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Paul Cadwell Banjo Collection, ca. 1880-1980

view Paul Cadwell Banjo Collection, ca. 1880-1980 digital asset number 1
Collector:
Cadwell, Paul (banjoist) 1889-1985
Musical History, Division of (NMAH, SI)
Photographer:
Reed, Frances
Subject:
Bowen, Bill
Bradbury, Frank
Cadwell, Joyce
Denton, Harry
Farland, Alfred
Van Eps, Fred 1878-1960
American Banjo Fraternity
Physical description:
12 cu. ft.: 28 boxes; incl. 1 box of 12" discs
Type:
Correspondence
Collection descriptions
Sheet music
Sound recordings
Ephemera
Photographs
Place:
New York (N.Y.)
Date:
1880
1980
ca 1880-1980
1930-1950
20th century
Notes:
Cadwell was born in Westfield, N. J., and began playing banjo at ten; played with college banjo clubs at Princeton (class of 1910) and Harvard Law School. Spent adult life as a lawyer and in business, but continued to play five-string banjo. In the 1920s he organized and performed in minstrel shows for the American Legion and the Masonic Lodge. During the 1930s he played occasionally on the "Dutch Masters" radio hour as a member of the "Van Eps Trio." Began involvement with American folk music in the 1940s, playing for the American Folk Dance Society and on NBC radio for "Music of the New World." In the 1950s became involved in the folk music revival and befriended revivalist and bluegrass musicians, notably Roger Sprung. In 1949, a group of older "finger-style" five-string banjoists created the American Banjo Fraternity (ABF), which still meets twice a year in Lewistown, Pennsylvania, though the original banjo notables are deceased.
Summary:
The bulk of the collection is music for the five-string banjo, often with piano and/or second banjo accompaniments. Almost no sheets have cover illustrations. Many editions are British (which rarely give copyright dates).
Series 2, photographs, include portraits of Cadwell and travel photographs by Frances Reed, Cadwell's first wife.
Cite as:
Paul Cadwell Banjo Collection, ca. 1880-1980, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Topic:
Banjoists
Banjo
Banjo music
Musical groups
Travel photography
Musicians
Local number:
No NMAH Acc. No
Data Source:
Archives Center - NMAH

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