History

Ford Hanford

September 25, 2022

One of the earliest recordings of the musical saw is a Victor recording of Ford Hanford playing “My Old Kentucky Home,” recorded May 2, 1921. This recording includes the musical saw with an orchestra. Mr. Hanford plays first with a hammer and then switches to a violin bow. Listen and […]

Read More

No Place Like Home

June 18, 2022

It’s not every day that you see the musical saw used to woo a person, but in this scene from Steamboat Round the Bend (1937), we see John McGuire playing the musical saw for his sweetheart Anne Shirley. McGuire was an actor for over two decades, and you might recognize […]

Read More

Gene Rodemich

February 4, 2022

Gene Rodemich was a fine orchestra leader and piano player who worked in the 20s and 30s. His band included many great musicians of the time, and he became well-known for his involvement in early animation. He provided the music for over 100 cartoons. Here is a marvelous recording by […]

Read More

Whose Idea Was This Anyway?

January 17, 2022

Many have speculated about the origins of the musical saw. The Hyde Park Herald, August 27, 1926 included this article explaining how it all happened: “First ‘Musical Saw’” “The idea of extracting music from such an unlikely medium as an ordinary steel saw is said to have originated more than […]

Read More

History of the Santa Cruz Saw Festival

August 27, 2021

Every August, the IMSA has a saw festival in Felton and Santa Cruz . It’s wonderful fun, and it’s been going for over 40 years now. Unfortunately, due to Covid and the pandemic, the festival has been cancelled the last two years. Hopefully, they will be back next year, but […]

Read More

Bugs and the Singing Sword

February 15, 2021

Bugs Bunny is the star of this cartoon from 1958, and the musical saw plays a big part in this production. The cartoon is titled “Knighty Knight Bugs” and it’s the only Bugs Bunny cartoon to win an Academy Award. The plot revolves around the theft of a “singing sword,” […]

Read More