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Cousin Jake's Bass (Flatt & Scruggs)

Discussion in 'Bluegrass [DB]' started by carteru93, Mar 22, 2009.


  1. I'm a huge fan of the Foggy Mountain boys, I play bluegrass banjo also. I was watching a video of them from the mid 60's yesterday and got to thinking, what kind of bass Cousin Jake played? My first impressions, and I'm probably wrong, but it looks like a Kay because:
    1) I know they are a popular bluegrass bass
    2) it looks to have a yellowish finish, with a darkened almost orange finish on the top on the inside of each C bout.

    Looks like the pictures attached.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. superman

    superman

    Mar 5, 2007
    Nashville Tenn
    Early on Jake played a M mdl Kay the typical red orange sunburst,latter in the 60s he used a C mdl Kay, which was owned by Lester Flatt,I have a good pic of it someplace,,it stayed with the band when Jake left Lester in the early 70's
    and was refinnished to a blonde about that time,,I was told it ruined the sound of it,,I'll dig up my photos for you,,Kent
     
  3. Thanks Kent, looks like my suspicions were correct, looks like he played a Kay(s)! The video I'm talking about is in color, there it is, you can get a real good look at the bass between :20 and :30, just before the boys start to pick. I'm assuming it's in the mid 60's, judging by Earl's tone, their song selection, band members. Gosh I'm dumb, I just looked at the extra info in the video, and it says the video is circa 1966. Must be the C model Kay. Thanks in advance for the pics!
     
  4. Sure looks like the cursive Kay logo/emblem on the tailpiece to me . . . :eyebrow:
     
  5. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Hey Carter, thanks for the link, those are great videos of the band in their heyday!

    Definitely a Kay C-1 bass, with some nice slapping on the second song. I'm looking forward to Part Two! :)
     
  6. No problem Jake! I'm a huge F&S fan, the second video is Foggy Mountain Breakdown (the announcer mistakenly calls it Foggy Mountain Hoedown, but Earl doesn't seem to care!). That's one thing I like about Jake...he knows when to add in those little nuances like slapping, without making it really noticeable, just makes it blend into the band's texture.
    YouTube is a goldmine for F&S videos, I have about 30 of em downloaded to my iPod. I also have a few DVD's of the Martha White & PET Milk shows.
     
  7. superman

    superman

    Mar 5, 2007
    Nashville Tenn
    here are some pics of Jake with the C mdl,,the first is about 1967,,2nd is about 71 last is Johnny Johnson with the bass after it was refinnished,,you can tell it had worn quite a bit in just a few years,Earl told me something interesting that in 68 or so they sold the bus and started traviling in cars again,,that might be why the finnish started to flake off,
    I'd love to find it ,Jake was one of my first influences,,only to find that he was influenced by 2 of the best,Huskey and Zinkan
     
  8. superman

    superman

    Mar 5, 2007
    Nashville Tenn
    Well I can't seem to get the photos to load up on here,,send me your Email I'll send them to you
     
  9. superman

    superman

    Mar 5, 2007
    Nashville Tenn
    I've done some looking and it seems that Jake was still plaing the M mdl Kay in late 62, .He is playing the C mdl by 65,,
    so I guess he got it somewhere in 63-64,,I'd love to know about the M mdl and what happend to it,,most of my info about Jake came from Uncle Josh,,he could remember alot,and he and Jake were close,,.
     
  10. juuzek

    juuzek

    May 7, 2007
    Philadelphia
    Here are some pics of cousin Jake, courtesy of Kent 'Superman' Blanton.
    Thanks for sharing these, Kent.

    jake1.

    Jake and Paul Warren on fiddle

    jake2.

    Lester and Jake

    jakesbass.

    Lester's Bass, refinished Blonde.
     
  11. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Here are a couple pix of that bass, courtesy of Kent.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Wow, those are landmark pictures Superman and thanks to Juzek for posting...looks from the top pic like he used a gut E and A string,. and steel D and G?
     
  13. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Photo
     

    Attached Files:

  14. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    That's pretty funny - we both posted them at the same time! :)
     
  15. juuzek

    juuzek

    May 7, 2007
    Philadelphia
    Nice work Jake [DeVilliers, that is].
     
  16. Being the snooty-nosed classical/jazz player that I am (sarcasm!) I can self-righteously say that the top picture is great example of really appalling left-hand technique. He thinks that thing is a baseball bat!!:scowl:

    Get that thumb behind the neck sonny! Lift that elbow! Curl those fingers! Use your finger tips on the strings boy! Lean that bass back into you!

    In his defence, it was probably a posed shot, and he wasn't actually playing.

    I guess it's amazing how these guys that probably never had a lesson in the their life could play with such skill, intonation, timing and tone, despite poor technique. My technique might be OK but my skill, intontation, timing and tone are still crap!:bawl: One out of five ain't bad eh? Well it's a start!

    Great pics!!
     
  17. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    You too Juuzek! :) How do you post big pix like that - the software made me shrink them down to 640 max.....:(
     
  18. superman

    superman

    Mar 5, 2007
    Nashville Tenn
    I belive he's got nylon strings on,,I've seen early photos with guts,,those look like supernyls to me,,He was a great player,,simple as pie but had timing like no other,,bad left hand and all, Josh told me he taught him how to play the bass.
    The latest dvd of the Flatt&Scruggs show includes a show from 1956 in which Josh is playing the bass,,few know that he was hired as a bass player,,and just fell into playing the Dobro,,,but he sounds good on bass too.
     
  19. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    They look nylon to me too.

    I love the third photo for the 13 year old Marty Stuart wearing Roland's D-18 - he's been a great player from Day One! :D
     
  20. Marty Stuart is making an interesting G chord! Reminds me of the Cherryholmes picture that caused a ruckus recently.
     

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