Saw Notes

A Resource for Musical Saw Enthusiasts

History

Johnny Marvin and His Musical Saw

July 5, 2020

Johnny Marvin was one of the most popular entertainers of the 1920s and 30s. He recorded many records in the 20s, under his own name and many other pseudonyms. He is a member of the Ukulele Hall of Fame, and the Harmony Company of Chicago named a ukulele after him. […]

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Jimmie Rodgers: Home Call

May 7, 2020

    Since I started listening to saw players, I’ve come across a lot of surprisingly beautiful music. The saw is often considered a novelty instrument, and for that reason, sometimes the musical skill of the sawyer can be a bit underdeveloped ( I include myself in that group). Happily, […]

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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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