| Visit Our Catalog at SteelGuitarShopper.com |

Post new topic Information on the steel Santo Farina played Sleep Walk on
Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next
Reply to topic
Author Topic:  Information on the steel Santo Farina played Sleep Walk on
basilh


From:
United Kingdom
Post  Posted 3 May 2007 11:26 am    
Reply with quote

It's been long assumed that Sleep Walk was recorded on a Stringmaster, then why is there a video from their early era showing Johnny playing a Fender Custom.



The "Trap" Pickup is visible as is the neck selector switch and the Fender logo between the 1st and 2nd necks. Undoubtedly a "Custom"

Was "Sleep Walk" recorded with a Custom or a Stringmaster ?

This Sleeve MAY have led to the confusion :-




I'm also looking for information about the circumstances of the writing of Sleep Walk and it's lyrics.
Some articles credit their mother with the lyrics, some their sister Ann and some credit Don Wolf.
What IS the truth ?

Also, where is Santo now and why didn't he come to the convention to receive his award.



Are the 40 plus albums they're credited with on the SGHOF Plaque all different or just re-packaged re-releases and compilations ?

I'm doing tab of the EXACT way SANTO played Sleep Walk and want to include some FACTUAL info rather than help proliferate some of the urban myths that are "Doing the Rounds" recently.

Maybe Jody Carver or some other guru knows ?


Last edited by basilh on 17 Jul 2018 5:21 am; edited 2 times in total
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Jody Carver


From:
KNIGHT OF FENDER TWEED
Post  Posted 3 May 2007 2:46 pm    
Reply with quote

Baz, Santo started on a Custom, then went to a stringmaster, there are many question's here that I am unable to answer which are of a personal nature.I can.but I will check with Johnny first and forward this thread to him.
Thanks.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Ron Whitfield


From:
Kaaawa, Hawaii, USA
Post  Posted 3 May 2007 2:54 pm    
Reply with quote

Does he still perform?

Any chance of a Santo & Johnny re-union?

Thanx Baz & Jody
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Jody Carver


From:
KNIGHT OF FENDER TWEED
Post  Posted 3 May 2007 3:33 pm    
Reply with quote

Yes Santo is active and does gigs with his group in Italy.As for a re-union? That's a question am not able to reveal.

Last edited by Jody Carver on 3 May 2007 3:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Alan Brookes


From:
Brummy living in the San Francisco Bay Area
Post  Posted 3 May 2007 3:33 pm     Re: Information on the steel Santo Farina played sleepwalk
Reply with quote

basilh wrote:

This Sleeve MAY have led to the confusion :-

Yes, that's the sleeve that always comes to memory.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Jody Carver


From:
KNIGHT OF FENDER TWEED
Post  Posted 3 May 2007 4:00 pm     Sleeve?
Reply with quote

I have emailed Johnny to get some feedback. I have to protect his privacy. Bear with me, I'll do the best I can. I have known these two guys when they were 16 and before Sleepwalk.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
basilh


From:
United Kingdom
Post  Posted 4 May 2007 5:55 pm    
Reply with quote

Thanks Jody for your input, I hope Johnny can help with the info. I am including a short article about Santo & Johnny in our magazine to go along with the tab and I would like to be factually accurate with the credits.

What the situation with the lyrics credits ?
Who is Don Wolf ?
The Oahu Publishing Company AND Trinity Music Corp credit Don with the lyrics and Santo, Johnny and Ann Farina with the music !!

Wikipedia has one story and there are many others to be found via Google.

Many articles on the web cite Ann as the lyricist and Santo and Johnny as the tune composers, whilst other sources say that their MOTHER and Ann wrote the words. Confusing to say the least.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Jody Carver


From:
KNIGHT OF FENDER TWEED
Post  Posted 5 May 2007 5:06 am    
Reply with quote

Baz, I have emailed Johnny, he has not as yet replied and he always does,he may be on a cruise doing shows with Jerry Vale as he also works with Johnny Maestro and the Brooklyn Bridge, give me some time to hear from him ok?. I'll do all I can to help you.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
basilh


From:
United Kingdom
Post  Posted 9 May 2007 12:25 pm    
Reply with quote

Any news yet Jody ?
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Jody Carver


From:
KNIGHT OF FENDER TWEED
Post  Posted 9 May 2007 12:59 pm    
Reply with quote

Baz, No, I have emailed him twice, I have his home phone #, perhaps I'll try him.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
basilh


From:
United Kingdom
Post  Posted 28 Jan 2014 5:19 pm    
Reply with quote

basilh wrote:
Any news yet Jody ?

_________________

Steelies do it without fretting

CLICK THIS to view my tone bars and buy——>
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Mike DiAlesandro


From:
Kent, Ohio
Post  Posted 28 Jan 2014 6:01 pm    
Reply with quote

http://youtu.be/2rwfqsjimRM
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
basilh


From:
United Kingdom
Post  Posted 28 Jan 2014 6:39 pm    
Reply with quote

Thanks Jody for your input, I hope Johnny can help with the info. I am including a short article about Santo & Johnny in our magazine to go along with the tab and I would like to be factually accurate with the credits.

What the situation with the lyrics credits ?
Who is Don Wolf ?
The Oahu Publishing Company AND Trinity Music Corp credit Don with the lyrics and Santo, Johnny and Ann Farina with the music !!

Wikipedia has one story and there are many others to be found via Google.

Many articles on the web cite Ann as the lyricist and Santo and Johnny as the tune composers, whilst other sources say that their MOTHER and Ann wrote the words. Confusing to say the least.
Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Eddie Cunningham


From:
Massachusetts, USA
Post  Posted 28 Jan 2014 6:40 pm     7 years !!??!!
Reply with quote

7 years later BUT better late than never !! But nice video anyway !! ed c
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Alan Brookes


From:
Brummy living in the San Francisco Bay Area
Post  Posted 28 Jan 2014 10:09 pm    
Reply with quote

There's an interesting story behind Sleep Walk. Santo and Johnny Farina's parents were both born in Italy, and they spoke broken English, so the family was brought up speaking half Italian, half English. When WW2 broke out, the father joined the military. He was already a Hank Williams fan and while in service in the Pacific fell in love with Hawaiian music and the steel guitar, so he wrote home to his wife, sending money, and telling her to buy the boys a steel guitar and have them learn how to play it. He wanted them to be able to play like he'd heard Don Helms and Jerry Byrd play on his favorite Hank Williams recordings.

So the mother and the sons went to the local music shop. The Italian owner had only one steel guitar in stock, a Fender 3-neck Stringmaster, which he knew very little about. So he sold it to them at a knocked-down price as he was a friend of the family, together with an old tube amplifier. For the next few months they tried to teach themselves but didn't make much progress, until they found an old Hawaiian who had been taught by Sol Hoopii and agreed to teach them. They went for lessons for about six months, then the war ended and he returned to Hawaii.

The brothers then formed a band and played in night clubs. They never completely perfected the Hawaiian sound, and they weren't really country players. They developed a style of their own. Both brothers played steel and rhythm and they alternated, but they only had one steel guitar and couldn't afford another. They started writing their own compositions. Early one morning Santo woke Johnny at about 3:00 a.m. and said that he had an idea for a song, so they practised it for a while and eventually it became Sleep Walk. The next day their father was very enthusiastic saying that it could be a hit, but Santo was always skeptical about whether they could make it as fulltime professionals. The father had insisted that they tape all their night-club performances so that he could listen to them at home and save them for posterity. He got them to record Sleep Walk and Johnny spent several months going from one record pruducer to another, playing his tape, with very little success, until eventually he came across a producer who was very enthusiastic.

So the company put it out as a single, but they weren't entirely sure that a steel guitar instrumental would sell to the general public, so they asked for the words. He went home and their sister (or cousin, I'm not sure) wrote the words overnight. They got Betty Brye, who was a popular night club singer in the area, and under contract to them, to record it with the studio orchestra, but with a similar arrangement to the original instrumental. Both singles came out simultaneously.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pCUR0gMXDc

As a surprise to the record company, the instrumental shot to the top of the charts and the rest is history, while the vocal version became a minor hit.

As is well known, the brothers toured together with their band for many years and made a lot of albums, until Santo decided to relocate back to Italy, where he continued his steel guitar career, whilst Johnny continued without him, and as far as I know both are still playing. It's been said that Johnny is touring under a misnomer, in that he's billing himself and his band as Johnny of Sleepwalk fame, whereas he only played rhythm on the hit record. That's not really fair. He plays just as well as his brother. Many steel guitarists have recorded Sleep Walk over the years, but, to my ears, the original is the best, and the next best is Johnny Farina's version. Let's face it, he's been playing the tune in front of an audience every day for over fifty years.

But there's a postscript to the story. Betty Brye left show business in the 60s to raise a family. A few years ago, then in her 70s, and with her children and grandchildren grown up, she got tired of retirement and went back onto the night club circuit. She now tours, singing her original material, mainly jazz and big band numbers from the 40s, and one of her most-requested numbers is ...... Sleep Walk.


Last edited by Alan Brookes on 28 Jan 2014 10:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Doug Beaumier


From:
Northampton, MA
Post  Posted 28 Jan 2014 10:44 pm    
Reply with quote

There are a couple of errors in your story...

Santo did not start out on a Fender Stringmaster, and he could not have purchased Any Fender guitar while his father was overseas during WWII. WWII ended in 1945. Fender company started in 1946. The Stringmaster was not made until 1953. Prior to 1950 most Fender steels were lap steels. Legs were optional on some of the D-8s. Santo started on a lap steel. Eventually he bought a Fender Custom, T-8 with trapezoid pickups, the guitar we see in the early video clips. After recording SleepWalk in 1959 he switched over to a Stringmaster T-8.

As far as Johnny playing steel "as well as his brother"... no one can duplicate Santo's unique attack and vibrato on the steel guitar. Many have tried, but none of them sound like Santo.
_________________
My Site / My YouTube Channel
25 Songs C6 Lap Steel / 25 MORE Songs C6 Lap Steel / 16 Songs, C6, A6, B11 / 60 Popular Melodies E9 Pedal Steel
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Ken Byng


From:
Southampton, England
Post  Posted 29 Jan 2014 2:38 am    
Reply with quote

Doug Beaumier wrote:
................As far as Johnny playing steel "as well as his brother"... no one can duplicate Santo's unique attack and vibrato on the steel guitar. Many have tried, but none of them sound like Santo.


You are the closest that I have heard Doug.

Johnny Farina sounds nothing like his brother, who had real dynamics in his playing. That feel of light and shade, plus his vibrato is what gave Santo his style. The Long Walk Home and Teardrop are my 2 favourite S&J numbers, and were the defining influence that made me want to learn to play steel guitar. I don't find Johnny Farina's steel playing very inspiring at all - for me Santo has a natural affinity with the instrument.
_________________
Show Pro D10 - amber (8+6), MSA D10 Legend XL Signature - redburst (9+6), Infinity SD10 (4+5) Sho-Bud Pro 111 Custom (8+6), Emmons black Push-Pull D10 (8+5), Zum D10 (8x8), Hudson pedal resonator. Telonics TCA-500, Webb 614-E,
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Doug Beaumier


From:
Northampton, MA
Post  Posted 29 Jan 2014 8:15 am    
Reply with quote

Thanks Ken! No offence meant to Johnny, I'm sure he's a very nice man, but he doesn't have the touch and tone that Santo had.
_________________
My Site / My YouTube Channel
25 Songs C6 Lap Steel / 25 MORE Songs C6 Lap Steel / 16 Songs, C6, A6, B11 / 60 Popular Melodies E9 Pedal Steel
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Alan Brookes


From:
Brummy living in the San Francisco Bay Area
Post  Posted 29 Jan 2014 10:10 am    
Reply with quote

I agree that Santo's playing is much better than Johnny's, but no two steel guitarists are exactly alike, even brothers. Johnny is not a bad player.

I wonder what Santo is doing nowadays.

I've always thought that Betty Brye's vocal version, good as it is, would be improved if Santo had been playing steel in the accompaniment. I've thought for a long time of recording a vocal version, with my daughter doing the vocal and me fitting a steel in the background. Of course, my daughter is no Betty Brye, and I'm no Santo Farina...
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Ken Byng


From:
Southampton, England
Post  Posted 29 Jan 2014 10:16 am    
Reply with quote

Alan
No one has said that Johnny Farina is a bad player. While he plays the right notes, I just find his playing lacks the feel of his brother. For me, Santo's playing sounds very simple until you try to emulate it. I don't think he plays with a volume pedal, and his touch is enough to control the dynamics of a number. He is a real stylist.
_________________
Show Pro D10 - amber (8+6), MSA D10 Legend XL Signature - redburst (9+6), Infinity SD10 (4+5) Sho-Bud Pro 111 Custom (8+6), Emmons black Push-Pull D10 (8+5), Zum D10 (8x8), Hudson pedal resonator. Telonics TCA-500, Webb 614-E,
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
basilh


From:
United Kingdom
Post  Posted 29 Jan 2014 11:16 am    
Reply with quote

Ken Byng wrote:
Alan
No one has said that Johnny Farina is a bad player.

YET, mainly out of fear of being "Flamed".. But I will, a bad player on two counts:

#1. Tuning (Intonation) and touch, or the complete lack of both.

#2. Integrity or the lack of, claiming that HE was the hit sound of Sleep Walk fame. The drummer on the original could make the same claim using Johnny's criteria.
_________________

Steelies do it without fretting

CLICK THIS to view my tone bars and buy——>
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Doug Beaumier


From:
Northampton, MA
Post  Posted 29 Jan 2014 11:52 am    
Reply with quote

Welcome back, Basil! I tend to agree with you on both counts. It's a harsh reality, but in the entertainment biz, when a player or a singer puts himself out there he's open for criticism.
_________________
My Site / My YouTube Channel
25 Songs C6 Lap Steel / 25 MORE Songs C6 Lap Steel / 16 Songs, C6, A6, B11 / 60 Popular Melodies E9 Pedal Steel
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Ken Byng


From:
Southampton, England
Post  Posted 29 Jan 2014 11:53 am    
Reply with quote

Cor Basil - you don't sit on the fence do you? Laughing

I can't blame Johnny Farina for wanting to trade on the name of S&J to earn a crust, but it is the creation of the illusion that he was responsible for the steel guitar part of the duo that seems a bit iffy. Most of the web sites on S&J all focus on Johnny. I would guess that Santo's reclusive lifestyle has given the opportunity for Johnny to take the credit for the sound of S&J by promoting himself playing steel guitar instead of rhythm guitar with another steel player.
_________________
Show Pro D10 - amber (8+6), MSA D10 Legend XL Signature - redburst (9+6), Infinity SD10 (4+5) Sho-Bud Pro 111 Custom (8+6), Emmons black Push-Pull D10 (8+5), Zum D10 (8x8), Hudson pedal resonator. Telonics TCA-500, Webb 614-E,


Last edited by Ken Byng on 29 Jan 2014 12:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Doug Beaumier


From:
Northampton, MA
Post  Posted 29 Jan 2014 12:10 pm    
Reply with quote

I've known about the "bait and switch" for many years and I've mentioned it a few times but no one seems to care. A lot of Retro acts have replaced members, new members, etc. and most people don't care about that. But in this case the Steel Guitar is the defining instrument in the music, and we on this forum are Steel Guitarists, so we should be especially aware of misleading claims to be "of the original hit song Sleep Walk". Like Basil said, the drummer on the original record could make the same claim. Yes, Johnny was on the original record, strumming chords on regular guitar. It's all very shady IMO. And to further complicate matters, Johnny re-recorded Sleep Walk a few years ago and sells that recording on line and at shows. Again, I think that we, as steel guitarists, should be slightly more offended and aware of the situation than the general public.
_________________
My Site / My YouTube Channel
25 Songs C6 Lap Steel / 25 MORE Songs C6 Lap Steel / 16 Songs, C6, A6, B11 / 60 Popular Melodies E9 Pedal Steel
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Ken Byng


From:
Southampton, England
Post  Posted 29 Jan 2014 12:20 pm    
Reply with quote

Well Doug, some people have no sense of shame.
_________________
Show Pro D10 - amber (8+6), MSA D10 Legend XL Signature - redburst (9+6), Infinity SD10 (4+5) Sho-Bud Pro 111 Custom (8+6), Emmons black Push-Pull D10 (8+5), Zum D10 (8x8), Hudson pedal resonator. Telonics TCA-500, Webb 614-E,
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Jump to:  
Please review our Forum Rules and Policies
Our Online Catalog
Strings, CDs, instruction, and steel guitar accessories
www.SteelGuitarShopper.com

The Steel Guitar Forum
148 S. Cloverdale Blvd.
Cloverdale, CA 95425 USA

Support This Forum



BIAB Styles
Ray Price Shuffles for Band-in-a-Box
by Jim Baron