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January 04, 2011

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Michael Steinman

For those who have turntables, it seems that Hindsight Records (Wally Heider) released two lps of the Rey band 1946-7, presumably from radio transcriptions. I haven't heard this material, but the credits on Amazon suggest that some of the music is from the same band. Thanks for telling us about these hidden treasures, Marc!

Chris Galuman

A great blog Marc. I had the good fortune to play many of the West Coast gigs with Alvino in the 1970's. The paragraph about his "warm nature" rings so true. He was, quite simply, the nicest man I ever knew. I remember a cruise-ship gig where the band played a late night jam session for the kids of the crew out on the fantail of the ship. The kids were thrilled to see this "elderly" man wailing on his electric guitar, but I'll never forget the look of joy on Alvino's face.

Bighinx

Some great info on Alvino. I worked a short tour with him to Jamaica with a Ray McKinley segment and a handful of King Sisters (and daughters). I'm not sure who recommended me for it - either Mac or Dean Kincade with whom I worked with at Walt Disney World. This was in the 80's. Alvino was a great talent and very unassuming and considerate of the band members. At that time he was "Alvino Rey And His Talking Guitar." he had made some sort of Vocorder like device (probably with vacuum tubes) and had it set up off stage so no one could see his 'secret.' A kind, gentle, talented man.

John P. Cooper

Rey did a lot of great vocal and instrumental. The Kings were sharp with harmony so tight, it sounded like one voice.

Like a number of bands from that period, their Bluebird and Victor recordings have seen few reissues.

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  • Marc Myers writes frequently on music and the arts for the Wall Street Journal. He is author of "Why Jazz Happened" (University of California Press). In 2012, JazzWax was named the Jazz Journalists Association's "Blog of the Year."

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