Olly Oakley & Alfred Cammeyer play Chinese Patrol very early banjo recording





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Published on Jun 9, 2009

American Alfred Davis Cammeyer (1862-1949), a young violinist-turned banjo concert player, devised the 5/6-string Zither banjo around 1880, which had a wood resonator and metal "wire" strings (the 1st and 2nd melody strings and 5th "thumb" string; the 3rd melody string was gut and the 4th was silk covered) as well as frets and guitar-style tuning machines. A Zither banjo is a 5 string banjo that has 6 tuning heads because they used guitar tuning heads which at that time contained 3 tuning heads in one solid piece. The banjos could also be somewhat easily converted over to a 6 string banjo. British opera diva Adelina Patti advised Cammeyer that the zither-banjo might be popular with English audiences, and Cammeyer went to London in 1888. After convincing the British that banjos could be used for more sophisticated music than was normally played byblackface minstrels, he was soon performing for London society, where he met Sir Arthur Sullivan, who recommended that Cammeyer progress from writing banjo arrangements of music to composing his own music. (Interesting to note that, supposedly unbeknownst to Cammeyer, William Temlett had patented a 7-string closed back banjo in 1869, and was already marketing it as a "zither-banjo.") (wiki)
Olly Oakley (born 1877) was Cammeyer's student.


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