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The Lashley Chronicles - Letter 5

Updated: Dec 15, 2023

This letter is one of many letters written detailing the development of the pedal guitar, and the birth of the Emmons Guitar. It also includes standardization of the tuning and copedent, as well as historical commentary. 

The letters were written from Ron Lashely Sr. to Mr. Paul J. Graupp, the editor for "Pushin Pedals", the pedal guitar section of Fretts magazine, which was published by Fender Sales.


Scroll down for the complete transcription of this letter. The spelling and grammar shown below is exaclty how it was written by Ron Lashley Sr.





May 23, 1963

Hello Paul,

I received your letter and enjoyed hearing from you very much.  Well, there is only one week of school left and [sic] were are in the midst of final exams now.  I have Jimmy Day and Walter Haynes on the record changer and everything is fine as far as back ground music is concerned.

On Friday, May 10th Shot Jackson was with a  grand ole opry group in Greensboro, N.C. so I went up and had an interesting chat with him.  He isn’t even building the Sho~Bud now.  

He has about 4 boys there at his shop turning out about 2 per week and the quality seems to have dropped.  You know that Buddy has been apart from the Sho~Bud for a year now although he still plays one.

Last Friday May 17th, Ray Price was in Raleigh, N.C. so I went down and had an interesting chat with him.  He still insist that he is working his own steel guitar which he is going to put on the market.  His ideas of versatility are much superior to the Sho~Bud.  I discussed the possibility of going in with him in building his guitar and he seemed very much in favor of the idea, so I’m to go see him as soon as school is out.  You know yourself that Buddy isn’t going to stop playing long enough to build many guitars so I’ll put his ideas with mine and come up with a nice guitar.  We both agree that it should have a modern design.  We have it about worked out now.  The pedal arrangement can be changed as quick as a Fender 1000 by merely moving a rod.  Each string can be raised and lowered and all tuning of pedals is from the back  We are gonna have chromed atoms on the fret-board and a jet-stream [sic} enlay in the wood.

We will be using a new finish that looks like glass and a burning cigarette will not [sic} effect it.  I’ve studied this thing for 5 yrs and tried to approach every aspect of it scientifically and Buddy says the bulk of his ideas were worked out on E.T’s bus during the 3 yr. Period that he was with him.  I have the experimental model about ½ finished now and it is really something.

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