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        The Banjoline  is a type of electric guitar developed by Eddie Peabody that is tuned like a plectrum banjo. The Banjoline has six strings that are arranged with the four lowest strings doubled with two pairs of strings. The two highest pitched strings consist of two single strings. The  lowest string(s) are tuned to the low C of the plectrum banjo and to a C an octave above it. The third string(s) are tuned to the same G. The next two single strings are tuned to B and D. This makes for a tuning of Cc GG B D. Eddie Peabody recorded two LPs playing his banjo classics on the Banjoline for the Dot record. They are titled "Eddie Plays Smoothies" and "Eddie Plays More Smoothies."
        Vega built the original Banjolines for Eddie Peabody between 1956-1957. They used standard Vega banjo necks with Vega electric guitar bodies. On the "Eddie Peabody Plays Sm-o-o-o-thies" LP it states that the Fender Electric Instrument Company has added the instrument to it's product line but before they could go into production the deal fell apart and Rickenbcker picked up the Banjoline.  Fender used the Stratocaster style peghead and body and a simple dot inlay on the fingerboard.
        The instrument has a plectrum scale length of 26 inches. The Rickenbacker version was based on their hollow-bodied 360 model and it had two pick ups, volume and tone controls. It was available as the standard model 6005 (priced at $495) and the Deluxe model 6006 (Priced at $655) They were available in three colors Fireglo, Mapleglo, and Azureglo. The Deluxe 6006 was double-bound with checkered binding. All of the Rickenbacker and Fender models came with a tremolo arm. The Fender model was a solid body guitar.
        Other than the Rickenbacker promo record, all the Dot/Hamilton albums that Eddie Peabody recorded used the Vega Banjoline exclusively. Eddie's friends like Georgette Twain and the late Jerry Allen were also given custom-made Vega Banjolines. These instruments can also be heard on their own recordings.

Rickenbacker Banjoline

Vega Non-Production Proto Type Banjoline

Peabody with Fender Banjoline

Vega Production Banjoline
 (Ronald W. McLawhon, M.D., Ph.D.)

Rickenbacker Promo Record Sound Files

Rickenbacker Banjoline Track 1                          Rickenbacker Banjoline Track 2                         Rickenbacker Banjoline Track 3

Rickenbacker Banjoline Track 4                          Rickenbacker Banjoline Track 5                         Rickenbacker Banjoline Track 6

Rickenbacker Banjoline Track 7                          Rickenbacker Banjoline Track 1                         Rickenbacker Banjoline Track 9

 

 

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