Anyway, I wanted to discuss plectrum banjos. These are the 4-string, 22-fret models, not to be confused with the short 19-fret tenors or even shorter 17-fret Irish tenors. I have 2 topics.
1. Kingston Trio Plectrums. As far as I know, Bob Shane was the only KT member to play the plectrum, and he played it in guitar tuning (DGBE) rather than true plectrum tuning (CGBD).
He had at least 3 plectrums, one being the famous Bacon and Day which now appears to be lost to history, and the Vega on the cover of String Along. This latter banjo, with its script logo and fretboard dots, seems to me to be at the lower end of the Vega models. But he had at least one more, which was a higher end model, and the only sighting of it is at 1:37 in the Worried Man video at the bottom of Jim Moranís tribute to Nick Reynolds. I think it is here http://nrmem.blogspot.com/ but if not go to Jimís site. This last plectrum has inlaid blocks and dots, indicating a better model.
And what KT songs, other than Tom Dooley, featured a plectrum? Here are a few that I can think of, and you certainly may have others.
New York Girls
Saints Go Marching In
A Worried Man
The Hunter (?)
Billy Goat Hill
Coming From The Mountains
Other than the last item, I donít think Bob played the plectrum at all during the NBJ years.
2. Your Plectrums.
I enjoy the plectrum, although the 5-string VPS is my banjo of choice. I play the plectrum in the traditional CGDD tuning. I play old-time 20's tunes such as Take Me Out to the Ball Game, East Side West Side, Whispering While You Cuddle Near Me, and many more of this genre. I have 4 plectrums:
A 20's Vega Artist - a wonderful banjo with great tone and fabulous #9 inlays.
A 20's Vega Tubaphone #3 - also very nice, not quite the same ďringĒ as the Artist.
An 80's Vega by Martin VIP model - surprisingly good with great tone.
A 70's Gibson PB100 - rudimentary hoop tone ring, not a great banjo.
So, thatís the KT and me. Tell us about your thoughts, favorite tunes, and your banjos!