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Author Topic:  Pictures of stage full of steels in 1956
Larry Lenhart


From:
Ponca City, Oklahoma
Post Posted 19 Apr 2017 8:42 am     Reply with quote

I thought I had posted this picture before, but I couldnt find it, so I thought I would show it again. Its great to see so many steels in one setting ! My steel teacher and friend, Bill Pruitt, RIP, was playing the quad I later bought from him as my first steel guitar. Good old days ! Smile




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Zum Stage One, 1956 Rickenbacker D8 console, 1953 Fender Custom T8, Clinesmith S8 JM model, JB Frypan, 1976 Ibanez L5, Gretsch 6122-1959, Telonics pedal, Taylor 214 CE, Squire Tele, Recording King Banjo, 3 Roland cubes 30s and 80, Carvin combo bass amp
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Michael Lee Allen


From:
Des Plaines Illinois just NW of ChIraq
Post Posted 19 Apr 2017 11:00 am     Reply with quote












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Michael Lee Allen


From:
Des Plaines Illinois just NW of ChIraq
Post Posted 19 Apr 2017 11:28 am     Reply with quote










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Michael Lee Allen


From:
Des Plaines Illinois just NW of ChIraq
Post Posted 19 Apr 2017 11:41 am     Reply with quote










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Michael Lee Allen


From:
Des Plaines Illinois just NW of ChIraq
Post Posted 19 Apr 2017 1:06 pm     Reply with quote



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David M Brown


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 19 Apr 2017 1:11 pm     Reply with quote

No wonder there are so many used lap steels!

Thanks for posting all those pictures.
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Larry Lenhart


From:
Ponca City, Oklahoma
Post Posted 19 Apr 2017 2:06 pm     Reply with quote

Wow Michael, those are some really cool pictures...I especially liked the Chicagoland music festival pics! Do you know any stories behind them ?
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Zum Stage One, 1956 Rickenbacker D8 console, 1953 Fender Custom T8, Clinesmith S8 JM model, JB Frypan, 1976 Ibanez L5, Gretsch 6122-1959, Telonics pedal, Taylor 214 CE, Squire Tele, Recording King Banjo, 3 Roland cubes 30s and 80, Carvin combo bass amp
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Dennis Saydak


From:
Manitoba, Canada
Post Posted 19 Apr 2017 2:41 pm     Reply with quote

Wonderful pictures from happy times. These days it wouldn't surprise me if cell phone conventions will eventually replace steel guitar conventions. Razz
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Tommy Detamore


From:
Floresville, Texas
Post Posted 19 Apr 2017 3:40 pm     Reply with quote

Those are incredible photos! Thanks for sharing y'all....

To think that once upon a time steel guitars were at all prevalent. And yet there are still many who don't even know what they are.

"That thing you play....so what do you call that anyway?"

I get asked that fairly often....
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Tommy Detamore

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Doug Beaumier


From:
Northampton, MA
Post Posted 19 Apr 2017 4:32 pm     Reply with quote

Wonderful pictures from a bygone era, when every city in the USA had mom and pop music stores with student bands. So proud of their guitars and steel guitars. Youngsters studied music and played together. People interacted in person, instead of staring at computer screens and texting. Social networking really was social.

I like the picture with the 13 Eharps! Cool
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Doug Beaumier


From:
Northampton, MA
Post Posted 19 Apr 2017 6:46 pm     Reply with quote




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Andy Volk


From:
Boston, MA
Post Posted 20 Apr 2017 2:05 am     Reply with quote

Terrific pics. I've always wanted to hear audio of what these large steel guitar orchestras sounded like. You know, this is a story that is unknown beyond the tiny confines of the steel guitar world. The world knows about the birth of rock, the start of R&B, country music and other musical/cultural threads of the 1940s and 50s but the fact that hundreds of amateur steel guitar orchestras even existed and flourished in this time period is more or less unknown to the general public. Makes me think about doing a documentary. Sigh. But there are so few hours in the day.
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Jim Bloomfield


From:
Colorado, USA
Post Posted 20 Apr 2017 6:03 am     Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing. I didn't know 10-string lap steels were even around in that time period.
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Herb Steiner


From:
Spicewood TX 78669
Post Posted 20 Apr 2017 6:50 am     Reply with quote

Hal Rugg told me that he put together a band at one time that was comprised of 17 steel guitars and a bass.

But he lost the gig... too much bass.
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Michael Lee Allen


From:
Des Plaines Illinois just NW of ChIraq
Post Posted 20 Apr 2017 7:10 am     Reply with quote

Without a lot of looking stuff up I can educated-guess Gibson was probably making ten string steels by 1939. Epiphone was making EHARP ten strings for Eddie Alkire by 1952 if not earlier. Early on Rickenbacker also made some B-series bakelite guitars with metal necks and ten strings and ten strings were optional on some of their consoles by the early 1950s.
Growing up there were small music stores or teaching studio operations all over the place. They were far enough apart to not compete with each other, close enough that no kid had to walk more than a half mile or so for lessons. That was the business model, don't get too big and over-extended. Each place carried different brands and used different teaching methods. All the owners knew each other and most got along well and helped each other out at times. The usual plan was starting kids out on lap steel, then moving those with ability to standard guitar, or up to a "pro" level of steel, the Alkire System, a Multi-Kord or whatever the store handled. So you sold an amp and a steel, then a guitar, then an upgraded guitar or steel. The trade-ins became loaners or trial instruments, or were kept for studio use. Instrument sales were the gravy, regular income came from lessons and strings and picks and you could make a living doing it.
I've heard plenty of stories from the guys who were involved in those big events, each store's owner trying to get his store band's instruments in tune with each other in a hot and humid outdoor venue in August. Then imagine the sound when multiple store bands all combined for the grand finale.
Back then there were few diversions. If an operator put together a store band concert in the neighborhood park people showed up, and kids in the audience wanted to be part of it, and they got signed up. Stores promoted themselves that way all the time, get the "senior" band out and playing every weekend at schools, parks, churches, senior homes, and holiday event, sometimes even on radio.
MLA
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Doug Beaumier


From:
Northampton, MA
Post Posted 20 Apr 2017 9:46 am     Reply with quote

I've read on various web sites that Eddie Alkire designed the Eharp around 1940, and most of the Epiphone Eharps were made in the 1940s. In the 50s Eddie switched over to Valco Co. to build his Eharps. There were at least three versions of the Valco Eharps, some lap steels and some consoles, made until the early 60s. The Epiphone ones are the most sought-after today for their beauty, ornate tuners, wide rosewood fretboard, etc.

It's kind of exciting to think that my Epi Eharp could be one of the ones pictured below! (image from Michael Lee Allen). They couldn't have made too many of them. Most of the ones in the picture are Epiphones. A few of them are the first Valco version with MOTS covering.


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Bill Flores


From:
Ventura, California, USA
Post Posted 20 Apr 2017 12:52 pm     stage full of steels Reply with quote

reposting this one.
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Doug Beaumier


From:
Northampton, MA
Post Posted 20 Apr 2017 4:51 pm     Reply with quote


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Herb Steiner


From:
Spicewood TX 78669
Post Posted 20 Apr 2017 5:09 pm     Reply with quote

Bill Flores, your photo is AMAZING! Thanks.
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My rig: Infinity and Telonics.

Son, we live in a world with walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with steel guitars. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinberg?
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Larry Lenhart


From:
Ponca City, Oklahoma
Post Posted 20 Apr 2017 7:12 pm     Reply with quote

Bill Flores, that picture brought a big smile to my face !
Do you know any history on that photo ? Just guessing, but it looks like a church setting, part of the service or a performance/recital that happened to be at a church ? Is this an early gospel steel service ?
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Zum Stage One, 1956 Rickenbacker D8 console, 1953 Fender Custom T8, Clinesmith S8 JM model, JB Frypan, 1976 Ibanez L5, Gretsch 6122-1959, Telonics pedal, Taylor 214 CE, Squire Tele, Recording King Banjo, 3 Roland cubes 30s and 80, Carvin combo bass amp
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Mark Roeder


From:
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
Post Posted 3 May 2017 12:12 pm     Reply with quote

Amazing historical images!!!!
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Mickey Adams


From:
Bandera Texas
Post Posted 3 May 2017 7:54 pm     Reply with quote

Id bet that if all these guitars were in one collection....GAZILLIONAIRE!
I agree...this is mind boggling..!
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Charley Erck


From:
Hawaii, USA
Post Posted 6 May 2017 11:45 pm     Reply with quote

Herb Steiner wrote:
Hal Rugg told me that he put together a band at one time that was comprised of 17 steel guitars and a bass.

But he lost the gig... too much bass.

Ha!
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Stefan Robertson


From:
London, UK
Post Posted 7 May 2017 12:15 am     Reply with quote

My question is where did all these steels go.

I remember that an aunt who lived in New Jersey told me that her mum got one from the music shop with her amp. Kind of like a squire and amp deal.

I don't know if this was the norm but where in ht e heck did all these instruments go. Especially the 10 string and 12 string models.
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Tom Wolverton


From:
San Diego, CA
Post Posted 7 May 2017 6:56 am     Reply with quote

Note: Very few guitar cords showing. Maybe they insisted on no one actually playing while they posed for the photo.
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