A Forgotten Art – Letter Writing

TK Smith

From time to time, MB Wilson, founder of Embie Concepts, sends me the most interesting items from the past.  Last week, I received this letter written by Bob McKeehan, radio station KCNA disk jockey, in Tucson, AZ.  It was written to Slick Norris, who according to Billboard Nov. 12, 1955, was singer Jimmy Newmans manager.

Dated, March 25, 1955, there’s not an address number to be found on either the “to” or “from” address; simpler times indeed.

It kind of makes me wonder whether the daily social media updates and instant world news is better, or an annual letter and a weekly newspaper might have been the best, less detracting way to go? Thanks MB!


Recently I went through a bunch of papers and found this one that I picked up from a guitar lesson back in the 80’s. I remember my teacher telling me ”this is an important paper to memorize”. I kept it in my guitar case for a year or so and eventually stuck it in a drawer.

I like how it’s laid out, makes it easy to remember. Thought I’d pass it along.

TK Smith

Tal Farlow with a GA-40

TK Smith

 Nick Rossi recently sent me this photo of one of my favorite players, Tal Farlow, in the late 50’s using a Gibson GA-40. Rarely is there an amp in any pictures of Tal from the 40’s and 50’s.

If you haven’t seen the documentary, “Talmage Farlow”, it’s definitely worth checking out. The film gives insight to his early work, his day job as a sign painter in New Jersey, and what got him back to playing live after he seemed to disappear from the NY music scene. It’s not a completely in-depth look at his career but with appearances from Lenny Breau, Red Norvo and other greats, it’s an interesting look into Tals life.

You can get it from Netflix DVD rentals here, or Amazon here.

TK Smith Custom Vibrato Arm-Back in Stock

TK Smith

We had taken our custom arm off the store for a while but it’s now back in stock. I’ve been using this type of arm for about twenty years now. I originally made it because I had an old Bigsby vibrato with a Travis type arm that I couldn’t get used to. I wanted something similar to what Chet was using but didn’t want to change the way it attached to my old vibrato. After using it for awhile, I found that it was handy having the pivot point closer to my hand. It makes it really easy to access while playing. It’s also is very easy to adjust. Using set screws, the arm swivels at three points. Just loosen the set screws and rotate the parts until it’s in the right spot. Tighten it up and you’re good to go. Arrives as shown and can be purchased with a vibrato. Hand Made in the U.S.A.

TK Smith

TK Smith® Custom Vibrato Arm

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