Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

A resource and gathering site for people interested in playing and constructing early banjos, and the history of minstrel music in America.

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Attention:  Please update your user information!  We will be undergoing some changes in the future and want to be able to stay in touch with you!

Latest Activity

Tony Thomas posted a discussion

On Picayune Butler, T. A. Brown, George Nichols, T. D, Rice and “Jim Crow”

About 7 years ago, prodded by a contract from Oxford University Press and Harvard's  African American biography database,  I set out to write up what i thought was the simple easy to get information about Picayune Butler, who I assumed was a historic Black Banjoist who played some role in minstrelsy, and had something to do with the song "Jim Crow".   The research I did led me to understand that most things written to that point were simply and completely wrong, as well as how the world of…See More
9 hours ago
Tony Thomas and Byron Thomas are now friends
10 hours ago
Tony Thomas replied to Al Smitley's discussion History of the banjo presentation
"Don't forget Bollman and Guara's America's instrument which provides the history of the banjo in regard to the construction of banjos over the 19th and early 20th century. Again, as someone who does this regularly on all levels from…"
10 hours ago
Tony Thomas replied to Al Smitley's discussion History of the banjo presentation
"Carlin's book is useful for what it contains, Cece's work from nearly 30 years ago on banjo orings is completely supercede by the materials in Laurent Dubois's The Banjo: America's African Instrument and more directly by Banjo…"
10 hours ago
Al Smitley replied to Al Smitley's discussion History of the banjo presentation
"Thanks, Rob.  I have Carlin's book and will look into your other suggestion."
Wednesday
Rob Mohr replied to Al Smitley's discussion History of the banjo presentation
"Gee, Al, that's pretty ambitious!! I got a lot out of The Birth of the Banjo - Joel Walker Sweeney & Early Minstrelsy (Bob Carlin) and African Banjo Echoes in Appalachia (Cecelia Conway)...hope that helps..."
Tuesday
Al Smitley posted a discussion

History of the banjo presentation

I have been recruited to present a "History of the Banjo" presentation for a local historical society.  What credible sources might be suggested for me to put it together.  I would want to begin with the 1) Akonting (maybe showing it being played on YouTube and then 2) use illustrations/paintings and text to describe what the enslaved were playing 3) Joel Sweeney and his learning from the enslaved players, 4) Popularity of the minstrel show 5) The tutorials of the 1850s/'60s, 6) changes in…See More
Tuesday
David Wade posted photos
Tuesday
Timothy Twiss liked Paul Draper's video
Jan 16
Tom Taggart liked Paul Draper's video
Jan 15
Paul Draper commented on Paul Draper's video
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Dan Emmett’s Reel.

"Not too bad, actually- in the 40’s; great for January!  I’ve been out on my bike 5 times so far this year...  However I’ll be shoveling on Saturday..."
Jan 14
Al Smitley commented on Paul Draper's video
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Dan Emmett’s Reel.

"What's the weather there, Paul?   Looks like you have just returned from (or on your way to) shoveling snow."
Jan 14
Paul Draper posted a video

Dan Emmett’s Reel.

From Buckley, 1868.
Jan 14
Chris Prieto commented on Chris Prieto's video
Jan 13
CURTIS PAYNE shared Mark Weems's video on Facebook
Jan 12
Timothy Twiss posted a discussion

Early Banjo Volume 1

My Freshman effort and world wide sensation "Early Banjo Volume 1" is available on CD for $10.00 including shipping. I found a stash of 1 dozen in clearing out, so I am making them available. Recorded in 2007 on my Hartel Sweeney Banjo, it turns out to be a decent listen with creative interpretations of pieces like "Pea Patch Jig" "Sugar In De Gourd" and O Pray Goody". Get yours today. When its gone...it's gone.Go here for Paypal…See More
Jan 12
Michael Cypret liked Chris Prieto's video
Jan 12
Tom Taggart liked Chris Prieto's video
Jan 11
Timothy Twiss commented on Chris Prieto's video
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Don't you hear de bulgine

"Ah, perfection!!"
Jan 11
Chris Prieto posted a video

Don't you hear de bulgine

Early banjo tune of the week. Buckley's guide for the banjo 1868
Jan 10

Forum

History of the banjo presentation

Started by Al Smitley in Uncategorized. Last reply by Tony Thomas 10 hours ago. 4 Replies

Early Banjo Volume 1

Started by Timothy Twiss in Uncategorized Jan 12. 0 Replies

Kick off the New Year TotW...

Started by Rob Mohr in Uncategorized. Last reply by Michael Cypret Jan 3. 5 Replies

Horsehair or Hemp strings

Started by Michael Cypret in Uncategorized. Last reply by Tom Taggart Dec 20, 2019. 1 Reply

 
 
 

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