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Post new topic ALVINO REY: An article of interest
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Author Topic:  ALVINO REY: An article of interest
George Keoki Lake

Edmonton, AB., Canada
Post  Posted 8 May 2004 7:11 am    
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Michael Carlson
Friday May 7, 2004


The Guardian

The innovative sounds of the father of the pedal steel guitar, Alvino Rey,
who has died aged 95, influenced guitarists as disparate as Duane Eddy and
Jimi Hendrix, and bands like the Ventures and the Shadows. In the late
1930s, working with the Gibson company, he had helped to develop the
Electroharp pedal steel guitar, which he called his console, using six
pedals to bend the steel strings.
Educated in the Cleveland, Ohio, suburb of Lakewood, Rey played the banjo
locally, toured, and, in New York, played in the Porgy And Bess pit
orchestra while studying guitar with Ray Smeck, who pioneered the electric

In 1934, Rey joined Harold Heidt's Musical Knights, becoming one of
America's highest-paid sidemen. Heidt featured the singing King Sisters,
and, in 1937, Rey married Luise King. In 1939, Heidt fired lead vocalist
Alyce King, and Rey and the other sisters quit, and started their own
orchestra. They broke all records at the Paramount Theatre in Los Angeles
and became the Mutual radio network's house orchestra. He had a massive
hit with Deep In The Heart Of Texas.

From 1944 to 1945, Rey served with the US navy, but after the war returned
to the charts with Cement Mixer, his guitar providing appropriate sounds.
His signature tune, Blue Rey, featured Luise's vocals fed through his
guitar amplifier, a trick well ahead of its time. When big bands declined
at the end of the 1940s, he played in small combos with his
brother-in-law, organist Buddy Cole. He had one more hit, Ping Pong,
capitalising on the crazes for table tennis and stereo: his steel guitar
notes "bounced" between the two speakers.

He returned to the limelight as Alvino Rey And His Talking Guitar on The
King Family ABC-TV variety show (1965-71). In the 1980s he led an
orchestra at Disneyland. He had converted to his wife's Mormon faith, and
formed a quintet that played around Salt Lake City. In 1996, he made his
final appearance, with Luise singing, at the Utah centenary celebrations.

His wife died in 1997. Two sons and a daughter survive him.

Alvino Rey (Alvin McBurney), musician, born July 1 1908; died February
24 2004

[This message was edited by George Keoki Lake on 08 May 2004 at 08:14 AM.]

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Jody Carver

Post  Posted 8 May 2004 5:40 pm    
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Thank you George..this was very interesting.
My reply was too long..so I had no other choice than to delete it.

Sorry...you really didnt miss anything.

[This message was edited by Jody Carver on 08 May 2004 at 07:45 PM.]

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Craig Prior

National City, California, USA
Post  Posted 9 May 2004 8:04 am    
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George, wasn't there a TV show in the '50s featuring Alvino Rey, Buddy Merrill, and Les Paul?

Or was that an opium dream? Can you imagine the three of them together?

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George Keoki Lake

Edmonton, AB., Canada
Post  Posted 9 May 2004 9:27 am    
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Craig, could have been, but I never heard of it.

BTW on another subject, (totally unrelated), the great jazz guitarist, Barney Kessel died of brain cancer yesterday. He was 80 years of age and hadn't been playing for about 8 - 10 years due to a stroke. He was a legend amongst the jazz world of guitarists.

[This message was edited by George Keoki Lake on 09 May 2004 at 10:28 AM.]

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Roger Shackelton

Post  Posted 9 May 2004 12:27 pm    
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Speaking of the Ping-Pong effect. Guitar Player Magazine featured an article, in the late 60s or early 70s, on how to make an electronic device to give a guitar player the effect of the sound bouncing back and forth between 2 speakers. It said the speakers should be about 20 feet apart.


[This message was edited by Roger Shackelton on 09 May 2004 at 01:29 PM.]

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Rob Munn

British Columbia, Canada
Post  Posted 18 Jan 2013 6:23 am    
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Check out the early Johnny Winter album,(2nd Winter) to hear that effect. I think it is used on the song "Memory Pain". I was transfixed with my head between 2 speakers (and in another space) listening to Johnny back then...
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Rob Munn

British Columbia, Canada
Post  Posted 18 Jan 2013 6:24 am    
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Excuse me B0b,

I didn't realize this post was 8 years old. Talk about memory pain....
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