• 11 Jan
    2016

Collectors Snap to Attention for Historic Field Drums

Church-bells ringing on Sunday morning are a familiar sound in communities all over America. There was a time, though, that the faithful were called to worship by the sound of drums. Thomas L. Purvis notes in his book “Colonial America to 1763” that the Pilgrims at Plymouth Colony built a platform atop their meeting house […]

Read More
  • 22 Dec
    2015

A Three-Minute Gift of Christmas Magic

I stomped the dirty slush off my boots as I push open the restaurant door, cursing the season and the phony Ho-Ho-Ho of it all, letting the cold wind blast past. Everyone looked round to see who else was crazy enough to be out in this weather and then settling back to the Mama’s special […]

Read More
  • 3 Dec
    2015

Christmas Music Albums, Sheet Music Offer Great Holiday Collectibles

By Barbara Sutton-Smith Bah Humbug! That was Ebenezer Scrooge’s iconic attitude to Christmas, and Christmas carols were definitely not music to his ears. But if Scrooge would have known what kinds of profits were to be found in holiday music, he’d be sound asleep on Christmas Eve with visions of dollar signs dancing in his […]

Read More
  • 2 Dec
    2015

Sounds of a Victorian Christmas: Original Carols Played on Original Instruments

If I had to admit to a Christmas-time pet peeve, it would be this: I’m a Scrooge when it comes to cover versions of classic Christmas tunes: I don’t like them. Bah, humbug, says I. Hip-hop “O Holy Night?” I don’t think so. “Jingle Bells” by the Austrian Death Machine? Fuhgeddaboudit! Give me those “old-time” […]

Read More
  • 27 Oct
    2015

The Sony Cassette Walkman Changed How and Where We Listened to Our Music

“No invention in my lifetime has so changed an art and cheapened it as the Sony Walkman, which first infiltrated our culture 25 years ago this month,” wrote Norman Lebrecht in July 2004. Mr. Lebrecht, the noted British music commentator and author, continues that, “set beside the cheapest compact disc, the best cassette Walkman was, […]

Read More
  • 12 Jun
    2015

Wayne Henderson’s Hand-Made Guitars are the Perfect Collectible

Henderson guitars are certainly not the most expensive hand-made acoustic guitars. At about $5,000 (plus or minus) when new, their price pales in comparison to some other small-luthier-built guitars. They are not even the most well-known; but Eric Clapton owns one, and so does Tommy Emmanuel, Peter Rowan and Grammy winner Gillian Welch. Doc Watson […]

Read More
  • 17 Feb
    2015

Working Manuscript to Don McLean’s Oft-Debated ‘American Pie’ Lyrics up for Auction

Bye, Bye, Miss American Pie; took my lyrics to the auction hoping someone would buy. On April 7, 2015, Songwriter’s Hall of Fame inductee Don McLean will say “bye-bye” to the working manuscript and typed notes for his iconic 1971 hit “American Pie.” The 16 pages comprised of 237 lines of manuscript and 26 lines […]

Read More
  • 9 Feb
    2015

Evaluating an Antique American Piano Part One: Uprights – Finding a Diamond in the Rough

Old pianos are everywhere: in homes, institutions, churches and schools. Many of them are junk, but a fair number of them are marvelous instruments from the “Golden Age of the Piano (1890-1919) and are worthy of preservation. Old pianos can be purchased cheaply (compared to new pianos), and if you know what to look for, […]

Read More
  • 25 Jan
    2015

Telling an Angel from a Wolf: Evaluating Antique Violins

First created in Italy in 1555, the modern four-string bowed violin is arguably the world’s oldest continuously used musical instrument. It’s been played in every musical tradition from Baroque to Bluegrass. In the past 457 years, there have been thousands of violin makers in dozens of countries. The instruments are pervasive; chances are good that […]

Read More
  • 3 Oct
    2014

‘One Night, One Show, One Cause’ Auction Features One-of-a-Kind Guitars

It’s another trifecta for Baltimore: world-class guitar maker Paul Reed Smith joins forces with Baltimore’s top visual artists and famed guitarist Carlos Santana to benefit the Living with Cancer Resource Program at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. The charity event takes place on Oct. 13, 2014 at the Modell Center for the Performing Arts […]

Read More