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Thread: Curly Seckler and the mandolin? What gives?

  1. #1

    Default Curly Seckler and the mandolin? What gives?

    My goodness he's just choppin away on that mandolin, did they ever let him take a break? I mean every video I've ever seen he's just playing rythym and back-up either on the guitar or on the ole Gibson F-4. I just wonder any of you bluegrass historians wanna chime in on this? I was just curious

    By the way what a great video and piece if history.....just look at those fancy white suits!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Curly Seckler and the mandolin? What gives?

    I seem to remember Curly taking some pretty basic breaks but mostly I remember him for his singing.

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    Registered User Earl Gamage's Avatar
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    Default Re: Curly Seckler and the mandolin? What gives?

    He does take a break every now and then on the show. He could pick fine and was a great singer.

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    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Curly Seckler and the mandolin? What gives?

    They were trying to separate themselves from Monroe.

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  8. #5

    Default Re: Curly Seckler and the mandolin? What gives?

    I never heard even pick once....I looked to see if their were any videos any old videos but couldn't find a one.

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    mandolin slinger Steve Ostrander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Curly Seckler and the mandolin? What gives?

    He got paid the same, solo or no solo....
    Never say "bouzouki" to a TSA agent...

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  11. #7

    Default Re: Curly Seckler and the mandolin? What gives?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Ostrander View Post
    He got paid the same, solo or no solo....
    Good point Steve....

  12. #8
    wood butcher Spruce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Curly Seckler and the mandolin? What gives?

    Nice to hear that old American DR332 ribbon mic in action...
    I recently found one in mint condition, and never really tried it out before selling it...
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  14. #9

    Default Re: Curly Seckler and the mandolin? What gives?

    The deal with Curly is: Curly was and still is one of the best tenor singers in Bluegrass. Curly was exactly what Flatt & Scruggs needed to complete there sound. The mandolin in the Foggy Mountain Boys would take a back seat until the split.

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    Spencer Sorenson Spencer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Curly Seckler and the mandolin? What gives?

    To my recollection, he played a lot in 2-note chords with tremolo when he did get to play. The break that comes to mind is on "Thinking About You".

    Spencer

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    Wood and Wire Perry Babasin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Curly Seckler and the mandolin? What gives?

    Chopping, favoring the bass strings on an oval! Very interesting!
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  19. #12

    Default Re: Curly Seckler and the mandolin? What gives?

    Yes, Flatt and Scruggs did for the mandolin what the Tony Rice Unit did for the banjo.

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  21. #13
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    Default Re: Curly Seckler and the mandolin? What gives?

    When Lester would introduce him he used to say,"Curley don`t pick the mandolin very much but he sure holds it nice"...But he did take some tremolo breaks on quite a few songs...

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    Default Re: Curly Seckler and the mandolin? What gives?

    Curley has a great website with some wonderful photos from his incredibly long career.

    http://www.curlyseckler.net/scrapbook.htm#

    He's 94, and still recording... just cut some tracks with Larry Sparks!
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    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Curly Seckler and the mandolin? What gives?

    It looks like Curly's top scroll had a 'Monroe-ectomy' at some time. The 'solos' of his that i've heard were all 'tremolo' style with no individual strings picked - but he did have a great voice for sure,
    Ivan
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    Registered User Givson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Curly Seckler and the mandolin? What gives?

    Curiously, the headstock inlay on Curly's F-2 is a modern "Gibson". Perhaps he sent it back to Gibson at the same time that Earl's Granada banjo neck got the bowtie inlays.
    When 'good enough' is more than adequate.

  28. #17

    Default Re: Curly Seckler and the mandolin? What gives?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan Kelsall View Post
    It looks like Curly's top scroll had a 'Monroe-ectomy' at some time. The 'solos' of his that i've heard were all 'tremolo' style with no individual strings picked - but he did have a great voice for sure,
    Ivan
    Yeah I noticed that as well....I'd like to hear the story behind that,.

  29. #18
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Curly Seckler and the mandolin? What gives?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan Kelsall View Post
    ...The 'solos' of his that i've heard were all 'tremolo' style with no individual strings picked...
    One of Seckler's few breaks with Flatt & Scruggs, on Foggy Mountain Special, recorded 1954:



    Everyone gets into the act, even "Jake" Tullock on bass, and there's a guitar break -- Flatt (probably), or session guitarist Louis Innis...
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  31. #19

    Default Re: Curly Seckler and the mandolin? What gives?

    you gotta click on the first video , down the road, and finish itand then watch pig in a pen, pretty cool little clip, Martha white ad and all

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  33. #20

    Default Re: Curly Seckler and the mandolin? What gives?

    Yeah I enjoy these old videos....and I love those old white suits. When they walked in a room, heads turned for sure!

  34. #21

    Default Re: Curly Seckler and the mandolin? What gives?

    Quote Originally Posted by Denny Gies View Post
    I seem to remember Curly taking some pretty basic breaks but mostly I remember him for his singing.
    ...I'm afraid the record will show that Curly's singing outshone his picking !...Curly was mostly a 'tremolo' picker...as opposed to someone who picks the individual notes that make up a melody !

  35. #22

    Default Re: Curly Seckler and the mandolin? What gives?

    Personally I can find no fault with Flatt and Scruggs as a bluegrass band. Alot of non musician singers use an instrument as a stage prop. Curly was one of those. He could chunk along on some chords and contribute a great deal to the band with his singing.

  36. #23
    Registered User f5loar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Curly Seckler and the mandolin? What gives?

    Quote Originally Posted by Givson View Post
    Curiously, the headstock inlay on Curly's F-2 is a modern "Gibson". Perhaps he sent it back to Gibson at the same time that Earl's Granada banjo neck got the bowtie inlays.
    Curly's prewar F2 suffered like many of a prewar that got shipped back to the factory for repairs after the war and got new parts on it! I'd say in his case the neck was busted and it got a new short neck early '48/50's F12 neck in it. It was later customized by Mike Longworth, who later would work for Martin guitars.

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    Default Re: Curly Seckler and the mandolin? What gives?

    Lester and Earl were taking heat from Monroe for playing bluegrass, his music, after leaving his band. Having Curly play mandolin probably exacerbated the lack of love between them. So they played his mandolin playing down. There is a good book about all of this, Foggy Mountain Troubadour, that provides some insights but this was a long time situation that finally lead the Foggy Mountain Boys to use a dobro and lose the mandolin.

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