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This project was made possible by funding through the Canadian Culture Online Strategy and the Heritage Policy Branch of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Canadian Heritage

Herb Ellis

Herb Ellis on his thought process while playing guitar.

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Herb Ellis on his first guitar.

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Herb Ellis discusses his ability to perform to a crowd.

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Transcription

Q: “Was your first instrument sort of the Sears catalogue Silvertone with the tassle?”

A: Herb Ellis: “It was a Silvertone, right out of the catalog with the little amplifier and it had a pick-up column, Amperite pick up, I remember and it was something that you stuck onto the guitar, onto an acoustic guitar and when you hit the guitar, it would make a noise boom and it was awful. But it was all you could get at that time, you know.”
Interviewer: “Yeah, yeah.”
Herb Ellis: “Later on, I've got a Charlie Christian-type guitar as soon as I could.”