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Thread: Before Wakefield baked the Loar ...

  1. #1
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Before Wakefield baked the Loar ...

    I'm watching a couple of episodes of Pete Seeger's old "Rainbow Quest" TV show that I got from Netflix. One of them features the Greenbriar Boys with Frank Wakefield. His Loar is minus the pickguard and tailpiece cover, but looks as though it might still have the original sunburst. There's a piece of binding missing on the treble side of the fretboard, from the 16th fret down to where the extension begins. Also has a very unusual 1-piece bridge -- cut almost like a banjo bridge, with two short feet supporting a very wide saddle. Very interesting to see a young Frank cutting it up. I know this is post-1963 but am not sure of the exact year.

    Same DVD also has an episode with the New Lost City Ramblers -- there are several closeups of Mike Seeger playing what appears to be a blonde Fern. Well worth getting this after I send it back to Netflix.
    Last edited by mrmando; Oct-07-2008 at 2:29am.
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    Registered User Red Henry's Avatar
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    Default Re: Before Wakefield baked the Loar ...

    I'll have to find that video. Frank has always been known for his willingness to experiment-- the bridge sounds really interesting!

    Red

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    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Before Wakefield baked the Loar ...

    Frank was making these bridges himself, apparently ... he had a day job that gave him access to bakelite. He talks about it in one of his online interviews with Jim Moss.
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    Default Re: Before Wakefield baked the Loar ...

    what a great rendition of Danville Girl!

    John Herald was just great, wasn't he, and Frank just gets all over that melody!

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    Registered User Glassweb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Before Wakefield baked the Loar ...

    Frank Wakefield is a natural genius and was the first bluegrass mandolinist to take traditional tunes outside the box. Listen to the mandolin breaks on the classic Allen/Wakefield Deep Elem Blues, Little Maggie, I'm Just Here to Get My Baby Out of Jail, Ground Hog and, of course, Catnip - tell me Frank wasn't the first "psychedelic" mandolin player. A teacher to and a huge influence on the playing of Grisman. In his prime he was untouchable...

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    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Before Wakefield baked the Loar ...

    Quote Originally Posted by mrmando View Post
    there are several closeups of Mike Seeger playing what appears to be a blonde Fern.
    Mike Seeger does have a 1925 F5, stripped and refinished blonde.

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    Default Re: Before Wakefield baked the Loar ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Glassweb View Post
    Frank Wakefield is a natural genius and was the first bluegrass mandolinist to take traditional tunes outside the box. Listen to the mandolin breaks on the classic Allen/Wakefield Deep Elem Blues, Little Maggie, I'm Just Here to Get My Baby Out of Jail, Ground Hog and, of course, Catnip - tell me Frank wasn't the first "psychedelic" mandolin player. A teacher to and a huge influence on the playing of Grisman. In his prime he was untouchable...

    Yes to all that, and more.

    What got me started in this mess was seeing FW jam in the bars of Saratoga Springs in the 70's. It looked like so much fun. And his Rounder 0007 record had all that juicy mandolin on there, everything from hard core to fiddle tunes to solo. My mandolin has a truss rod cover engraved with Frank Wakefield.

    Me like

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    Traditional Bluegrasser Matteo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Before Wakefield baked the Loar ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Samjessin View Post
    what a great rendition of Danville Girl!
    Totally agreed.
    And BTW, that footage should date around 1965.
    Matt.

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    Registered User KanMando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Before Wakefield baked the Loar ...

    Here's a couple YouTube links to the mentioned clips:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsjUzXDYEBc

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCSAa...eature=related

    I noticed Frank threw in a little "East Tennessee Blues" on "Roll on Buddy".

    Great stuff.

    Bob

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    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Before Wakefield baked the Loar ...

    "Bakelite" eh ! - Sounds like Frank had Bakin' on the brain- a killer Mandolin player. One of my favourite CD's is "That was now,this is then" (or vice-versa). Maybe not at his very best,but when i'm that good i'll be great,
    Saska
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    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Before Wakefield baked the Loar ...

    The kicker of the whole "Wakefield affair" to me is that he is such a GENUINELY NICE GUY! He such a talent he could be a grumpy old geezer and still be an awe inspiring musician but, Nope, he's just "that guy over there with the mandolin, ask him howw to play..."
    As Frank might say "Hello"
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

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    Registered User Red Henry's Avatar
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    Default Re: Before Wakefield baked the Loar ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Timbofood View Post
    The kicker of the whole "Wakefield affair" to me is that he is such a GENUINELY NICE GUY!

    Right! Frank is not only a fantastic talent-- someone who just KEEPS CREATING all the time-- but he's a very nice person.

    And not a bit crazy.


    Red

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    Default Re: Before Wakefield baked the Loar ...

    I don't even think the idea to bake his mandolin was that ridiculous, stupid, or odd.

    It worked, two or three times, and his mandolin still sounds amazing.

    The That was Now CD was my first wakefield cd and it truly is amazing, what a great rendition of Waltz in Bluegrass.

  16. #14
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Before Wakefield baked the Loar ...

    Gee, Red, I don't know that I'd go quite as far as to say "not a bit" But, I would say maybe :no more than many of us here at the Cafe...Ha!
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

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    Default Re: Before Wakefield baked the Loar ...

    Could someone re-tell the story why Frank baked his Loar?

  18. #16
    Registered User f5loar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Before Wakefield baked the Loar ...

    His Loar didn't have that "dry woody tone" like Monroes did so he figured by drying out the wood more would give it the Monroe tone he was after. By baking in an oven at low temperature it would speed up the process to making sure the mandolin was good and dry.
    Makes sense to me!
    Now painting it red is where the story gets weird.

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    Default Re: Before Wakefield baked the Loar ...

    Was just passing by and saw your thread.
    Before anyone bakes their mandolins, it was not the
    baking of his Loar that improved the sound of his Loar.

    He told me alright, but, he also made me swear not to
    reveal his secret. I won't betray his confidence,
    however, it was something other than baking
    or the bridge that did it... Just in case anyone was
    thinking of baking their mandolins.

    Someday maybe, but not for a long while.
    That kernal goes into the locker with other
    special bits of trivia... like the reason Kenny Baker quit Monroe.

    Gotta Go!
    Jim Moss
    Last edited by Jmoss; Nov-04-2008 at 9:17am.

  20. #18

    Default Re: Before Wakefield baked the Loar ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jmoss View Post
    Was just passing by and saw your thread.
    Before anyone bakes their mandolins, it was not the
    baking of his Loar that improved the sound of his Loar.

    He told me alright, but, he also made me swear not to
    reveal his secret. I won't betray his confidence,
    however, it was something other than baking
    or the bridge that did it... Just in case anyone was
    thinking of baking their mandolins.

    Someday maybe, but not for a long while.
    That kernal goes into the locker with other
    special bits of trivia... like the reason Kenny Baker quit Monroe.

    Gotta Go!
    Jim Moss
    Could it be the pouring of the milk in the F-holes.

  21. #19
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Before Wakefield baked the Loar ...

    Scotti, I had not heard that one!
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

  22. #20

    Default Re: Before Wakefield baked the Loar ...

    And I thought Kenny Baker quit because WSM would not supply him with a tour itinerary when one of Kenny's relatives was sick.......
    But Amsterdam was always good for grieving
    And London never fails to leave me blue
    And Paris never was my kinda town
    So I walked around with the Ft. Worth Blues

  23. #21
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Before Wakefield baked the Loar ...

    No, Baker quit because Monroe wouldn't let him bake the Loar.

    I've been on a tour where the manager wouldn't give me an itinerary. It's a pain. I feel for Baker.
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

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  24. #22

    Default Re: Before Wakefield baked the Loar ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Timbofood View Post
    Scotti, I had not heard that one!
    Yea...thats a story my dad told me once that he seen when he went to visit Frank when he lived in Xenia, Ohio years ago. He said when he went in the door he seen 2 little girls...apparently twins...sitting at the kitchen table where Franks Loar was pouring milk in it. He told me that story several times...Maybe Jim Moss can verify it thru Frank. The many times Ive been with Frank Ive never thought about asking him.

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    Default Re: Before Wakefield baked the Loar ...

    Does anyone know what happened to John Herald?
    Daniel Kaufman

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    Registered User f5loar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Before Wakefield baked the Loar ...

    He died.

  27. #25
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Before Wakefield baked the Loar ...

    Hmm, Loar Cereal bowls? Just naturally mapley sweet? Let's get right on that!
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

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