PDA

View Full Version : 21 years, boys, is a mighty long time...



AlanN
Dec-11-2017, 9:12am
December 11, 1996 - John Duffey left this veil of tears.

Bless your heart, John.

William Smith
Dec-11-2017, 10:06am
Yes it is, I'm a huge Duffey fan, have pry most of his recorded stuff with Gents/Scene and other albums he sang and played on. A true originator of a different playing style and still to this day nobody can play or even begin to sing like him! My favorite grassy tenor that pry will ever be. Love his all around "STYLE" funny,cocky,brash, etc...He truly has been missed but his music will always live on as those who have gone will also. I get a joy whenever I get to play his old F-7 conversion that my Uncle Dick has owned since 68 I believe. John redid her and its in many old photos and recordings with the gents, even hanging on a fence on the cover of "ON the Road and More" On youtube there is a bunch of early recordings of the gents and the scene that a Japanese fella has put on along with hundreds of hard to find old live recordings and records! Awesome stuff!

Willie Poole
Dec-11-2017, 12:49pm
Duffey was like two different people when he was off of the stage or around other bluegrassers at festivals etc...I bowled in the same bowling alley with John and that's really how I noticed how different he was away from bluegrass shows.....One thing that always stood out to me about him was that if anyone took a mandolin to him for repairs he was 100% honest with them as to what it might or might not need...I took an A-50 to him once and asked him to do what ever he could to make it play and sound better, he played it for about 20 minutes and then told me. "Willie this thing don`t need anything done to it, it is great the way it is, one of the best that I have ever seen"...He could have raked me over the coals and charged me an arm and a leg and not do much to it, I always respected him for that...He and I had one thing in common when we bowled, we both drank our Bourbon while doing it...

I first met John when the bass player for the Country Gents, Ed Ferris, took me to Georgetown to listen to them in person, that's how I got to meet everyone of the Gents through the years and as Billy said I always enjoy listening to their music and I guess I have most of their albums and I have burned them onto CD`s and thanks to Alan he sent me a couple that I didn`t have, some great stuff...Thanks again Alan...

...A true Duffey fan and I really miss him....;)

Willie

Timbofood
Dec-11-2017, 1:12pm
I remember hearing of John’s passing. I really miss him. I didn’t know him well but, he was always kind to me.
Yes, the man had “Style” to say the least!

William Smith
Dec-11-2017, 6:15pm
Yeh but I still wonder about some of his choice of "Pants" in later years! WoW man. They were alive! Akira did a great 4 part tribute on John's mandolins a few years ago on youtube, very interesting stuff! I still would like to find the mando "an F-2 or F-4 that was turned into an F-5 with a top he made with the step from the Cellar Door that before that came off an old sail ship? Also I heard John carved a few F-5 tops that have to be somewhere? Ahh the legends.

Don Grieser
Dec-11-2017, 10:00pm
December 11, 1996 - John Duffey left this veil of tears.

Bless your heart, John.

"Bless your heart and all your other vital organs" is how I remember him saying it. One of a kind. Love that photo of him holding his hand over Monroe's mouth while they're on stage. Can't find it on the google.

Ivan Kelsall
Dec-12-2017, 1:20am
I was lucky enough to see John & the guys at the Birchmere in Sept. 1992. He was so full of life that you'd have thought that he'd live for ever. Sad to think that he only had another 4 years of life to go. As for the ''pants'' - the ones he wore looked like PJ bottoms. I got to see Tony Rice who was guesting that night as well - that was definitely a WOW !!,
Ivan

Willie Poole
Dec-12-2017, 11:38am
Ivan, John had tried to get Tony to replace the lead singer/guitar player that was leaving the Scene at that time but for some reason Tony declined the offer, I`m not sure if was before or after Phil Rosenthal was with them....`92 seems so long ago as my memory isn`t as good as it once was...BG`78, I have tried to locate the owner of that F-2 conversion but have hit a brick wall, no one seems to know where the fellow is that owned it when I first heard it...Most likely the loudest mandolin that I have ever heard...

Anyone know where to find Garland Alderman? He was the owner when I first heard that mandolin...

Willie

jesserules
Dec-12-2017, 11:57am
Love and admire John Duffey's playing. Talk about pushing boundaries/taking risks ... always worth listening to.



<>...I bowled in the same bowling alley with John <> Willie

So that's why he had those shirts ....

William Smith
Dec-12-2017, 1:05pm
Yeh Willie,you ever find that mandolin let me KNOW and I'd be eternally grateful and would give ya a finders fee! Unless John wrote his name or something on it, it would be pretty hard to authenticate I'd think? I still wonder what that complete Blonde F-5 was that John must've used because I've seen pix in early Gents CD cover of "Country Songs, Old and New?" Unless that's the one in white before he did the finish? Looks like a large 50' style peg head with typical Duffey fancy inlays in peg head and fret board "The Gibson" inlay is noticeable and a big flower pot where the TRC is and leaves/flowers are inlayed straight up under "THE GIBSON inlay"-It's for sure not Uncle Dicks Duffey F-7 conversion or Akira's Duffey's late 60's through his career F-12? That could be the lost one Willie. says on the inside jacket around 1959?

djweiss
Dec-12-2017, 4:19pm
Don Grieser:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/8XrQsMeiXw8bnsZk1

AlanN
Dec-12-2017, 6:38pm
Akira's Duffey's late 60's through his career F-12?

I believe that F-12 is a 1938, and Akira indeed is now the owner.

Willie Poole
Dec-12-2017, 10:07pm
Akira also owns the two "Ducks" that John made....In that photo of John holding his hand over Monroe`s mouth that was his way of letting Bill know that John was going to sing the tenor part...One time Monroe made a statement that sort of rubbed John the wrong way, Bill said, "There was only two real tenor singers in Bluegrass, Him and Ira Louvin and Ivan is dead"...So maybe that is why John is keeping Bill from singing on that song...John did a few albums with The Stanleys also and he liked sing with them, his tenor was different than Ralph`s so it fit pretty good, he might have done some high baritone also on those records...He could sing a wide range, about as wide as anyone I have ever heard...

Philphool
Dec-13-2017, 1:07pm
Alan, does Akira own BOTH "Ducks"? For some reason I was thinking that he only had one of them.:confused:

William Smith
Dec-13-2017, 2:22pm
I think he owns both Ducks and Johns F-12, years ago in a Bluegrass Unlimited on the back cover there was an add from John that said his 38 F-12 conversion was stolen along with a martin that John put inlays in, so I think that's when he did the 1st Duck, and also quit music for a bit and went to repairing instruments in a shop/or his home don't know? but Gruhn I was told/heard that George said Johns F-12 was an early 50's? So more mystery! Watch that 4 part you tube from Akira, it gives great insight about John and "some"of his mandolins-VERY KOOL stuff. Now where is the BLONDE one in them old photos from the late 50's and early 60's? That is pry the long lost Duffey convert from an old F-2 or F-4 with the old wood from the steps of a bar? I want to find her-she has to be out there somewhere sitting unloved/and pry no one knows what it is but a Gibson because of the peghead inlay????

AlanN
Dec-13-2017, 3:19pm
Alan, does Akira own BOTH "Ducks"? For some reason I was thinking that he only had one of them.:confused:

Just one, Phil. And it has an intonation issue, so it doesn't get played much.

William Smith
Dec-13-2017, 5:12pm
I'm almost sure there are 2 Ducks, The original John made and the one he made and gave to Akira? Its in that you tube video.

Timbofood
Dec-13-2017, 7:49pm
Akira says definitely that John made a “Duck” for him, consequently, there are two, now both in Akira’s possession. John’s did have an intonation issue but the neck was broken when it was inherited by Akira. Subsequently, he made a new neck and corrected the problem. Watch all the Akira interview and he shares some pretty touching comments.

Philphool
Dec-18-2017, 3:36pm
The interviews are very good but, unless I'm missing something, never say that he OWNS both 'Ducks' (although both were in his possession for the making of the videos).

I talked with Akira at IBMA several years again and my memory is that he told me that he only has ONE of the "Ducks".

Alan confirms this memory in his comment above. If anyone has documentation or other evidence of something else, I'd like to see it.

Timbofood
Dec-18-2017, 4:56pm
I thought there was a statement made by Akira that he DID have them but, I’m perfectly willing to admit my misconception.
They story I remember being told was they met and on a kitchen table was a box containing duck number two and after John’s demise, he was gifted the original which had suffered damage in shipment.
However, I am much like Norris in “The Big Sleep”:
“I make many mistakes.”

All that aside, I still want one!

William Smith
Dec-18-2017, 5:17pm
Yeh the Ducks are KOOL man, actually a little while ago some guy had a killer sounding Duck replica he built for sale, Don't remember how much, I'm sure its on you tube, his last name was Poindexter I think?? I had to enquire about her of course but didn't have the cash=STORY of my life!
My Uncle Dick told me that Wayne Yates "Hope I got that name right" has the one mando that might be the old blonde one I was talking about that John did, pix in the late 50's early 60's show John with that natural/blonde mando with custom inlays, large peg head and also Uncle Dick said that the mando had no finish and someone put a finish on it later? I'll enquire more about that one! It may be the one Willie Poole knew about with the top made out of the old step..

David Lewis
Dec-18-2017, 6:34pm
I love how Monroe and Duffey genuinely loved each other, even though they were complete opposites in many ways.

Philphool
Feb-13-2018, 12:34pm
Don Grieser:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/8XrQsMeiXw8bnsZk1

You know, the more I look at this, the more I wonder if Duffy's hand is just pushing that microphone TOWARDS Monroe to pick up his tenor.:confused:
Good picture and story either way.:)

mrmando
Feb-13-2018, 1:04pm
Here's an electric duck on ebay ...

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1970-s-TAHARA-Duck-Shape-Electric-Mandolin-Vintage-MIJ-W-HSC-Free-Shipping/332551140354?hash=item4d6d97b402:g:msAAAOSwLnlaf6G E

AlanN
Feb-13-2018, 1:35pm
You know, the more I look at this, the more I wonder if Duffy's hand is just pushing that microphone TOWARDS Monroe to pick up his tenor.:confused:
Good picture and story either way.:)

I think it's more like...No, you shut up...

Sleepy Eyed John
May-16-2018, 2:49am
Akira here. Man, no wonder my ears were burning last December. Well, sorry I'm late replying.

I have Duck #2. An airline broke its neck in 1973 and I tried to have it fixed many times but it won't stay so my friend luthier Bill Swank put a new neck on it. It used to be a short scale but Bill put a long neck so the bridge had to be moved some.

Duck #1 belongs to Shawn Nycz who lives in Nashville. He used to be a wrestler and he is the one who recommended wrestler's pants to John:-) I believe he still owns several of John's pants.

I also own Gibson F-12 that John bought in 1966. When I took the F12 to George Gruhn in 1997, he said it was from 50's. The serial number is A-3028 and at one point somebody said it's from 30's but I'm not convinced....

One thing that is confusing is that F-7 that Dick Smith now owns, was stolen in 1966 but it came back shortly. The F-12 was stolen in 1969 and it didn't come back till around 1974. When John started the Scene in 1971, he didn't have a mandolin and he decided to make his own - the duck.

Let me know if you have any questions.
Akira

Akira

Sleepy Eyed John
May-16-2018, 3:13am
A very exciting news. On June 22, Smithsonian/Folkways is releasing "Epilogue: a tribute to John Duffey" that I co-produced with late Ronnie Freeland. It has all star lineup: on mandolin you'll hear Adam Steffey, Wayne Benson, David Grisman, Sam Bush, Ron Inscore, Marc MacGlashan, Lou Reid and myself and of course some of us are playing John's F-12. If I list all the guitar, banjo, dobro and vocalist, it would be too long but please keep an eye for it.

https://www.amazon.com/Epilogue-Tribute-Duffey-Various-Artists/dp/B07C5FVD7T/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1526355512&sr=8-1&keywords=epilogue+duffey

Thank you,
Akira

William Smith
May-16-2018, 3:21am
Thanks for the info Akira. I didn't know the 7 was stolen also at one point, must be John got it back then sold it to the guy who traded it to Uncle Dick?

Timbofood
May-16-2018, 8:14am
Akita, thank you so much for bringing your knowledge of the great man’s mandolins and his wardrobe!

AlanN
May-16-2018, 8:52am
I also own Gibson F-12 that John bought in 1966. When I took the F12 to George Gruhn in 1997, he said it was from 50's. The serial number is A-3028 and at one point somebody said it's from 30's but I'm not convinced....



Thanks for the first-hand info on Duck, etc., Akira. Always good to go 'straight to the river', as opposed to relying on 2nd and 3rd hand uninformed accounts.

JD hisownself stated the F-12 was a '36, as here in the MWN interview from 1981.

William Smith
Jun-09-2018, 7:04am
Just received an advanced copy of the new CD and I have to say it is spectacular in every way! Great thought out project with stellar musicians that give honor to a legend in the bluegrass/newgrass world. Great job Akira, I'm very delighted that this project came about and to all who participated in its making. Awesome in every way including the booklet that tells some stories that many do not know! I will listen again many times I'm sure of that!

fatt-dad
Jun-09-2018, 7:31am
John was fun to watch. So too the Bluegrass 45!

I recall early festivals and so many fun times of the past. John and his claim, "The drugs were wearing off!" or something to that effect. All the mixed folks in the ground - hippies, old-timers, church families and a sense of fellowship! Just great music.

And the Bluegrass 45 playing their instruments on their backs. Not sure they even knew English, but knew the songs!

Thanks for the reminder of John!

f-d

AlanN
Jun-09-2018, 9:31am
A wonderful project, indeed; with a wide breadth of music, players and feeling. The booklet is fantastic. Here's one photo, so great.

Timbofood
Jun-09-2018, 4:44pm
My birthday is coming! Thank you Akira!

Willie Poole
Jun-09-2018, 9:25pm
If The F-12 has a red label, in it then it could very well be a `50`s model but if I remember correctly it had a white label which was being used in the `30`s...Of course labels fall out but it must still be in there since Akira knows the serial number...I have to agree with Alan about the interview with John plus he also told me that it was a `36 or `37 I can`t remember which year he said...I had an F-12 and John also told me mine was very close to his serial number and I know that mine was a `51, so the mystery still lingers...

Willie