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Post new topic Ralph Mooney
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Author Topic:  Ralph Mooney
Chet Wilcox


From:
Illinois, USA
Post Posted 12 Sep 2008 11:51 am     Reply with quote

Does anyone know what guitar Ralph usad on the Early Buck Owens, and Wynn Stewart Records? not just a guess.
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Dave Zirbel


From:
Sebastopol, CA USA
Post Posted 12 Sep 2008 11:55 am     Reply with quote

Fender 1000 D-8 cable guitar.
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Chet Wilcox


From:
Illinois, USA
Post Posted 12 Sep 2008 12:41 pm     Reply with quote

Good Picture Dave, thanks
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Terje Brattsveen


From:
Nashville, TN. USA
Post Posted 12 Sep 2008 3:04 pm     Reply with quote

Dave.
Do you know anything about his tuning/copedent?
Terje.
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Ron Steenwijk


Post Posted 12 Sep 2008 3:54 pm     Reply with quote

Tab:

           1   2   3   4   5  <-
1.   G#           +A      -G
2.   E                +F#     +F
3.   B        +C#
4.   G#    +A
5.   F#
6.   E                       -D#
7.   D
8.   C#
9.   B#
10.  E


Out of the Winnie Winston book.

His rear neck is tuned to an E9 and uses five pedals and one lever.He regularly uses both feet on the pedals.
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b0b


From:
Northern California
Post Posted 12 Sep 2008 4:07 pm     Reply with quote

B#? Somebody's pulling your leg.
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Ron Steenwijk


Post Posted 12 Sep 2008 4:39 pm     Reply with quote

typo b0b....gotta be Bb
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Ken Mizell


From:
Lakeland, Florida, USA
Post Posted 12 Sep 2008 8:52 pm     Reply with quote

It's been said or written that on the earliest Buck Owens music (Foolin Around, Under the Influence of Love, Under Your Spell Again, and much more), Moon played a home made steel that he used prior to the Fender 1000. Moon reports that the old home made steel burned up in a garage fire. I saw a picture of it somewhere once. I also read where some of the singers going into the studio and seeing him with the home made contraption were scared of it due to its looks, until he played it. Whatever it was, it was certainly some great stuff.
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Dave Zirbel


From:
Sebastopol, CA USA
Post Posted 12 Sep 2008 9:41 pm     Reply with quote

I remember hearing or reading about that steel. It may have been a modified Stringmaster. I think in the second half of the story he took the burnt steel out to the Mojave desert and had some crazy burial ritual. I think I read it on the old forum many MOONS ago. Very Happy

Here's a copy of Mooney's eight string tuning and set up from a 1968 Tom Bradshaw steel guitar news letter.
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Joseph Barcus


From:
Volga West Virginia
Post Posted 13 Sep 2008 11:14 am     Reply with quote

I have found that its not so much the tuning but the person playing the guitar, if mooney was to set down on the Big E's guitar he would sound like Mooney, or vise versa, these guys had a sound of there own
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Leland Darst


From:
Columbus, Ohio
Post Posted 13 Sep 2008 8:54 pm     Reply with quote

Ken , you are right , it was a home made steel , and Buck really didnt like any 7th chords
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Chet Wilcox


From:
Illinois, USA
Post Posted 14 Sep 2008 10:43 am     Reply with quote

My point in asking this Questio, was, That Ralph sounded so Good on That old Guitar. And in My Opinion Made Buck Owens,s Sound Famouse. So why does everyone worry about Cabinet drop and all the other things that are analized here on the forum,and especially the electronic tuners., just my opinion, if you can fine an E note you CAN tune the Guitar
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Ron Steenwijk


Post Posted 14 Sep 2008 11:03 am     Reply with quote

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Ken Mizell


From:
Lakeland, Florida, USA
Post Posted 14 Sep 2008 11:24 am     Reply with quote

I'd love to here Moon play that home made acoustic steel that Ron posted. Someone around here said it worked well.

There's a picture floating around somewhere that shows the home made steel from the early Buck Owens (and others) days. From what I recall, I agree with Dave Z., that it was a converted old Stringmaster. Somewhere out there in the world, there has to be pics of him playing that pre-Fender 1000 homemade job -finding it may be another story.

I have loads of the old pre-Buckaroo Buck Owens records with Moon all over it, and that old steel sounded great. Tunes like: Think it Over, House Down the Block, Under Your Spell Again, and many more.

At least the way I hear it, there's a difference in the tone of this old home made one we are talking about, the Fender 1000 (like with Wynn Stewart and Merle Haggard), the Sho-Bud's, and the more recent GFI's. IMHO.

Just a thought - I wonder if PSG players were as particular about tuning in the days before electronic tuners? I ain't saying this is good or bad, just wondering. I used a tuner myself.
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Charles Curtis


Post Posted 14 Sep 2008 1:00 pm     Reply with quote

Does anyone else have any pics of Ralph from the old days? This is the earliest I've seen. I sometimes wonder if Buck would have gotten such a great start without Ralph.
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Dave Zirbel


From:
Sebastopol, CA USA
Post Posted 14 Sep 2008 1:25 pm     Reply with quote



I wonder if that's the homemade job.
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Ken Mizell


From:
Lakeland, Florida, USA
Post Posted 14 Sep 2008 1:40 pm     Reply with quote

I think that's the picture of it that I saw before. You can see at least 1 pedal rod, and some sort of pull rod and mechanism up underneath.

I've got that album on vinyl. Great stuff, especially Texas Waltz. I think it's a Fender 1000 on that album. The vinyl cover shows a bit more of the steel at the bottom.
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Steeless
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Ken Mizell


From:
Lakeland, Florida, USA
Post Posted 14 Sep 2008 2:41 pm     Reply with quote

I found my old copy of Steel Guitarist Magazine, No. 5, May 1980. It featured "The Ralph Mooney Story." Great article.

I don't know if I'd be allowed to write, with proper attributes, exactly what's in the magazine. There are a couple of paragraphs that are directly on-point to this discussion. I'll paraphrase some of the important stuff. Based on the description given by Moon in his interview in the magazine, it's totally home made, and not an altered Fender Stringmaster. It's built from scratch, from the ground up. The description in the article completely fits the picture that Dave posted. The body was made of 2 - 4" birch slabs. Legs were made from closet rod pipe. Pulls were made from coat hanger wires. Moon reported that it stayed in tune remarkably well. Fender borrowed it from him for 2 years studying it, trying to figure out how it stayed in tune so well. They gave him a Fender steel while they had his, and he eventually got his home made steel back. Unfortunately, a lawn mower exploded in Ralph's garage, setting the place on fire. Ralph reports that he buried the burned steel in the desert to confuse archaeologist in the future.

Moon mentioned using this one in California around 1959, and that matches the era we were discussing.

This issue of Steel Guitarist Magazine is well worth buying, if b0b has any of them left for sale. I got mine back when I was subscribing.
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Dave Zirbel


From:
Sebastopol, CA USA
Post Posted 14 Sep 2008 3:02 pm     Reply with quote

Awesome! Very Happy Thanks for the info.
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Fred Jack


From:
Bastrop, Texas 78602
Post Posted 14 Sep 2008 8:00 pm     Moon Reply with quote

Thats pretty much it Ken ... I'll add that Moon did receive one Fender. He drilled a hole in it and added a string and recorded ,using it,w/Wynn. The fact that he added a string P.O'd Leo and Moon never got another Fender.Moon never cared about another Fender and life went on.The song slips my mind right now but Leland might remember. I'll be out for a week and if he hasn't chimed in I'll post when I return.
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Chet Wilcox


From:
Illinois, USA
Post Posted 14 Sep 2008 8:57 pm     Reply with quote

Great Info, no ones any better than Mooney, also Wynn was a great singer
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Dave Zirbel


From:
Sebastopol, CA USA
Post Posted 15 Sep 2008 4:44 am     Reply with quote

So I guess we didn't hear a Fender steel on Buck's recordings until Brumley joined the band.

Quote:
Ken , you are right , it was a home made steel , and Buck really didnt like any 7th chords


I didn't hear a lot of 7th in Moons playing until the Haggard and Waylon stuff. That tuning I posted must have been for the home made guitar. The tuning Ron posted must have been closer to the 8 string Fender tuning because he had the split G# to A pull and lowered the high G# to G with pedal 5. It all makes sense now. This whole time I thought Mooney played a Fender 1000 on all that early stuff! Very Happy
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