Nowadays, Slingerland are most famous for their drums. However, they started out back in 1912 selling ukuleles. The Slingerland Maybell (also referred to as the May Bell or Maybelle) is a classic banjolele.
This particular model, #20, is the first banjolele I bought. It’s a cheapie – only cost $8 back in the early 30′s, but its a great little instrument and I still have it. One reason for it’s recognizably great sound is that Slingerland put a brass tone ring in all their models, not just this one. It makes a big difference when you play a Slingerland alongside a more expensive instrument. To my ear, and fingers, these play better than the new banjoleles costing several hundred dollars, which are simply not as bright or light sounding.
Slingerland also made these for S.S. Stewart under the name “Collegian.” You can also find these stamped or labeled for other companies, Victory is one incarnation, and with no labeling on occasion.
Forgot to rate my Slingerlands!
Does anyone know of the Slingerland logo with a star on each side instead of the usual oval around their name? I have a Banjo-uke and can’t find any info on it.
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