On June 14th, 2010, friend Bob Curell was in town from Arizona and, after two years of trying to hook up, we finally got together. Earl Scruggs famously played a 1930s Granada by Gibson for most of his career. Of these, most are owned by top bluegrass pros today.
On October 6, 1936, it was shipped to musical-instrument distributor Francis, Day and Hunter, of London, at which time it was stamped “Made in the USA” on the back of its peghead, as was typical of Gibson exports during this period.
Shortly thereafter, it was purchased by a Scottish family for a daughter whose initials were added in a circular pearl inlay on the back of the headstock (almost certainly done by the dealer rather than at the factory).
It was in my lapre: Before WW II, dating back to the 1920s, banjo production was very high. Lest you think this meant bluegrass, remember this was 25 years before the term was coined.
Of all the models made, there is perhaps only one Style 5, with it's garish art deco designs, in existence.
Most modern day banjos are of the 5 string variety, the fifth string providing that driving, chiming sound that makes for bluegrass and mountain banjo.
Banjo meant jazz and blues, was played with a "plectrum" (pick), and was a 4 string affair.I was OK until I happened to hit a good solid 1st and 5th pinch. Im not talking about volume, although there was tons of it, but clarity precision, the sound of the most piercing bell ring you can imagine.No harsh overtones, no buzzy, ringy after tones or harmonics. These are generally considered to be the finest examples of 5 string banjos ever made, and some fetch upwards of 100,000 dollars. Prior to WW II, only a very few country artists were in the market for a 5 string banjo (most made their own), and Gibson made very few.This 1930 Gibson Granada five-string banjo bears serial number 9530-1 and is one the most-pristine known pre-war five-string Granadas and ranks with the most-soughtafter vintage guitars. The Granada was first issued in 1925 with a ball-bearing style tone ring and two-piece flange.