VID Music sports #2 – Alvino Rey

Long before 80s vocoders made robotic lyrics common, Alvino Rey (and/or his wife Luis King hiding behind a curtain) had a talk box and a talking pedal steel guitar.

(The action starts at 1:46 in the video)

This ‘St Louis Blues’ scene from 1944 may be a portion of one of his band’s short films. The ‘guitrobot’ is named ‘Stringy’. What a hoot!
While vocoders already existed at that time, they were the size of refrigerators (and used to encode top-secret comms between Washington and London). They had to wait for transistors and integrated circuits to become pop tech.

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