Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Frank Ferera and Anthony Franchini


My other half found this on a boot sale the other day. I almost dismissed it as a piano duet but it turns out to be two hawaiian guitars and the sound is quite charming despite the ravages of time.

"Frank Ferera introduced steel guitar and slide guitar playing to an audience that was literally worldwide since many of his recordings were issued outside the United States. He was not the first Hawaiian guitarist to record. That was probably Joseph Kekuku, the steel guitar's reputed inventor (credit has also been given to James Hoa and Gabriel Davion), who performed with Toots Paka's Hawaiian troupe on Edison cylinders, both two- and four-minute, announced in the December 1909 issue of Edison Phonograph Monthly. Another predecessor was W.K. Kolomku, whose guitar solo of "Hawaiian Melodies" was issued on Victor 65341. But Ferera was the first guitarist to enjoy success as a recording artist, his name a familiar one in the catalogs of virtually all record companies of the World War I era and 1920s. His style of playing was a forerunner of bottleneck playing on blues records and "steel" playing on country records, and his popular records must have influenced many guitarists of his generation.

Hawaiian music had been recorded as early as the 1890s but was not especially popular or influential until the World War I era. The most complete examination of pioneer Hawaiian recordings is L.E. Andersen's "Hawaiian Recordings: The Early Years" in Victrola and 78 Journal (Issue 7, Winter 1996). Andersen writes, "The recording industry at first paid little attention to authentic Hawaiian repertoire...The first major offering of Hawaiian repertoire appears to have been made by the American Record Co. of Springfield, Massachusetts and New York City. These are on 10-5/8 inch blue single-sided 'Indian label' discs. By 1904 several Hawaiian troupes were performing in various mainland cities including New York, where American's Hawaiian recordings apparently were made late in that year or early in 1905."


Ferera & Franchini - Dream Kiss

Ferera & Franchini - Isle Of Paradise

2 comments:

Barbara said...

nice to see my grandfather is still remembed.his children frank and mary,[by third wife].has all 1700 of his 78 including cylinders,all sheet music,his flat steel guitar..............tons of personal pictures.so cool barbara one of his seven grand children.both of his chidren are still alive....................

wastedpapiers said...

Thanks for dropping by Barbara. Sounds like a lovely archive - some of that stuff should be re-issued on CD if it hasn't been already.