What's New Folks? Studying Eddie's banjo technique Studying Eddie's banjo technique and getting to grips with his amazing energetic style, I took the tune "Smiles" that he recorded in 1956 and slowed it down half tempo, transposing to F. You can clearly hear his syncopated beats, chord structures and the way he built a hot banjo solo from a simple tune. There's a ton of good things in here to note. First chorus in F states the melody, 2nd Chorus in Bb has plenty of glissando, 3rd chorus in F has syncopated beats. Here is a link to a slowed down version (half tempo) of his solo "Smiles".
Radio Shows from the 1940's. Thanks to Dr. Ron MacLawhon for finding and sharing these wonderful recordings of Eddie on the WLS Barn Dance radio show in 1942. Also included was a rare 1946 show. click here click here click here
The Electric Banjoline Thanks to Danny Burke for turning up this offer. The Rickenbacker Banjoline is now a rare instrument and command high prices, so this Chinese replica has to be the bargain of the century! Maybe it will encourage a few more players to try one and experiment with the lovely sound they produce. Click here
Man With the Banjo I'd like to point you to a Youtube presentation of an extract of George Robert's book Man With The Banjo, read by Grandson Edwin Peabody. It's accompanied by a vast selection of pictures from Eddie's long career. Edwin is a professional actor and does a great job with this. Click here
Eddie in the 1950s A film clip of Eddie performing in the 1950's has recently surfaced. Eddie is doing his hot arrangement of St. Louis Blues with his usual gusto but what is truly exceptional about the performance is the raw energy that he puts into this. He was by then a man in his 50s (born 1902) and still smiles, bounces, jumps and plays as he did in the 1920s. He is also performing with full orchestra backing on this film. Click here to view the clip.
Brad Roth talks Eddie. One of the very best exponents of Eddie's banjo technique is the amazing Brad Roth. He recently did an interview with Tyler Jackson and talked about learning from Frank Vodich, who was a personal friend of Eddie and had taken lessons from him. It's a great interview with an insight into the rhythmic technique Eddie used to such effect. Click here to view the interview.
Eddie on Facebook I wonder what Eddie would have thought of modern technology ? Facebook has been a treasure chest to further legacy with a chat group founded by Italian banjo player Nino Frasio called "Eddie Peabody Fans Cellar" and recently some passages read from George R. Peabody's book "The Man With The Banjo" read by Edwin Peabody, Grandson of Eddie. Another gem came from the American Banjo Museum who have been doing "virtual tours" and curator Johnny Baier delved into the archives to reveal Eddie's treasures. Here is the link to the Facebook clip from the musuem.
Banjomania, 1942, video short. Thanks to Barry Siegel for posting a great quality version of Eddie's 1942 video short of "Oh, Susanna" and his ever popular version of "St. Louis Blues". Note that Eddie slides onto stage. I was told that he actually polished the bottom of his shoes to achieve that stage entrance! To view the clip, click here.
Never too busy for you Jim Bottorff has produced an excellent video of Eddie playing and singing "Never too busy for you", along with original pictures from Eddie's banjo instruction book, Well done Jim! Take a look here:- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmVNo8OqY7E
Eddie playing on the National Barn Dance Radio Show. A real treat for us now courtesy of Randy Morris who has kindly shared an extremely rare "live" recording of Eddie performing on the National Barn Dance Radio show in the 1940's. Make special note of the acoustic Banjoline used on this Medley. Click here to hear the performance
New instructional Peabody style banjo videos Ron Hinkle has produced some new videos explaining how to play some of Eddie's banjo strokes. This is an excellent way of not only seeing but reading how to execute this technique which forms part of a lesson from his BMG magazine contributions. On the second video he plays one of Eddie's Vox 4 banjos, on loan courtesy of Mr. Eddie Peabody Jr. Very well don Ron, keep them coming ! Click here to view via Youtube.
Banjoland, 1928 Eddie was one of the very first to record film with sound on the Vitaphone system and at long last a movie short of him together with his pal and musical stage partner in those early days, Jimmy Maisel, has made it's way onto Youtube. The picture and sound was restored, being two separate items, by The Vitaphone Project. I'd urge you to buy the DVD of this and support the company which restores films that would otherwise be lost forever. We are thankful this one survives. Click here for the link
The Eddie Peabody T-Shirt Following a trip to a US banjo festival where I wore my "Eddie Peabody T-Shirt" I had numerous requests on where to buy one just like it. Whilst I have no plans to market such a T Shirt, I offer you the jpeg. picture to upload onto a T-shirt printer of your choice. Click here for the picture file download.
Another Gem of Eddie on TV appears More rare clips of Eddie on The Lawerence Welk Show have recently been uploaded onto Youtube with Eddie playing "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" and his amazing version of "The Tiger Rag", together with Buddy Merrill and his pals. Watch it here. Also added was a clip of Eddie playing his Vega Electric Banjoline, a real treat! Our special thanks to Chris Pikal for sharing these with us and future generations.
Prof. Peabody's Banjo School uploaded One of the 1940's movies that has been hard to find was uploaded onto Youtube recently and shows Eddie and a banjo student having fun with the duo banjo technique he so often show-cased. "Sweet Sue", a tune he played all his life is also featured. It is a fun piece and well worth re-visiting. See it here.
Eddie goes colour Angus Lamont, a young ukulele-banjo player from bonny Scotland kindly submitted this wonderful image of Eddie that he added colour to. The picture is a fantastic piece of work and is a glimpse of Eddie as he would have appeared on stage in 1932. Angus is a fine uke player in his own right and is to be see in action playing in the George Formby tradition on Youtube. All credits to Angus if you use this picture please.
Flying High This amazing clip was kindly submitted by John Thomas and it shows Eddie in the first sequence of the film playing "jazz" with musicians who then fly and play aloft. I'm quite sure Eddie was used in the first few seconds as the was a sailor, not an airman! See the clip here and decide for yourself. John says " The airplane looks like a "Standard J-1", manufactured between 1916 and 1918 in the USA and were used as training planes. CALPET (which is printed on the plane) was a fuel/oil company that was popular in the 1920's." This 1924 film is the earliest known movie of Eddie.
Vega Vox One of Eddie's 1960's Vega Vox banjos was recently restored in Texas by luthier Vinnie Mondello. This one was brought back to playing standard and it is interesting to see the process involved. Click here.
Happiness Show In the late 1920's Eddie had established himself as a top draw act and he came to the attention of Fanchon and Marco, a theatrical production company and Eddie signed with them for a reputed $1 million dollars- in the 1920's!! Here is avery rare promotional bookletthat surfaced on Ebay and was bought by Doug Parsons for inclusion in the American Banjo Museum. Thanks to Doug for sharing this with us.
Johnny Thorson, Memories of Eddie Peabody Now uploaded onto Youtube, Canada's "Captain Banjo" shares his wonderful memories of Eddie in the 1960's. Johnny has been a keen supporter and contributor to this website and is a fine banjo player in the Peabody tradition.
The Eddie and Frank Vodich tapes Thanks to Steve Peterson for sharing this home recording of Eddie Peabody and Frank Vodich playing some tunes together. Eddie often stayed at Frank's house when he was in the San Fransisco area and Frank taught many players Eddie's banjo technique, including Brad Roth and young Scotty Plummer. The initial unconfirmed information about the recording is:- 0:08 Sweet Sue - Brad Roth (from about 20 years ago) 1:25 Russian Song - Frank Vodich 2:08 Frank Vodich 3:11 Smile Darn Ya / When You're Smiling - Frank Vodich 4:45 Fight Song - Frank Vodich 5:45 Frank Vodich? 6:35 Nobody's Sweetheart - Frank Vodich 7:40 San Francisco - Frank Vodich 8:10 Alabama Jubilee - Frank Vodich 9:35 Do You Know What It Means - Frank Vodich 10:34 Bye Bye Blues - Frank Vodich 12:00 Eddie Peabody on Piano 13:35 St. Louis Blues - Peabody 15:30 I'll See You In My Dreams - Eddie Peabody and Frank Vodich 17:15 I Love You - Eddie Peabody and Frank Vodich 19:00 Angry - Eddie Peabody and Frank Vodich 20:08 Margie - Eddie Peabody and Frank Vodich 21:13 Tea for Two - Eddie Peabody and Frank Vodich 22:20 Frank Vodich 24:40 Smoke Gets In Your Eyes - Frank Vodich 26:00 Eddie Introduces Japanese Sandman (Eddie on Bass? Gut Bucket?) 27:35 Eddie? introducing Frank?
Peabody Parade, 2012 One of the most memorable concerts in years celebrating Eddie's life and career was performed on stage at the 2012 AllFrets convention. Dr. Ron McLawhon introduced Johnny Thorson, Dave Marty, Buddy Wachter, Debbie Schreyer and husband Tom, Howard Shepherd, Sean Moyses and finally George Peabody, who joined the stage to thank everybody. Here is link to the film of that show.
Double CD of DOT recordings released. A double CD of Eddie's 1950's recordings is due for release on December 9th, 2013 on the Jasmine label . These cover the majority of Eddie's DOT output and it is nice to be able to have access to these again after years of neglect by the other record and CD companies. This covers the "Man with the banjo", "Me and my banjo", "When you're smiling" and Favourites by Mr. Banjo himself" LPs. Well done Jasmine Records!
Eddie in the USO Shows In archive footage taken during the Second World War, a rare movie of Eddie performing for the US Navy has been found. This is unfortunately without sound but it gives the viewer a nice glimpse of Eddie doing his show along with Ray Anthony on trumpet and The Tune Toppers, a band he often worked with on USO shows during the conflict.
Cartoon Time Vince Giordano uncovered a lovely 1930's cartoon called "Hot Dog" features Eddies' music on the sound track at 4.20. He plays and sings "St. Louis Blues" and to my ears, it was recorded especially for this cartoon as Eddie sings this better than I have ever heard it before.
New recording discovered It is amazing what turns up on Ebay and this very rare transcription of a "Meet your navy" show and a previously unheard Eddie Peabody recording was such an item. Thankfully it has been graciously shared to like minded banjo fans. Click here to listen.
Eddie in the printed form George Robert Peabody's book "Man with the banjo" is based on his Father's pre-war exploits in Europe. It is a great read for not only fans of Eddie but for fans of suspense and action - and it will keep you entertained ! I'd love to see this turned into a movie or stage play as it would lend itself so well. It is available through all good bookshops or through Amazon.com