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Author Topic:  Slyde Guitars
john buffington

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From:
Owasso OK - USA
Post  Posted 3 Oct 2008 9:58 am    
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I own a Slyde, dobro style guitar, SN #103 built by the late Bill Merritt and was wondering how many other might be out there?

John Buffington
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Andrew Roblin

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From:
Various places
Post  Posted 5 Oct 2008 5:15 am    
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Hi, John. Nice to read about your Slyde. I don't own one, and have never played one, but they were made by two friends I worked with, Gene "Slyde" Wooten and Bill Merritt, both now deceased. They made the Slyde instruments in the years around 1984-2000.

Gene was nicknamed "Slyde" by Shot Jackson, with whom Gene worked at Sho-Bud store on Lower Broad in Nashville. I worked there, too, and seldom heard Shot call Gene by any other name. I recall Gene had "Slyde" stamped on his leather dobro strap.

You probably already know that Gene was one of the foremost traditional dobro players--in my opinion THE foremost--of his generation. He performed with Country Gazette and Grand Ole Opry members Wilma Lee Cooper & the Clinch Mountain Clan and the Osborne Brothers, among many others.

Gene was also a renowned dobro and 5-string banjo repairman. I understand Jerry Douglas was a regular client. When Earl Scruggs brought his banjo to Sho-Bud for repair, I had the honour and pleasure of carrying the instrument up to Gene's work bench.

Bill Merritt was another longtime friend of Shot's and Sho-Bud employee. I remember Bill building custom guitars at Sho-Bud. As a musician, Bill played bass the the 1970s-era Hank Williams Original Drifting Cowboys.

Given their professional backgrounds--and Gene's exacting standards for dobros--I imagine the Slyde instruments are spectacular. I've never played or seen one though.

Would you care to post pictures and sound files of your Slyde? I'd be most interested.
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john buffington

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From:
Owasso OK - USA
Post  Posted 6 Oct 2008 12:57 pm    
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Andrew -

Thanks so much for the reply. I did send you an email and will try and locate some photo's of this guitar. It does sound great!
Thanks again for the history, I certainly appreciate your interest.

John
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John Drury


From:
Gallatin, Tn USA
Post  Posted 11 Oct 2008 10:57 am    
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John,

I doubt there are more than a couple dozen Slydes in existense, the shop he made them in was a very small shed out back of his house. I would stop and see him from time to time and noticed production was very limited and he spent many hours on each instrument.

One time I was there and he was working on a hawaiian guitar for a customer, it was a nine string guitar and the only electric Slyde he ever built that I know of. I didn't know it at the time but the customer was Billy Robinson.

Years later Billy went to a ten string Derby and brought me the Slyde to restore. It had a fair amount of road rash on it as you can see in the photo. I had A.J. Nelson, another Sho~Bud employee, repair the nicks, and dents and put a finish on it. I believe it was A.J. that finished the guitars for Bill Merritt originally.

I was a little nervous to say the least, doing a job on a ISGHOF members axe. I was greatly releived when Billy said that it looked as good as the day Bill Merritt sold it to him. Whew!

It is the guitar on the cover of Billy's first album "Lap Steel Guitar".

Yours is the third one made, rare axe! Treat it as such.

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John Drury
NTSGA #3

"Practice cures most tone issues" ~ John Suhr
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Charlotte Carey

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From:
Tennessee, USA
Post  Posted 24 Sep 2017 6:04 am     Slyde guitar
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I know this is a long shot ,but why not try! I am the granddaughter of Bill Merritt. My daddy is Mark Merritt I would love to buy him a guitar that his dad built. He never got one if yall know of one please please let me know it would mean the world to him!!!
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Robert Allen

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From:
Tennessee, USA
Post  Posted 25 Sep 2017 5:24 am    
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A Slyde reso came through my shop for repair about a year ago. The owner at the time was dobroist Jeff Bybee of Kentucky.
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Trapper Wyatt

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From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 16 Apr 2019 3:57 pm    
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I have Slyde #9
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Trapper
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Trapper Wyatt

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From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 16 Apr 2019 4:04 pm    
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Trapper Wyatt

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From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 16 Apr 2019 4:05 pm    
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Samuel Ferguson

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From:
North Carolina, USA
Post  Posted 24 Jun 2019 9:26 pm     Slyde #15
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I have what looks to be #15. The number is a little hard to see. My dad bought it from Bill several years ago.


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Robert E.G. Jackson

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From:
Alberta, Canada
Post  Posted 27 Jun 2019 12:03 pm     We have a Slyde but I don't see a serial number.
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