' in quotes because it certainly owes its inspiration to an American. But it wasn't Cammeyer. It was one of the Dobson Bros. (I've forgotten which one) One of them was in England in 1868 or 9, bringing with him, his, or his brother's, closed-back top-tensioned banjo. The English reacted as if they'd discovered the Holy Grail and set about copying it with unholy zeal, whilst adding at the same time, a number of refinements.
And one of of these who undoubtedly was looking for an alternative to American style open-backs. was the London instrument maker William Temlett Senior. In 1869 he patented his own version of the Dobson. And this was known from the start as a 'zither' banjo. Temlett never, ever, claimed to have invented it, please note. He called himself a 'pioneer' of the zither-banjo. which would seem to suggest that the concept was already well established by the time Temlett patented it. Haven't the time or space to go into details about why the ZB was so named, or the differences between ZB's and 'ordinary' American style open-backs, but you can certainly forget all that nonsense about tunneled 5th strings and 6-tuning machines being the crucial indicators.
Cammeyer had nowt to do with it, he was only 8 years old! And child prodigy though he was I believe the violin was his main interest then.
By the way, you make excellent banjo bridges!
All the Best,
No comments yet!
You need to be a member of Classic-Banjo to add comments!