Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Al Smitley
  • Male
  • Hartland, MI
  • United States
  • 1968-1976 then minstrel banjo since…
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Al Smitley's Discussions

Finale tags

Started this discussion. Last reply by Al Smitley Aug 18. 1 Reply

I think I've asked once previously about the somewhat comical end tag, "Shave and a haircut, two bits".  I don't recall getting an answer.  I presume it originated with an itinerant street vendor. …Continue

Baltimore Whig Convention Quick Step

Started this discussion. Last reply by Al Smitley Jul 26. 2 Replies

I got this tune (1840), from the Levy website.  A decent tune but I'm confused.The 1839/40 Whig Convention was in Harrisburg, PA.  The Democratic Convention was in Baltimore.  Just a mistake by the…Continue

EABG

Started this discussion. Last reply by Wes Merchant Mar 14. 3 Replies

Some time ago, I think it was Wes who said that there might be interest at the Pry House/Barn about rejuvenating the EABG.  Are there any updates about that?Continue

Site format

Started this discussion. Last reply by Al Smitley Feb 20. 2 Replies

For the past half-week, I get a list of forums but cannot find a way to list the latest activity unless I go within each separate forum.  How can I get back to receiving the site the way I used to…Continue

 

Al Smitley's Page

Latest Activity

Al Smitley liked James Pentecost's video
Thursday
Al Smitley commented on Paul Draper's video
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De History Ob De World

"I'm sure we'd both like to be there but when I travel that far, I turn it into an 8 or 9 day vacation. I'm retired but Tim, still a youngster [ ;) ], is entrepreneur of a vital community resource, Milford Music!"
Wednesday
Al Smitley liked CURTIS PAYNE's photo
Tuesday
Al Smitley commented on Paul Draper's video
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De History Ob De World

"That really took some doin'.  I enjoy your songs along with the tunes!"
Tuesday
Al Smitley replied to Al Smitley's discussion Finale tags
"I thought I already included this........."
Aug 18
Al Smitley posted a discussion

Finale tags

I think I've asked once previously about the somewhat comical end tag, "Shave and a haircut, two bits".  I don't recall getting an answer.  I presume it originated with an itinerant street vendor.  Does anyone know?  Does anyone know when this might have been and how long this tag has been used to finish out a tune?Here's another...... I recognize this as something tacked on the end of the closing of a Three Stooges' short after the tune, "Listen to the Mockingbird".  I was surprised to hear it…See More
Aug 18
Al Smitley commented on Tom Berghan's video
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Sor, Opus 35 No 17, Berghan

"Very nice!  I enjoy expanding and looking into other genres of the antebellum era."
Aug 13
Al Smitley liked Tom Berghan's video
Aug 13
Al Smitley liked Tom Berghan's video
Aug 13
Al Smitley commented on Paul Draper's video
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White Cat or Black Cat.

"Nice.  Barely recognized you.  I don't know if I've ever seen the top quarter of your head, before!"
Jul 27
Al Smitley commented on Timothy Twiss's video
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Whar Did You Cum From

"So return everything on the list from Bb to A and F to E? Hard to keep up with you!  Am I your Jeff Sessions?!?"
Jul 26
Al Smitley commented on Timothy Twiss's video
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Whar Did You Cum From

"Hmmm.  Back to 'A'?  What happened to Bb?"
Jul 26
Al Smitley replied to Al Smitley's discussion Baltimore Whig Convention Quick Step
"I wondered about that but couldn't find anything.  But I tried again, yesterday, and found this........"State conventions were scheduled in each state for the week of February 22, and presidential electors in the several states were…"
Jul 26
Wes Merchant replied to Al Smitley's discussion Baltimore Whig Convention Quick Step
"Maybe it was the State convention. Did they have those?"
Jul 25
Al Smitley posted a discussion

Baltimore Whig Convention Quick Step

I got this tune (1840), from the Levy website.  A decent tune but I'm confused.The 1839/40 Whig Convention was in Harrisburg, PA.  The Democratic Convention was in Baltimore.  Just a mistake by the publisher or is there something I don't know?  Some historical insight needed.See More
Jul 25
Al Smitley replied to Wes Merchant's discussion 100 comic songs : music and words : 1858
"Some verses about current events included in some songs.  Thanks, Wes."
Jul 24

Profile Information

How did you find out about Ning Minstrel Banjo?
Member/contributor, Tim Twiss
How long have you played banjo?
1968-1976 then minstrel banjo since 2007. Stopped when Tim Twiss wanted me to play fiddle and play banjo, now, only to figure out best keys for various songs/tunes.
What kind of banjo(s) do you own?
Vega long-neck and Hartel Sweeney model

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Comment Wall (19 comments)

At 7:09pm on July 11, 2011, Tim Twiss said…
Hi Al. Do you prefer Friday or Saturday...Aug 5 or 6?
At 10:55am on November 26, 2011, John Masciale said…

Al,  That's the kind of thing you can either add as a link in a thread (there's a way to upload files to a given thread, click on the paperclip icon), or something as generally useful as that we can put under resources.  Elaine has been going through period songsters and has a list of over 1800 songs at this point from the time period.  The list is growing.  I would put your spreadsheet under documetation.

 

I find that the most useful thing about the Weidlich book is his index of Minstrel Songs and which instructor they are in.  It would be great to have some resources like that here on the site.

At 12:27pm on November 26, 2011, Tim Twiss said…

And there it is...thanks John. I lost sight of the fact you could add files of different types in the Documentation spot. Perfect.

At 11:21am on November 28, 2011, John Masciale said…

Al,  Thanks for sending the tutorial index.  I now have it posted on our documentation page.

At 12:06pm on November 28, 2011, Tim Twiss said…

John...what format is that? New Excel? I could open Al's old one, but not this. Perhaps open office?

At 1:44pm on November 28, 2011, Tim Twiss said…

Never mind...answered my own question...open office for those who are behind.

What a great contribution Al...

At 8:09am on February 3, 2012, Ian Bell said…

Al,

I'm not a re-enactor (though I do have a suit of funny clothes in the closet) so I usually don't always have to limit myself to completely period-appropriate performances. When I am doing a historic perfromance I use the "period" instruments that I happen to play — wooden flute, Scottish smallpipes, fiddle and sing unaccompanied. I've never earned the trick of self-accompaniment with fiddle. It's all I can do to play in tune when I'm not singing. 

I mostly do 1812 songs from the Canadian point of view. My repertoire  comes from old manuscripts and early published sources and also includes songs of the time that survived to be collected as part of the folk tradition in Ontario. I've been accumulating this stuff since the early 80s. Canada was much less urban than the eastern US at that time so there weren't nearly as many printed broadsides produced up here. Your Library of Congress website has lots of American 1812 songs online. (I'm envious)

In a concert setting, I'll usually perform this stuff in a more "folksingerly" context, as music from the past that has survived into the present. I use non-period instruments like steel-string guitar, mandolin and concertina and arrange songs to suit my own tastes — which to most people's ears are probably pretty arcane.

At 8:10am on February 3, 2012, Ian Bell said…

Clarifying a bit of bad writing in previous comment - I meant Canada was less urban in 1812 - not the 1980s!

At 7:33pm on May 22, 2012, Jeff said…
I live in Midland
At 4:21pm on September 19, 2012, Dennis Bidwell said…

1971

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