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Author Topic:   Bud Isaacs
Andy Alford
Member

From: Alabama

posted 19 March 2004 05:53 AM     profile     
I need Buds copedant when he recorded Slowly.I am seting up my Rick.pedal steel.I want one of the needs to be just like his.


Thanks,Andy

Andy Alford
Member

From: Alabama

posted 19 March 2004 08:53 AM     profile     
bump
C Dixon
Member

From: Duluth, GA USA

posted 19 March 2004 09:03 AM     profile     
I do not know his copedent. Never saw it, but the following might be close:

P1

E
B C#
G# A
E
D
B
G#
E

carl

Gene Jones
Member

From: Oklahoma City, OK USA

posted 19 March 2004 09:16 AM     profile     
Carl, I think you have about nailed it. I used these pulls when I first started using pedals, each string was activated by an individual pedal.

www.genejones.com

[This message was edited by Gene Jones on 20 March 2004 at 07:25 AM.]

Ray Montee
Member

From: Portland, OR, USA

posted 19 March 2004 09:43 AM     profile     
Paul Bigsby set-up my quad-8 w/six pedals and I rec'd delivery of it in April, 1956.

This is the tuning he placed on it and informed me at the time that this was Issac's exact tuning and pedal set up: Top to bottom, of course.

E

B........C# }
G#.......A } Pedal #1

F#

D........E } Pedal #2
B........C# }
G#.......A }

E

At that time, Issac's used two pedals to raise a total of five strings. Both foot pedals; NO knee levers.

[This message was edited by Ray Montee on 19 March 2004 at 09:45 AM.]

Joe Henry
Member

From: Ebersberg, Germany

posted 19 March 2004 09:52 AM     profile     
Carl, the tuning you posted would be an E7th rather than E9th, right? Do you have an idea about when the 9th (F#) first appeared?

Joe H.

David Doggett
Member

From: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

posted 19 March 2004 11:15 AM     profile     
Here's some pics of Bud and his first pedal steels:
http://hometown.aol.com/bigisteel1/myhomepage/

And here's some biographical stuff:
http://www.seattlewesternswingmusicsociety.com/budisaacs.htm

I thought I remembered him saying somewhere that it was an E9 tuning he added the pedals to. But I can't find that now. The Bigsby statement above would seem to confirm that. But they may have been talking about Bud's setup at that time, rather than the setup on his very first steel with pedals.

[This message was edited by David Doggett on 19 March 2004 at 11:17 AM.]

Jussi Huhtakangas
Member

From: Helsinki, Finland

posted 19 March 2004 11:21 AM     profile     
What Ray posted is correct ( surprisingly, since his guitar came from Bigsby ). That is the original pedal E9. Buddy Emmons also had it on his Bigsby. Note, that the middle E wasn't in the open tuning, a very important feature for some of the typical licks these pioneers played back then.
C Dixon
Member

From: Duluth, GA USA

posted 19 March 2004 01:57 PM     profile     
quote:
"Carl, the tuning you posted would be an E7th rather than E9th, right? Do you have an idea about when the 9th (F#) first appeared?"

Joe,

Yes, that was E7th rather than E9th. And it is possible that Bud's open tuning was indeed E9th, but I'm not so sure. Here is why I feel this way. Most who played with the F# in there, ALSO had a C# in there:

E
C#
B
G#
F#
D
B
E

This tuning was referred to as E13th although some (even today) call it E6th. But in any case, the more popular tuning was straight E7th. And this tuning has a middle E string.

Buddy Emmons did have the F# in there on his E9th tuning, but I am not so sure he used an "E9th" on his prior non-pedal tunings. Course that is up to him to set us straight. And he indeed did not have an E in the middle on his PSG. Buddy told us it was Jimmy Day who added the E and removed one of the bass notes. Remember they were all 8 strings at that time.

So from my recollection, the E9th tuning almost came along with the pedal guitar AFTER BI did his thing. Or at least that is my recollection. So the F# (E9th rather than E13), just happened at the same time.

I am sure some will know for certain, and I will sincerely stand corrected if any of the above is not true,

carl

Ray Montee
Member

From: Portland, OR, USA

posted 19 March 2004 02:51 PM     profile     
Okay fellas. Since there appears to be some lingering doubt about whether Paul Bigsby and/or I know what we're talking about I challenge y'all to try playing Buds' arrangement of "Steelin' Away" with the tuning YOU think it is; then, try it the way I've said Paul Bigsby set it up for me.
I really don't care whether you believe me or not but if you want to play the song the way he did it, then you're gonna need to tune it the way I've outlined.
But then again, if you tune straight across 440 (even if it sounds out of tune) then you likely won't notice the difference anyway. Oh well.........
John Bechtel
Member

From: Nashville, Tennessee,U.S.A.

posted 19 March 2004 10:49 PM     profile     
Except for which pedal did which, there is no question about it being E9: E,G#,B,D,F#,G#,B,E
[A,C#,E] [A,C#]
#1 #2
This is how my first Sho-Bud was set up, and it was somewhere between #3 & #5 of the first ones in '57. The wood-work was done by Buddy Emmons, and the pedal-work was done by Shot Jackson. Shot used to tell me that it was #3, and Jimmy Day told me his was #3, but; I don't think even Buddy remembers for sure! But, it's not really that important anyway. I only know I was among the first, and proud to have been so! BTW: My early Sho-Bud was a D8 E9 & C6 w/5 pedals, until 1960, then updated to D9 w/6 pedals. Good times!

------------------
Big John Bechtel
Franklin PSG D10 (9 & 8)
Fender 4950 T8 Custom
Fender 65 Reissue Twin-Reverb Custom 15
http://community.webtv.net/KeoniNui/BigJohnBechtels


Jussi Huhtakangas
Member

From: Helsinki, Finland

posted 19 March 2004 11:10 PM     profile     
Ray, I believe the doubts raise from the fact, that not very many today's players actually have played the original Isaacs tuning. True, there were/are many different variations of E9/E13/E7, but I know what you're talking about. I have the Isaacs tuning ( like the one you posted ) on my Wright Custom, and I'll guarantee, that's it. It sounds quite different from the E9 we know today. The lack of the middle E makes a big difference there, not as an open tuning, but once you start pushin' pedals. And since the tuning becomes a full eight string A6 when both pedals are down, there are things that you just can't play on a modern E9. Well, you can, but it won't sound the same
And btw, the Isaacs tuning is GREAT for thumbstyle

[This message was edited by Jussi Huhtakangas on 19 March 2004 at 11:12 PM.]

C Dixon
Member

From: Duluth, GA USA

posted 20 March 2004 06:49 AM     profile     
I have a question?

I thought Bud Isaacs added a single pedal to his guitar when he recorded "Slowly". Is it my understanding that it was Bigsby who added 2 pedals on Bud's guitar? Has my understanding been wrong all these years?

If it was Bigsby who added the pedals, then was it a brand new guitar, or did Bud ship it back to him and he added two pedals and shipped it back to Bud?

In other words, is the record straight that when Bud recorded the song, he had two pedals on his steel and his tuning had the F# in there?

Or is it that the 2 pedal scenario came after "pedal" popularity skyrocketed after his unprecedented recording?

carl

Ray Montee
Member

From: Portland, OR, USA

posted 20 March 2004 09:10 AM     profile     
I always thought it was the fellow that played for Porter Waggoner that had the one string pedal that he used with gusto on every measure of every song of that era?

My Bigsby had been on order for several years prior to the April 1956 delivery date to me, so when Paul wrote me as he prepared to build my guitar, it was understood that he would build it "JUST LIKE ISSACS" and also the 3 necks like Speedy West. When it came to me it was tuned and constructed just like we had discussed.

It has worked for me for about what, 48 years?

Tim Whitlock
Member

From: Arvada, CO, USA

posted 22 March 2004 06:03 AM     profile     
Jussi - On your Wright setup, how do you accomplish the three string pull shown in Ray's first post? Do you split it onto two pedals? I'm seriously thinking about changing the C6 neck on my Fender 1000 to this tuning. It gives somes great vintage country western sounds. Is this the same E13 tuning you posted a while back?

[This message was edited by Tim Whitlock on 22 March 2004 at 06:06 AM.]

KENNY KRUPNICK
Member

From: Grove City,Ohio

posted 22 March 2004 09:10 AM     profile     
I'm pretty sure his copedant is in Winnie Winstons book,in the back section.
Butch Foster
Member

From: Pisgah, Alabama, USA

posted 22 March 2004 12:44 PM     profile     
Great thread everyone, thanks for all the information! Just when did Bud record the landmark session with Webb? Had he done any previous sessions with the same setup?
David Doggett
Member

From: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

posted 22 March 2004 08:09 PM     profile     
If you do a search on Bud Isaacs you will find a thread in which his wife types for him and answers some of these questions. He first used the pedal with Red Foley. Webb Pierce heard about it, and had him play a session in 1953, and from that the big hit "Slowly" took off in 1954. And the world will never be the same again.
Jussi Huhtakangas
Member

From: Helsinki, Finland

posted 22 March 2004 10:16 PM     profile     
Tim, my tuning on the Wright is the same as Ray's except I split the changes; I raise B's with pedal #1 and everything else with pedal #2. That gives me a couple of extra sounds and since I've always had the standard A & B pedals, it's not too different. I have to admit, that I don't play that guitar much, but it's nice to have it and know that I can get those sounds if I need to.
And no, this is not the E13 tuning, that we were talking about some time ago. That one I have on the Bigsby's middle neck and it has five pedals.

[This message was edited by Jussi Huhtakangas on 22 March 2004 at 10:21 PM.]

C Dixon
Member

From: Duluth, GA USA

posted 24 March 2004 07:36 AM     profile     
Last week, I sent Bud Isaacs the following email:

quote:
"Hi Bud,

Would you please set the record straight for me? When you recorded "Slowly", HOW many pedals did you have on your guitar?

Also, did you put the pedal(s) on it, OR did Bigsby?

Also, what tuning did you use on that recording?

There is a discussion on the Steel Guitar Forum; and I believe we need the correct information directly from you.

Thank you sooo much, and may Jesus richly bless you and Geri always,

carl dixon"

Today I received the following:

quote:
"Hi Carl, Thanks for your e-mail. Geri is doing this e-mail for me, I will try to answer your questions the best I can. I recorded Slowly in 53? or 54?? Bigsby put the pedals on my steel for me. I used the same tuning on Slowly and all of my recordings as well. I recorded 2 others songs with Red Foley with my pedals "Blue Guitar" and "Walking In The Cold Cold Rain" Before I recorded Slowly with Webb. Hope this helps.Thanks for asking. God Bless you, Bud ( A note from Geri) I am going to try to attach Bud's tuning on this e-mail. Hope I can. Let me know if you get it. I am sending it to Andy too I don't do very well trying to post on the forum. I get nerious. I always goof up. So I will let you post it for me. THIS IS BUD'S TUNING THAT HE USES TODAY. ------ THE TUNING HE USED ON SLOWLY IS THE SAME EXCEPT FOR THE 2 LOWEST STRINGS AND OF COURSE NO KNEE PEDALS. Thanks Geri"

The following is the tuning:

1 2 KL KL

E F#
B C# Bb
G# A
F#
D E
B C#
G# A
E
C#
A

Note: I was unable to copy and paste Bud's tuning properly, so I reformatted it to fit correctly on this SGF. Also, I was unable to get the following to align properly, so the following are Geri's words from Bud, but in my own writing:

quote:
OPEN----- 2nd, 3rd, & 5th-------Deminish -----5th, 6th, 7th------------Deminish I use to use an Ab on top, but it broke too many strings. Besides that I don't like to much high pitch stuff.

It appears that I was incorrect and several posters were right. I respectfully stand corrected. The stories I had heard for years were apparently hearsay. I apologize for this Andy.

My sincere appreciation to Bud and Geri for taking the time to respond. May Jesus bring joy to Bud and Geri and ALL of you,

carl

[This message was edited by C Dixon on 24 March 2004 at 08:19 AM.]

Tim Whitlock
Member

From: Arvada, CO, USA

posted 24 March 2004 10:27 AM     profile     
Wow, Carl, thanks so much for providing this information for us steel guitar history buffs! Fascinating facts straight from the source, on the evolution of the instrument. Please tell Bud and Geri how much we appreciate their kind response to your thoughtful query.
David Doggett
Member

From: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

posted 24 March 2004 11:46 AM     profile     
Thanks to Bud, Geri and Carl for clearing up this important piece of history. I hope b0b will put Bud's historic copedent in the SGF archives. So "Slowly" was the first hit with the moving harmony pedals, but there were earlier recordings with Red Foley. Does anyone know if those recordings are available?
Jussi Huhtakangas
Member

From: Helsinki, Finland

posted 24 March 2004 10:10 PM     profile     
Not sure about the "Blue Guitar", but "Walking In The Cold Cold Rain" is available on one of the German Cow Girl Boy/Bronco/Cattle-albums, or what ever the sub-label was. ( as is tons of other Isaacs rare sides and radio transcription material ). I don't have the album myself, a friend of mine does. Our band used to do that song, a very nice haunting slow blues ballad. I just didn't know it was earlier than "Slowly".
Edited: further checking shows, that Blue Guitar was released on Foley's Golden Favorites Decca-album.

[This message was edited by Jussi Huhtakangas on 25 March 2004 at 12:05 AM.]

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