1930 Gibson Wade Mainer Granada 9530-5. Wade Echard Mainer was an American country singer and banjoist. With his band, the Sons of the Mountaineers, he is credited with bridging the gap between old-time mountain music and Bluegrass and is sometimes called the “Grandfather of Bluegrass.” The Wade Mainer Granada is the banjo that he played through his life and we have the Wade Mainer Granada here in the Banjo Warehouse.
1930 Gibson Wade Mainer Granada 9530-5
TheWade Mainer Granada is an original Gibson 5 string Flat Head one piece flange Granada Banjo manufactured in 1930. This banjo has travelled all over the world and has even been played for Franklin D Roosevelt. The Wade Mainer after Earl Scrugg’s Granada is arguably the most highly regarded banjo of all the Gibson banjos of the 1930’s. It is one of 5 banjos from the 9530 batch and is #9530-5. There are reportedly 13 surviving original 5 string Granada banjos the most famous of which is Earl Scruggs Banjo 9584-3. Sonny Osborne owns number 9584-2 and JD Crowe owns number 9584-1.
In the world of prewar Gibson banjos, there is no model more legendary than the original five- string Granada with one-piece flange and flathead tone ring. The dominance of Earl Scruggs in the banjo world has caused people to think of the sound of a pre war Granada as the best bluegrass sound. The 5 string original Granada has a unique sound that can only be duplicated if you own one of the surviving 13 original 5 string Granadas. The original Flathead Plectrum and Tenor banjos have a similar sound but there is something unique about the sound of a Granada Banjo with an original 5 string neck.
Wade acquired his Gibson Granada 9530-5 banjo in 1935 from a serviceman and recorded extensively with the banjo. He traded an old metal banjo and about $200 for the banjo. In the early 60”s Wade sent his banjo to Gibson and they replaced all of the metal parts so that the banjo would look new. This of course interfered with the original sound of the banjo. In 1990 Curtis McPeak and Greg Rich reportedly took the banjo back to Gibson and installed current parts as were used in 1990. The banjo was later sold to Peter Kuykendall of Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine. Pete’s original intention was to put the banjo in a museum because of it’s rarity and historical significance. Peter later decided to sell the instrument and wanted to restore the instrument to it’s original condition and commissioned Steve Huber to do this. Steve located all of the original pre war parts at considerable expense and restored the banjo. It also restored the full 5 string Granada’s magical sound.
Geoff Hohwald who had been looking for an original Five String One Piece Flange Granada for about 7 years contacted Steve Huber and bought the banjo. Through the help of Steve Huber, Melvin Cumbee and others the Wade Mainer Granada has since been resurrected. Please look at this collection of photos to see one of the most iconic banjos in the history of bluegrass, The 1930 Gibson Wade Mainer Granada 9530-5 CALL TODAY 404-372-5482
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