Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Bob Sayers
  • Male
  • Arlington, VA
  • United States
  • Since the 1960s
Share on Facebook Share

Bob Sayers's Friends

  • Chris Prieto
  • Strumelia
  • Nicholas A Bechtel
  • Tony Thomas
  • D. Wooldridge
  • Samurai banjo
  • Greg Adams

Bob Sayers's Discussions

Not Minstrel Banjo, but Worth Noting

Started this discussion. Last reply by Mark Weems May 20, 2014. 3 Replies

Ralph Stanley, 2014 Yale Honorary Doctor of Music…Continue

W. Boucher, Jr., Composer

Started Feb 22, 2014 0 Replies

I recently acquired a ratty piece of sheet music for a melody called the "Verbena Waltz."  It was published by G. Willig in Baltimore in 1857.  It is dedicated to "Miss Magdalena A. O'Brien."  Its…Continue

Look to the Tambourine

Started this discussion. Last reply by Bob Sayers Sep 14, 2013. 6 Replies

I've spent the last couple of months downloading antebellum newspaper advertisements for sellers of banjos during the period stretching from roughly 1845 through 1865.   It's turned into a gargantuan…Continue

Banjo Poem (1867)

Started this discussion. Last reply by Paul Draper Aug 8, 2013. 2 Replies

Here's a poem that I found today in an 1867 New Orleans newspaper.   It was written in jest as an example of "bad poetry," but after 150 years it has a certain charm.  I've also attached the original…Continue

Gifts Received

Gift

Bob Sayers has not received any gifts yet

Give a Gift

 

Bob Sayers's Page

Latest Activity

Bob Sayers replied to Tom Taggart's discussion Harmonica Used by Minstrel Performers?
"On the subject of reed instruments played during the Civil War, there's a wonderful broadside on eBay depicting members of the 5th Virginia Volunteers singing hymns to the accompaniment of a harmonium.  Pricey, but quite nice.…"
Jul 18
Bob Sayers replied to Tom Taggart's discussion Harmonica Used by Minstrel Performers?
"I just made an interesting discovery.  I have a small collection of sheet music covers for several early American minstrel troupes (1840s-50s).  It appears that the instrumental lineup was fairly standardized at that time:  banjo,…"
Jul 15
Bob Sayers replied to Tom Taggart's discussion Harmonica Used by Minstrel Performers?
"Thanks, Tom.  Concertinas were more common in the U. S. than I thought, particularly in the latter part of the 19th century.  Maybe they were present during the Civil War, though I'm not yet convinced.  The association with the…"
Jul 13
Bob Sayers replied to Tom Taggart's discussion Harmonica Used by Minstrel Performers?
"If you think that banjo is chunky-looking, how about this one:"
Jul 13
Bob Sayers replied to Tom Taggart's discussion Harmonica Used by Minstrel Performers?
"What is the source for Tom Berghan's illustration?  American minstrels did play flutinas and other accordions (Baltimore banjoist Levi Brown was also an accomplished accordion player).  But I don't think I've seen many…"
Jul 13
Bob Sayers commented on Paul Draper's video
Thumbnail

The Great Eastern Jig.

""Thanks, Paul. I was looking for an image of the Great Eastern to post and you beat me to it. Apparently, she was that era's equivalent of the Titanic and very nearly suffered the same fate during her maiden voyage.""
Feb 24
Bob Sayers and Chris Prieto are now friends
Feb 24
Bob Sayers commented on Paul Draper's video
Thumbnail

The Great Eastern Jig.

"My assumption is that the title of this tune refers to the celebrated British vessel The Great Eastern.  Correct?  The time frame is right.  Launched in 1858 and powered by both steam and sail, it was at the time the…"
Feb 24
Bob Sayers commented on Mark Weems's video
Oct 26, 2016
Bob Sayers replied to Strumelia's discussion Show us a clothing item and ask/tell where you got it!
"Here's another example, from an outfitter in Seattle: https://scout-seattle.com/industrial-work-jacket-blue-canvas-france-1940s ;"
Aug 17, 2016
Bob Sayers replied to Strumelia's discussion Show us a clothing item and ask/tell where you got it!
"Google "French workers jacket" for a version of a French sack coat.  Looks very 19th century, although the French blue is a little different from natural indigo.  Here's an example I pulled off the…"
Aug 17, 2016
Bob Sayers replied to Jim Jacquet's discussion Brass pot banjo
"Here's a carte de visite photo from my collection of a man in Ionia, Michigan playing a bracket-less banjo, with what also looks to be an internal tensioning system.  Anyone know anything about the maker?  (I've cross-posted this…"
Jun 12, 2016
Don Meade commented on Bob Sayers's photo
Thumbnail

Sam Hague

"Hague was a clog dancer, one of the best. Starting in the 1840's with Fred Wilson, English wooden-shoe dancers began displacing "jig" dancers in American minstrel and variety theaters. Hague partnered Tim Haye and Dick Sands, two…"
May 5, 2016
James Pentecost liked Bob Sayers's photo
Mar 24, 2016
Bob Sayers commented on Mark Weems's video
Thumbnail

The Snowy Path

"Well, I'm going to have to edit myself.  It may be that Irish jigs and minstrel jigs were somewhat different, as Al and Wes suggested.  Here's Wikipedia's take on the matter: In 19th-century America, the jig was the name…"
Feb 17, 2016
Bob Sayers commented on Mark Weems's video
Thumbnail

The Snowy Path

"Al and Strumelia,  I don't really know a lot about the history of American social dancing in the mid-19th century--that's a research topic for a future day.  I presume, however, that the jig was a popular dance in immigrant,…"
Feb 17, 2016

Profile Information

How did you find out about Ning Minstrel Banjo?
Google search
How long have you played banjo?
Since the 1960s
What kind of banjo(s) do you own?
(1) James Hartel Ashborn banjo #145; (2) custom William Seeders Mosheim frailing banjo; (3) Thomas Bostock English fretless banjo

Bob Sayers's Photos

Loading…
  • Add Photos
  • View All

Comment Wall (4 comments)

At 7:00pm on March 28, 2010, John Masciale said…
welcome to this site
At 7:54pm on March 28, 2010, John Masciale said…
We are looking forward to what you post. You may want to contact Satoshi (Samurai Banjo). He has posted some great stuff from Japan (check out the photos), and is a delight to correspond witn.

My wife Elaine and I love haunting libraries of sheet music looking for old gems. Since my daughter Elise is a student at Indiana University, we have photgraphed most of the Star collection of Minstrel banjo music.

Thereare some fabulous researchers signed onto this forum. Feel free to start discussions, or contact people.
At 6:51am on April 3, 2010, Greg Adams said…
Hello Bob! Glad you are here.
At 1:02pm on January 11, 2011, John Masciale said…

Bob,

 

I'm really glad you signed on.  I'm looking forward to seeing some of your music, etc.  My wife Elaine and I have a daughter at Indiana University, and we've photographed just about their entire collection of Minstrel music (in their Star Collection).  We really enjoy researching the old tunes.

 

I am giving a presentation at the end of this month at the Midwest Civilian's Conference.

 http://www.midwestcwcivilian.com/

It is a history of the banjo for civilian reenactors.  I've been doing research for this for the past year.  What an amazing history we have.

 

FYI, we have a banjo gathering almost every year at Antietam, which will be the last weekend in June this year.  It would be great if you can make it, there are usually 20-30 banjoists from around the country who show up, along with a few fiddlers, etc.

You need to be a member of Minstrel Banjo to add comments!

Join Minstrel Banjo

 
 
 

© 2017   Created by John Masciale.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service