Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Hello - and first post on Stromberg Voisinets
Hello and welcome. Just what the world needs: another blog. And - it's also another blog about ukuleles. Well, I, like you, haven't got time to read these things, so my aim here is to make this blog as useful as possible. I'm interested in banjo ukuleles, but I'm almost obsessed in collecting information on Stromberg Voisinet banjo ukes. I've had three of these instruments over time, and find that there's a bit of a mystery to them.
The company only existed under the Stromberg Voisinet title for about 11 years, and it's general manager - Henry "Kay" Kuhrmeyer - bought the company and changed its name to Kay in 1931. In the face of post depression-era markets, Kay also wisely changed the firm's design and production philosophy, and produced larger numbers of cheaper instruments. This was highly successful for Kay, but it meant that the gems they produced - like Keychord tenor and parlor guitars, as well as their fancy little banjo ukuleles - disappeared and became collectors' items.
On top of all this - there seems to be NO catalog of produced instruments, so all information on Stromberg Voisinet and the instruments they produced comes from lore that's passed from player to player, from collector to collector. That, and just looking at all of the instruments one can.
And so, taking that empirical approach, I'm going to post the information I've got on Stromberg Voisinet banjo ukulele, with any background that I can find. I may also post a few songs or videos, just so it isn't all poor archeology work. ;)