Tampa Red and the birth of resonator guitars
“Interesting, keep up the good stuff.”
ResonatorGuitarGuide @ResonatorGuide, October 5, 2013.
“The story of National/Dobro/Rickenbacher guitars would make a great movie. Roaring 20s, Great Depression, etc.”
Al (@Resoguitar), October 5, 2013.
“Great post! Worth also exploring the hoops Dopyera had to jump through in launching the Dobro not to compete with HIS OWN patent.”
ResonatorGuitarGuide @ResonatorGuide October 1, 2013.
“Awesome reading here Paul.”
DJ Bob @zczbob September 27, 2013.
Growing up in Tampa, Florida, as Hudson Woodbridge, Tampa Red acquired his nickname due to his light-coloured reddish skin. He had started off accompanying the formidable Ma Rainey, as one of her Blues Assassinators, and now specialised in
hokum blues, a near-the-bone comic blues of the sort mentioned in Dirty Blues Lyrics and Filthy Rugby Songs (21 August archive).
Tampa Red’s magnum opus surely has to be his 1940 blues classic, ‘When Things Go Wrong (It Hurts Me Too)’, covered by Elmore James amongst many others. Altogether, it’s been estimated Red made over 300 records.
National and Dobro continued sourcing their metal bodies and
other components from a Swiss-born engineer called Adolph Rickenbacher, based in Santa Ana, California.
In the USA, please follow this link:
Both Ebooks with their illustrations have now by combined and added to in America’s Gift, a big paperback available at Amazon.
Here’s the American link:
Sunday, 29 September 2013. London. Down by the River Thames at Greenwich, by the restored tea clipper, Cutty Sark, a busker plays and sings some pretty decent blues on a shiny all-metal resonator guitar. Not a soul watches or listens. A couple of hundred yards away, a one-man band plays an MOR version of the Stones’ Get Off Of My Cloud on a banjo, tambourines on his ankles, and draws a crowd. Was it just down to the location of their patches? I hope so.