Alvino Rey

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Alvino Rey (actually Alvin McBurney , born July 1, 1908 in Oakland ; † February 26, 2004 in Salt Lake City , Utah ) was an American jazz guitarist and bandleader of swing , also known as the "father of the pedal steel guitar " became known and had merits in the development of the electric guitar . Musicians such as Al Cohn , Paul Desmond , Mel Lewis , Charles Mingus , Bud Shank , Cal Tjader and Kai Winding played in his bands .

Capitol- 78er Alvino Rey "Guitar Boogie"

Live and act

Alvin McBurney, who later went by the stage name Alvino Rey, was born in Oakland , California, but his family moved to Cleveland , Ohio when he was ten years old. He first began playing the banjo , then as a teenager he was involved in the electric amplification of the guitar. His professional career began in 1927 when he played with Ev Jones . Then he worked for Phil Spitalny and played electric guitar in his orchestra. During this time he studied guitar with the vaudeville artist Roy Smeck .

McBurney then played in other bands, such as Russ Morgan and Freddie Martin . He took his stage name Alvino Rey when he performed with Phil Spitalney's Orchestra in New York City in late 1929, influenced by the currently popular Latin American music. From January 1932 until the beginning of 1939 Alvino Rey played pedal steel guitar and Spanish guitar in Horace Heidt's band, Horace Heidt And His Musical Knights . With his striking sound he was a pioneer on his instrument at the time.

In the spring of 1935, Rey was hired by the Gibson Guitar Corporation to build a prototype for a pickup with the engineers of the Lyon & Healy Company in Chicago based on his own pickup developed for the banjo. The result was then used for Gibson's first electric guitar, the ES-150 . The prototype is now on display at the Experience Music Project Museum in Seattle . In 1939 Rey developed a special carbon microphone to change the sound of his electric guitar.

In 1938 the Horace Heidt band was dissolved; Rey founded his own formation with the King Sisters as lead singer and saxophonist Frank De Vol and worked with her mainly in Los Angeles ; the band was the house band of the Mutual Broadcasting System and worked during this time with artists such as Johnny Mandel , Skeets Herfurt , Neal Hefti , Dave Tough , Mel Lewis , Don Lamond , Alfred Burt and three of Woody Herman's future saxophone section Four Brothers , with Al Cohn , Zoot Sims and Herbie Steward . Nelson Riddle , George Handy , Billy May , Ray Conniff and DeVol worked as arrangers for the band.

Alvino Rey - Idaho

In 1941, the group took the place of Dinah Shore at New York's Paramount Theater , which led to great success: Shortly thereafter, Rey's band was one of the most popular bands in the States; they reached ten top ten hits and had appearances in several Hollywood films. The biggest hit was the track Idaho , composed by Jesse Stone , recorded on September 19, 1941 and one of his best-placed hits with a third place. In 1942 Rey expanded the brass section of his orchestra; In 1943 the bass player and later band leader Charles Mingus played briefly in Rey's band.

Because of the musicians' strike , Rey finally had to break up the band for economic reasons. Many musicians were also withdrawn from the band by mobilization during World War II. Rey was working as a mechanic at a Lockheed aircraft factory in Burbank . In 1944 Rey went to the Navy and led a band in the troop support. In 1946 he founded a new orchestra. The band got a record deal with Capitol Records and immediately produced a hit with a cover version of Slim Gaillard's "Cement Mixer". With his version of the title Near You in 1947 he achieved the last of his five top ten successes in the US singles charts. Rey's band played Hal McKusick , Bud Shank (1949), Bob Gordon and Paul Desmond (1951); Bob Graettinger worked for him as an arranger. Still, Rey had to break up the big band , and Rey worked with smaller combos in the 1950s , mostly in Southern California and occasionally with his brother-in-law Buddy Cole .

In the late 1950s, Rey worked as the musical director of the King Sisters and accompanist for the vocal ensemble Kirby Stone Four . In 1965, ABC broadcast a show for the band. Rey then worked on projects with artists such as Juan García Esquivel , George Cates and The Surfmen .

In the early 1970s, Rey, who had been a member of the Mormon denomination since 1968 , moved to Salt Lake City , Utah with his wife Luise . There he founded a jazz quartet, with which he performed in local clubs, but also in Disneyland , and in 1987 also worked as a missionary in Hawaii . In 1994 Rey retired from professional life.

Honourings and prices

Rey was the first to be inducted into the American Steel Guitar Hall of Fame in 1978 .


Web links


  1. also known as the Jimi Hendrix Museum.
  2. Alvino Rey Sonovox & Stringy The Guitar By Request  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. .@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  3. See M. Kunzler, Jazzlexikon & Weber / Filtgen: Charles Mingus.
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel: Top Pop Records 1940–1955 . Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research, 1973, p. 41.
  5. See obituary Desert News and Steel Guitar Forum : Alvino Rey .