Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Thursday, July 26, 2018


I like banjo music.  Don't hate me.

Banjo music makes be happy.  It's hard to be a grump when a banjo is strumming.

Let me make another confession.  I have no musical talent whatever; I have a hard time playing the car radio.  Compared to my ear, a simple tin ear would be made of a valuable metal.  I can't sing.  When I was a kid, my piano teacher managed to convince my parents to stop throwing their money away.  In the fourth grade, my attempt at the trombone resulted only in every off-tune fart noise that ever existed in the universe.  I have no sense of rhythm, can't carry a tune, and what the hell is a minor key, anyway?

But I do love banjo music.

So...a half a century ago (or thereabouts) I bought me a banjo, which I still have collecting dust in a closet.  After several months of hard work, I could play a C chord.  I was never able to learn anything more and I've forgotten how to play that chord.  But because I had a banjo, a couple of fellows I worked with started calling me Eddie Peabody.


Eddie Peabody (1902-1970) was known as the King of the Banjo.  He was regard as the greatest banjo player of his time.  He had been a well-known act in vaudeville and when sound recording became popular, he took the leap into the "talkies."  In the Thirties, he toured Europe, and during World War II he became an entertainment officer for the Navy with the rank of commander; he played to servicemen in conflict zones, giving them a little "touch of home."  After the war came record deals and cabarets.  Until the arrival of Earl Scruggs and bluegrass, Eddie Peabody was the epitome of banjo playing.  He continued playing (and promoting the banjo) right to the end.  In 1970 he had a stroke during his act at a supper club and died the following morning.

Take a listen to this master of the banjo.

Baby Face:

Alabama Jubilee:

My Little Gypsy Sweetheart:

St. Louis Blues:

Tiger Rag:

After You've Gone:

You Don't Like It, Not Much!

Piccolo Pete:


Smoke Gets In Your Eyes:


Rhapsody in Blue:

Professor Peabody's Banjo School (1942; a short film):

Sweet Leilani, Sweet Aloha, Song of the Islands:

Stars and Stripes Forever:

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