Johnny Smith - PhD Research

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Re: Johnny Smith - PhD Research

Postby smokymtguitar09 » Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:30 am

Lin,

in 1994 Concord records released a 23 song album of Johnny Smith and George Van Eps "Legends - Solo Guitar Performances". Johnny plays his songs on an acoustic guitar and Van Eps on his electric 7 string. I've heard samples they demonstrate Johnny's versatility playing a variety of other styles of guitar music.

samples of Johnny Smith and George Van
http://www.amazon.com/gp/recsradio/radi ... _krex_dp_a
Ronnie Evans
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Re: Johnny Smith - PhD Research

Postby BillB » Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:27 am

Johnny sounds like a classical guitarist on some of those songs. Amazing skills! What a contrast between the two players, but really great musical ideas from both. Two of the all-time greats!

Bill B.
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Re: Johnny Smith - PhD Research

Postby linflanagan » Tue Jul 05, 2011 5:10 am

Yeah, those arrangements and the recordings are great/beautiful. Very much Segovia-style romantic interpretations. You're absolutely right, they make a nice contrast to Van Eps' half of the album. Thanks guys.

I recently unearthed information about a Gretsch that Johnny played for a couple of weeks, back in '47, which I thought might be of interest to the Chetboard. A couple of weeks? Yes,the neck warped that soon! Anyway, surprise surprise... I wasn't expecting a flat-top guitar:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/alcue/380681708/

Wow. Odd shaped triangular sound-hole, too. Are any of these things still around?
Thanks again, everybody.
Lin

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Re: Johnny Smith - PhD Research

Postby David Elliott » Tue Jul 05, 2011 9:47 am

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Re: Johnny Smith - PhD Research

Postby Ray Bohlken » Tue Jul 05, 2011 1:27 pm

This looks almost like that guitar that Johnny Smith is playing, except the tail piece is different. I can't tell for sure, though. I don't know how current the ad is.
Ray

http://www.frettedamericana.com/gretsch ... 058-1.html
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Re: Johnny Smith - PhD Research

Postby linflanagan » Wed Jul 13, 2011 11:43 am

You're absolutely right, Ray. From what I've managed to discover, it seems that this was the model that was put into production, with an (albeit height-adjustable) classical-type-fixed bridge. The picture/advert of Johnny seems to be with a (slightly) bespoke version, in that it has a tailpiece from an archtop guitar, which allowed him to fix the volume control for the floating DeArmond pickup. I dare say that he wanted to use a tailpiece from an archtop for sonic reasons as well, though (e.g. A different vibration of the soundboard/top).
If Johnny's Gretsch was indeed a one-off, bespoke, version for him alone, it may well have gone to the great furnace in the sky. A couple of weeks after he got it, the neck warped, so he got shot of it.

Thanks for helping.
Lin

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Re: Johnny Smith - PhD Research

Postby Ray Bohlken » Wed Jul 13, 2011 3:04 pm

Lin, I'm posting a link to a Youtube video I found featuring the guitar. Don't watch it unless your health insurance covers mental therapy. It may affect your mind somewhat if you actually view this...I have it on good authority that I have been permanently warped by viewing it. :shock: Anyway, in this video, the performer says that there are about 10 of these known to exist. Be very careful.
Ray

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOl09WsiHRg
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Re: Johnny Smith - PhD Research

Postby linflanagan » Wed Jul 20, 2011 3:58 am

That's stark raving bonkers! Thanks Ray. I'm going to take some tablets now, and then have a lie-down.
Lin

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