This Forum is CLOSED.
Go to
to post new messages.

  The Steel Guitar Forum
  No Peddlers
  Jerry Byrd answer questions and expands on previous posts

Post New Topic  
your profile | join | preferences | help | search

next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   Jerry Byrd answer questions and expands on previous posts
Jack Byrd

From: Kalamazoo, Michigan

posted 14 April 2002 08:07 PM     profile     edit
In the past month and a half several topics have been discussed and other questions have been asked of Jerry. I have forwarded all of this information to him and he has responded to the topics. Instead of going back that far to resurrect the threads I have decided to put his answers in one place this time. It may be somewhat confusing to some who may not have read the first part of some of the following topics and for that I apologize but I felt this would be the best way to do it. I have indicated the subject by placing a topic at the beginning of a new subject. Jerry sends me a tape from which I transcribe the response. It must be remember these are his words from start to finish and not mine, therefore I don’t put everything in quotes for that reason. This will be a long post so lets get started. This is what Jerry has to say.

I caution all of you that the written word does not show or express inflections. How you inflect a word means a lot as to what the meaning intended is to be and on black and white it doesn't come off that way. As I read some of the things back I put on tape they don’t sound anything like I intended them to sound because how could they? They are the written word. I’ve heard it said trying to describe sound is like trying to describe a smoke ring. True!

Now my final comments I can recollect on the Trotmore Guitars are those that I gave before. My friend, good ol’ buddy C. C. Johnson, was right also, were he heard from Red Moser, a mutual friend of ours in Detroit, told him about my refunding money to people. That could be. You’re talking about something a long time ago and I hadn’t thought about for years and years. It also seems to be in my mind that I did refund one other prepayment of $50 that Trotter demanded on order but I am not sure, that’s why I didn’t include it in my first explanation or story about Trotmore guitars. It seems like there were two but I couldn’t swear to that, if it was it could possibly have been Stanley Stienberg and he can verify that if it was him. The one that I had that I got when my friend Ray Knapp passed away was sent to Al Stottler and he has that and that’s all I can tell you about the Trotmore guitars, other than what I have already explained.

I think an apology is very much in order to Rick Aiello over the David Keli`i LP. Again the data I included on the earlier forum was as good as I could recall, but Rick sent a copy of the liner notes from David’s album and I am listed as Arrangements Jerry Byrd and produced by Jerry Byrd and on and on. And again when you say the word arrangements that could mean several different kind of arrangements. One of the arrangements was the contractual arrangement that I made for David with the Maple recording company. David didn’t want to do an album at all, he had some unhappy experiences with recording people before and didn’t want no part of it. I pleaded with him on behalf of his millions of fans and also moreover to do it for his family, I explained to him you’ve played on everybody else’s records now how about playing on David Keli`i’s record and do it for your family if nothing else. So that broke him down and he conceded and agreed to go ahead and do the album. Of course the Maple Company was elated to have something that was not very easily attained. So I helped in that bridge. And then the owner of the Maple Company wanted David to play some marches, this guy liked marches and David wasn’t crazy about marches (laughs). So he wanted a certain march, I forget what it was, but I asked David do you know such and such march ---yeah I know it. I said the boss wants you to do that one. Yeah O.K. We got to the studio and I was in the control room and the boss said when is he going to do such and such a march? I said gee I don’t know let me go check. I walked out into the studio and said David can you do that march now and then. He said “Nah I don’t know that damn thing” (laughs). That ended it. No march. So that’s another kind of arrangement (laughs). I may have on some of the songs wrote out a chord chart for the band if there was some special arrangement involved like introductions, turnarounds or whatever. I may have done that but I don’t really consider that doing a full arrangement. But nevertheless, if you use the word arrangements, that could also apply, probably does in this case, because as I said before, I would hesitate (laughs) to arrange anything for David Keli`i. He didn’t need any arranging and that was a great thrill for me to sit in the control room and produce an album with one of my hero’s I used to listen to when I was a kid on Hawaii Calls. I am sure many of you could put yourself in my place and would have felt likewise. It was a once in a life time thrill. So that is the story on David Keli`i. I would say as far as me doing arrangements it is partly right, depends on what you mean by the word arrangements.

(This one needs a little introduction. Jerry just takes off talking. This is in answer to Dave Mayes’s question of March 12 on how he deals with a forward or reverse slant three note chord, when the middle note does not fall into line between the top and bottom notes of the chord. Here is his answer).

I never had any problem. There is a variation in fret boards on guitars, and I discovered this when Shot Jackson had to do what he termed “screen” a fret board for my short scale. And it has to be mathematically correct before you can play it correctly. By that it has to line up and the Rickenbacher short scale was perfect. Their frets were molded into the neck of the guitar. They weren’t a piece that was pasted on the neck because where you paste it makes a difference (laughs). It’s got to be flush to the nut and correctly measured to however many frets you are going to do. So I never had that problem whenever I played one, mine or anybody else’s fret board was automatically the same because it was molded that way. Where I did find variations in other guitars, when I would play them, they might be 23 inches or 22 and 3/4 inches you know a ¼ inch makes a difference. But I’ll tell you, C. C. Johnson’s got the right best answer “use a lot of vibrato” (laughs). You caught on C.C.. I do not pull the strings back of the bar. Caton Roberts does that better than anybody although several others have done it. I was never clever enough to think of that. That’s all I can say about that.

The next subject is about my professional written arrangements. Like I said they are meant to be more educational than in most cases playable to the average player. I put it on there and you could play want you want to of it. You can play the top note or top two notes or you can play the lower note if you want to. They are not carved in granite. I make them to show you what’s available and you can go from there. This gets into another subject of playing to sound like me. If you played what’s on the paper you’d probably sound a little like me. But even then it’s the inflections that make the difference in players. How you express a passage, line or whatever. You can write all kinds of things on paper but what I said in the beginning it’s black and white. You’re dealing in sound, if it doesn’t sound good don’t play it – play something else. So Mark Van Allen covered that about copying people – use what you like – subtract from or add to – more better – as they say in Hawaii “mo bettah”. Again I think Rick Aiello is on the right track when he said “ I don’t think playing JB’s Pro arrangements is synonymous with trying to sound like JB”. As I said you’ll probable sound a little like it, even then it depends on how they are played. You might add a little something in there that is way better than I did. When I write those arrangements I write just exactly what is in my head at the time, it’s not maybe the way I would play it the next day, probably not, but it seems like that is the right thing at that time. But Rick Aiello is right about that.

This next subject is probably the touchiest one on the dissertation that I included on Fender Guitars and my relationship with Fender. I want to reference all of it again by saying you can’t know how I said these things unless you heard me say them. Black on white doesn’t express it. And I want to first kind of brush up on that and then I want to reply to Jody Carver’s great, great inclusions in this section.

I did not intend for Don Randall to come off as a cold fish. This was the first time I had ever seen this man and I remember it well. He was setting over in a corner in a chair like a peacock chair, one of them large high back chairs and all of his salesmen which were about six or eight on the floor were standing around. And when I walked in, to me (laughs) it was like going into enemy territory because the competition back in those days was great. I wasn’t involved in any manufacturing competition. I was only involved in playing and I played the only instrument I could play well – I could play others – I wasn’t as comfortable with them and a lot of other components that go into making a player, so I stuck with Richenbacker. That was not the smartest thing to do financially by far or for any other reason except that was what I liked to play. Now Don Randall, when he asked me the question “Why don’t I play a Fender, everybody else does”, he said it in a way that was both a question and a kind of a put down. I am very sensitive having met thousands of people and how the’re coming at me and what they are really saying. And anybody being in this business and dealing with the public knows exactly what I mean. But it was also a question and I preceded to explain to him.
As far as taking a photograph that was a kind of prematurely smart of me – not smart aleck – just intelligent of me to do that because pictures can sneak out and that’s been illustrated a thousand times a week in this time and age, pictures can sneak out and hurt you. You don’t even remember when the picture was made, I had to do the same thing in Japan, so I think they understood that it wouldn’t be fair to F.C. Hall. Not that I was trying to be fair with F.C. Hall, he did nothing for me, very little if anything, I don’t think they ever gave me a guitar that I can remember, they may have, but not in the beginning. Nevertheless I am loyal in things of that sort – so I went through my explanation of why I didn’t particularly like Fender. Mainly it was the tone. I could have played anything to an extent – not as well as I could with my little ol’ Rickenbacker, but I could have played even on a long scale. I would know better than try to play any three string slants on the first six frets- it wouldn’t work – strings are to close together and the frets are too far apart – mathematically impossible - but I would have played something else instead. So you have to alter your playing to suit the instrument. And that’s not right. You’ve go to alter the instrument to suit your playing. So he did realize I did know a few things about what I was talking about – because then he had to say “Why hasn’t anybody else told us these things”. But it depends on the people at Fender – Freddy Tavares and all of those didn’t play my style at all – they were chord players – they played more chords – that’s all right but is only one way to play. But I did it because he asked me. I thought I had to prove my point when they asked me and I showed them why. Now Forest White understood that – I am sure he did. We were very close friends. Don Randall came hunting me as I explained the next year and he altogether was a different person. He had just taken over Fender sales before the Cincinnati show and this was the first time I had seen him. I knew little of him – I knew he had been at Rickenbacker and some of the other companies in some capacity – I didn’t know what but he knew that I did have a clue as to what I was talking about and he made vast changes. The next year the Fender had changed it’s looks, the pickup had the covering over the pickup that was cut in a bias like it would be two inches wide on one side and an inch and half on the other side. And they had reduced I am sure the number of windings on the coil because that high whinny treble had softened down considerably. I think I even got into the controls now that I remember – they had the linear control that would jump from one tone to another in a fraction of an inch and I always used audio taper which is a gradual taper from off to on – from off to wide open in one steady sweep. Then you could mix your tone – if you had too much treble, too much bass, you could mix it – you could get a soft tone with an edge which is what I like, but was even difficult do with the controls they had in them. I forgot to include that in my previous discussion on Fender guitars. The next year Randall came after me and asked me to come down and check it out and after that we got to be good friends. He came to Hawaii a couple of times and stayed at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel were I was playing two nights a week and he came to the Surf Room and we’d have a drink together and visit and we got to be good friends. Don would have done anything I would want for me and I knew that. So I didn’t include that. Jody is right – Don was a fine person but you can’t take him as saying one line as to what his personality was like. That is about all I can rehash on that – but I didn’t intend to make Don Randall to come off as an ogre, because he was not. He was a man doing his job as he saw it to do I guess and that is the way it is.

Gary Slaybaugh believes his Supro 6 is a short scale. To measure your scale you measure from the nut were the string crosses the nut to the bridge back were it enters the bridge. And that should be 22 and ½ or 22 whatever. It could be anything. So that’s how you measure your scale for accuracy. They can vary like I said from 22 and ¼ - 22 and ½ - 22 and ¾ or whatever. But your positions in between have to be measured and if they stamp them out and there is a variation by any chance between the bridge and the nut then it’s going to be off. I am not a manufacturer. There are a lot of guys in this forum that are, they should know all about that, Bill Stafford for one should know and what the problems are on scaling the fret boards. I could only answer this by taking that Supro and put it in my lap and tune it up myself and play on it. I could tell then if the neck is off, the frets are off or whatever, but I’d have to see if I had a problem playing it. Lot of times it’s the way the bar is handled, if you don’t handle the bar correctly it’s not going to come true either. So all those things have got to come together, you can’t have one and not the other. So that’s the only way I can give a positive answer to that.

Paul Graupp says it like it is. Forty or fifty years from now (laughs) he might be able to play. Your talking about the most difficult musical instrument ever invented as far as I can figure it out. I know of no other that’s anymore difficult. The only one that I can compare it with is the zither, the German instrument. But I saw that played too. You could use your fingers. Steel guitar you use one finger, basically.

Jody first talks about his relationship with Forest White. I know and you know the magic two great people can produce when you take somebody like Forest White and Leo Fender and let them go. I heard from Forest right after they started MusicMan. They made, naturally as Fender always did, great amplifiers. I used a Fender amplifier nearly most of my career because of its dependability and overall good sound and everything which proves I had no barriers with anything Fender. When they came out with their first MusicMan amplifier, an equivalent of the Fender Twin Reverb, and Forest called me and told me they were sending me one and they would very much appreciate my take on them – what I thought of them and be thoroughly honest about it. I took it on a couple of jobs and played it and I played it in studios under most normal circumstances and found that it had a kind of hollow ping – now here is where we get into that old problem of trying to express sound with words – you cannot. You have to hear it and then you know it when you hear it but you don’t know how to describe it. But that was the best way I knew how to describe it. I no more than said that and Forest White said you’re right and we know exactly what you mean and we’re working on it and we are going to get it out of there. And they did. Later on Forest called me and said you want to send that one back and we’ll send you a new one. I said, no Forest. By that time I had retired, quit and said I’m not playing that much and I don’t need it and the one I got is fine. I am using it in my studio teaching. So it’s still there and still plays. This has been twenty years just about I guess and I haven’t had one problem with it. So that’s that great Fender quality control which they always had. Now getting back to Forest, that was the next to last contact I had with him. We just kind of lost track of each other and I guess he had plenty of problems to keep him busy anyway.
Now my loyalty to Francis Hall who owned Rickenbacker was not the factor that keep me from doing anything else with another company. We had no written contract at all and I was free to do whatever I wanted to. F.C. Hall and I were not what you would call close friends. I did more I think than anybody in the career of Rickenbacker Guitar Company for Rickenbacker guitars. And I got nothing. I was offered nothing. I was too dumb to ask for anything. But I know a lot of people were buying Rickenbackers because I played’em. I was pretty naive along about this time. One time F.C. Hall and somebody came to my house in Ohio when I was home on vacation and wanted to sign me up or something – I forget what. So that kind of shows you how naive I was. I don’t remember what they came for (laughs) but it wasn’t anything to my great benefit evidently. I’m sure that most of my fellow musicians back then thought I got a great deal with Rickenbacker but I can tell you now that I got nothing. I would go play the NAMM shows, fly to NY, Chicago, wherever for $25 a day, set in the room and play 3-4 times and stayed in a little ol’ dinky room. I remember one time in NY, it was during the World Series and it was hot and I stayed at the New Yorker Hotel. I had a little room and I had to keep the window open at night to get any air – there wasn’t any air conditioning and I’d often said the room was so small that when I closed the door the door knob got in bed with me (laughs) but that’s what I got, $25 a day.
Jody asked me about doing a recording session with Merv Shiner. I remember Merv Shiner, he was a New Yorker – fine person - but I have not a clue as to what songs I did. I was recording so much there was no way (laughs) I could remember all of them. I just barely remember the artist’s let alone what songs I recorded. So this title that you gave Jody was “Were Gonna Take a Little Silver From the Blue Hawaiian Skies” is a stranger to me. I remember Vaughn Horton of course and the people that would come with some of the singers to record and I met a lot of the writers that way, the producers, and on and on. But no way could I remember the songs. I get kind of like you Jody, I would like to here that song myself. You mentioned about the chorus I played so you got my interest peaked up a little bit.

The main reason I wanted to reply here about my association with F.C. Hall and Rickenbacker and Fender as you can see it was not for any monetary reason. I am the type of person that is loyal and I really didn’t care who made Rickenbackers, Sears and Roebuck could have made it for all I cared – if it was the same instrument I would have played it. I was not interested in all the mundane things like money – I should have been but I wasn’t so the sum and substance of all of it is that if I had it to do over again – I would do it differently but maybe not as well – who knows. I’ve been the luckiest person ever and I know it – so I’m gonna be thankful and quit while I’m ahead and set back and remember my great friends like Forest White and many many others. Jody you and I never got to get together to talk things over but I knew your playing career but we were in just two parts of the world then and everything wasn’t as close as it is now.
F.C. Hall to my knowledge was a fine person, he was not a musical person, he had no music in his soul that I know of. He was a business man and he was gradually trying to make Rickenbacker sound like a Fender and the pickups were being changed and this and that being changed and that’s when I split with him. I said you got the best pickup in the world now why do you want to go changing it? But he was after the money and I thought that was beside the point. That is again how naïve I was. But I guess we lived through some momentous times for our instrument. I know we did through the years of the steel guitar when it came from a non-instrument – more of a toy than a musical instrument – to a full fledged musical instrument that it is today. So at least we had a little input on that –did we not!

Paul Graupp

From: Macon Ga USA

posted 14 April 2002 08:25 PM     profile     edit
I have to add a short comment on Jerry's remarks after mentioning me. My father played the zither. It is still in our family.
I used to play it when I was sure he wouldn't catch me. I told Bobbe Seymour a couple years ago that when I would compliment his zither playing he would reply:


There was a peculiar chime effect on Bobbe's SOULFUL STEEL album and I asked him about it.


I suppose you could tell my Dad, I finally heard that Glochenspiel !!

Regards, Paul

chas smith

From: Encino, CA, USA

posted 14 April 2002 08:46 PM     profile     edit
But he was after the money and I thought that was beside the point.
There's the gospel.
c c johnson

From: killeen,tx usa

posted 15 April 2002 06:09 AM     profile     edit
Jack, I thouroughly enjoyed this post. As you probably know Jerry has this most loyal and appreciative fans in the world and he has repaid our loyalty so many times with FREE advice; appearing and playing at functions without pay when he could have been making money at other gigs. I am so proud to have Jerry as a friend. Best of everthing to you and yours,Jack. CC
Bob Stone

From: Gainesville, FL, USA

posted 15 April 2002 06:32 AM     profile     edit
Dear Jack and Jerry Byrd,

Thanks so much Jerry for responding to our inquiries. This is great stuff. Can't wait to get the book!

And Jack, thanks for taking the trouble to transcribe Jerry's responses. Transcribing interviews is a laborious process, but well worth it when the speaker is such a wellspring of history and information. Thanks for all your hard work.

All the best,

Bob Stone

Rick Aiello

From: Berryville, VA USA

posted 15 April 2002 08:48 AM     profile     edit
At least my misinterpretation gave rise to a good story!!
c c johnson

From: killeen,tx usa

posted 15 April 2002 09:04 AM     profile     edit
Rick, this shows that it happens to the BEST of us. You only have 568 misinterpretations to go to catch up with me. Best wishes CC
Jack Byrd

From: Kalamazoo, Michigan

posted 15 April 2002 12:26 PM     profile     edit
Thanks for the comments guys. At the end of the tape Jerry said "after listening to the tape before sending it he wished he could have done a better job of it. One way conversations leave a lot to be desired". Even so I think he covered the topics very well. Some of the things go way back into the cobwebs of memory and it is hard to recall all the facts some folks desire.

[This message was edited by Jack Byrd on 15 April 2002 at 12:38 PM.]

Ray Montee

From: Portland, OR, USA

posted 15 April 2002 04:44 PM     profile     edit
Jack, many, many thanks for your labors on the preceding post. That is no easy task!
I hope you recognize how very much YOUR contributions are appreciated by Jerry's long-standing fan club. You are definitely one of a kind...... It must run in the Byrd Family.
Jody Carver

From: The Knight Of Fender Tweed~ Dodger Blue Forever

posted 15 April 2002 09:33 PM     profile     edit
I have submitted a post regarding Jerry's comments,,,,some how I tried to submit and I was knocked off line...must be a conspiracy.

I will try again tomorrow...boy I was really good too ......those are the breaks I get.

Will get back to you....


Jody Carver

From: The Knight Of Fender Tweed~ Dodger Blue Forever

posted 16 April 2002 12:02 AM     profile     edit
I will try one more time. I want to thank Jerry and yourself to give me the opportunity
to clear any mis-understandings that may have taken place in an earlier post of a few
weeks back.

In your own words,,,quote,,,the written word does not show or express inflections. I think we should all understand that,,I feel that is the difficult part of trying to express one's self in this manner..

I will however like to direct my comments to Jerry and hope that he accepts my comments in the manner intended.

Jerry,,It was nice to hear from you and I certainly understand a bit better now that we
have put things in question in the proper perspective.

In no way was I offended by your comments regarding your experierience regarding the Fender American Guild Guitar Show that was held in Ohio some many years ago.

I however was suprised by your comments regarding Don Randall's alleged comment as to
making you feel uncomfortable as I have always found Don to be a warm hearted man.

My only assessment of what may have transpired at that time was possibly due to an over confident feeling among the Fender crew.

It was at a time when Fender was starting to "take off" and Dons comment,,,,quote...everyone one is playing a Fender....why not you?..or words to that effect. I feel in all fairness to Don that he was in some way expressing himself in a manner of being proud that many players on the West Coast had joined the Fender forces.

Before I go any further,,I spoke with Don this evening and since I didnt go into detail
regarding what had happened so long ago,,his first reaction when I mentioned that you and I had been in touch was..."how is Jerry"?? Please wish him my very best,,,he has been one of my favorite steel players and most of all a good friend.

I think that speaks volumes as to how he feels about you. Don is not very much into what is happening these days in the music field,,,,he enjoys talking of old times and is very much aware of the past Fender history. God only knows how many people have
asked him questions regarding what Fender was
like back then.

Many of them who are planning or who have written a book on Fender history have called on Don many times for information,,,and while
it maybe new to those,,I get the feeling that
the memories both happy and sad have taken its toll on Don. How many times can he reply
to questions about "the good old days"?

I want you to know that in no way shape or form did I take your comment that you felt you were in the presence of a "cold fish" I think that was a way of expressing yourself as you may have felt at that given moment.

Iam well aware of your friendhip with Don and
his admiration for what you are and what you have been over the years.That is what more or less suprised me,,I didnt take into consideration that this took place many years ago. And Im sorry if I took that as a
dis-credit to Don Randall,,,as I have the utmost respect for him more so than anyone I have ever known.

With that aside,,,I will address your feeling
as to being in a "refrigerator" when entering
the Fender display room. I can undertand your
feelings,,there were as you stated 6 or 8
Fender salesman in the room and you felt as though you were the "enemy" in a place that made you uncomfortable,,,,I undertand that as well. I have been in that situation myself
when I first joined the Fender team.

Being a steel guitarist first and foremost,,it was no secret that my age of 17 years was a dis-ability to me being accepted
by the veteran Fender sales people.

I guess they felt,,well Jody is limited to steel guitar and his prime interest lies in his aspirations of becoming a professional
steel guitarist rather than accepting me for what I was and that being a Fender salesman
with as much interest in Fender as they.I do
feel you should have been treated better.

I can relate to the refigerator syndrome,,,I had expierienced that as well many times.
It was diificult for a group of seasoned veterans to accept a youngster as I was at the time,,,,,however be it as it may,,,I was
not at the show that year and Im embarrased
to explain why I was not. Perhaps some of them were a bit "overseasoned" and spicy.

My Mom was not in favor of my leaving school
to pursue a traveling salesmans position,,,,,that was a
bad word,,she had hopes of me going to college and using the music as a hobby and nothing else.

Her refusal to consenting me to attend the show was,,,I would be with a bunch of seasoned veterans who were street smart and she felt I was not in the same league,,she did not appreciate the travel time nor the fact that I would be associated with a bunch of good people,,but people who could raise an
elbow and "down a few too many". Of course this was not unusual for men to do at a convention,,,,,,but to my mom,,,,I was not a man as yet. And to this day,,Iam still a boy.

Forrest White who had come aboard recognized
my sensitivity regarding me feeling inferior
and it was Don and Forrest who gave me all of the support I so desperatly needed.

I bring this up for the simple reason that these very same people who supported me were
the same people who were Jerry Byrd admirers.

As I said earlier,,,who wouldnt want a Jerry
Byrd as an endorser? but I do believe a few
of the sales people were shaking their feathers as they felt the world was theirs.

If I were in that so called refrigerator that day,,,I would have turned the A/C down and asked Jerry Byrd to warm the room with his "signature talent" on his steel guitar.

More than likely I would have asked you to play "Slippery Elm" if that didnt warm their
hearts nothing would have. But thats 20/20
hindsite and I was not there. Forrest would
often times express his desire to have you play a Fender,,he had many times asked me what my feeling was as to why you didnt play
a Fender.

I have to once again agree with your comment
that your feeling that you were not able to obtain a happy medium of tone quality with
the linear controls of a Fender,,,I do agree and that has been something that has puzzled
me. I mentioned this to Forrest many times over and my feeling were that many of the sweet sounding Hawaiian numbers were overshadowed by the "overly treble sound" that has become a Fender trademark over the years and to this day still exists with their
standard guitar line.

It was no secret that Noel had much influence
on the design on the Fender Custom and Stringmaster guitars,,,,and rightfully so..
Noel was a chord player as was Freddy Tavares.Noel's style fit right with the design of the Fender he played so very well.

Since Noel was an up front steel player with Spade was the sound that was popular on the West Coast.It was sound that Spade wanted.

You recall there was a seperation regarding what was referred to as the "West Coast Sound"...there was no what has become to be known as the "Nashville Sound" and Jerry Byrd
being in the class of his own backing such greats as Red Foley,,,,Rex Allen etc etc was overlooked so far as altering the sound of a Fender guitar to suit ones taste.

It was a one way street. This I can assure you was not intentional,,,and although I had and still have the utmost respect for was something I couldn't undertand.

I like many others have tried to emulate the Jerry Byrd style,,,but although few if any have achieved that feat,those who tried could not accompolish that on anything else
other than a Rickenbacker guitar.And although
they tried it was a far reach to meet the standards of what you have established all these years. I doubt very few if any will ever reach that goal you have set.

Like Forrest..I tried to get someones attention as to customizing a guitar to suit
the individual player,,,,,but how do you tell
a Leo Fender to do that.

Fender was riding high at the time,,,,,,the emphasis was on the West Coast style. It was
Forrest who didnt give up his dream and that
was to have Jerry Byrd in the Fender fold.

I was not aware of your situation with FC Hall,,,and although I felt that Fender did not "float your boat" I was under the impression that there was a strong sense of loyalty invloved there and also that there was no way you would make the move to Fender
regardless of any changes they offered to make for you.

For that Iam sorry. There were 8 salesmen in the room that day in Ohio,,,,,if anything they were in awe of Jerry Byrd and there may have been an "overconfident attitude" visible at that time,,,I think you understand what Iam trying to say. Sort of like...well,,,we have everyone on board now,& we knew someday you would cross the bridge as well.

If that was the case Jerry,,,I feel that that was highly unproffesional if that in fact was the case. There are only two of the salesman still with us,,,Iam the third and youngest,,,if I could say Im sorry for any uncomfortable feelings they mave have caused you I would and if so,,,let me take the liberty of asking you to forgive them.

They were more than likley shaking their feathers. Have you ever seen a male Turkey display his "macho" attitude to a female Turkey?? they do the same thing,,,,It is usually the male Turkey who winds up in the oven on Thanksgiving day.. I may be opening the oven door with my comments,,,but I can stand the heat,,,as long as they dont stuff me.

I hope this long long explanation clarifies
my original comments made a while ago.

One more thing I would like to pass on to you
Back in the 1950's I was doing most all of the studio steel work at RCA Victor and Decca
records. RCA was under the direction of Steve
Sholes head of A&R,,,Decca was under the supervision of Paul Cohen..I owe this opportunity to Vaughn & Roy Horton,,,who helped make this possible.

One day I was called into RCA for a session with the late and great Elton Britt, since
Homer Haynes and Jethroe Burns were to do a session the very next day,,,they were booked on the date along with Chet and George Barnes
as well as Roy Horton and his wife Lillian who played organ and piano.

During the rundown of the tunes that were scheduled to be recorded.....Steve Sholes asked me if I could play some Jerry Byrd licks,,,to which I replied,,,Mr.Sholes, Iam an admirer of Jerry's but I dont think I could do justice to such a fine steel player as Jerry Byrd. His reply was OK,,,,then just do what you feel will fit.

Chet made a few suggestions as did Homer Haynes,,,I accepted their idea's....however
I did what I felt fit the tune being recorded.

We took a break for dinner,,,there was Chet and Homer and Jethroe....George Barnes and Roy...we went to a greasy spoon on West 24th st....then home of RCA Victor records.......

Homer had no idea as to what to order and he asked me what a "pastrami sandwich" was....I explained that it was sort of a "corned beef"
he said,,Oh hell I dont want anything corny
Im in NY and I want that dammed NY food..

He was getting on me in a kidding way but with a serious face ..and out of the blue,he said hey boy,,,how come you caint copy some of Jerrys licks,,,before I could answer he said and you know what??? you got a "big nose there boy,,,I wondered what one thing had with the other...Jethroe nudged me as if to say,,,,"he's putting you on...I replied
to Homer by saying,,,,Homers Its not that my
nose is big,,,,,Its just that my face is too

After we finished the session that night,,,I said good bye to them,,,Homer said
you had better learn some of Jerry's licks if you want to make it. I then said well Homer when I hear Jerry play....its like
"Paradise" and I cant play as well......I asked him to say Hi to Jerry for me,,,,he then said,,,,well with your big nose and Jerrys "Paradise" I will wish you this,,,,,and he said,,I hope the Byrd Of Paradise flies up your nose. and he laughed
like the devil. My further comment was Jerry played as thought he were in "Paradise" I played as though I were in "Hell".

Well I have been on here forever and a day..I do hope I haven't bored you and I hope that this marathon clears the air...
Jerry,,,,,you have millions of admirers all over the world,,,but the three that stand out as Jerry Byd fans in my mind are Paul Graupp,,Ray Montee and Gene Jones,,,and you can count me in as well if you wish..oop's I cant forget my friend George "Keoki" Lake, he writes my material.

If you think that peacock chair was something
in Ohio,,,I can tell you one about the chair CBS tried to put me in after the CBS takeover
of Fender,,,,but thats another story...

Be well and I will extend your well wishes to Don Randall.....I wished Forrest were here
to see this,,,he would have really been in all his glory. Thanks my friend and you had better practice,,,you never can tell when someone will ask you to play a few Jody Carver licks...

Ditto on your comments re MusicMan amps,,,however they did improve them after the one you received,,,,the one that sounded
like a "ping" they added the "pong" as well.

Later my friend.....thank you Jack for allowing me to tell this long,long story,I'm sure my story has been longer than it needed
to be. We all have our faults,,,,,this is one of mine..long stories.

later my friends...."Let There Be Peace In The Valley".

Edited,,My nose is no bigger than Jerry's its
an optical illusion.

[This message was edited by Jody Carver on 17 April 2002 at 11:48 AM.]

Jody Carver

From: The Knight Of Fender Tweed~ Dodger Blue Forever

posted 16 April 2002 12:16 AM     profile     edit
What is a "Hot Dog" without the bun????

What is an "Ice Cream Cone" without the Cone?

That is what a Steel Guitar is without a
Jerry Byrd. All three are my favorites.

[This message was edited by Jody Carver on 16 April 2002 at 08:01 AM.]

Paul Graupp

From: Macon Ga USA

posted 16 April 2002 08:41 AM     profile     edit
Jody: You areTHE ONE ROSE !!

Regards, Paul

Jody Carver

From: The Knight Of Fender Tweed~ Dodger Blue Forever

posted 16 April 2002 05:25 PM     profile     edit
That is such a nice thing to say my friend.
We both have a special feeling about that song.

Forrest White loved most all of Jerrys music
but the one he loved the most was...........
"The One Rose"

Forrest passed away on November 22,,1994,,,he passed away with his wife Joanne at his bedside.

I asked Joanne to "please place a single ....
"Red Rose" on Forrests grave,,,which she did,
and to this day still does. Forrest rests next to his mom and dad in Riverside California,,,When you wrote that nice really got to me,,and I called Joanne after I saw your post.
She has no computer,,but asked me to personally thank Jerry and Jack and to those
who thought so much of Forrest.

Her heart was filled with love as I read your post to her. Thank you my dear friend.

Wow,,,,this really turned out to be a sentimental thread...JB did play a beautiful
rendition of that song....the BEST I have ever heard...

[This message was edited by Jody Carver on 05 December 2007 at 01:04 PM.]

Paul Graupp

From: Macon Ga USA

posted 16 April 2002 09:02 PM     profile     edit
Jody: From time to time, I find myself at a complete loss of words. This is one of them.

Regards, Paul

George Keoki Lake

From: Edmonton, AB., Canada

posted 16 April 2002 11:22 PM     profile     edit
One thing about Jody, he is never at a loss for words and I for one am glad of it ! Bless you my friend.
Jody Carver

From: The Knight Of Fender Tweed~ Dodger Blue Forever

posted 08 December 2005 10:49 AM     profile     edit
And until this day Joanne White places a Red Rose on the grave where Forrest rests in peace.
Don Kona Woods

From: Vancouver, Washington, USA

posted 08 December 2005 05:40 PM     profile     edit

Thank you, Thank you, WOW!!!


Jody Carver

From: The Knight Of Fender Tweed~ Dodger Blue Forever

posted 09 December 2005 07:35 AM     profile     edit
Don and to those of you who have taken this archived thread back, I thank you for your kind words. Thank you Jack Byrd for your allowing those on this forum read the exchange of words between Jerry and myself.

Thank you Howard Reinleib for asking and allowing me to perform at the PSGA show this past November 13th. It was my honor to play the Fender "One of A Kind" steel guitar made up special for the Greatest steel guitar player in the world.

It was a thrill for me to play Jerrys guitar and the moment I sat behind it, I could sense a feeling of Jerry Byrd looking down in approval. There are far better steel players than I,but I am proud to be the one that had been chosen.I was humbled by that.

That will be a day I will never ever forget and it by far exceeds many things I have accompolished in my lifetime and if my life would end tomorrow, I will never forget that day. Thank you Bob Maickel and those who took photos of my performance, you all did me proud. Mike Gross has e mailed me a few clips of my performance which are audio as well as video and I am unable to open the attachments. Perhaps someone out there on this forum can e mail me and I will forward them to you.

Once again, thanks to all of you who were at the show that day, I will never forget the warmth and love and respect bestowed upon me.

Jody Carver, and to you Keoki and Don, Aloha from the bottom of my heart. Aloha

There will always be one Merv Shiner and One Jerry Byrd..

[This message was edited by Jody Carver on 30 June 2008 at 03:08 PM.]

All times are Pacific (US)

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  
Hop to:

Contact Us | Catalog of Pedal Steel Music Products

Note: Messages not explicitly copyrighted are in the Public Domain.

Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.46

Please review our
Forum Rules and Policies

Our mailing address is:
The Steel Guitar Forum
148 South Cloverdale Blvd.
Cloverdale, CA 95425 USA

Support the Forum