Archive for the ‘Historical Makers’ Category

Women in Harp Guitar History: Introduction

Welcome to the first in a series as I celebrate Women’s History Month with an incredible collection of almost one hundred images of women playing harp guitars throughout history. I have so much to catch up on! I’ve been collecting and posting images of historical harp guitar players for 17 years now. The variety and […]

The Invincible Four

Looking for something to celebrate 2021’s Black History Month, I went back through my files to see if there was anything harp-guitar-related that I might have somehow missed. Indeed there was. It was this second image of the “Greater Invincible Concert Company” that I had neglected to add with the other stunning image of the […]

James Shaw: First Rewrite

…which I know won’t be the last! Shortly after publishing my epic 3-part article “The James Shaw Family: A Hawaiian Musical Dynasty” barely two months ago, I finally received a high-resolution scan of a crucial piece. Yes, the rare, smoking gun trade card of the Volcano Singers – the first to perform in America at […]

The Earliest Harp Guitars

Since creating 16+ years ago, one of the most frequent questions I routinely get is along the lines of “What was the first (or earliest/oldest) harp guitar?” I’ve never answered this, and am not about to try now. However, I think it is finally time to give a little nutshell history lesson. I’ll then […]

The James Shaw Family: A Hawaiian Musical Dynasty

Dedicated readers of have seen many images and features over the years on Harp Guitars in Hawaiian Music. Well, that’s what this current one was supposed to have been…a quick week or so of work – done, fun, next! Except… A STORY dropped into my lap. One of those no one has ever heard […]

That Old Black Walnut Magic

Note, 11/13/2020: I revamped this post after receiving much feedback from luthiers about black walnut examples. I hope here to better clarify the intent of this post – which is not about the varied “pretty walnut sapwood color and figure” but about confirming the wood used in an Orville Gibson harp guitar, which – due […]

Virtual Harp Guitar Gathering

NOTE: vHGG18 begins October 17th at 1:00 EASTERN TIME. For my California friends, that means 10 AM. I’ll appear about 45 minutes in. As readers know, Stephen Bennett, Joe Morgan and Randall Sprinkle split off to form their own Harp Guitar Gathering non-profit last year. At first, they sent out an announcement that HGG18 would have […]

Harp Guitar Finds Via New Newspaper Navigation

Another boon for researchers! Just the other day an AMIS pal of mine (Jayme Kurland) announced to our list-serve that the Library of Congress announced a new tool to allow the public to keyword search through historical newspapers (beginning in 1900) for images. She loved it, I love it. The LOC says “The public can […]

Eddie Peabody in Hula Heaven: Plectrum Harp Guitar Excerpt

Most readers have seen Eddie Peabody’s fascinating turn playing plectrum-style tremolo harp guitar on his Gibson Style U in Strum Fun, a clip long available on YouTube. It’s a style that virtually no one has played for decades (Matt Redman on YouTube being one of the only current practitioners). More recently, The Harp Guitar Foundation acquired […]

Dyer Harp Mandola World Domination

Well, getting there! Readers know from my book and PDF on the mandolins that there were probably just a total of five harp mandolas built by the Larsons (plus a possible prototype). 4 were ensconced in collections when the 5th turned up and I was able to snag it.  Soon after I published my article, […]

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