Saw Notes

A Resource for Musical Saw Enthusiasts

History

Smiley Burnett and the Musical Saw

March 3, 2020

   Gene Autry on guitar with Smiley Burnett on accordion Gene Autry was one of the most popular movie cowboys of all time, and one of the reasons for his success was his friendly sidekick, Smiley Burnett. Smiley was born Lester Alvin Burnett in 1911, and he died in 1967. Autry […]

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Hallelujah! It’s a Saw!

January 2, 2020

Charles Calvin Mourer was an evangelist during the 1920s-40s. He was an itinerant preacher who traveled and preached extensively in the Midwest, especially through Ohio and Michigan. He played the trombone, the guitar and the musical saw, which, for some reason, he sometimes called the saw-phone. The saw was a […]

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Gospel and the Sunday Morning Saw

November 30, 2019

The musical saw has always been a popular instrument in churches because saws are inexpensive and they have a beautiful other-worldly sound. In addition, saws are easy to carry from place to place for revivals. Rural churches have often been one of the most common places to hear a saw, […]

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No Place Like Home

June 22, 2019

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 […]

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Mother Machree

May 5, 2019

Last spring, guest author Brad Kay wrote a marvelous biography of saw player Sam Moore for our blog. You can read it here. In the post, you can here a recording of “The Last Rose Of Summer” played by Sam Moore. Here’s another beautiful song, “Mother Machree.” In this recording, […]

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Flexo Disc Saw Duet: Old Folks At Home

January 17, 2019

Mussehl and Westphal is one of the oldest musical saw makers in the United States. They have been making beautiful saws since 1921, and in the old days the company produced small records on the Flexo label to advertise their product. These records were small flexible plastic records, and they […]

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