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Post new topic Tavares, Boggs, Fender: profound influences on music
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Author Topic:  Tavares, Boggs, Fender: profound influences on music
Andy Volk


From:
Boston, MA
Post  Posted 17 Aug 2018 1:18 am    
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What would music be today without Leo and Freddie? What would steel guitar be if there had been no Noel Boggs? Their influence is incalculable.


pic from Michael Simmons.
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David Matzenik


From:
Cairns, on the Coral Sea
Post  Posted 17 Aug 2018 5:16 am    
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What a truly historic photograph. Notice its Freddie, not Leo holding the Strat, and somewhat tenderly, if I might add. It has been suggested that Freddie developed the shape of the Strat, which has been emulated but never improved on. This pic seems to support that that suggestion.
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Last edited by David Matzenik on 17 Aug 2018 12:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Jack Hanson


From:
San Luis Valley, USA
Post  Posted 17 Aug 2018 8:20 am    
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I've read where Freddie may be the steel player who has been heard by more people than anyone else, as he played the Looney Tunes intro for Warner Bros. He receives far less credit than he deserves for the work he did at Fender's.

I've also read that SoCal Western guitarist Bill Carson was influential in developing the Stratocaster.

One listen to Boggs' recorded version of the old chestnut Tenderly will prove for all time his artistry on the instrument. (Ain't that right, Mike Neer?)
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David Matzenik


From:
Cairns, on the Coral Sea
Post  Posted 17 Aug 2018 11:21 pm    
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Andy, do you know the context of the photo? Advertising, magazine article?
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Andy Volk


From:
Boston, MA
Post  Posted 18 Aug 2018 3:10 am    
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Nope. I cribbed it from Michael Simmon's (former Fretboard Journal editor) Twitter feed.
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Joachim Kettner


From:
Germany
Post  Posted 18 Aug 2018 4:42 am    
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From the Richard Smith Fender book. I guess there are many more photos.

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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 18 Aug 2018 9:35 am    
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So true, Andy.

This looks like a casual unposed photo. I wonder why Noel is pointing at that particular spot on that Strat? I don’t see any tone/volume knobs, but that may be due to photo quality. Maybe he was saying, “Leo thinks tone control here, volume control up closer to the strings”.

Not that I’m any great resource, but Noel Boggs impressed me as the player who took steel into the next dimension in the late 40’s and early 50’s. Obviously influential on Buddy.
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Scott Thomas


Post  Posted 18 Aug 2018 12:08 pm    
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Looking at that narrow panel tweed in the foreground, I'd estimate that pic to be c.1955 so the Stratocaster was already in production.
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David Matzenik


From:
Cairns, on the Coral Sea
Post  Posted 18 Aug 2018 1:40 pm    
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In posed photographs, the photographers would often try to imply some kind of action of conversation with pointing. It looks a bit corny these days.
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 18 Aug 2018 10:36 pm    
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David Matzenik wrote:
In posed photographs, the photographers would often try to imply some kind of action of conversation with pointing. It looks a bit corny these days.

You’re probably right. Football cards were pretty hilarious back then too.
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C. E. Jackson


From:
Mississippi, USA
Post  Posted 7 Sep 2018 10:15 am    
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Andy, I agree that all three men have had a major influence on guitars and steel guitars
in particular. I certainly enjoy Noel Boggs recordings.

As you know, Noel was inducted into the STEEL GUITAR HALL OF FAME very early.

NOEL BOGGS

POP AND WESTERN SWING BAND RECORDING ARTIST WHO STYLIZED THE
"MELLOW TONE" USING MULTIPLE, NON-PEDAL TUNINGS FOR HIS PATENTED
"NECK-HOPPING" TECHNIQUE. HE ACHIEVED SMOOTH, COMPLEX, AND FULL
CHORD EXPRESSION.

BORN: NOVEMBER 14, 1917 OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA
DIED: OCTOBER 1974
INDUCTED: 1981


He was also interested in double neck steels early on, including the Electar Rocco Model,
purchased and played one with Bob Wills.


Photo from American Guitars, by Tom Wheeler:1992



C. E. Jackson Very Happy
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Nelson Checkoway


From:
Massachusetts, USA
Post  Posted 11 Sep 2018 4:37 pm    
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Now I’m a strat lover - I’m lucky to own an old ash body 50s two-color Strat — and I’m a believer that the Stratocaster was/is the revolutionary electric guitar of its time. Leo, Freddie and their team-true geniuses!! We’ve all seen the list of its heralded features that include a radically shaped modern body, innovative two tone and master volume control layout, flashy plastic pickguard, a built in vibrato feature ... and I think one writer even extolled the virtue of the curved bridge cover that lets the strings mysteriously disappear into the body.

But you know those same modernistic attributes could be ascribed to the original “modern” guitar from Fender’s arch rival. No I’m not taking about the wanna-be Flying V. I’m referring to Gibson’s first radical solid body electric guitar with all of the above and more: great unprecedented body shape and 3-control layout, not to mention unique use of plastic and color finishes and, yes, even a string cover that conceals the destination of those 6 strings heading. It toward the bridge. It even had its own spaghetti logo!!

Forget the Les Paul Model - a jazz box derivative. I’m talking about the 1946 Gibson Ultratone lap steel. And don’t just compare its “incomparables” to the Strat. Purely on style points alone, its a rocket ship vs. the lap steel styles that Doc and Leo were putting out.

Sorry for the long narrative on Gibson and Fender but we should give credit where it’s due. And while Gibson tended to innovate on technology (pickups, bridges) that it would apply to rather conventionally designed instruments, the Ultratone (and Century sibling) — like the Tele and Strat that followed — was designed and built from the ground up. (Now I’ve just gotta get one to go along with my Stratocaster!!!)
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Nelson Checkoway


From:
Massachusetts, USA
Post  Posted 11 Sep 2018 5:19 pm    
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Now I’m a strat lover - I’m lucky to own an old ash body 50s two-color Strat — and I’m a believer that the Stratocaster was/is the revolutionary electric guitar of its time. Leo, Freddie and their team-true geniuses!! We’ve all seen the list of its heralded features that include a radically shaped modern body, innovative two tone and master volume control layout, flashy plastic pickguard, a built in vibrato feature ... and I think one writer even extolled the virtue of the curved bridge cover that lets the strings mysteriously disappear into the body.

But you know those same modernistic attributes could be ascribed to the original “modern” guitar from Fender’s arch rival. No I’m not taking about the wanna-be Flying V. I’m referring to Gibson’s first radical solid body electric guitar with all of the above and more: great unprecedented body shape and 3-control layout, not to mention unique use of plastic and color finishes and, yes, even a string cover that conceals the destination of those 6 strings heading. It toward the bridge. It even had its own spaghetti logo!!

Forget the Les Paul Model - a jazz box derivative. I’m talking about the 1946 Gibson Ultratone lap steel. And don’t just compare its “incomparables” to the Strat. Purely on style points alone, its a rocket ship vs. the lap steel styles that Doc and Leo were putting out.

Sorry for the long narrative on Gibson and Fender but we should give credit where it’s due. And while Gibson tended to innovate on technology (pickups, bridges) that it would apply to rather conventionally designed instruments, the Ultratone (and Century sibling) — like the Tele and Strat that followed — was designed and built from the ground up. (Now I’ve just gotta get one to go along with my Stratocaster!!!)
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Jack Hanson


From:
San Luis Valley, USA
Post  Posted 11 Sep 2018 6:34 pm    
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Agree wholeheartedly with Nelson about Gibson's first generation Ultratones and Centurys. A crowning achievement in form and function. With the notable exception of my Bakelite, they are my favorite lap steels. I have been fortunate to acquire 6-string, 7-string, and 10-string models, and play 'em all regularly.

It should be noted that Gibson had a little help in their design from the highly esteemed Chicago industrial design firm of Barnes & Reinecke, however. Leo & Freddie had some input from a handful of local SoCal guitarists such as Jimmy Bryant and Bill Carson, but largely designed the Strat on their own. Undoubtedly the most influential solid-body electric guitar of all-time.
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Nelson Checkoway


From:
Massachusetts, USA
Post  Posted 12 Sep 2018 7:16 am    
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Thanks Jack. Sorry about the double post - an earlier draft sneaked thru without my realizing it.

So you have the 7 string Utone V2 - I’ve seen one but never the 10 string black Century. Wow that’s a rare bird. Post a picture of your collection! Speaking of pictures wouldn’t a fiesta red/white guard Strat look great next to the white/coral trimmed Ultratone!!
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Jack Hanson


From:
San Luis Valley, USA
Post  Posted 13 Sep 2018 8:21 am    
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I apologize in advance for the topic drift...

Nelson Checkoway wrote:
So you have the 7 string Utone V2 - I’ve seen one but never the 10 string black Century.


Here's the Century-10. I purchased it on eBay a few years back. The seller was the stepdaughter of a famous Ohio steel player who was liquidating his collection:



The U-7 is a V1. It was purchased on eBay as a basket case. Someone had converted it to a 6-string by installing a chopped off coverplate and pickup from a Skylark:



It's still a work in progress. Since it was far from pristine condition, I took the liberty of installing a pair of Stringmaster-style pickups. I dubbed it the "Ultramaster." Someday I hope to get around to a total refin, but here's a more recent photo:

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