Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

I'm starting this blog just to keep track of whenever Tom Briggs gets a Google Books mention; he being such an important yet ephemeral figure...


Interesting (1890) tidbit on "thimble" playing here, not that I want to stir up any rancor on that subject... 

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Comment by Carl Anderton on January 7, 2012 at 10:01pm

Now this is downright odd.  "On the 13th day of August, 1883, Mrs. Thomas F. Briggs...has deposited...'Briggs Banjo Instructor..."


Notice the 2 following entries, both about Charles C. Converse.  Very strange, I should think...

Comment by Ian Bell on January 8, 2012 at 8:45am

Is this telling us that his estate (Mrs. Briggs) is still in control of rights to the book? He died a quite a while before that didn't he? 

Comment by Carl Anderton on January 8, 2012 at 8:53am

I have no idea.  Most peculiar.  Briggs died in 1855.  I have never seen any reference to a wife.  His parents are mentioned in the famous eulogy, but this seems to refer to a wife.  

Comment by Ian Bell on January 8, 2012 at 8:55am

The 1890 quote about the banjo teachers is pretty entertaining. I recognize that tone from hearing (some) conservatory-type musicians talking about the banjo (or accordion or harmonica) nowdays. 

I guess thimble playing would have been getting rarer at that point anyway but I suspect the author might not have allowed himself to close enough to any banjo player to notice in the first place.


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