Posts tagged 1950s
The Lap Steel Craze and the Gibson BR-9

Before the electric guitar, lap steel was the coolest instrument a kid could play. Introduced to the United States by Hawaiian emigres in wake of the 1898 annexation of Hawaii, the lap steel became hugely popular in the first half of the 20th century. It was on the cutting edge of technology not once, but twice: first, on its invention in the 1880s, and later as one of the first amplified instruments. Played with a high action and a metal slide bar, it allows a musician to unlock all of those interesting microtonal pitches that hide behind the frets of a guitar. Manufacturers instantly capitalized on the craze by releasing lap steels bundled with instructional booklets, sheet music, and eventually amplifiers. 

Read More
The Wurlitzer 700, Explained

When Wurlitzer first released its electronic pianos in the mid-1950s, they were sleek and modern - almost space-age - in design. Curved cabinets, elegantly tapered legs, bold speckled paint jobs: inside and out, these were the pianos of the future, unlike any pianos ever built before. 

And Wurlitzer knew pianos. By 1955, the company had been manufacturing pianos for 75 years: uprights, spinets, compact grands. Wurlitzer did it all: entry-level apartment-friendly pianos, ornate heirloom-quality pianos, chic spinets trimmed in avocado tolex. The unusual design of their first electronic piano - the 112 - was a statement, not a necessity. If Wurlitzer wanted to give it a traditional look, they certainly had the resources to do so. 

Enter the 700. 

Read More