One Tradition Remains...
Although primarilly a cappella vocalists, The Idlers have not been shy about using instruments to punctuate their chantys. Here are a few of the more colorful, um, relics.
This absolutely obnoxious sounding klaxon covered up colorful epithets in the rowdy epic "The Thing". Shining The Horn is known to have brought bad luck to the shiner, so don't even think about it. Just like the song it accompanied, The Horn is of unknown origin.
This is a diatonic squeezebox, keyed in both C (top row) and G (bottom row). There are five buttons for each key on both sides, so it's helpful to think of this as essentially two harmonicas stacked on top of each other that you blow with your hands. Doc Newton thought it would be fun to throw between numbers with a couple of spoon players. If you're picked to play The Sqeezebox, good luck. A minute to learn, a lifetime to master.
During my tenure as an Idler (1973-77), and as President in 1977, Cadet Musical Activities had in its arsenal of instruments (in addition to a piano) a Gibson flattop guitar (I can't recall the model number, perhaps a J-45, with a sunburst finish) and an old upright bass. Wade Mitchell '77 might remember the manufacturer of the bass as he played it. Lee "Buck" Owens '74 played his own guitar (and I can't recall whether it was a Martin D-28 or a Gallagher - he was enthralled with Doc Watson at the time and Doc endorsed Gallaghers). I started out the school year of 1973 as a 4th Classman with a small mahogany Epiphone flattop guitar (similar in size and construction to a Martin 00-15)and a Kay 5-string banjo. During his tenure as an instrumentalist, Wade Mitchell '77 purchased a new Gibson flattop guitar - perhaps a model J-50 (which he still has and plays).
I obtained a pre-war Gibson Mastertone conversion banjo as a Christmas gift in December 1973 and the next Christmas obtained a 1971 Martin D-35 flattop guitar. With those gifts, my Dad purchased my high school car - a 1972 Chevy Nova - from me for my younger brother. That car is likely razor blades somewhere. The Martin D-35, Gibson J-50, and Cadet Musical Activities bass are pictured in my recent posted photo of the New London Trio taken at graduation festivities in May 1977. Buck, Wade, and I took our instruments with us. I still have the banjo and guitar, but alas, the uniforms no longer fit!
Mark W. Byrum, Jr.
The Byrum Law Offices, P.C.
108A South Columbus Street
Alexandria, VA 22314-3036
When it comes to banjos: “For our purposes we need only concentrate only concentrate on the five-string acoustic variety and can assume that all other species are abominations of nature and that God will punish them accordingly.” Page 154, Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven, But Nobody Wants To Die, or (the eschatology of bluegrass), by: David Crowder and Mike Hogan; ©2006, David Crowder.
This site has no official connection with the U. S. Coast Guard, the U. S. Coast Guard Academy, or any other government agency.All content is © Copyright 1958-2011 by The Idlers unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.
powered by Drupal - template metp