Music and Building Roots

I'm sure everyone can remember where their first expos-er to Music and Building things began
For Me It was with My Grandpa ,Guess I was around 5 years old or so, long time ago I'm now 64
and still Love to play Music and build things. Not just Guitars ,Chairs, Swings, Tables. Toys, Built most of My Own, Poor Boy Toys you might say. I didn't Know the difference Back then you couldn't afford it you built it yourself. I went on to build many things over the years even My Houses. Grandpa also taught Me the value of Hard work. Grandpa never played guitar but played Spoons and percussion on Syrup Cans and Oatmeal Box's ,Help Me Build My first Guitar .Was noting more than a stick stuck through a Oatmeal Box, Got Me started been playing ever since. He had a Beautiful Voice. I use to set on The porch and listen to Him Sing . When He sang in Church You would think You were listing to an Angel He got many request to sing. When His friends came over Junior and Raugh one played guitar and the other Banjo . Talk a bought some fine entertainment , I would set on the porch and listen to them all evening. That's how it was done back then Country folk entertaining there self”s He Built Many Things Tables Chairs What Not Stands Shelves and was an excellent Wood carver. Would set and watch Him work Learn so much from Him it was Amazing.
My Daddy was the first that Taught Me How to play Guitar. He was a very good Musician Excellent Guitar Player. Played in the Clubs and Bars around south Alabama. Even Played with Hank Williams in The Early Years, They live close together and got together often to Play. Dad lived in Red Level Al and Hank Live in Georgina Al very close to each other. Dad never hit the big time like Hank. Guess The responsibly and stress of raising 7 Kids held him Back .But He was one hell of a guitar player . Was only 51 when He died. Wish I could sit down and play with Him Now. Just finish My 7th Cigar Box Guitar Guess I'm Hooked still Love to Play Sing and write Song's . Still got many Factory Guitars also
I collected over the pass 5 Decades. Oh what a deference 64 years Makes . Well That's My story of how I got stated . Would Love to Hear Yours

Your Cigar Box Guitar Loving Friend James O

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Comment by James O Lunsford on February 14, 2016 at 4:14pm

Great story Jim Sounds like you came from a very Talented Family and are carrying on the tradition, I remember hearing your Mother play with you in one of your videos easy to see where your talent came from I bet your Dad was a fine Musician to. I used to do some Mechanic work was a mech at Shaw didn't like it would rather build a guitar or play a tune any day. Thanks for the story

Comment by Jim Morris on February 14, 2016 at 3:06pm

Great story James O. My short story is that both my parents were classical musicians but I always wanted to Rock and Roll. I'm betting that my Dad was the only Opera singer who would pull the engine out of our VW rebuild it and put it back in. He never made instruments but he tuned and repaired pianos for local churches and schools. I'd go with him sometimes and he'd tell me to listen to the "beats" as he brought the piano strings into pitch. That's still the way I tune instruments is listening to the beats of slightly out of tune notes. It was early ear training and also it showed me that you can do stuff for yourself. I still can't yank out and repair a VW engine though! 

Comment by James O Lunsford on February 14, 2016 at 2:17pm

I Think It's very interesting sounds like there was a lot of Talent in your Family that was pass on and you are sharing it here on this site. Thanks for sharing your story Keep building , writing and playing My Freind

Comment by Uncle John on February 14, 2016 at 11:04am

I don't think my story is too interesting, James.   But here it is.  Immediate family was not very musical.  Mom sang to us and we loved that.   Great grandfather was a fiddler.  Aunt was a good singer and piano player.

Quickly gave up on violin in 3rd grade lessons.   Had a great middle school chorus teacher who made it fun.  Sang in octets,, but no solos or no guts for solos.

Got an auto harp at about age 50 and liked playing and singing.  Did not have or know about electronic tuners and could not keep it tuned.  Traded it for a guitar and my bicycling friend, Steve, showed me how to make a D chord, a one finger G chord and a 2 finger A7.   God bless him, that got me going and I loved it.   I progressed to some more chords and a level at or short of mediocrity.   Picked up a bit of mandolin and harmonica and eventually could play harp and simple songs on mando or guitar at the same time.

Made a couple dulcimers and a crappy travel guitar.   Saw CBGs on line around 2007 or 8 and made a couple but did not catch on to playing them.

Found CBN in 2010.  Found knotlenny's CBG 101 which helped me hugely.  Got a little good out of instruction from Kenni Lee, Shane, and many more.  

Found out that combining two hobbies - music and building things, was just great.  Love it still.

Fathers:  My dad was a good guy, good dad, mechanic, carpenter and railroader.  I was an inept kid at doing  a lot of things and he was a yeller.  I did not and don't take to getting yelling at.  So I learned almost nothing of his skills.   But he gave his tools to me before he died and I use them still and think of him and love him.  If he only could have lived a few more years, maybe we could have become friends.

Comment by James O Lunsford on February 14, 2016 at 10:40am

Thanks Blues Frog. Education is a wonderful thing, We have many source's available today to learn from and your Dad pass that on A wise Man for sure and You continue to seek out and learn an admirable thing and worthwhile endeavor. Great story sir

Comment by James O Lunsford on February 14, 2016 at 10:26am

Thanks for the comment Uncle John. would love to hear your story

Comment by James O Lunsford on February 14, 2016 at 10:25am

Thanks Turtlehead very interesting story, We owe Much to the one's that came before us as they taught us much, Your family had a lot of gifted talent's and pass it on as We Should. and learning on your own and growing a gifted talent has always been a great way to go.

Comment by Blues Frog on February 14, 2016 at 9:44am

To be truthful, no one really fostered my love for music or my building. My dad was a do it yourselfer in sa lot of ways. His main focus was computers and electronics. However, he never had negative comments about what I might want to do. He used to say, if you want to learn about it, read a book.

'Course nowadays, I can also look it up online, but I've followed that thinking for my whole life. If I want to know how to build something, I look it up and I start building from there. Plans are more like guidelines or suggestions and I tend to see what works for me and what doesn't and go from there.

I've tried to teach my boys how to do for themselves, and they seem to do alright. They haven't gotten into crazy hobbies yet, but there's still time...........

Comment by Uncle John on February 14, 2016 at 7:33am

Great stories James and Turtle.   Same here, Gary.  Truly.

Comment by turtlehead on February 13, 2016 at 6:10pm

Cool story James O - very neat that your Dad played with Hank!

For me, I come from a long line of do-it-yourself-ers.  Woodworking and building I get from my Dad's side.  Grandpa was a heck of a carpenter and passed that to my Dad who passed it on to me.  We built all kinds of things together over the years - lots of workbenches, furniture, a kick ass play house, a cabin in the woods and a couple of boats. He's been gone almost 10 years now and I'm trying to pass it along to my  daughter and her cousins. 

Mom's side is the artistic side - painters, sculptors and poets.  Stained glass, duck carving, pottery and watercolors were activities growing up.  Nobody really was a musician though.  I got started on the trumpet in school and moved over to guitar.  Played in a band in high school and college years.  A little later I got into the banjo and bluegrass and folk music and that eventually lead me here.  Never had a lesson, I learned a few chords from Mel Bay books and took it from there.   Probably learned more about how music works from trying to figure out CBGs than anything else.

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