tb av wrote:
Chance if you like that sort of thing, look up Rico Turchetti, the inventor of the pedal steel. He first appeared on the Arthur Godfrey show. I can't find a video now, but there used to be one floating around. He kinda got shafted on the invention but was later acknowledged.
It's probalby urban folklore, but Speedy West used to talk about how Joaquin Murphy "invented" the pedal steel. He used fish hooks to pull the strings, attached to wire coat hangers which he re-bent into pedals. He was playing in the late 1940s. That guitar in the photo of Rico Turchetti with Arthur Godfrey was built by a Hawaiian guitar teacher round Providence RI. He built several, so there were several players around there around 1945. I know that Paul Bixby built a couple of guitars for Murphy in the 1950s, but I don't know if they had pedals, oral history being oral.
Well, I'm relating from memory what I thought his son told us. So room for error I suppose. I have his CD around here somewhere. This was back in 2006 when he was placed in the HoF and right after his death. It's possible his sons were led to believe something that wasn't fully complete in research at the time. Still an interesting story and he was apparently a highly respected player.
I stand corrected on the 'inventor" part. It does still seem though that the guys that did invent/build the early versions maybe didn't get their due acknowledgements.
I just found this on another forum.
"I've been playing steel since 1945. Rico didn't make that guitar himself. There was an old Italian Hawaiian guitar teacher in Providence , R.I. USA in the 1940s named Patrino or Patrillo or something like that and he made them up using the Epiphone Electar guitars ( as I remember I think 6 strings) and attached levers with chains to the floor pedals to raise and lower separate strings, no knee levers! I knew several players in the Providence area who had these guitars and I sat down to play that type guitar several times in the late 40s. The basic tuning was A 6th and you pushed pedals to get an E tuning and 7ths, 9ths, aug. ,dim. and what ever else was on. I played an 8 string Rickenbacher then and wasn't really into the pedals and chords . I was into Byrds style. But I loved Alvino Reys chords & music and have sev eral of Reys old L.P.s. Also Rico did not use finger and thumb picks but used just a guitar pick to play fast notes and chords!! He was an amazing player in his day and still would be in the top group of pickers today! ! Hope this info adds to your knowledge of Rico, a great player !! Sincerely , Eddie Cunningham ; Middleboro, Mass. USA"