Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Eddie Peabody - The King of The Banjo

Edwin Ellsworth Peabody (1902 - 1970) was a musician, most notable for his accomplished playing of the plectrum banjo. He was also known professionally as "Eddie," "Little Eddie," "King of the Banjo," and "Happiness Boy".

He entered the U.S. Navy in March of 1916 at age fourteen after lying about his age. He began playing the violin, mandolin, guitar and banjo while serving in World War I on an S-14 submarine. It was during this period that he earned the nickname "Happiness Boy." After his discharge from the Navy in 1921 he went on to have a career in vaudeville, originally as a violinist, but eventually as a banjo player. He also produced records and appeared in films.

At some point in the 1920s, a music critic nicknamed him "The King of the Banjo" because of his frenetic playing style, which made some listeners think he was playing two banjos at once. He continued to play live until his death from a brain hemmorage he suffered while on stage.

Some of Peabody's records are of jazzinterest, you may have an opportunity to listen to some of his recordings clicking here.

As mentioned Peabody also appeared in films, I found two examples displaying the kind of performance that made Peabody famous.

Enjoy a performance of "St.Louis Blues" from 1932

Also enjoy Peabody in a cozy atmosphere doing his things in "Strum Fun"



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Jo for this great Peabody contribution.
I'll let the fragments move tonight


10:44 AM  

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