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Author Topic:  Gladys Hawaiians
Matthew Woods


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 19 Sep 2017 8:55 pm     Reply with quote

I have a Martin 0-28K with the name Gladys Hawaiians painted on the side. The case is painted as well. Does anyone know anything about this band (probably from the early 1930s)?

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Brad Bechtel


From:
San Francisco, CA
Post Posted 20 Sep 2017 9:00 am     Reply with quote

This page from the Allentown (PA) Morning Call of December 1932 indicated that this band performed on WCBA-WSAN 1440 AM radio. That's all I've been able to find, though.
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Peter Garellick


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 20 Sep 2017 9:26 am     Reply with quote

Always interesting to find out any history on old instruments!

Anyways, here's a couple of leads to possible former owners. The first one seems to have a Pennsylvania connection, as Brad pointed out.

http://articles.herald-mail.com/2013-01-27/obituaries/36582712_1_pokrywka-clayton-marquiss-henry-iii

https://obittree.com/obituary/us/indiana/mooresville/jones-family-mortuary/gladys-wiley/2900341/index.php

Good luck, Peter
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Ron Ellison


From:
D.C.
Post Posted 20 Sep 2017 9:44 am     Reply with quote

Beautiful guitar!!
What is the "order of the eastern star "?
Reading that 'Morning Call' was funnier than hell!
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Brad Bechtel


From:
San Francisco, CA
Post Posted 20 Sep 2017 11:44 am     Reply with quote

Ron Ellison wrote:
Beautiful guitar!!
What is the "order of the eastern star "?


http://www.easternstar.org
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Matthew Woods


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 20 Sep 2017 11:59 am     great info Reply with quote

Wow! You guys are regular detectives. The Pennsylvania connection seems possible since I bought the guitar several years ago from Vintage Instruments in Philly. At the time, Fred didn't know its history. I have not been able to find any photos or recordings, and I have long assumed it was one of myriad local acts playing Hawaiian music.
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Bill Groner


From:
QUAKERTOWN, PA
Post Posted 20 Sep 2017 12:01 pm     Reply with quote

Brad Bechtel wrote:
This page from the Allentown (PA) Morning Call of December 1932 indicated that this band performed on WCBA-WSAN 1440 AM radio. That's all I've been able to find, though.



Allentown, Pa is about 10 miles away from Nazareth, Pa where Martin Guitar is located. In their museum they have several 30's Hawaiian guitars on display. I have taken the tour 2x and learned something new each time. Very good tour. If you take the general tour (about an hour long) it's free. If you take the behind the scenes tour I think it's $25?
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Matthew Woods


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 20 Sep 2017 3:03 pm     Obituary links Reply with quote

I noticed on the obituary links above that the lady from Pennsylvania would only have been 7 years old in 1932. It might be cool to have a Hawaiian band with a 7 year old steel player but more than likely we haven't yet found our Gladys.
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Peter Garellick


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 20 Sep 2017 8:13 pm     Reply with quote

I did notice the age thing...though I thought it's possible the father named the band after his daughter, or that she was featured in the band as a novelty, singing a few songs or playing ukulele or steel. That seems plausible for a 1930s era amateur band.

Sweet looking guitar! Is it a squareneck? Hard to see in the picture.
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Matthew Woods


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 21 Sep 2017 8:07 am     Gladys Reply with quote

Yeah I see what you mean. I guess it would be cool to have a kid in the band, and there were probably a lot of family groups performing...or who knows, maybe she was just a killer young player! Anyway, I'm hoping a photo or recording of the group surfaces at some point.

Regards the 0-28K (nicknamed Gladys of course), I am not aware of Martin making a squareneck, but the O28K does have flush frets, a non-intonated straight saddle and a raised nut so it was intended strictly for steel playing. It is a silky smooth sounding box that has been played a lot.
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Peter Garellick


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 21 Sep 2017 9:35 am     Reply with quote

How's the volume? I have never had a chance to try one of these Martins. I mostly play a 1930 tricone. I love the look of your Martin though! Is it Koa wood?
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Matthew Woods


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 21 Sep 2017 4:24 pm     Martin Reply with quote

The volume is good, rich and full sounding with good balance as well. It has very light scalloped x-bracing and is at least as loud as your typical Weissenborn or Knutsen. The 0-28K and 0-18K models are all koa. Not sure if I can upload a sound file here on the forum?
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Matthew Woods


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 29 Sep 2017 9:06 pm     Martin 028K tone Reply with quote

I don't know how to attach an audio file to a post, but if you want to hear what the Martin 028K sounds like, there is a sound clip called "Isaiah 38:20" on my website.

www.vintagefrettedinstruments.com
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