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A Brief History of the LouZee® Banjo
The LouZee® Banjo was designed by Mike Longworth, David Hopkins and Paul Hopkins
All models have an inlay design by Mike Longworth and a tone ring specially designed for the LouZee Banjo by David and Paul Hopkins. We do not offer inlay designs or tone rings associated with any other brands.
The LouZee Banjo is the culmination of the many years of experience of David and Paul Hopkins and Mike Longworth, who was associated with C.F. Martin, Inc.™ for many years.
Each LouZee banjo is personally assembled by David and/or Paul Hopkins. The banjos are adjusted, inspected and played by David or Paul Hopkins before being made available for sale.
Mike was the historian of the C.F. Martin™ guitar company. He was also one of the most gifted inlay artists of his day. After Mike's tour of duty in the Air Force as an electronic specialist was complete, he reopened his guitar shop in Chattanooga, Tennessee and began repairing all sorts of fretted instruments. His specialty soon became converting Martin D-28 guitars to D-45's. Due to Mike's innate ability as an inlay artist, Martin was sending most of their D-45 guitars to him to add those special inlays. Due to the folk music boom of the 1960's, the demand for the D-45 guitars increased tremendously. Soon their work load was so great Mike could no longer produce these guitars in Chattanooga by himself. So Martin created a new department to produce the D-45, and hired Mike to come to Nazareth, Pennsylvania to train a whole new team of inlay artists.
One of the more notable instruments Mike did while he was still in Chattanooga was Hank Snow's guitar. Martin sent the guitar to Mike to perform his special artistry. Mike added the D-45 trim and the inlay bearing Hank's name in the fingerboard. According to Sue Longworth, this fingerboard was inlaid on the Longworth kitchen table. This fingerboard was later replaced by Mike while at Martin. He kept the original fingerboard as payment for the replacement fingerboard. At Mike's request, Sue gave the original fingerboard to Paul and David Hopkins after Mike's death.
The LouZee fingerboard was the last inlay pattern designed by Mike Longworth.
David and Paul Hopkins have been building banjos for many years. They own many historically significant pre-war instruments, as well as the first guitar built by Mike Longworth. Their knowledge of banjo construction and tone ring manufacturing is second to none. Paul and David have been responsible for designing some of the most popular banjo tone rings currently available.
No banjo is a Genuine LouZee Banjo without the Official Trademark, the unique LouZee Lyre.
Have a LouZee day!
D P Hopkins, Inc.
3563 Highway 231 North
Shelbyville, TN 37160
To contact us, click here.
LouZee® and the LouZee Lyre Logo are trademarks of D P Hopkins®, Inc.
Web site designed by Bill Palmer
© 2003, 2006, 2008 D P Hopkins, Inc. All rights reserved.