Elderly Instruments (for those hard-to-find items)
Paul Beard Guitars (Resophonic)
Rolly Brown's website
Jon has many musical influences. Many but not all are guitarists... here are some you may want to hear and find out more about:
Joseph Monk -was Jon's first and best teacher...now he has his own website, it is great! So please check it out, I implore you! If you are only planning to click one link on this page, make this the one. Free chordal arrangements are also available there so you can still learn from the master!
Oscar Aleman -Aleman (born 1909? died Nov. 1980) was an Argentinian who started as a professional dancer at 12, and was then a prizefighter. He originally played the cavaquinho (a Brazilian stringed instrument). Aleman was in Paris from 1932-41 and was the leader of Josephine Baker's accompanists "The Baker Boys". He jammed with Django and frequented the same bar. He used a steel-bodied resonator guitar with classical technique which allowed him to play bass and harmony simultaneously with melody. In June 1940 during the occupation of Paris, Aleman was on his way home; upon entering Spain, German border guards confiscated his two steel-bodied guitars-- perhaps the aluminum resonators were needed as strategic scrap by the New Order. After his early records, he cut one more in the early 70s after returning to South America.
Hank Garland -R.I.P. Sadly, Hank passed away on Dec. 27, 2004.
Lonnie Johnson -Blues guitar simply would not have developed in the manner that it did if not for the prolific brilliance of Lonnie Johnson. He was there to help define the instrument's future within the genre and the genre's future itself at the very beginning, his melodic conception so far advanced from most of his pre-war peers as to inhabit a plane all his own. For more than 40 years, Johnson played blues, jazz, and ballads his way; he was a true blues originator whose influence hung heavy on a host of subsequent blues immortals.
Johnson's extreme versatility doubtless stemmed in great part from growing up in the musically diverse Crescent City. Violin caught his ear initially, but he eventually made the guitar his passion, developing a style so fluid and inexorably melodic that instrumental backing seemed superfluous. He signed up with OKeh Records in 1925 and commenced to recording at an astonishing pace -- between 1925 and 1932, he cut an estimated 130 waxings. The red-hot duets he recorded with White jazz guitarist Eddie Lang (masquerading as Blind Willie Dunn) in 1928-29 were utterly groundbreaking in their ceaseless invention. Johnson also recorded pioneering jazz efforts in 1927 with no less than Louis Armstrong's Hot Five and Duke Ellington's orchestra.
After enduring the Depression and moving to Chicago, Johnson came back to recording life with Bluebird for a five-year stint beginning in 1939. Under the ubiquitous Lester Melrose's supervision, Johnson picked up right where he left off, selling quite a few copies of "He's a Jelly Roll Baker" for old Nipper. Johnson went with Cincinnati-based King Records in 1947 and promptly enjoyed one of the biggest hits of his uncommonly long career with the mellow ballad "Tomorrow Night," which topped the R&B charts for seven weeks in 1948. More hits followed posthaste: "Pleasing You (As Long as I Live)," "So Tired," and "Confused."
Time seemed to have passed Johnson by during the late '50s. He was toiling as a hotel janitor in Philadelphia when banjo player Elmer Snowden alerted Chris Albertson to his whereabouts. That rekindled a major comeback, Johnson cutting a series of albums for Prestige's Bluesville subsidary during the early '60s and venturing to Europe under the auspices of Horst Lippmann and Fritz Rau's American Folk Blues Festival banner in 1963. Finally, in 1969, Johnson was hit by a car in Toronto and died a year later from the effects of the accident.
Johnson's influence was massive, touching everyone from Robert Johnson, whose seminal approach bore strong resemblance to that of his older namesake, to Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis, who each paid heartfelt tribute with versions of "Tomorrow Night" while at Sun.
Bill Dahl All Music Guide
Tut Taylor -Esteemed founder of the Dobrolic Plectral Society and one of my oldest friends.- There is nobody who can play like him! JS
Grady Martin - That's Grady Martin on lead guitar on Marty Robbins' "El Paso."
Jorgen Ingmann -Jorgen Ingmann was most famous for his 60s cover of the instrumental hit "Apache". From 1944-58 he worked with Svend Asmussen in the Svend Asmussen Band.. Please click the link above for info on a 4-CD boxed set of Jorgen's work which reveals his great talent.
Tiny Moore -Last but certainly not least. I was lucky enough to meet and play with Tiny (shortly before he left us) at Jay Unger & Molly Mason's Western Swing Week, where we were both teaching. His personality and music were so warm and original. It was a great pleasure and an honor to have spent a little time with him. -JS