Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Swanee River is a 1940 biopic about the American songwriter Stephen Foster.Typical of 20th Century Fox biopics of the time, the film is more fictional than f...

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Comment by Canaan Myskowski on April 28, 2014 at 9:56am

By Al Johnson, very interesting!

Comment by Canaan Myskowski on April 28, 2014 at 11:59am

I agree that is not exactly like the early minstrels.  If you look closely you can see the 5 string type neck and a 5th string tuner. (Easy to see this on the screen before you hit play.  They are playing plectrum style on a 5 string, or the 5th string was removed. 

Comment by Strumelia on April 28, 2014 at 2:23pm

Seems more like a myopic than a biopic to me.   

Comment by Strumelia on April 28, 2014 at 2:30pm

You can see at least one 5th string peg at around 0:48  They may have removed others, or not... those might be plectrum banjos.

But it doesn't matter because none of those banjos have strings and those guys are faking playing and we are hearing tenor banjos.

Comment by Canaan Myskowski on April 28, 2014 at 2:39pm

I believe I can spot 2 string on the first banjo

Comment by Strumelia on April 28, 2014 at 2:43pm

He might have a couple of strings but they are faking playing.

Those openbacks cannot sound like resonator tenor banjos no matter how you play them.

Comment by Tim Twiss on April 28, 2014 at 4:25pm

Is this the same movie where Cristy buys Camptown Races cheap from him backstage, with no rights to it?

Comment by Ian Bell on April 28, 2014 at 8:14pm
I think I've got one of those banjos in my basement - It still doesn't have any strings!
Comment by Ian Bell on April 28, 2014 at 8:14pm
I think I've got one of those banjos in my basement - It still doesn't have any strings!
Comment by Ian Bell on April 28, 2014 at 8:14pm
I think I've got one of those banjos in my basement - It still doesn't have any strings!

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