View Full Version : Guess who...again

Scotti Adams
Feb-03-2011, 8:34am

Russ Jordan
Feb-03-2011, 9:54am
Ricky Skaggs?

Feb-03-2011, 9:55am
Was gonna guess him, or Ron T from DBFS.

Scotti Adams
Feb-03-2011, 9:56am
Nope and Nope

Feb-03-2011, 10:00am
The Wolfe-man (from this here board)

Rick Schmidlin
Feb-03-2011, 10:17am
Marty ?

Scotti Adams
Feb-03-2011, 10:45am
Nope and Nope

Feb-03-2011, 10:47am
Red Henry

Scotti Adams
Feb-03-2011, 11:13am
Uh uh

Feb-03-2011, 11:19am
Scotti Adams!!!

OK - Sam Bush?

Andrew DeMarco
Feb-03-2011, 11:20am

Pete Heady
Feb-03-2011, 11:29am
Frank Wakefield

Scotti Adams
Feb-03-2011, 12:41pm
No no no

Feb-03-2011, 1:30pm
Ronnie McCoury ?

Scotti Adams
Feb-03-2011, 1:31pm
We have a winner...ding ding ding!!

Ronnie McCoury at age five wearing Frank Wakefield’s mandolin. That’s Frank’s 1923 Lloyd Loar mandolin after Frank painted it red and before he baked it in the oven. That poor old mandolin has been through a lot but doesn’t mind as long as Frank keeps playing it because Frank and his “dolan” have played a lot of good music and had some great times together over the years.

Feb-03-2011, 1:37pm
Ok here I am and was successful and finaly won something, so what do I get ? I know, I know, not a Northfield mandolin... but what ?

Feb-03-2011, 1:38pm
The car fender in the background is what gave it away.

Feb-03-2011, 1:59pm
Good on ya, I never would have guessed Ronnie nor the Loar.

Feb-04-2011, 8:46am
Pete was close - so close - got the mandolin but not the player. Speaking of which - Wake Frankfield often seems a little baked, but his mandolin? Say what? Is this some fairly famous anecdote I have missed? :confused:

Feb-04-2011, 11:51am
...Wake Frankfield often seems a little baked, but his mandolin? Say what? Is this some fairly famous anecdote I have missed?...

Here's (http://www.candlewater.com/interviews/story006.html) an interview with Frank where he talks about baking his Loar, as well as sanding the top, painting it red, then black, and making a bridge for it out of fiberglas and epoxy.

Also mentions the McCoury picture.

The low-pitched whirring sound you may hear, will be Lloyd Loar spinning gyroscopically in his grave as Frank describes the atrocities he committed on his mandolin, which still sounds wonderful. Either Frank's an unrecognized genius in acoustic improvements, or that's one tough instrument.

Feb-04-2011, 12:01pm
Either Frank's an unrecognized genius in acoustic improvements, or that's one tough instrument.
Uh, yes he is. Now do you want me to start off this next tune, or should I?

(another Wakefield-ism)

Feb-04-2011, 1:18pm
Oh - the humanity!

Frank: ... So I figure I’d dry it and bake and everything… I baked it for a while for about 300… well about 110 or 120 degrees something like that..

Jim: In the oven?

Frank: Yeah.

Jim: ah huh… that always helps! Ooooohhhhhh

Frank: Actually did make it dry and thought it sounded better.

Jim: uh huh..

Frank: Good thing I didn’t leave it in any longer cause that other glue woulda come loose.

Jim: Right!

Frank: Good thing I took the strings off when I did it too.

Jim: Yeah, that’s for sure.

Frank: but anyhow that’s how I came about baking my mandolin.

Jim: ha ha

Frank: I baked it for about 20 minutes. It was just at the temperature where it wouldn’t melt the paint, but it dried the paint I had on the top of it. I figured that really did a number on it, but actually I thought it sounded better… a lot of it is psychological…

Boy - I'll say!!! :)) Good thing he took the strings off ...

Willie Poole
Feb-04-2011, 4:52pm
Tom Morgan had the top off of that mandolin and made and installed new tone bars in it, Tom might have even made a new top for it...I was at a friends house where and when all of this took place and I can`t say for sure if it was before or after the oven baking...One thing for sure tho, that Loar isn`t original, it has had a lot of work done on it...Tom Morgan was/is one of the best at repairing instruments that I have seen, I don`t know if he ever built a mandolin from scratch or not....If that mandolin could only talk....


Feb-04-2011, 5:04pm
...Tom Morgan was/is one of the best at repairing instruments that I have seen..

I have one of his Autoharps. Great instrument.

Scotti Adams
Feb-05-2011, 9:08am
Todd Phillips restained and finished it. Doesnt have a new top...and I havent heard the story about new tone bars....cant verify that.

Feb-05-2011, 9:11am
Hi Willie,

It’s bad to hear from me.

The top has never been taken off my 1923 Lloyd Loar mandolin. The mandolin Tom Morgan repaired for me was a 1922 Gibson Lloyd Loar that had belonged to Pee Wee Lambert before me. Pee Wee Lambert threw the mandolin away after the neck got broke and someone found the mandolin and gave it to me. That was back in 1952. Tom repaired the neck on the 1922 mandolin. David Grisman now owns that mandolin.

I was visiting at Tom Morgan’s house when he did some work on Mike Seeger’s 1924 Gibson Lloyd Loar so maybe that is what your friend is remembering. Tom took out the big round thing that is under the top, the 1924 Lloyd Loar models are the only one that had that thing in them.

At some point I ended up selling Pee Wee Lambert’s 1922 mandolin to Harry West for $650. Then I paid Tom Morgan $150 to make me a new mandolin. Tom did a fine job building that mandolin. Around 1960 I sold the mandolin Tom Morgan made for me to Sid Campbell for $150. Then I bought the 1923 Gibson Lloyd Loar that I am still playing today. The fella who owned the 1923 Gibson Lloyd Loar before me wanted to sell it to me so he brought it to a show I was playing at in Ohio. Bill Monroe was also playing at the show. At first I wasn’t going to buy the mandolin because it didn’t sound very good – the original strings were on it and they were real rusted and a couple were broke. I also thought $150 was a lot of money to pay. Bill Monroe tried the mandolin and said to me “Boy, this is a real good mandolin you ought to buy it”. So I did. When I would see Bill in the years after that Bill always said that that 1923 Gibson Lloyd Loar I have is the only mandolin that sounded as good as his.

I’ve been mad at the Gibson Company for about 7 years now, that’s why I put the green tape over the name on the headstock on my mandolin. If I wasn’t such close friends with my old “dolin”, we’ve been together over 50 years, and if I didn’t love how great it sounds I would stop playing it just to spite Gibson.
Gibson said they were going to make me a mandolin and never did. About 7 years ago some from Gibson called and said that they wanted to make a mandolin for me and give it to me. They asked me all kinds of questions about how I wanted the mandolin made and said it they would send it to me in about 3 months. It never showed up. Then about 2 years later someone else from Gibson called and said that they wanted to make a mandolin for me and give it to me. They asked me all kinds of questions again about how I wanted the mandolin made and said they would send it to me in about 3 months. I’m still waiting for that mandolin that Gibson was supposed to be making for me.
You think maybe it got lost in the mail?

-Frank Wakefield

Feb-05-2011, 9:19am
And that, folks, is why I visit this site so often...

Mr. Wakefield, thanks for the stories and history lesson! I bought a guitar from Harry West a couple of weeks ago...he's kicking slowly, but still kicking. Couldn't get him off the phone long enough to get him to pick anything for me, though...


Feb-05-2011, 9:28am
Hi Frank

Thank you for taking the time to write in personally and clear things up for us. It is always much appreciated when someone of your stature takes interest in communicating with us mere mortals with our musings, confusion, and conjecturing, and tells it like it is. I also wish to apologize if anything I said bothered you. I felt it was in keeping with your own highly entertaining self-deprecating humor, but if I went too far, I apologize. Sometimes the desire to make the perfect wisecrack gets the better of me, and though I may mean no harm, harm may be done.

I hope the folks at Gibson make good on their promises. And welcome to the Café! :mandosmiley:

Willie Poole
Feb-05-2011, 11:00am
Hi Frank....The mandolin I was talking about could have well been the Pee Wee Lambert Loar.....It was as I remember one that when Tom was working on the top he asked you to shave down the tone bars and when you did so while doing some other things like talking and sipping some "Coca Cola" the bars ended up looking like tooth picks, that was at Toms House in Silver Spring Md as I recall but I thought it was much later than 1952....

Needless to say as I get older like a lot of people, things get a little shady from back in the `50`s...

I`m glad you came on board and let us know the real story behind the Loar you are now playing, I have heard it many times and it is a great sounding axe for sure....I apoligze for assuming that it was the one that Tom Morgan had worked on and didn`t mean to inply that it wasn`t a good instrument....

Take care and I hope to see you somewhere along the bluegrass trail, Thanks again for the info, always good to hear from one of the Icons in bluegrass....

Willie Poole
Feb-05-2011, 11:09am
After going back and reading ALL of the posts it could have been the mandolin that Tom was building for Frank since it was being done at Toms house....Sorry for sounding like I was an expert but it was 50-60 years ago and things get twisted after a few years...I think it was a great gesture for Frank to come on a give us the real story...I`m sure he doesn`t really remember me but if we were to get together I bet we could share some tales that we both remember from those days....

If you are still on here Frank, does the name Paul Tester ring any bells? Paul did a lot of work along side of Tom Morgan....


Feb-05-2011, 11:37am
Frank...is that really me?

Cornelius Morris
Feb-06-2011, 12:05am
Marsha, did you type that? If not, don't tell Frank hello.

Feb-08-2011, 2:47pm
Wow.....Wake Frankfield.....