Archive for the ‘Historical Makers’ Category

The Ballad of Serge Singer

It’s extremely rare when my main two nerdy obsessions – harp guitars and Disney – overlap in any way. I’d certainly count this as one of the more unusual. Yes, it’s a YouTube clip of the famous Paris vocalist Serge Singer with this trademark harpe guitare performing the 1955 hit “The Ballad of Davy Crockett.” […]

Are You an Orville-ite?

2018 is the 100th anniversary year of Orville Gibson’s death (August 19th) and I was recently thrilled to see special attention being paid to our hero by a bunch of fine people. I’m assuming all my readers are familiar with Gibson guitars, mandolins and (obviously) harp guitars. I imagine that you all at least know […]

Dyer Harp Mandolas: All Present and Accounted For

Yeah, this is probably wishful thinking, but then again, it could be true. We’ll likely never know. Before 2007, not a single specimen of a W. J. Dyer & Bro. harp mandola had yet been discovered by either Bob Hartman or me. Then within just two years, four of them surfaced! They were all up […]

Miner Museum Deaccesions

…which is a fancy word for “I’ve got too much stuff, am completely out of room, don’t have time or energy to play all these, and after much soul-searching and gnashing of teeth I’ve decided to let some painstakingly-acquired things go.” Ten items now offered for sale, on my new page called “Treasures From the […]

Historical Luthier and Featured Harp Guitar of the Month

Now in PDF format! Yes, readers – we’re trying something new. I’ve been investigating this for some time, reading lots of opinions, discussing with knowledgeable friends, and just finished a test drive and collaborative final vote with Thomas Nielsen (who lives in Denmark, and contributes to Harpgutiars.net, most recently in getting the password-protected Members Section […]

Dyer Harp Guitar Vintage Photos

I’ve been amassing a small trove it seems…most of these are discoveries from the last year and a half, a couple are from earlier that I just stumbled across. Unfortunately, some of the sources were lost during a computer crash last September; if you see one you recognize and have more to share, please do! […]

Chris Knutsen, Road Warrior

Most of you know that I’ve been pretty obsessed with Knutsen and his instruments since the 1980s. I’ve spent a lot of time putting his instruments and activities into perspective. One thing that always intrigued me was how he got around. Apparently, often by boat up around Tacoma and Seattle and by train from those […]

AMIS Moravian Adventure

This year, the American Musical Instrument Society (AMIS) held their annual meeting in Bethlehem, PA at the Moravian College and nearby environs. I hadn’t been anywhere in Pennsylvania since a child, so was glad for a chance to explore. My wife Jaci stayed home this trip, so I did less vacationing and more AMISing this […]

Linscott’s Bohmann

As you’ve often heard me say, one of the biggest perks of this harp guitar hobby is unearthing some wonderful new historical photograph captured a hundred or so years ago and now revealed. And so, could there be anything cooler than an image that features not just a maker I study, or a style of […]

Floating Strings in Carlsbad

The world’s most elaborate and spectacular public display of harp guitars has ended.  It was an extremely popular 7-month exhibit at NAMM’s Museum of Making Music and took up a good year of my life to help create as guest curator.  It told – and showed – the story of the harp guitar in America, […]


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