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Bill C. Malone and Barry Mazor

(b nr Luttrell, TN, June 20, 1924, d Nashville, TN, June 30, 2001). American country-music guitarist and recording company executive. Although the first instrument he played professionally was the fiddle, he became internationally famous as a guitarist. Developed while he was in high school, his guitar style was influenced by Merle Travis, Les Paul, Django Reinhardt, and George Barnes and was characterized by the use of the thumb to establish a rhythm on the lower strings and multiple fingers to play melodic or improvisational passages on the higher strings, sometimes with complex voicings. In the early 1940s Atkins toured with Archie Campbell and Bill Carlisle playing both fiddle and guitar, and appeared with them on WNOX radio in Knoxville. He then toured with the second generation Carter Family as a sideman and in ...

Article

Laurence Libin

(b Coleman County, TX, March 18, 1899; d at sea nr Los Angeles, CA, March 30, 1941). American inventor of musical instruments. He was co-founder of the National Stringed Instrument Corporation and the Rickenbacker guitar company. He played the violin and the lap steel (‘Hawaiian’) guitar in vaudeville before settling in Los Angeles, where he worked with John and Rudy Dopyera to develop an acoustically amplified guitar, probably inspired by Stroh models. An early model with a Victrola horn failed, but trials using conical aluminium resonators within a metal guitar body (a prototype of the three-cone Dobro guitar) proved successful and attracted investors. Production of metal-body guitars under the name National soon involved Adolph Rickenbacker’s nearby tool and die shop....

Article

R. Allen Lott and Scott Alan Southard

(b Parma, Italy, Sept 1, 1860; d Chicago, IL, Dec 19, 1919). Italian conductor, opera manager, and violinist. After violin study in Parma, he began to conduct there in 1880. Campanini was assistant conductor with the Metropolitan Opera in its inaugural season (...

Article

(b Montaigut-sur-Save, Jan 26, 1700; d Paris, May 3, 1788). French concert entrepreneur and cellist. He served as basse du grand choeur in the Paris Opéra orchestra from 1736 to 1755. That he played the cello, rather than the basse de viole, is implied by Corrette in ...

Article

Eldonna L. May

(b Monticello, NY, Sept 11, 1970). American arts administrator and violinist. A passionate African American advocate for diversity in the performing arts, he was adopted shortly after birth by two white neuroscience professors from Manhattan. When Dworkin was ten, the family relocated to Hershey, Pennsylvania. His mother, an amateur violinist, encouraged Dworkin’s interest in music and the violin. His first violin teacher was Vladimir Graffman; later teachers included John Eaken, Renata Knific at the Interlochen Arts Academy, Donald Hopkins at Pennsylvania State University, and Stephen Shipps at the University of Michigan (BM ...

Article

Stephen Ruppenthal

(b Oakland, CA, Sept 19, 1952). American guitarist, synthesizer player, and producer. He studied economics at Harvard University (BA 1976) and began performing in improvisational contexts in 1974. In 1979 he became involved in experimental rock and has since performed extensively in the United States and abroad. He has worked with, among others, Derek Bailey, David Lindley, Fred Frith, Herbie Hancock, Jerry Garcia, Bill Laswell, Eugene Chadbourne, Michael Stipe, Diamanda Galás, John Zorn, Richard Thompson, and John Oswald; he has also played with the Rova Saxophone Quartet and many free-music groups in the San Francisco Bay area, where he has been based. In both solo and ensemble performance he characteristically aims for some type of fusion of rock, jazz, non-Western, and avant-garde classical styles and focuses on “language elements of attack, articulation, pitch bend trajectory, and velocity.” His use of elastic rhythms, non-tempered scales, and widely varied timbres shows the influence of Southeast Asian and Indian musics and the blues. His extended solo improvisations (such as “The Shadow Line” on the album ...

Article

Nicholas Tochka

(b Elbasan, Albania, Oct 24, 1913; d Tirana, Albania, Aug 4, 1980). Albanian composer, administrator, and violinist. One of the most active and influential post-World War II administrator in Tirana, he played a key role in structuring the state socialist music economy during the 1950s and 60s. Early on, he graduated from the Secondary School in his hometown of Elbasan in ...

Article

Daniele Buccio

(b Canton, OH, Aug 18, 1905; d West Redding, CT, July 31, 1978). American composer, violinist, bandleader, recording engineer, and producer. After graduating from Johns Hopkins University, he performed as a light classical violinist in the United States and Europe. During the 1930s he studied conducting with Maurice Frigara in Paris. After a near-fatal car accident in ...

Article

Laurence Libin

(b Somerset, KY, 1910; d Twin Falls, ID, April 1, 2001). American guitar company executive and pioneer in the development of electric guitars. An engineering graduate of the University of Cincinnati (1933), he worked for the Rudolph Wurlitzer Co., first as an accountant and eventually as director of purchasing for the retail division. During World War II he was an army engineer. He became general manager of the Gibson Guitar Corporation in ...

Article

Roben Jones

(b LaGrange, GA, June 12, 1936). American guitarist, songwriter, producer, and entrepreneur. At age 14 he arrived in Memphis and soon worked with Johnny and Dorsey Burnette. His song “This Time” became a hit for Troy Shondell (1961, Liberty). He then worked for Stax Records, overseeing their first three hits. Ousted in ...