Mudcat Café message #2060950 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #75122   Message #2060950
Posted By: Don Firth
25-May-07 - 04:40 PM
Thread Name: Little known '60s Folk Singers
Subject: RE: Little known '60s Folk Singers
Hi, TJ—

The guitar in the photo is a Casa Fernandez, made in Madrid.

I'd had a guitar made for me by Arcangel Fernandez that I still have. I knew it was an outrageously good instrument when I first got it, but then when I learned that Carlos Montoya had retired his Barbero for a guitar made by Arcangel Fernandez, I knew I had something really special. Later on, several of the top flamenco guitarists were using them. Back then, even top grade Spanish-made guitars weren't all that expensive, but you did have to wait a bit because they were usually made to order. I've had several rather breathtaking offers for it since then, but it's not for sale.

The "Arcangel" has a clear plastic tap-plates (golpeador), whereas the Casa Fernandez has white plastic ones.

I didn't want to take the "Arcangel" to places where it could be sat on or stolen, so I got a second guitar made by one of Arcangel Fernandez's apprentices. Fernandez inspected them all and allowed the good ones to be sold with a "Casa Fernandez" label. It wasn't quite as good as the Arcangel, but it was a darn nice instrument. Big voice—bitey, like a good flamenco guitar should be. Very good for song accompaniment. It became my "work guitar" during the early 1960s.

I don't recall what Judy Flenniken was playing at the time. It was okay, but not great. She heard my Casa Fernandez and wanted to know where she could get one like it. There was a place called "The Guitar Workshop" here in Seattle that imported Spanish-made instruments, and she got one there—a twin of the one in the photo.

Later on, I sold the Casa Fernandez to one of my students. Not happy! He'd only had it for a couple of weeks when someone broke into his car and stole it. A bunch of us were cruising pawn shops long afterwards looking for it, but it never did turn up.

The guitar Nancy is playing is a Goya G-20. Nice little instrument. She still has it.

Don Firth