Book Excerpt: Acoustic Guitars and Other Fretted Instruments

Authors: George Gruhn and Walter Carter
Publisher: GPI Books, San Francisco CA, USA
Copyright: 1993
ISBN: 0-87930-240-2

When the stock market crashed in 1929 and the Depression hit, the demand for fancy banjos crashed, too. At the same time, changing tastes – especially the decline of the Charleston and the rise of the fox trot with its slower rhythms – called for an instrument with more sustaining power than the banjo. Enter the guitar. A Vega advertisement in the June 1929 issue of "The Crescendo" foretold the future. For the first time, a corner of Vega's standard full-page banjo ad was devoted to guitar. The copy read: "Keep abreast of the times. The guitar is the newest attraction." The tenor banjo survives in Dixieland bands today, but it has never regained the glory it enjoyed in the 1920s.

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