That Was The Year... 1937 Abdication, Coronation, Aviation
WASHBURN DREADNOUGHT GUITARS are enjoying a run of success. A small quantity of model 5246 are built by Lyon & Healey in Chicago with fully bound rosewood back and sides and a spruce top with double X bracing. The ebony fingerboard sports pearl dot inlays and on some the headstocks show a distinctive ‘ lined’ feature. THE BBC MAKES ITS FIRST outside broadcast as Westminster Abbey hosts the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth following the abdication of Edward VIII. Edward now becomes the Duke of Windsor and marries Wallis Simpson in France. Less spectacularly, Neville Chamberlain becomes Prime Minister. THE LITTLEWOODS POLS COMP ANY opens a department store in Blackpool; 999 becomes the emergency telephone number; the British Graham Land Expedition returns from Antarctica; the 12- sided three pence coin is minted for the first time; the now scarce 1937 penny is struck; and the first edition of The Dandy comic goes on sale. GIBSON DISCO NTINUES ITS L- 1 flat- top acoustic after 11 years in production. It was very popular at first, thanks to its Robert Johnson connection. It featured a spruce top, mahogany back and sides, ebony fingerboard ( with pearl dot inlays) and ebony pyramid bridge, but Gibson feels that its newer models have more appeal. NEW BOYS HANK WILLIAMS and Sonny Boy Williamson ( along with his recording of Good Morning Little School Girl) start out on their musical careers. Frankie Laine sings for the Freddie Carlone band after Perry Como leaves. The blues scene is vibrant, too, with Robert Johnson releasing 32- 20 Blues, Terraplane Blues and Cross Road Blues this year. GERMAN LU THIER HERMANN HAUSER finally makes a guitar that Andrés Segovia likes, 12 years after his initial attempt! Amazingly, this classical guitar becomes Segovia’s favourite and he uses it constantly over the next 30 years until, in 1962, a microphone falls into the guitar during a recording session. Sadly for Andrés, the sound is never the same. NEW ARRIVALS INCLU DE Jerry Reed, Merle Haggard, Shirley Bassey, Frankie Valli, Trini Lopez, Don Everly, Roberta Flack, Nancy Wilson, Waylon Jennings, Bobby Parker ( lead guitarist with Bo Diddley), composer Philip Glass, actress Barbara Windsor, Star Trek’s George Takei and first woman in space, Valentina Tereshkova. Sadly, the great George Gershwin dies of a brain tumour, aged just 38. THE HAWKER HURRICANE is the first monoplane fighter to enter service in the RAF; ground tests of Frank Whittle’s jet engine begin in Rugby; Howard Hughes sets a new record time to fly between Los Angeles and New York; Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan disappear during her attempt to become the first woman to fly around the world; and the first Japanese- built aircraft to fly to Europe touches down at Croydon Airport. It’s called the Kamikaze!