Sadly, too many people are unaware that, before Les Paul and his electronic wizardry, steel guitarist bandleader, Alvino Rey, had already developed the prototype for the first modern electric guitar and created the “Sono-Vox,” a precursor to the “talk box,” as I learned this past August.
Check out the multi-tracked steel guitar parts on Alvino Rey’s fresh arrangement of the Leon McAuliffe standard, “Steel Guitar Rag” that includes some fun call-and-response between steel guitar and orchestra:
“Steel Guitar Rag” Alvino Rey 1961
[*Earnestly hoping this 1961 arrangement will once again be posted]
Dramatic ending — glissando effect immediately makes one think of Rey’s work with Juan Garcia Esquivel. Since streaming audio of this recording is not currently available, “Idaho” (from the same 1961 album of “re-recordings” disguised by Dot as an anthology) is another classic demonstration of Rey’s smooth glissando technique:
“Idaho” Alvino Rey 1961
Alvino Rey: Musically Futuristic Coda II
As MetaFilter points out, this scene from the film Jam Session is “possibly the best available demonstration of Alvino Rey as a bandleader, showman and soloist. Includes both the volume/tone technique and the full singing guitar treatment. Stringy, the talking steel guitar, wins a cutting contest with clarinetist, Skeets Herfurt.”