G. E. 32 Vol. 1 Fred Van Eps 5 String Banjo 1909-1917 CD $17.00
Fred Van Eps was the most widely recorded banjoist in the early part of the 20th century, when gut strings were utilized.
Fred Van Eps was born in 1878 and died in 1960. At the turn of the century he teamed up with Bill Bowen (in the cover photo on G. E. 32 Vol. 1) to form a duo to do concert work at the old New York Theater. They received praise from all sections of the press. Later Bill Bowen went on to direct his own orchestra for several years at the Hotel Robert Trent, in Newark, New Jersey. They got together again for a concert in New Rochelle, New York on December 9,1950 and performed "Nola" & "Yankeeland".
In the first decade of the 20th century, Fred Van Eps began to make records for Victor & Columbia. Many of these were solos, and others had saxophone, piano & drums for accompaniment. Later he went on to record for the Par-a-ket, The Phono-Cut Record Co, Silvertone and Banner labels. He was the most widely recorded banjoist in his time, having been born a decade later and living almost thirty years longer than his contemporary Vess L. Ossman.
In the early 1920's he began the making of his Fred Van Eps Recording Model Banjo (on the cover of G. E. 33 Vol. 2), and received custom orders. At the time of his death in 1960 Garipey acquired the rights to the Fred Van Eps Recording Model Banjo as well as Fred's machinery. Garipey produced 7 models, from affordable to presentation grade banjos.
This biography derives material from the December 1951, September 1956 B. M. G. magazines and Akira Tsumura's "A Thousand And One Banjos".