Everyone A Gibsonite

Promotional photo for 1921 Gibson Mandolin Company "Catalog M". Ivers Mandolin Orchestra/Adams Plectrum Society, Adams, Massechusetts.

Members I can identify: Center Middle Row: Joseph Ivers, Orchestra leader, Gibson Mandolin Company Agent,and my Great Grandfather, Center Left Holding a Gibson F-4 Mary Ivers-Bassette, my Great Grandmother, Back Row from left: Leonore Ivers-Carmel, my Great Aunt, George Ivers, my Grandfather, Sitting in front, white dress, Doris Ivers-Hueston, my Great Aunt.

Page 21 Gibson Mandolin Catalog M: See right side second photo from bottom

Page 21 Gibson Mandolin Catalog M: See right side second photo from bottom
I recently discovered that this photo of my Great grandfather's Mandolin Orchestra appears on page 21 of the Gibson "M" catalog, published in 1921, confirming my theory that he (Joseph L. Ivers) was a Gibson "teacher-agent" or dealer, and that this photo was part of the "Everyone a Gibsonite" marketing campaign. Some of these instruments are still owned and played by Ivers family members. For example, my father Robert Ivers still plays the 1914 F4 in the center played by my Great Grandmother Mary Ivers in this photo. He also owns a 1921 H2 Mandola, no doubt pictured brand spanking new somewhere in this photo. I would love to try to contact other family members to see where some of these other instruments ended up.

Water Color "Grandfather's Mandolin" by Robert Ivers of Gibson F-4 #24532

Water Color "Grandfather's Mandolin" by Robert Ivers of Gibson F-4 #24532
Water Color Of My Great Grand Father's F4 painted by my Father, Robert Ivers. Look !!!!!!! Notice unintended ghost image of my Great Grandfather Joseph Ivers in upper left !

Thursday, August 31, 2017


Got To Play a Bit With My Father a Few Weeks Ago

I did my annual August visit with my parents and my sister at the Chautauqua Institution, in Chautauqua, New York, where they have been spending their summers for years. I always enjoy some mandolin playing time with my father on these visits. This year I flew with the 1914 F4 Mandolin and the 1921 H2 Mandola. (both instruments well documented on this BLOG)  I thought it might be cool to play some stuff together with me on the mandola, and dad on the mandolin.

I guess I was taking a bit of a chance with TSA. I've heard the stories. But I decided to go for it, and I checked both instruments in their cases inside a sturdy flight case that began it's life as a keyboard case but now has worked well for me as a flight worthy guitar case and now a great flight case that fits both the F4 and the H2 in their respective cases. No problems in either direction with direct Jet Blue flights to and from Buffalo from Ft Lauderdale.

It was worth the effort just to see my dad's smile when he picked up and played the F4 for the first time in more than 6 or 7 years since he gave me the mandolin to look after. It was like being reunited with a long lost friend.

We played mostly fiddle tunes; Whisky Before Breakfast, Saddle the Pony, and The Irish Washerwomen were the best, with my dad reading the mandolin notation, and me interpreting or transposing mandolin tablature of the same songs. What seemed to work best after some trial and mostly error, was using a capo on the second fret of the mandola, to get some great harmony between the 2 instruments.

So, historically it was pretty cool because it was probably the first time in many years (since the 1920's?)  members of the Ivers family played these two instruments together. It was an awesome experience I will cherish forever!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Mini Art Festival: Robert Ivers One Man Show

My dad, Robert Ivers, (grandson of JL Ivers mandolin teacher, orchestra leader, and Gibson Mandolin Sales agent) is always evolving as a mandolin player. I recently got word that he presented what he called a "Mini Art Festival" to a group of Elmira, New York area artists he meets with regularly on Friday mornings. It was a one man show, and he presented a new painting, read some poetry, and of course, played Mandolin.. "Mini Art Festival" Awesome.