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The Lashley Chronicles - Letter 6

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.

 

 

TRANSCRIPTION

 

June 3, 1963


Hello Paul,


Well, last Friday was my last day at the school and I’m free to work on some guitars for awhile.  I’m not helping Leonard because I have too much to do myself.  I do occasionally wind a pickup for him.  Thursday I’m leaving for Nashville to spend about a week with some of my friends there.


There, Nashville, is where a very fine musician can starve to death.  Buddy invited me down to see him also to talk about the new model.


You sure must stay long playing.  Do you have time for anything else? But I can’t think of anything better to do.  I surely would like to hear you play with your band.  Maybe you could sen me a tape and I could send it back.  While teaching this year I haven’t play with any banc or hardly any at all except a few living room sessions.  I have finally gotten to where I can play 4 Wheel Drive occasionally all way through without minimizing it although I’ve known the licks for about a year.


The members in your band as you have introduced them to me sound very typical of most bands as far as personality is concerned.


The new licks (palm harmonies [3rds]) must be very beautiful.  Try playing 5ths with your thumb and forefinger.  Chime the 1st tone with the palm of your hand while picking the 5th tone naturally.  Jimmy Day does this quite alot.


I can understand your first string breaking while tuned in E9th since there is sliding friction on the bridge of your 1000.  I’m tuning in E9th and use the PG-10 series I and my 09 gage holds up quite durable.


Thanks alot for the Bob White set up.  If you have any more that I haven’t mentioned I would appreciate them.  What kind of guitar does he play?  He is one steel man that I know very little about.  Where is he playing now.


Your studies under Berklee College of Music must be quite interesting.  As far as I know now I’ll be teaching Math at [sic]  Appalacian State College in Boone, N.C. next year.  I’m still trying to design a steel scientifically that is as near perfection as possible.


What is you next article in Fretts going to be about.  I really enjoyed the last article very much.  That is the same thing that we teach in Physics but also go into it from a Mathematical view point.


I haven’t heard anything about Bobby Garrett but I'll keep you posted.  The Album by Walter Haynes is “Steel Guitar Sounds” on 

Mercury # Mg 20715.  Its mostly commercial rock & roll and hoedown.  It isn’t any of the wild playing like on the ol Jimmy Dickens albums.


Well I’ve got to pull out and go tune a piano which I should have gotten to Saturday.  See you later.

                                                                                                                         Your friend,

                                                                                                                         Ron



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