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Mills Brothers Dinah Four string

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  • Richard Combs
    Came across this video of the Mills Brothers singing Dinah. Certainly looks like a Tenor to Me.
    Message 1 of 11 , Jun 14, 2017
      Came across this video of the Mills Brothers singing Dinah. Certainly looks like a Tenor to Me.   
    • gzboat
      Yes, John Mills Jr. played tenor guitar in the group before his untimely death, at age 25, in 1936. Played the hell out of it actually.
      Message 2 of 11 , Jun 14, 2017
        Yes, John Mills Jr. played tenor guitar in the group before his untimely death, at age 25, in 1936. Played the hell out of it actually.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtqpyMvI3D4
        Given how popular the Mills Brothers were back in the 1930's, I'll bet he did more than a little to popularize the instrument in his day. For some time I've thought he ought to be in the tenor guitar Hall Of Fame.
                  Greg
      • Steven Pyott
        https://youtu.be/nwlHHb96AyY Sent from my iPad
        Message 3 of 11 , Jun 14, 2017
        • Steven Pyott
          https://youtu.be/ruLIkHIIuwE Sent from my iPad
          Message 4 of 11 , Jun 14, 2017
          • stevep48
            Great suggestion about John Mills Jnr being in the TGHOF, Greg, which I would personally heartily endorse. If Josh Reynolds, the Prez, reads these messages
            Message 5 of 11 , Jun 15, 2017
              Great suggestion about John Mills Jnr being in the TGHOF, Greg, which I would personally heartily endorse. If Josh Reynolds, the Prez, reads these messages maybe he would like to give it some consideration. I also think Ken Trietsch of the Hoosier Hotshots should be in the TGHOF. I can't think why we haven't seriously considered these two before. There seemed to be a time when we struggled for suitable nominations. Cheers, Steve. 
            • gzboat
              Perhaps, in John Mills case, it s because his contributions were so long ago. The Mills Brothers had a long career after his death, first with his father
              Message 6 of 11 , Jun 15, 2017
                Perhaps, in John Mills' case, it's because his contributions were so long ago. The Mills Brothers had a long career after his death, first with his father replacing him, then as a trio. If John Jr. had been around in the 1960's to do "Ed Sullivan", "The Dean Martin Show", and such, he might have a higher profile now. If he stayed with the tenor guitar for all those years, the instrument might have had a higher public profile too. I don't know why Ken Trietsch isn't better recognized. He surely was a terrific player and the Hot Shots were surely a big-time, popular act.
                             Greg
              • Andrew Vogt
                The novelty in novelty acts often overshadows the talent(s).
                Message 7 of 11 , Jun 15, 2017
                  The novelty in novelty acts often overshadows the talent(s). 

                  On Jun 15, 2017, at 10:23 AM, "gzboat@... [tenorguitarregistry]" <tenorguitarregistry@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

                   

                  Perhaps, in John Mills' case, it's because his contributions were so long ago. The Mills Brothers had a long career after his death, first with his father replacing him, then as a trio. If John Jr. had been around in the 1960's to do "Ed Sullivan", "The Dean Martin Show", and such, he might have a higher profile now. If he stayed with the tenor guitar for all those years, the instrument might have had a higher public profile too. I don't know why Ken Trietsch isn't better recognized. He surely was a terrific player and the Hot Shots were surely a big-time, popular act.
                               Greg

                • stevep48
                  Great points Greg and Andrew. On the question of novelty music, I suppose it could be considered that early jazz as a whole suffered from the stigma of simply
                  Message 8 of 11 , Jun 15, 2017
                    Great points Greg and Andrew. On the question of novelty music, I suppose it could be considered that early jazz as a whole suffered from the stigma of simply being regarded as 'novelty' music until enough historical perspective developed to enable the recognition of the importance of its contribution to human culture as a whole, such that a recording of Louis Armstrong and his Hot Seven playing Melancholy Blues was included on the Voyager spacecraft gold disc as a representation of human culture, if it was ever encountered by an extraterrestrial civilisation which could play the disc. I wonder what those early jazz pioneers would have made of that? Puts tenor guitars into perspective. Cheers, Steve.
                  • gzboat
                    Steve, it s interesting that you made the jazz connection. I never thought of the Mills Brothers as a novelty act (though they surely were regarded as that
                    Message 9 of 11 , Jun 16, 2017
                      Steve, it's interesting that you made the jazz connection. I never thought of the Mills Brothers as a novelty act (though they surely were regarded as that during their vaudeville and early Hollywood years). That was all long before my time. By the time I became aware of them as a kid (late 1950's, 1960's), on shows like Ed Sullivan, Hollywood Palace, Dean Martin, etc., they were being treated as a high-quality vocal harmony group that had been around a long time. I'm sure that shaped my perception of their place in pop music history. I've thought for awhile that their vocal instrument emulation was neither more nor less than a form of scat singing (a pretty damn slick and effective form of scat singing). Of course, scat singing itself was regarded as a novelty for a long time..................
                                Greg
                    • stevep48
                      I was also thinking of the legacy of the Hoosier Hotshots who were unashamedly regarded as a novelty act with their particular unusual instrumentation and
                      Message 10 of 11 , Jun 16, 2017
                        I was also thinking of the legacy of the Hoosier Hotshots who were unashamedly regarded as a novelty act with their particular unusual instrumentation and choice of repertoire but they were still tagged as the inventors of rural mid-western jazz. The real historical recognition of these pioneer artists comes in their ability to inspire others to follow in the paths they have established and both the Mills Brothers and the Hoosier Hotshots, as well as the Delmore Brothers, another tenor guitar featuring harmony act, were significant inspirations for other important artists and musical movements, who followed in their footsteps, further developing the particular musical styles. The history of popular music surely demonstrates that one person's novelty act is another person's fundamental musical inspiration. I really love the fact that a musical genius and jazz pioneer like Clarence Williams actually preferred the washboard, the epitome of a novelty instrument, as the percussion instrument of choice in his historic small group jazz recordings with musical giants like Louis Armstrong and Sidney Bechet. Even in modern day traditional jazz circles, it is sometimes difficult to get musicians to take the washboard seriously as a musical instrument even in an appropriate context. The number of jazz drummers I have seen who sneered at the use of the washboard in small group classic jazz. The tenor guitar has suffered from similar image problems and struggled to be taken seriously as the six string guitar became more prominent in popular music. I've rambled enough already! Cheers, Steve. 


                        ---In tenorguitarregistry@yahoogroups.com, <gzboat@...> wrote :

                        Steve, it's interesting that you made the jazz connection. I never thought of the Mills Brothers as a novelty act (though they surely were regarded as that during their vaudeville and early Hollywood years). That was all long before my time. By the time I became aware of them as a kid (late 1950's, 1960's), on shows like Ed Sullivan, Hollywood Palace, Dean Martin, etc., they were being treated as a high-quality vocal harmony group that had been around a long time. I'm sure that shaped my perception of their place in pop music history. I've thought for awhile that their vocal instrument emulation was neither more nor less than a form of scat singing (a pretty damn slick and effective form of scat singing). Of course, scat singing itself was regarded as a novelty for a long time..................
                                  Greg
                      • Andrew Vogt
                        Novelty is the unusual. What inspires more in the creative realms?
                        Message 11 of 11 , Jun 16, 2017
                          Novelty is the unusual. What inspires more in the creative realms?



                          On Jun 16, 2017, at 10:34 AM, "spyott@... [tenorguitarregistry]" <tenorguitarregistry@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

                           

                          I was also thinking of the legacy of the Hoosier Hotshots who were unashamedly regarded as a novelty act with their particular unusual instrumentation and choice of repertoire but they were still tagged as the inventors of rural mid-western jazz. The real historical recognition of these pioneer artists comes in their ability to inspire others to follow in the paths they have established and both the Mills Brothers and the Hoosier Hotshots, as well as the Delmore Brothers, another tenor guitar featuring harmony act, were significant inspirations for other important artists and musical movements, who followed in their footsteps, further developing the particular musical styles. The history of popular music surely demonstrates that one person's novelty act is another person's fundamental musical inspiration. I really love the fact that a musical genius and jazz pioneer like Clarence Williams actually preferred the washboard, the epitome of a novelty instrument, as the percussion instrument of choice in his historic small group jazz recordings with musical giants like Louis Armstrong and Sidney Bechet. Even in modern day traditional jazz circles, it is sometimes difficult to get musicians to take the washboard seriously as a musical instrument even in an appropriate context. The number of jazz drummers I have seen who sneered at the use of the washboard in small group classic jazz. The tenor guitar has suffered from similar image problems and struggled to be taken seriously as the six string guitar became more prominent in popular music. I've rambled enough already! Cheers, Steve. 



                          ---In tenorguitarregistry@yahoogroups.com, <gzboat@...> wrote :

                          Steve, it's interesting that you made the jazz connection. I never thought of the Mills Brothers as a novelty act (though they surely were regarded as that during their vaudeville and early Hollywood years). That was all long before my time. By the time I became aware of them as a kid (late 1950's, 1960's), on shows like Ed Sullivan, Hollywood Palace, Dean Martin, etc., they were being treated as a high-quality vocal harmony group that had been around a long time. I'm sure that shaped my perception of their place in pop music history. I've thought for awhile that their vocal instrument emulation was neither more nor less than a form of scat singing (a pretty damn slick and effective form of scat singing). Of course, scat singing itself was regarded as a novelty for a long time..................
                                    Greg

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