Johnny Marvin and His Musical Saw

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. He also worked closely with Gene Autry, writing songs and helping to produce Autry’s show. Sadly, Marvin contracted dengue fever while touring the South Pacific during WWII and died of complications from the fever in 1945 at the age of 48.

He is primarily known for playing the ukulele, but he was also an excellent saw player. He is unusual in that he played the saw while standing up. You can see him playing the saw in this clip. Enjoy this great version of  “I Still Love You.”



Here’s a nice recording of Johnny singing “Sweetheart of All My Dreams.” Although this recording doesn’t feature his saw playing, you can hear him making bird sounds at the beginning. He can do it all.


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Rowena Southard, your blog hostess, is a musical saw enthusiast who lives in California. She loves all kinds of music and has a special fondness for unusual instruments.