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Sonny Lester

Many instrumentalists have acquired the nickname “Shorty” predicated on physical stature, or insufficient it, as well as the set of musical Shorties is normally long, not brief, with enough players to fill the chair of the marching music group and big music group combined. For Shorty Lester, half a couple of musical brothers who became a member of the East Tx Serenaders for the group’s last Brunswick recording periods in 1937, the name may also are already predicated on the man’s profession, which appears to are made up just of this program. He arrived to the band to displace tenor banjoist John Munnerlyn, who was simply part of the popular string music group because it was produced in the past due ’20s. Munnerlyn acquired decided to finish off his tenor banjo and mind for Houston, and changing him also appears to have included a decision to make a dual-fiddle lineup relating to the fiddling Lester sibling and music group frontman Daniel Huggins Williams, who before the switch have been the group’s just violin participant. Biographers prefer to state Lester stepped into Munnerlyn’s sneakers “without lacking a defeat,” which is a flawlessly appropriate explanation of what transpired. Both players had been exclusively rhythmic timekeepers for the group, where the unorthodox three-string cello playing of Henry Bogan offered forward momentum comparable to the operating legs of the startled ostrich. Keeping the defeat was a familiar part for the tenor banjo or the even more expressive five-string model in both old-time string rings and New Orleans jazz music group, and it wasn’t a non-sensical usage of the device, because the banjo was noisy enough to cut through all contending instrumental sounds to be able to lay out that all-important defeat. Regarding the East Tx Serenaders, that could be considered a waltz. The ensemble, originally produced by two talented players from a little city near Tyler, TX, acquired a program large on such three-step music, aswell as jazzy ragtime quantities that were an excellent influence over the Tx Western swing picture. Sonny Lester’s banjo function can be noticed on waltzes such as for example “Del Rio Waltz,” “Serenaders’ Waltz,” “Sweetest Rose Waltz,” “Shannon Waltz,” and lastly “German Waltz”; the latter was the very first time this group acquired let its safeguard down with regards to the German musical affects which were such a huge area of the Tx scene, like the Mexican norteño designs. Perhaps this is the influence from the Lester brothers, coming to the session using a steaming batch of “weiss wurst.” “Fiddlin’ the Fiddle” and “Az Stomp” are types of sides that provide the banjoist an opportunity to keep down a little harder rhythmically. The just really valuable documented document of the group may be the Comprehensive Recorded Works compact disk issued by Record; but many listeners touch this group with a fleeting glance offered on a variety of compilations, which range from old-time Tx string rings to wide overviews of the complete background of American pop music, where the East Tx Serenaders occupy a very important niche aswell. The group posed for promotion photos alternately as hillbilly rubes and clean city-slicker types, a contradiction in pictures that becomes even more clear upon contact with the music. The group performed in a complicated style that had not been everything hillbilly, thus free from the sandpaper advantage characterizing additional string rings from the spot.

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