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Author Topic:  Bud Isaacs
Mitch Drumm


From:
Frostbite Falls, hard by Veronica Lake
Post Posted 6 May 2009 10:50 pm     Reply with quote

Guy:

Here is a pic of Wakely's group in 1940. I haven't heard all of it, but I don't think it featured steel. As Billy says, Pete Martinez was later on steel with Wakely--by 1946. I can't recall ever seeing a picture of Pete, but I liked his style on things like "Oklahoma Hills" and "Home In San Antone". Wakely later used Noel Boggs as well. I think Martinez is still alive, possibly in Texas? He reminds me a little of Joaquin--you wouldn't mistake him for Joaquin, but he was a highly competent western swing player.


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Jussi Huhtakangas


From:
Helsinki, Finland
Post Posted 6 May 2009 11:23 pm     Reply with quote

Speaking of "Take A Tater And Wait", here's a great version that features Big E "ripping off" some Joaquin Murphy style single note stuff!! Cool
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yVvJvm-KZo&feature=related
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Guy Cundell


From:
More idle ramblings from South Australia
Post Posted 7 May 2009 2:17 am     Reply with quote

Michael, there seems to be a fairly definitive answer in the second link that you posted.

"In 1953, pedal steel pioneer/Country Music Hall of Famer Bud Isaacs ushered in the modern pedal steel guitar sound on the Webb Pierce track "Slowly," by manipulating the instrument's strings individually. Issacs was also the first on record to use the signature pedal steel technique: moving its pedals while the bar is in motion and the strings are ringing. "It wasn't by accident that I found that sound," Isaacs recalls nearly 50 years later. "It took years of work to try to create [what] I was looking for. I listened to the sounds of Bob Wills' band, with three fiddles, and I wanted to be able to move the notes on other strings while sustaining one note."

This is only a secondary source and I would love to read the original interview but the direct quotes are there. According to this interview the heritage of the PSG sound lies in the string arrangements of Bob Wills. My immediate question is whether those are head arrangements or there is a particular arranger involved.

This is not to discount Mr Tonnesen's recollections of Dick Roberts. As can be shown, the sound of the stationary string and the moving string can be generated on the NPSG. This may well be demonstrated in Dick Robert's style. The issue of pedals is another question which is at odds with many written opinions. I would not challenge Billy's recollections but I would love to hear some of Dick Roberts playing.
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David Doggett


From:
Bawl'mer, MD (formerly of MS, Nawluns, Gnashville, Knocksville, Lost Angeles, Bahsten. and Philly)
Post Posted 7 May 2009 8:47 am     Reply with quote

I think those quotes from Bud answer your question, Guy. Although others had previously used pedals in various ways, Bud had a sound in his head from fiddle harmonies that he wanted on steel. He worked with the pedals until he found it, and then refined the technique to get a lot more (the harmonies sometimes move without one string staying the same). Webb heard him play and wanted it on his new songs. It captured something fiddlers and vocalists had been doing in country music for a long time. So when Slowly hit the airwaves it was a familiar sound, but done in a striking new way on steel. It caught everyone's ear and grabbed their heart. It is very understandable why Webb struggled so hard to keep it as part of his music.

At the same time, Bud Isaac's had a Western Swing no-peddler background. So much of his playing maintained that quality, even after Slowly.
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post Posted 7 May 2009 9:31 am     Reply with quote

Webb needed something to cover up his singing. Rolling Eyes
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J. Michael Robbins


From:
Dayton, OH now in Hickory, NC
Post Posted 7 May 2009 9:43 am     Reply with quote

Good one Erv!

I have always thought that George Jones' singing style, and Floyd Cramer's piano style were directly influenced by the PSG's evolution and use ocurring during this period (early 1950's), as their careers were just beginning.
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Jussi Huhtakangas


From:
Helsinki, Finland
Post Posted 7 May 2009 11:00 am     Reply with quote

Yeah, but listen to Don Rich. Chet Atkins described him "a guy with a pedal steel in his voice". And speaking of Chet, Bud Isaacs is all over on Chet's first 12" LP Session With Chet.
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Billy Tonnesen


From:
R.I.P., Buena Park, California
Post Posted 7 May 2009 11:07 am     Reply with quote

Guy:.
I did not mean that Dick Roberts style was anything like what Bud Isaacs came up with. It was just that he was using what sounded like a pedal change being part of a melody line. I think what he was doing was going from one major triad to another with all three strings changing. I'm just speculating. Let's put my post on Dick Roberts to rest.
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Guy Cundell


From:
More idle ramblings from South Australia
Post Posted 7 May 2009 12:18 pm     Reply with quote

I think the question is left open due to lack of evidence, Billy. It would seem that the music of Happy Perriman is as scarce as hen's teeth. This is all I could find and I dumped my record player some years ago!
I'd still be interested if anyone has access to recordings.

http://www.amazon.com/Jealous-Heart-Farther-Away/dp/B001U3EOU8

Chet is the producer of the early 50s RCA Isaacs recordings.
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Jussi Huhtakangas


From:
Helsinki, Finland
Post Posted 7 May 2009 10:35 pm     Reply with quote

Guy Cundell wrote:

Chet is the producer of the early 50s RCA Isaacs recordings.


Yes, and he also plays lead guitar on them.

Guy, here are pictures of Bud's famous "Slowly" Bigsby. Note the rod & plunger changers on the keyheads. This is how the first Bigsby pedal steel changers were.





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