Tal Farlow Day

June 7, 1921 – July 25, 1998


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Guitarist Talmage Holt Farlow was born on June 7, 1921 in Greensboro, North Carolina.

He taught himself chord melodies by playing a mandolin tuned like a ukulele using the music of Bix Beiderbecke, Louis Armstrong, and Eddie Lang as models.

Working the night shift as a sign painter so he could listen to jazz performances on the radio, he heard Charlie Christian and was so inspired he built his own electric guitar (he was unable to afford one.)

His large hands made even the most difficult chords positions effortless and within a year’s time he launched his professional career with Marjorie Hyams’ band in 1948.

In 1949 he joined the “Red Norvo Trio” remaining with the group 1953 a period in which he found as a respected instrumental jazz stylist.

Following a six month stint with Artie Shaw’s “Gramercy Five” in 1953, Farlow assembled a band of his own including pianist Eddie Costa.

Retiring form performing full time in 1958 Tal settled in Sea Bright, New Jersey and in 1962 the Gibson Corporation produced a “Tal Farlow” model guitar.

Tal Farlow worked with Dr. Phil Petillo every Saturday beginning in 1968 producing a number of innovative designs for pickups and amplifiers up until the early 1980s.


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