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.
Sept 14, 1963
Nice to hear from you. I have changed my residence temporarily. I’m now at Appalachian State Teachers College working on a Masters degree in Mathematics. I have a full assistantship in either Math or Physics so I picked Physics to have access to all of the precise apparatus to help with the Emmons Stereo. I am lab instructor which I enjoy very much. I’m really going to give the students a workout when we get into sound.
My permanent address will always be Graham and all of my mail is forwarded here from home but to speed up correspondence you can send any letters to 904 E. King St., Boone, N.C.
I just sold my Fender “1000” today and was glad to get rid of it. I don’t like it and never play it.
I’ll try to answer some of the questions now concerning the steel. First of all, I am very much interested in your idea concerning the amp, etc.
We have a permanent mold made for our pedal mechanism and it works just fine. The mechanism could be set into the Marlen but with much, much difficulty.
We are planning to have one standard model with woodwork finished in a glassy black trimmed in chrome and polished aluminum. We are using a a mica finish which cigarettes don’t harm. It can be had in any color but we prefer either black or natural and all others cost extra. The same thing holds true for the necks and no (number) of strings. The standard will be double ten and all others cost extra. Standard on pedals will be 8 and a maximum of 10 pedals can be had extra.
As for what the pedal mechanism will do I will sketch a sample pedal arrangement.
(See Diagram Drawing Above)
I am going to be carrying out some research on sound. I have but one desire and that is to build the ultimate in a pedal in a pedal steel guitar. With Buddies ideas and mine I think it can be done.
By the way, while I’m thinking of it, Speedy West uses the Chalker pedal setup on his last album much.
Buddies album isn’t out yet but should be any day now. Have you heard the talking steel on Roger Miller’s, Lock, Stock, & Teardrops with Pete Drake.
Also Buddy uses the same apparatus on Anita Bryants new release of Hey Hey Good Lookin. Have you heard this new talking sound on steels. It have been out for several months now but this is the first time that I’ve thought to mention it. It was developed by Pete Drake & Buddy Emmons. If you don’t know how it is achieved I’ll be glad to explain it to you. Well I must close now and study much.