Letters to the Editor October 2018

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– (Some) Old Instruments Are Better –

To the Editor:
With regard to Professor Cunningham’s article in the September issue, as an OLD guitar and banjo player I can agree strongly. Acoustic stringed instruments with wood faces improve with age as the wood fibers in the face line up and the finish crackles allowing the face to vibrate more freely. Bill Monroe, the father of bluegrass music, sent his (by then) vintage Gibson mandolin back to the Gibson Company to be overhauled with clear instructions not to refinish it. It came back refinished, and Monroe took sandpaper to the face and also scraped the Gibson later off the peg stock with a pen knife. I saw him play that mandolin as he altered it. Now with regard to banjos, I can affirm that model for model new and old ones sound equally crappy.

Eliot Kenin
Martinez, CA

I agree. I love the sound of my old guitars. It’s just as you say. And no one, as far as I can tell, has made anything like a Stradivarius lately. -Ed.

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– Kind Praise from Arizona –

To the Editor:
There is nothing more important in my life now than to receive your informative journal every month—well, I do put my Social Security check right up there, too! You have added some very good writers this year, too.
Here’s my check for $30 to cover your paper for another year. (I hope I have the assurance for my life extension to 90 come November this year!)
Keep up the good work!

B. Erik Hall
Apache Junction, AZ

I am so grateful for your kind testimonial! Thank you so much for renewing! -Ed.

– Stomp Off Still Filling Orders –

To the Editor:
Looking forward to another year of The Syncopated Times!
I am happy to report that Stomp Off continues to fill orders for a wide variety of traditional jazz and ragtime recordings—on CD, LP, and even cassette!

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Erda Erdos
York, PA

This news makes me happy. There is such a vast wealth of great music on the Stomp Off label, and I am delighted that these recordings continue to find new listeners. Readers may find a complete list of available releases online at stompoff.dickbaker.org, and of course place orders through Stomp Off Records, P.O. Box 342, York, PA 17405. -Ed.

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