More Than You Really Wanted To Know About the Dobro
By Ken Brown
April 11, 1995
INTRODUCTION: The Dobro as a Misunderstood Stepchild
The sixth member of the bluegrass family of instruments (the orphan child that Bill Monroe still refuses to recognize) and the only one invented in America, the dobro is still the least understood. Comments like "Wow! Lookit the action on them strings!" or basic questions like "Say, how do you tune that thing, anyway?" indicate the average picker or onlooker doesn't know much about the dobro. And it never fails to surprise me when I find that even seasoned bluegrass veterans (and I'm talking here about folks who have won banjo contests, played in for decades in the top amateur bands, and have worked in the recording studio) don't know very much at all about the dobro, unless they happen to play one (questions like "Hey! What's that thing?" are an immediate tip-off). This essay on dobrology will, I hope, fill in some of those knowledge gaps, but most of all may help you, as banjo, guitar, mandolin, bass, or fiddlepickers to interact with those of us who, as Waldo Otto of the Trailblazers likes to say, "have a metal block." And at the end of this essay you'll find a list of recommended readings. Much of this essay is based on those sources, and the rest is based a personal viewpoint that comes from 15 years of opinionated dobro picking. Here we'll discuss such matters as dobro serial numbers, the value of pre-war dobros, how the thing works (ie., a look at the intestines of the dobro), tuning, and proper miking.
HISTORY OF THE DOBRO: This Section Not for the Faint of Heart
The history of the dobro is a labyrinthine nightmare, one that is only sketchily documented and based on sometimes contradictory sources. Personally, I wish both you and I could skip this section and go on to the next, but I've got to stick with it. The only undisputed fact seems to be that the dobro was NOT invented by French Canadian fur trappers. As far as I'm concerned, the most definitive source is Wheeler (1990), specifically the chapters on National, Dobro, Valco, Regal, and Mosrite, but other details can be found in King (1991) and Gear (1978). The details given below may seem to be of little intrinsic interest, but they show why it is often impossible to tell how old a given instrument might be.
Almost everyone knows that the dobro was developed by the Dopyera brothers (who later Americanized the spelling to "Dopera"), Czechoslovakian immigrants who came to America in 1908, and that Dobro is an anagram formed from "DO pyera BRO thers." All five of the brothers, John, Robert, Rudolph, Louis, and Emil were involved to some extent, though John, Rudy, and Ed (Emil) were most involved in production. But when was the dobro invented? Was it 1928, as some histories say, or 1929, or was it in 1926 or 1925 as other sources imply? To answer that, we must be more specific. The bluegrass dobro as we know it (woodbodied, with a single resonator, 8-legged aluminum spider, and raised nut) apparently was first produced in 1928. According to King (1991:18) it was invented in the summer of 1928 and offered for sale later that same year (although on the same page there is reprinted an article from Guitar Player magazine giving the date as the spring of 1929 - see what I mean?). Two patents for this kind of instrument were filed by Rudy Dopyera on June 29, 1929, and February 1, 1932, and awarded in 1932 and 1933, respectively. The instrument pictured in the drawings for the second patent (see King 1991:19) is the bluegrass dobro as we know it. King (1991:18) says that dobros produced before the patents were issued have "Pat. Pend." stamped on the coverplate.
But if we delve into the history a little further, it gets more complex. The first resonator guitar was not the single-cone woodenbodied bluegrass instrument that we are familiar with, but the tri-cone National guitar. This instrument had three small metal cones arranged in a triangular pattern, joined by a three-legged bridge, carried in a metal body, and this is the familiar blues dobro, still played in slide guitar style by musicians like Steve James, of San Antonio. The National Company was formed at Los Angeles about 1925 by John Dopyera, with George Beauchamp, and others such as Adolph Rickenbacker and John's nephew, Paul Barth. The patent for the threeand four-cone version was filed in 1926. According to John, he experimented with tin, copper, brass and other metals over about a six-week period before settling on aluminum for the cones. Then, in 1928, John left National, the company he founded, to his expartner Beauchamp and created the Dobro Company, using the newly invented single cone. The patent was put in Rudy's name to avoid legal difficulties with Beauchamp (Wheeler 1990:290). This, then, is the actual birthdate of the familiar bluegrass houndoggie.
Meanwhile, Louis Dopyera became a majority stockholder at National, Beauchamp left, and in about 1932, National and Dobro merged (using the name "National Dobro Corporation"). During this period, resonator guitars were made under both the National and Dobro names. The corporation moved from California to Chicago in the winter of 1936.
The company began buying wooden bodies from other companies like Harmony and fitting the metal parts to them. The company had already begun selling resonators to Regal before the move, and since Regal was better equipped for making the wooden bodies, many of the instruments made in Chicago by National Dobro had bodies made by Regal. During this period many of the metal parts were made in California and shipped to Chicago, where they were installed in wooden bodies made by Chicago makers like Harmony, Regal, Kay, and Gibson.
This widespread exchanging of parts means that it is often difficult to tell just who built what part of an old pre-war dobro. Each of these companies had their own emblems, of course. The Dobro Company used the familiar lyre design with the name "DOBRO" in caps. National used a shield design crossed by a diagonal bar bearing the name "NATIONAL." Regal used a green, gold, and black decal and the headstock bore the name "Regal" in script letters, along with a crown symbol. As a rule, however, the presence of one of these decals on the headstock gives no clue to how much of the instrument was actually built by any one company.
In the summer of 1932, Regal was licensed to use the Dobro emblem (King 1991:20), and many of these old instruments with the Dobro decal were actually built by Regal (including, in fact, all of the 14-fret models). Regal guitars had a slightly deeper body and headstocks that were either solid or were slotted with a router, leaving rounded ends on the slots; these generally had no serial number on the headstock.
Instruments built by Dobro had headstock slots cut by a dado saw, which left squared-off ends. Dobro, National Dobro, and Regal were the primary makers of the pre-war wood-bodied instruments that are often seen being played by bluegrass pickers (in fact, I suspect that most of the old prewar bluegrass-style dobros that survive today were probably built by Regal). Other companies such as Gibson, Supro, Harmony, Kay, Stella, Silvertone (Sears), CMI, and others built resophonic guitars at the same time, but most of these were F-hole models, metal-bodied, or electric instruments that are not likely to be confused with the bluegrass-style instruments that are of concern here (many of these also had unusual configurations of holes in the coverplate). Gear (1978:54) also lists Old Kraftsman, Wards, Gretsch, King, Broman, and Michigan Music. Other odd brands such as S. S. Maxwell and Norwood Chimes may be seen (King 1991:36).
The entry of the United States into World War II in 1941 shut down instrument production, since aluminum and other metals were needed for the war effort. The National Dobro Corporation was dissolved. In 1942 Victor Smith, Al Frost, and Louis Dopyera formed a new company, Valco (named after the initials of the principals) that made aircraft components during the war. After the war, a few resonator guitars were made from leftover parts, but by then electric guitars were the rage and Valco mostly concentrated on these; the company went out of existence in the 1960's.
The 1950's were the Dark Ages of the dobro. As the Elvis Epoch unfolded, the country's fascination with rock and roll threatened to kill off country music and the newly-created musical style that came to be known as bluegrass. Interest turned to electric instruments and plastic components, and wooden dobros were banished to the attic. At the same time, however, a young dobro picker from Tellico Plains, Tennessee, by the name of Burkett Graves joined Flatt and Scruggs (as bass player!) in 1955, an event that was to alter profoundly the future history of the instrument.
In 1959, Emil (Ed) Dopyera resumed building resophonic guitars in California under the Dobro name (some were also built for the Standel Company). Instruments from this era have a slightly different shaped lyre on the logo (King 1991:41). In 1966 or 1967, the company was sold to Semie Mosely, and production of Mosrite dobros began. These are fairly easy to identify; the body has rounded shoulders, and the screens in the top are replaced by sheet-metal plates with diamond-shaped holes, flanking the fretboard. Mosrite quit building dobros in the mid-1960's, then resumed for a short while in late 1966 before going bankrupt in 1969. Ed and Rudy Dopyera once again resumed building dobros (the serial numbers start in 1968), but since the defunct Mosrite Company owned the rights to the Dobro trade name, these were sold under the "Hound Dog" and "Dopera Original" brand names. In 1970 the Dopyeras once again acquired the rights to the Dobro name, formed the Original Music Instrument Company in Long Beach, California, and began building OMI instruments with the Dobro decal on the headstock, just in time to take advantage of the "folk boom" launched a few years earlier by the Kingston Trio, Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Peter, Paul, and Mary, and many others.
The OMI dobro (especially the Model 60DS) is the kind most commonly seen in use by bluegrass pickers. These instruments are fairly easy to identify. They have a thin body (body depth is 3-1/4") and may have blond or sunburst finish, but often have a dark brown, thick, opaque finish that is soft and prone to chipping. There are three small holes between the round screens (these holes are often absent from pre-war dobros). The nut is made of synthetic material, the knobs on the tuners are of plastic, and are larger than those on pre-war dobros. A serial number is stamped on the end of the headstock. OMI dobros are made in square and round neck, solid or slotted headstock models. The resonator is usually spun rather than stamped. OMI dobros are still in production today. Several years ago, about 1987, Gibson Guitar Corporation almost bought out the company, but the deal fell through.
The latest chapter in the history of the instrument is the advent of individual custom builders. All of the instruments discussed up to this point were massproduced, and while a certain amount of experimentation and modification happened all the time, the instruments were built by preparing large batches of soundwells, bodies, necks, resonators, and other components. One of the best known of the custom builders is Rudy Q. Jones, of Wannette, Oklahoma, who built instruments from 1975 until the early 1980's, when Bob Reed took over the business.
Both Josh Graves and Jerry Douglas have used Jones dobros. These instruments have a deeper body (3-3/4"), wider string spacing, and lots of volume in the bass range; they also have 3/16" solid walnut (rather than plywood) bodies with two-piece matched backs and headstocks with an unusual side profile (see King 1978; Warden 1977). I've played both Jones and Reed dobros, and find that the extra-wide string spacing is hard to get used to at first.
Other custom builders, such as Bobby Wolfe, Richard De Neve, and Tim Scheerhorn (Cook 1991) live in the northern or eastern parts of the country, and their products are seldom seen around here (see the cover of the August, 1991, Bluegrass Unlimited for a picture of Jerry Douglas with his Scheerhorn dobro). Instruments from these custom builders are usually considerably more expensive than OMI dobros. I recently had the opportunity to play a new De Neve dobro when the East Side Flash brought his out to Cap'n Tom's. The tone, volume, and string spacing are similar to the Reed, but the upper body shape is more rounded; the headstock is solid. De Neve uses inlaid fret markers instead of fretwire, an excellent idea since they're easier to see in the dark and don't get in the way of a capo.
HOW IT WORKS
In all of the other bluegrass instruments, the bridge rests directly on the top of the instrument, and it is this face that is the sound-producing medium. The fiddle, mandolin, bass, and guitar have relatively thin wooden tops that may or may not be graduated in thickness, depending on the instrument. In the case of the banjo, it's a tightly stretched plastic head.
The dobro is different. The sound-producing device is a very thin cone-shaped piece of aluminum, termed the resonator, similar in shape and size to the polypropylene bass speaker in a home stereo system. The resonator is about 10-1/2" in diameter, but is only 0.012" thick and weighs only 1.5 oz. In most dobros, the resonator rests on and is suspended from a a solid wooden ring (usually made of maple) termed the soundwell which is attached both to the back and top of the instrument. Some dobros lack soundwells, in which case the resonator is suspended from a shallow lip in the top of the instrument. In cases like this, some other kind of bracing such as baffles or soundposts are also used to provide support for the top (see King 1991:70-71). Resting on the resonator is an eight-legged piece of cast aluminum, termed the spider, at the center of which is a slot holding two wooden bridge inserts (one for the three bass strings and one for the three treble strings). A slender bolt in the center joins the resonator and spider and draws them together with a minimum of pressure. Most resonators are produced by spinning on a metal lathe, but some are stamped from a thin sheet of aluminum. Most of the stamped resonators have a series of eight narrow ledges, termed lugs, inset around the edge, on which the spider rests, and as a result spiders designed for use with a stamped resonator have slightly shorter legs. These inner parts are protected by a heavy chrome-plated brass coverplate (the "hubcap" visible on the top of the instrument).
Since the top of the dobro has nothing to do with producing sound and merely provides structural support for the parts that do produce sound, there is no reason to provide a thin top as on a conventional guitar, and in fact the dobro top is usually made of heavy plywood (although some custom makers use solid tops).
It is important to note that while the body of the instrument is made of heavy plywood and the neck is a thick piece of wood nearly as big as a two-by-four, the resonator itself is eggshell-thin and eggshell-delicate. Since the strings connect with the resonator through the spider, it is very important to avoid any sharp blows to the strings, to prevent the spider legs from punching a hole or a dent in the rim of the resonator. A dent of this kind will ruin the resonator (and a new resonator costs about $40 and is difficult to install). The Waldo Otto "bar drop" works just fine for lap steels, but I don't recommend trying it on your dobro. Even excessively vigorous rhythm chucking is probably unwise.
INSTRUMENT PRICES: Press the Red Button and the Oxygen Mask Will Drop Into Place
Pre-war instruments have an undeniable mystique for the hardcore bluegrass picker. We all drool lustfully over those Lloyd Loar F-5's, Martin herringbone D28's, and Gibson RB-3 Flathead Straight Eights (or whatever those things are) that we want but don't own. Some of the fiddles I've seen are so old that "pre-war" brings up the question "which war?"
In the case of old wood-bodied instruments, there may be some justification for this reputation. I've played some killer pre-war D-28's. Some folks think it's because the wood has been aged so long. Others say it's because good quality wood has gotten increasingly scarce and modern instruments are being built with inferior materials. Some just say the craftsmanship was better back then.
Dobros are different. The important working parts are all metal, and the tone of metal doesn't improve with age (on the contrary, metal fatigue is the only likely consequence of aging). The wood parts don't affect the tone much (most of the body is plywood). Because of the close tolerances of the metal parts, an aging dobro is more likely to develop buzzes, rattles, and diminished volume than improved tone. In short, there is no inherent reason why an old dobro should sound any better than a new one. Differences in tone depend chiefly on body volume, whether the resonator is spun or stamped, and how well the parts fit together. The dobros that have been produced by OMI and by Bob Reed in the last five to eight years are, in my opinion, as good or better than any that have ever been built. I would advise anyone who wants a good-sounding dobro to find a dealer with several new instruments in stock and simply pick the best-sounding one. There is certainly no justification for some of the prices that are beginning to be asked for dobros. The October 1990 issue of Bluegrass Unlimited has one ad for a 1936 dobro "with case and bar" for $1500, and another ad for a one-of-a-kind 1938 model for $2000. An ad in the Austin American-Statesman a few months ago listed a dobro (no description) for $1000. Except in the case of new custom in- struments, I see no explanation for prices like these, unless the prices are being driven up by the same Japanese collectors who have already priced most other prewar bluegrass instruments out of reach of the average picker.
ABOUT SERIAL NUMBERS
Several people have shown me dobros with the comment "Look how low that serial number is!...must be pretty old, huh?" Invariably these turn out to be OMI models made during the last 20 years. According to King (1991:37), some pre-war Dobros and Regals had serial numbers. Most, or perhaps even all of the pre-war dobros I have seen had no serial number at all. My pre-war square-necked Model 27 has no serial number. In any case, apparently no records were kept back then, so even if the instrument is pre-war and has a serial number, it can't be dated from the number. Instruments built by the Dopyeras in California beginning in 1968, including all the OMI dobros, have a serial number on the end of the headstock. Beginning in February, 1974, wood-bodied models are prefixed with the letter D (see King 1991:42 for serial number list). The 1975 vintage Model 60 OMI dobro that I play has the serial number D 592 5 on the headstock, and a couple of years ago when I replaced the resonator, I found the date May 12, 1975 written in pencil on the back inside the soundwell.
IDENTIFYING OLD DOBROS AND ESTIMATING THEIR AGE
It should be clear by now that if you've got a dobro built before 1968, it's going to be hard to find out anything very specific about its age and origin. Let's use my pre-war Model 27 as an example. It is a square-necked model with a sunburst finish, 12 flat frets clear of the body, with single mother-of-pearl position dots at frets 5, 7, 9, 12, and 17, double dots at frets 15 and 19, and a bone nut. The fretboard is either ebony or some other stained wood, and is very slightly arched. This instrument lacks the three small holes positioned between the screens. The top is plywood, with ivoroid binding around the top only. The headstock has a redand-gold "Dobro" decal. The tuning machines are exposed, with plastic pegs up. The headstock slots are rounded on the ends and the end of the headstock is slightly arched; there is no serial number. The coverplate has four sets of rectangular holes, arranged in a radial fan pattern, eight "rays" per pattern. Stamped below the handrest is the notation "1,896,484 OTHER PATS. PEND." The tailpiece is the usual fan-shaped kind like those on OMI dobros. The resonator is the stamped, lug type with a short spider. I have never had this instrument apart, but Dan Huckabee says he replaced the resonator for the previous owner and he noted that it does not have a soundwell. This instrument has the following dimensions:
body depth 3-1/2" width across bight 8-11/16" width across lower bout 14-3/16" width across upper bout 10-1/2" body length 19-7/16" scale length 25" total length of instrument 38-3/16" neck width at body 2-1/8" neck width at nut 1-13/16" maximum width of headstock 2-1/2" headstock slot width 7/16"
Working with this description, what can we say about who built this dobro and when? The rounded headstock slots suggest that this instrument was built by Regal, despite the Dobro decal. As we saw above, Regal was licensed to use the Dobro emblem in the summer of 1932, although Wheeler (1990:324) says that Regal didn't announce its first resonator guitar until January, 1933. The patent number given on the coverplate is the one issued on February 7, 1933. Therefore, it appears this dobro was Regal-built, sometime between about 1933 and the start of World War II; and that's about as specific as we can be. The instrument resembles one shown in Wheeler (1991:327) except that the one pictured has a solid headstock. According to King (1991:67), stamped lug resonators were made by the Dobro Company from 1932-1935 for Regal, which may suggest that the instrument dates from that period.
Complicating the problem of instrument identification is the fact that several years ago brand-new reproductions of old Regal dobros came on the market and are being sold now. These are essentially accurate reproductions (RD-100S, square neck; RD-65, round neck) complete with the Regal decal. Although I knew about these, I had never actually seen one of these until a year or so ago, and although I hate to admit it, I was at first completely baffled to find myself holding an apparently brand-new pre-war Regal dobro, until I realized what it was. As these Regal reissues get banged up and aged by use, they may fool other folks besides me. I don't know much about them and don't know what sort of serial numbers they might have.
TUNING AND PICKING
Although Pete Kirby (Brother Oswald) and similar stylists generally play in an open A tuning, the dobro in bluegrass format is nearly always tuned in open G; that is, from the bass to the treble side, the strings are GBDGBD, with the treble set tuned an octave higher. This, of course, is the same tuning used for the banjo, and the highest four strings on the dobro are exactly the same as the four main strings on the banjo (it is also worth mentioning that when playing the banjo or guitar with a G chord formation, the capo positions are identical for all three instruments; that is, A is the second fret, B, the fourth, etc.). As a result, the picking patterns are much the same on the two instruments; but it is in the right-hand work that the similarities are even more pronounced. Because chording is done with the bar, it is impossible to play a full minor chord on a dobro that is in a major tuning. The best that can be done is to play three notes out of the minor formation, or to play several notes in sequence by moving the bar rapidly. I find it difficult to do much with songs that feature the minor mode, although many other dobro pickers seem to be less limited.
Due largely to the influence of Josh Graves, the bluegrass dobro is often picked with a three-finger forward roll. Josh was inspired to adopt this style by listening to the banjo picking of Earl Scruggs (see Wolfe 1990), and in fact many of the classic Uncle Josh dobro licks are adaptations of banjo licks. Josh says, "I spent a lot of time in their dressing room learning that roll." Listen to the classic recordings of the Foggy Mountain Boys from the 1950's and early 1960'sand you will hear a marked parallelism between the banjo and dobro parts. I don't know whether Josh was copying Earl, or the other way around, but more likely there was a certain amount of cross-fertilization. At any rate, I think that much of the standard right-hand repertoire of the average bluegrass dobro picker can ultimately be traced to Earl Scruggs.
Because the sound-producing parts of a dobro are made of aluminum, which is unaffected by changes in humidity and minimally affected by changes in temperature, and because the wooden body and neck are of massive construction, the dobro holds its tuning better than any of the other bluegrass instruments. Dobros tend to stay in tune for days or weeks at a time. Logic would dictate that in jam sessions the other instruments ought to take their tuning from the dobro. As we all know, however, logic plays no part in bluegrass. The banjo, with its slender, flexible neck and impossible-to-tune fifth string, kicking and stomping like a highstrung racehorse, usually dominates the jam session and keys the tuning, which is invariably too sharp if it's outdoors. Anyone ought to be able to compare a banjo neck with a dobro neck and predict which instrument would hold its tuning best. Fortunately, the advent of electronic tuners has given us all a standard that we can adopt without argument, and as a result today's jam sessions are much more likely to be in standard pitch.
The dobro and the fiddle are the only bluegrass instruments that are held horizontally (which accounts for why dobro pickers are always the first to come in out of the rain). In the case of the dobro, the sound goes up, not out. Proper miking means that the microphone must be suspended over the instrument, by a boom stand, pointing downward. You'd be surprised how many sound technicians don't understand this basic fact. I've been given microphones with pole stands many times onstage, as if there was anything a dobro picker could do with one of them. This downward-pointing microphone can easily feed back from stage monitors, however. Because the dobro, along with the guitar, is one of the quietest of the bluegrass instruments, it needs much more boosting by the sound system than louder instruments like the banjo. Sound technicians don't understand that, either.
JERRY AND THE DOBRO
Where any of the other bluegrass instruments are concerned, it's difficult to achieve any kind of consensus among pickers as to who's the best. Who's the best bluegrass fiddler? Kenny Baker? Blaine Sprouse? Stuart Duncan? Alison Krauss? Hard to say. It sounds like a good way to start a jam session fistfight, if you ask me. But if you're talking about the dobro, as far as I'm concerned, Jerry Douglas is The Man. In my book, the "D" in dobro stands for Douglas (see Wolfe 1991 for a recent interview). Jerry has done a lot more than just endorse the GHS dobro string set that bears his name. It's hard to explain about Jerry to folks who don't play the dobro. It isn't that there are a bunch of good dobro pickers and he's just a little better than the rest. No, it isn't like that at all. Jerry is entirely in his own orbit. Nobody else can do what he does, or even come close. He has a unique and incredibly tasteful style, one that I doubt anyone else will ever be able to copy. Words can't describe it. You must hear it to understand. I can remember a number of times when I've been sitting in a restaurant somewhere with a Top 40 country station on the house PA system, and a brand-new song by Randy Travis or someone would come on the air, a new song that I'd never heard before anywhere, and by the time the first three notes of the dobro lead-in rang out, I knew without a doubt who was working the dobro. That's how distinctive Jerry's touch is. What does Josh Graves think of Jerry? "Jerry's gone on to fancier stuff but I'll tell you he's a genius. He can do everything. He can play it straight or whatever he wants to" (Wolfe 1990). What Jerry has done is to show us all where the dobro can go and what it can really do -that is, if you're Jerry Douglas.
RECOMMENDED READING ON DOBROLOGY
1974 Inside Your Dobro. The Dobro Nut 1(3):3-4.
1975 Deacon Brumfield. The Dobro Nut 2(3):5-6, 9.
1981 Jerry Douglas -They Call Him Flux. Bluegrass Unlimited 16(5):31-32, November.
1991 Teaching An Old Dog New Tricks -Dobro Builder, Tim Scheerhorn. Bluegrass Unlimited 26(2):55-57, August.
Daniel, Wayne W.
1982 Josh Graves -A Dobro Virtuoso. Bluegrass Unlimited 17(1), July.
DeNeve, Richard J.
1973 Dobro Rattles and Cures. Bluegrass Unlimited 8(4):1921, October.
1978 Instrument Tone. Resophonic Echoes 4(12):13-17.
Flynn, T. M.
1988 Dobro Soundposts (letter to the editor). Bluegrass Unlimited 22(9):9, March.
Gear, Robert F.
1978 Resonator Guitars: A History. Pickin' 5(6):52-55, July.
1980 Jerry Douglas, Dobro Dynamo. Frets 2(11):20-23, November.
1978 The R. Q. Jones Resonator Guitar. Pickin' 5(5):74-75, June.
1991 Dobroists' Scrapbook. Country Heritage Productions, Madill, Oklahoma.
1991 Master of the Dobro, Leroy Mack. Bluegrass Unlimited 25(7), January.
Merritt, Byron and Keith Fields
1976 A Chat with Mike Auldridge. Pickin' 3(6), July.
1977 The Dobro Book. Oak Publications.
Saunders, Walter V.
1989 Notes and Queries. Bluegrass Unlimited 23(11):11-12 (information on Clarence Jackson).
Siminoff, Roger H.
1981 Mike Auldridge. Frets 3(5):26-31, May.
1978 More Comments on Instrument Tone. Resophonic Echoes 5(2):7-9.
1977 Josh's New Houn'dog. Resophonic Echoes 4(5):5-6, 8 (information on Rudy Q. Jones).
Weiss, Michael J.
1978 Mike Auldridge: Cruising on a Dobro. Pickin' 5(3):1217, April.
1990 American Guitars. An Illustrated History. Harper Perennial, A Division of Harper Collins Publishers. See the chapters on National, Dobro, and Valco (287-317), Regal (324-327), and Mosrite (278-284).
1988a America's 2nd Native Instrument -the Bluegrass Dobro. Bluegrass Unlimited 22(7), January.
1988b Tut Taylor 1987, One of the Legends Bluegrass Unlimited 22(7), January.
1990 Josh Graves: Father of Bluegrass Dobro (in two parts). Bluegrass Unlimited 25(4), October (Part 1) and 25(5), November (Part 2).
1991 The Jerry Douglas Story. Bluegrass Unlimited 26(2):2026, August.
Reprinted by permission.