In 2011, an Irish guitarist, Dave Browne set a new world record for the longest guitar session ever. The talented guitarist played non stop for 114 hours, 6 minutes, and 30 seconds between the 12th and the 17th of June. Back in 1985, the guitar player for the Reynolds Family Bluegrass Band played non stop (other than mandatory bathroom breaks) from 6:00 pm on that Friday until the following Sunday morning to win a new guitar. That I know to be a fact.
In 2001 a British musician, Chris Black, fell so madly in love with his red beloved Fender Stratocaster that he married it after 35 years of dating. He named his new wife, Brenda the Fenda. The ceremony was held in a church in London and was officiated by his friend. Now I do love my Fender guitars but…
The first ever Stratocaster which actually came with the serial number #00100 was sold by a good friend of mine Mr. George Gruhn of Gruhn’s Vintage Guitars in Nashville Tennessee for staggering $250,000. In 2014, George sold the 1954 sunburst-finished Strat. The current owner remains anonymous and all George would reveal was the new owner lives in the US and is not a professional musician.
BB King famously named his guitar Lucille. The reason? One evening while playing a dance in Arkansas, two men began fighting over a woman. The result of the fight was a barrel of kerosene was knocked over causing a huge fire. Once outside, Mr. King realized he had left his prized Gibson inside, so he darted into the fire to save it. The following morning, he christened his guitar Lucille which was the name of the woman whom the fight was over.
Most people know that Bill Monroe is a Country Music Hall of Fame inductee but did you know he was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Mr. Monroe was a true mandolin master and kept a rattlesnake tail inside of his mandolin to keep the mice out of it and absorb excess moisture. He taught me this trick himself and I keep three tails inside my mandolin today.
In order to increase the interest in buying mandolins, manufacturers hired salesmen who established mandolin orchestras in small towns that encouraged people to buy them. Some of these early musical groups still exist today.
The first stringed instrument that Orville Gibson (founder of Gibson Guitars) built was actually a mandolin, finished in 1894. He also invented the archtop guitar, based on a violin design.
Mandolins evolved from the lute family in Italy between the 17th and 18th centuries. The deep bowled mandolin was produced particularly in Naples and became common in the 19th century.
The banjo originally came from Africa as a folk instrument. Joel Walker Sweeney (1810-1860) was the first professional musician to play a banjo while performing in minstrel shows. Also I think his playing was a huge influence on the great Earl Scruggs.
Willian Boucher (1822-1899) was the earliest commercial manufacturer of banjos. The Smithsonian Institution has three of his banjos from the years 1845 to 1847. Boucher won several awards for his violins, drums, and banjos in the 1850’s.
The banjo had been referred to in 19 different spellings, from “banza” to “bonjoe” in the early 19th century. Around here we just call them banjers.
After the 1850’s the banjo was increasingly used in the US and England as a genteel parlor instrument for popular music performances.
The Jazz Age created a new society craze for the four string version of the banjo. Around the 1940’s the four string banjo was replaced by the guitar.
Some things you might now know about the violin
The most expensive instrument in the world is the Lady Blunt Stradivarius violin. It sold in 2011 for $15.9 million.
Most people consider playing the violin an intellectual pursuit. However, a violinist can burn around 170 calories per hour. That’s equivalent to about one soft drink!
The word “violin” comes from the medieval Latin word “vitula”. What makes this one of the funniest violin facts is that oddly enough, the modern Latin translation of vitula also means “female cow.”
The main body of the modern violin contains 70 different parts. In high quality instruments, these parts are all made from a variety of woods.
Even though Mozart was a prominent pianist and composer, he also played the violin. In fact, Mozart’s father began his son’s musical training on the violin.
The violin and fiddle are the same instrument. Even though the term “violin” is more often used in connection with classical music and the “fiddle” with Irish or folk music, they are in fact the same.
ral music fun facts
There is a very unusual orchestra in Vienna, Austria which uses instruments made from vegetables. They have been playing their bizarre music program for almost two decades and at the end of each concert the produce is used to cook soup which the group serves to the audience. Boy, talk about “Will work for food”.
Scientists have discovered that different frequencies in sound have an effect on how we taste foods. Now hold on; this one gets better. The theory has proved to ring true so much that the well known ice cream company Ben and Jerry’s even produced a line of ice creams with QR codes on the cartons that would allow consumers to access flavor- enhancing music. Ben and Jerry’s weren’t the only ones to test out this music theory. Researchers at Berne University of Arts found that cheeses aged to various types of music can bring out various types of favors. Cheese exposed to music had a milder flavor than cheese that was not. I found this very interesting. The study also found that cheese that was exposed to Hip-Hop music had a much stronger odor and flavor, making it the favorite of all cheeses tested.
Leo Fender is known to all of us as the genius inventor of the legendary electric guitar. His models from the Stratocaster to the Telecaster were and are played by the most famous string musicians in the world. Fender has written music history with these instruments. The ironic fact is he himself could not play guitar.
Music greatly impacts and boosts our capabilities. Listening to music while reading or learning something could trigger the learning. Research has shown that you memorize things in a better way with music playing, as compared to complete silence.
Just as we suspected, according to a French study, music stimulates drinking. While a man needs an average of 15 minutes for a beer while listening to soft music, he only needs 12 minutes with loud music. Well then, Cheers!
Rock n Roll meets wildlife. Termites love rock music. Say what??? According to Australian researchers, they eat wood twice as fast when they are exposed to heavy metal music. The vibrations in the wood encourage them to nibble at high speeds. Try this one with your lunch when you’re in a hurry. Just don’t blame me for the stomach ache!
For every $1000 of music sold, the average musician only makes about $23. Now you know why musicians work such long hours.
A 2001 study found that cows produce more milk when listening to relaxing moo-sic. Sorry I couldn’t resist that one.
The first and only band to play on all seven continents is the heavy metal band Metallica.
I hope you have enjoyed this as much as I have been putting it together. If you know any music facts we haven’t heard yet feel free to leave a comment on our website. We all would love reading about them.
Taking Local Music to The World.