Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Carl Anderton's Blog (6)

Briggs cover

Added by Carl Anderton on February 20, 2012 at 7:34pm — 1 Comment

Tom Briggs makes an appearance.

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...

http://books.google.com/books?id=Q-gEAAAAMAAJ&dq=tom%20briggs&pg=PA16#v=onepage&q=tom%20briggs&f=false

Interesting (1890) tidbit on "thimble" playing here, not that I want…

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Added by Carl Anderton on January 7, 2012 at 9:30pm — 4 Comments

Oh what a dream I had.

I had an amazing dream last night.  A musical, banjo dream.  And instead of it slipping into the ether when I woke up, I remembered some of it.  It went like this:

 

I was at a Civil War event of some kind.  I met George Wunderlich, who had some music he wanted me to listen to.  He took me to a tent, where he had a sort of reel-to-reel machine.  He said the music was of an early stroke-style black banjo player, who had recorded just before he died in the 1890's.  I kept looking…

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Added by Carl Anderton on October 5, 2011 at 5:30pm — 8 Comments

The Converse pre-Gathering

Okay, people, last call for our Thursday the 23rd pre-event in Elmira, Ny.  Joel Hooks, Aurelia Perry, Kyle Pretzl and myself will hook up in Elmira to look for Frank Converse's ghost.  Actually, we have made several fascinating discoveries that will make our stay memorable.  Joel and Aurelia have found the original residences of the Converse and Maxwell families, and the houses still stand, so that will be a treat.  Also, the 1837 Presbyterian Church where father Maxey Manning Converse died…

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Added by Carl Anderton on June 13, 2011 at 5:43pm — 1 Comment

Christy's Minstrels Christmas Annual.

http://books.google.com/books?id=NhwQAQAAMAAJ&dq=banjo%20twang&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q=banjo%20twang&f=false

 

Here's an interesting publication by Christy's Minstrels in England, who were a staple for years at St. James Hall in London under G. W. "Pony" Moore.  Frank Converse played with them in 1866 when he undertook his triumphal…

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Added by Carl Anderton on May 30, 2011 at 11:30am — No Comments

The Converse gravesite.

As most of you know, Joel Hooks and I made a pilgrimage to the Frank Converse gravesite in Elmira, Ny last Thursday. He is buried in his in-laws plot, the Maxwell family. His wife Harriet's father was Thomas Maxwell, a Vice-President of the Erie railroad. He died in 1864 and left Harriet (and Frank) a considerable sum. Also, she had "pile of dough" from her first, short marriage.


So why is Frank's headstone so small and cheap? A clue might be found in the preface to…
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Added by Carl Anderton on September 3, 2010 at 5:55pm — 5 Comments

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