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Baby Gramps Dot Com
He was described by writer Patrick Ferris as having “a mass appeal in the sense that any audience between the age of 2 and 102 are (sic) captivated by his vaudeville antics, hilarious lyrics and animated guitar playing. […] His voice is a cross between Popeye the Sailor and a Didgeridoo and the plinkity plink of his VERY worn National steel guitar, sounds like a wind up jack in the box. If you listen closely and know anything about music, you’ll realize Gramps is an absolutely incredible guitar player. Being a professional musician for over 40 years can’t help but give you some sort of chops, but Gramps is a modern day Robert Johnson; a revolutionary guitarist that, like Thelonious Monk on piano, can play the notes ‘between the cracks’.”
He has also been described in the Seattle Times as sounding like “Kermit the Frog on acid.”
A forgotten duo of the vaudeville age. Who knows if they recorded or how long they were professional musicians. What could their act have been like? How the hell did it sound? We will probably never know.
An excerpt from one of their programs:
“To provide for the happiness of others, to dispense good cheer generously, is the greatest of all pleasures,and we are glad of this opportunity to enliven these passing moments with our little offering.
We hope that this melody and humor will win your approval, invite a smile now and then and leave a train of refreshing thoughts to help make this world a better place to live in.”
That’s down right Buddhist, and subversive!
Royal Entertainers to His Majesty – The American Citizen
These intriguing musicians left us with little more than a few pieces of promotional material. This material is housed at:
University of Iowa Libraries
Special Collections Department
Iowa City, IA 52242-1420
Most of it can be viewed by going to the Library of Congress website and typing “Vernon Stone” into the search engine.
He built a homemade guitar that was made from a dresser drawer and it featured a built in ashtray on the top of it and it could only be tuned with a pair of vice grip locking pliers.
Ray went to Nashville in the early 1960’s and was seeking fame, fortune and to be discovered. He was discovered. He was in the elevator at MGM Studios and the president of the record company came in the elevator and asked Ray, ” What the hell is that thing?” (Referring to the crudely made guitar) Instead of explaining, Ray picked up the guitar and started to play a song called “Country Boy”. The lyrics told the story about a singer songwriter from the hills that made his guitar from a dresser drawer and was going to Nashville to be discovered. Read more…
God, I hope this video works.
Get this video and more at MySpace.com
hand-made microphones built from magnets salvaged from old car parts, and plugged into amplifiers. There’s also a rhythm section which uses traditional as well as makeshift percussion (pans, pots and car parts), three singers, three dancers and a sound system featuring these famous megaphones.
Zappa on Steve Allen