Alvino Rey

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

Life and work

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

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

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

1938 witnessed the dissolution of the Horace Heidt Band; Rey started 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 at the Mutual Broadcasting System and worked at this time with artists such as Johnny Mandel, Skeets Herfurt, Neal Hefti, Dave Tough, Mel Lewis, Don Lamond, Alfred Burt (musician ) and three future of Woody Herman's saxophone section Four Brothers together, with Al Cohn, Zoot Sims and Herbie Steward. As arrangers worked Nelson Riddle, George Handy, Billy May, Ray Conniff and DeVol for the band.

1941, the group met instead by Dinah Shore at New York 's Paramount Theater, which led to a great success: Shortly after Rey's band was one of the most popular bands in the States; they reached ten Top Ten hits, and had appeared in several Hollywood films. The biggest hit was the music composed by Jesse Stone Title Idaho, recorded on September 19, 1941 and a third in one of his best -placed hits. 1942 Advanced Rey the brass section of his orchestra; 1943 played briefly the bassist and bandleader Charles Mingus later in Rey's band.

Because of the musician strikes Rey finally had to dissolve the band for economic reasons. Many musicians have been deducted by the mobilization in World War II from the band. Rey worked at this time as a mechanic at a Lockheed aircraft factory in Burbank.1944 Rey went to the Navy and led a band of troops in support. In 1946, he founded a new orchestra. The band got a record deal with Capitol Records and produced immediately with a cover version of Slim Gaillard's " Cement Mixer " a hit success. In his version of the song Near You in 1947 he succeeded the last of his five top ten successes in the U.S. singles chart. Ray's band played, among others, Hal McKusick, Bud Shank (1949 ), Bob Gordon and Paul Desmond (1951 ); Bob Graettinger worked as an arranger for him. However, Rey had to dissolve the Big Band, and Rey worked in the 1950s with smaller combos, mostly in Southern California and occasionally with his brother Buddy Cole.

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

In the early 1970s drew Rey, who belonged to the community of faith of the Mormons since 1968, with his wife Louise to Salt Lake City, Utah. There he founded a jazz quartet, with whom he performed in local clubs, but also in Disneyland and in 1987 was active as a missionary in Hawaii. In 1994, Rey retired from professional life.

Awards and prizes

Rey was recorded in 1978 as first in the American Steel Guitar Hall of Fame.