Pete Johnson's Dobro

We are pleased to include musical instruments formerly belonging to Pete ‘Snakey Jake’ Johnson in our 25th October 2018  sale.



Any musician or music fan local to the Crewe / Nantwich area will know the name Pete Johnson, or Snakey Jake, or have visited his shop ‘Custom Amplification’. For those who haven’t read his biography  'Ain't Bad For A Pink' by Sandra Gibson (Matador Publishing 2011) we recommend you get a copy!

Pete Johnson is renowned in the music industry but most significantly known for his love of the early 1920s/1930s Blues. He devoted his musical career to mastering the techniques both vocal and guitar of the early 20th century blues greats. As a teenager in the 60’s rather than following the current pop trends, Pete Johnson was hanging out with Sleepy John Estes, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Roosevelt ‘The Honeydripper’ Skyes, Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee,  Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Son House who taught him to play slide guitar. In later life Pete was to top the Blues Charts on Radio Georgia when he toured the state, Curly Weaver’s daughter Cora Mae Bryant was to praise his playing as ‘the best goddamn blues’ she had heard.

Included in the auction is Pete Johnson’s Dobro Mosrite Resonator guitar circa 1965, this guitar is specifically mentioned in the biography 'Ain't Bad For A Pink' by Sandra Gibson, page 244/245. Pete Johnson says of this guitar: 'I like the sound. It has dignity: there's a remote, old fashioned sound to it. My Mosrite Dobro has been greatly admired. Interviewers have asked me about it and people have wanted to own it’. Pete owned two Dobro Mosrites, one in 12 string which is seen in the black and white album release publicity photos above, and the six-string example included in this sale. Both Dobro Mosrite resonators are discussed in Pete’s biography with equal love.

Also included is a rare Riley-Baker all pewter banjo, Chicago Music School slide tutor guitar and an incredible pair of Wurlitzer Speaker Horns.


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