Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Sprechen Sie Stylophone?

Wie geht's! 

It has been awhile since I've posted an item from the Stylophone museum. This time, I have an interesting box.

During the first incarnation of the Dubreq company, their celebrity spokesperson for the Stylophone in Germany was a jazz musician and TV and radio personality named William "Bill" McReery Ramsey. 

Bill Ramsey was actually born in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, but he became a famous musical entertainer in Germany while serving at a US Armed Forces Network radio station in Frankfurt in the early 1950s. You can read his bio on his official website at

Bill appeared on at least one version of the Stylophone packaging.  The box in my collection is not in very good shape, but I hope you enjoy seeing these photos.

My knowledge of German is both limited and a bit rusty, but I think the text below very loosely translates to something like "Guaranteed: You can be playing simple tunes in 10 minutes. Everyone can play, even if you don't know how to read sheet music."

When I bought this box (which happened to have a Stylophone in it) I didn't get a copy of the vinyl record.  So, I don't know if Bill replaces the voice of Rolf Harris. I did, however, get the instruction book that included Stylophone sheet music for some German folk tunes.  Last year the folks at Dubreq gave me permission to post the sheet music on-line, but I didn't get around to it until now.  I've enlarged it to fit 8.5x11 paper. You can view and download the .pdf at this link. If the link doesn't work for you, send me a note and I'll get you a copy.


Monday, January 28, 2019

Stylophone GEN R-8 at the NAMM Show - Sunday

Just to be a completist, here's one last blog post about my trip to Anaheim to help the folks from Dubreq promote their new Stylophone GEN R-8 analog synthesizer.

Sunday was the final day of the convention. I felt like I was moving in slow-motion all day. I was sore and exhausted from days of standing for hours, walking long distances, relentless noise, and lack of sleep. The crowds had thinned significantly, so I took the day off from the Dubreq booth. I made one last stop at the nearby booth of the Bob Moog Foundation to say goodbye to my friends there, and to check out their vintage modular synth one last time.

Then I continued my search for affordable studio microphones that I could tell my voice acting students about in my upcoming workshop at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. With the increased interest in podcasting and DIY music recording, the manufacturers have responded with lots of great gear.

I spent my last half hour or so back at the Dubreq booth with Marcella and John. It was a pleasure to work with them and to witness both their enthusiasm for Stylophone products and their appreciation for Stylophone enthusiasts. I am so glad I had this opportunity to help spread the word about Dubreq and their entire Stylophone product line.

After final goodbyes with Marcella and John, I called the cab driver who had given me a ride Saturday night. He picked me up outside the convention center and we talked about music and audio recording almost all the way to the airport.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Stylophone GEN R-8 at the NAMM Show - Saturday

There's not much to report in today's blog entry about the new Stylophone GEN R-8 portable analog synthesizer. At a trade show, one day can seem just like another from inside a booth.

We had lots of delighted visitors try out the instruments. Some folks were a bit shy and I had to coax them into putting on the headphones and playing the touch-sensitive keyboard. For many, it was the 16-step sequencer that really caught their attention and made their faces light up.

I was only in the booth for a few hours. I had heard that Kid Koala was planning to stop by. If he did, it was when I was away. I did, however, get to visit briefly with Michael Boddicker and Roger Linn.

I spent much of the rest of the day doing research for the audio production workshop I will be teaching next week in Denver.

In the afternoon I attended a panel discussion about classic analog synthesizers hosted by my friends at the Bob Moog Foundation (an educational non-profit not associated with the musical instrument company.) One of the panelists was Geoff Downes, a keyboard player who has been in three of my favorite bands. I got to ask him a question in the seminar about his keytars. I have followed Geoff's career and music since I was a teenager and have seen him in-concert with either Yes or ASIA around a dozen times, so I take any opportunity to visit with him.  After the session, I spoke with him briefly and got a photo, but my smart phone camera is really bad and so was the lighting.

It turned out to be a rather fun and productive day, although I am getting convention-weary. I am very glad to be here helping Dubreq, but I will also be glad to go home soon.