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Post new topic The Harlin Bros - Trailblazers
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Author Topic:  The Harlin Bros - Trailblazers
Michael Greer


From:
Ontario, Canada
Post Posted 13 Nov 2017 7:21 am     Reply with quote



The Harlin Bros from Indianapolis, Indiana certainly have a legacy in the steel guitar community for their "Multichord guitar ".

They were innovators,businessmen,performers and teachers from what I have read.

It would be interesting to hear any personal stories from forum members who personally knew these trailblazers.
For example I would love to know how and where exactly the guitars were manufactured.

Enjoy the picture from this old postcard.
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Jack Stoner


From:
Inverness, Fl
Post Posted 13 Nov 2017 9:52 am     Reply with quote

Forum member Danny James is the one you need to contact. He took lessons there and then later taught at the Harlin Bros school.
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George Rout


From:
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
Post Posted 13 Nov 2017 2:28 pm     Reply with quote

The Harlin Bros were written up as a 4 part story in the last 4 issues of the HSGA's newsletters.

Geo
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"I play in the A Major tuning. It's fun to learn and so easy to play. It's as old as the hills....like me"
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Anthony Lis


From:
South Dakota, USA
Post Posted 18 Nov 2017 9:19 pm     Reply with quote

Thank you for noticing.
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Danny James


From:
Summerfield Florida USA
Post Posted 18 Nov 2017 11:22 pm     Harlin Bros. Multi-Kord Reply with quote

Kalina "Multi-KOrds" were manufactured for Harlin Brothers by Picketts machine shop in Fishers Indiana.
George, Jimmy, Win, Herb, & Jay were personally in their Hawaiian Pedal Steel Guitar Studio at 359 N. Illinois St. in Indianapolis when I was there from 1948 to 1954.
They were great people to work with and for. Two of the brothers Jimmy & George are not shown in the pictuere.
Jimmy was killed by Jay while the brothers were rabbit hunting together one Thanksgiving day in the 50's on a farm near St. Louis Crossing in southern Indiana.
A rabbit ran between Jay & Jimmy just as Jay fired his shotgun.
I was a student teacher for Harlins while in high school during that time.
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Danny James


From:
Summerfield Florida USA
Post Posted 19 Nov 2017 6:35 am     Multi-Kord Reply with quote

I want to add that Jimmy Harlin not pictured played the Mirimba as part of their 4 piece Hawaiian band.
George didn't play an instrument as far as I know.
They also played in Vaudeville years ago.
Jay Harlin in the picture is seated behind his 15 pedal Multi-Kord. The pedals were arranged in two rows one above the other on the left end of the guitar.
It was specially made for Jay and the frame was on wheels and could not be folded up and put into a case like the M-K's that they sold.
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Bill Creller


From:
Saginaw, Michigan, USA
Post Posted 19 Nov 2017 5:53 pm     Reply with quote

I took a few lessons in the late 40s, from a man named Beidler "Lucky" Fry. Great player too. Anyway,he bought one of the Multi-Kord steels, which had three pedals, if I remember correctly, around 1950 (?)..
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Danny James


From:
Summerfield Florida USA
Post Posted 19 Nov 2017 8:05 pm     Harlin Bros. Multi-Kord Reply with quote

I am not saying they never made one with only 3 pedals, but all of the student model M-K's I have seen and owned had either 4 or 6 pedals, with either 6 or 8 strings.
They also made some double neck 6 & 8 string Multi-Kords, with 4 or 6 pedals, but the pedals were only on one neck.
I still have the Multi-Kord my father bought for me when I was 10 back in 1948. It has an all cast aluminum body.
The one I own that I played in bands since the early 60's is a 6 pedal 6 string with a wood body & mother of pearl white finish.
The all had airplane cables from the changer to the pedals, that often broke if you played them much.
I have done a lot of work on mine and converted it to use 3/16 inch stainless steel rods from the changer to the pedals eliminating the cable breakage problem.
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