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The Banjo Entertainers

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The Banjo Entertainers: Roots to Ragtime, A Banjo History focuses on the hundreds of banjoists who made their living as professional entertainers in years ranging from the minstrel period of the early 1800s into the ragtime era leading into the 20th Century. The book also touches on related areas in the banjo’s development. Author Lowell H. Schreyer, a former newspaper reporter, relied heavily on the products of his profession in tracing careers and performing routes of these banjoists through pre-Civil War newspapers, entertainment journals and later fretted instrument periodicals. This virtual time travel in print involved years of tedious cranking through microfilm of these publications page by page.

Also a player of the banjo, Schreyer was led by his interest in the history of the instrument into a lifetime of research that built a banjo information database from which much of this work is drawn. His previous writing about the banjo has included articles in the British B.M.G. magazine and the FIGA magazine of the Fretted Instrument Guild of America; The Eddie Peabody Story biography, 2000; and chapters in the books, The Banjo on Record: A Bio-Discography, 1993 and Ragtime: Its History, Composers and Music, 1985.

Not content only to write about the history of the banjo, he further familiarized himself with the banjo family and its music by learning to play minstrel banjo, classic five-string banjo, plectrum banjo, and tenor banjo, which he demonstrates in educational programs. A banjoist in ragtime and dixieland groups in his home area of southern Minnesota, Schreyer has worked as a band banjoist and soloist in venues such as the Delta Queen and Mississippi Queen steamboats up and down the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. He has also performed overseas.

ISBN: 978-0-9713168-9-8
Publish Date: 2007
Pages: 269
151 B/W photographs and illustrations
Size: 7.5 x 9.5 inches

Reviews & Comments
It's fantastic. You have done a monumental job with it. Anyone who is interested in banjo, whether 4-string or 5-string, must read your book. So many stories and tales of how the banjo came about and flourished to what it is today are out there floating around with misinformation. Your research and putting it all together is long overdue.
~Frank Rossi, editor of The Resonator (Banjo Periodical)