Monday, December 18, 2017

Heavyweight Tiple

A few years after starting to play the tiple, an unusual 10-string ukulele-tuned instrument, I am still curious to learn who played tiples during the 50 or so years that the Martin Guitar Company made them. 

I have found recordings by jive bands in the 1930s and '40s and an old-time string band from Virginia in the late 1920s.

Today, I stumbled on the biggest surprise yet: this YouTube clip of boxing champ Jack Sharkey singing and playing tiple -- and saxophone -- with Abe Lyman's Orchestra at a 1932 training camp. 

Was the instrument his or something regularly used by one of the band members? 

Now I guess I'll be listening to other Lyman recordings to see whether I can hear that distinctive jangly sound in the band when the boxer isn't around.