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You know Blue was mighty true - Old Dog Blue, Jim Jackson

Author Topic: Blind Boy Fuller's guitars  (Read 3978 times)

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Offline Stumblin

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  • Got the Blues, can't be satisfied
Blind Boy Fuller's guitars
« on: January 31, 2010, 02:04:33 PM »
As far as I'm aware, there are two photos of Blind Boy Fuller. Wait, maybe there are three or four!
In one, he is pictured with a slot-head National. Elsewhere, he is shown with a paddle headstock model.
My question is simple:
Can anyone here identify those models (please state which is the slot-head and which the paddle).
I just want to know. And maybe I'll try to save up some money too, it's time I got a new resonator - my tricone is knackered.

Offline unezrider

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Re: Blind Boy Fuller's guitars
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2010, 06:09:41 PM »
hello friend,
i believe they were both duolians. national went from a slot head to a flat around (don't quote me here but i want to say) '34. the slot is a 12 fret, the other is a 14. you can tell that by the body shape. at any rate, they are both steel body nats, just different years. i heard somewhere that stevie ray vaughn owned the earlier one.
chris
"Be good, & you will be lonesome." -Mark Twain

Offline Stumblin

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  • Got the Blues, can't be satisfied
Re: Blind Boy Fuller's guitars
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2010, 12:59:43 AM »
Thanks for that, Unezrider.
I believe I played an old Duolian a few years ago, it was an old '30s National anyway, damn thing was so loud I couldn't hear my voice.
How Fulton got to croon so smoothly over that kind of volume must rank as one of those great mysteries we hear about sometimes!

Offline blueshome

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Re: Blind Boy Fuller's guitars
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2010, 04:01:02 AM »
As he played mainly on the street you can bet that he sang loud enough to match the guitar otherwise I doubt he'd have had much success.

Offline Stumblin

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  • Got the Blues, can't be satisfied
Re: Blind Boy Fuller's guitars
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2010, 06:14:10 AM »
As he played mainly on the street you can bet that he sang loud enough to match the guitar otherwise I doubt he'd have had much success.
Clearly! I just wonder how!
My own years of busking taught me the value of singing as loud as possible, but some of those resonators would give anyone a run for their money.
Do they still make Duolians, I wonder? (Goes to the Google oracle...)

Offline mr mando

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Re: Blind Boy Fuller's guitars
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2010, 08:09:50 AM »
As for Blind Boy Fuller's Duolians:

Picture 1: 1933 or early 1934
Four embossed radiating lines on resonator cover were introduced in late 1932
Rolled f-holes were introduced in 1933
12 frets to the body were discontinued in late 1934

Picture 2: late 1936 to early 1938
Solid peghead introduced in 1936
"Duolian" decal discontinued in 1938

National Resophic Guitars are producing very similar instruments (thin sheet steel as opposed to the Triolians thicker steel sheets and other models different metals) in their NRP series.

Offline unezrider

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Re: Blind Boy Fuller's guitars
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2010, 10:14:12 AM »
hello friend,
thanks for timeline on the duolian designs mr. mando. i love that sort of stuff!
i haven't had a chance to play one, but those new nrp's do look really cool. i love that they started using a thinner gauge steel, & stopped powder coating their guitars. good move on both parts.
chris
"Be good, & you will be lonesome." -Mark Twain

Offline Stumblin

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  • Got the Blues, can't be satisfied
Re: Blind Boy Fuller's guitars
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2010, 01:52:18 PM »
Do they still make Duolians, I wonder? (Goes to the Google oracle...)
Well, it looks like the Duolian has recently been reborn as the National Resophonic NRP.
Now I know what I want out of life  :P 8)

Offline unezrider

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Re: Blind Boy Fuller's guitars
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2010, 03:49:32 PM »
hello friend,
inspired by mr. mando's post, i stumbled on to this site ? http://home.provide.net/~cfh/index.html it has a lot of good, guitar geek info?
"Be good, & you will be lonesome." -Mark Twain

Offline Norfolk Slim

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Re: Blind Boy Fuller's guitars
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2010, 01:06:07 AM »
Of course, for real National guitar geekery, Bob Brozman's book cant be beaten.  It even has an extensive list of known model numbers tied into variations in design.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2010, 06:09:26 AM by Norfolk Slim »

Offline Colin Brooks

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Re: Blind Boy Fuller's guitars
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2010, 04:47:47 AM »
There is a second picture of Fuller's 14 fret Duo. in the hands of Brownie McGhee on the flyer for his 78 'Back Home Blues'. 

There's a small repro of it with the story in a guitar tutor he did many years back. Anyone have a copy?

Offline mr mando

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Re: Blind Boy Fuller's guitars
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2010, 09:26:27 AM »
There is a second picture of Fuller's 14 fret Duo. in the hands of Brownie McGhee on the flyer for his 78 'Back Home Blues'. 

Is this the one?

Offline Colin Brooks

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Re: Blind Boy Fuller's guitars
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2010, 05:13:02 AM »
<Is this the one?>

No. Brownie looks a few years younger in this picture with Lesley Riddle (say 1937-38) and the National he is holding is left handed, thin strings and pickguard on the sky side! This was well before he met Fuller. Wonder whose guitar it was?

 


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