303 episodes in Mandolin Mondays and we had a question with no known answer: Which builders and companies appeared most often?
With that goal in mind, we used an Excel spreadsheet and visited each episode, the results listed below.
Unique instruments built by the musician or non-commercial builder (less than a handful), a few unnamed antique models, and individual participants in Mike Marshall’s Artistworks video with 32 students have been left out. The information for these people simply did not exist. Also out of the mix, Sir Paul McCartney’s Epic Mandolin Mondays with his Antony Dixon Mandolin because, well, it’s in a class of its own.
We assumed that Gibson, with its century of mandolin-making, would lead the pack, and that turned out to be true. Not so lucky, Martin or Lyon & Healey who did not return from any appearance.
The numbers are not particularly intended to demonstrate the strength of the brand or to prove any argument. You could even argue that there were SO many marks that only appeared once or twice that much of it didn’t matter. An interesting exercise which provided the answer to the question we were asking ourselves and which seems to give us an idea of what a lot of musicians have chosen to play in a series that is now heading for six years online.
By the numbers
* In the first year of Mandolin Mondays, David Benedict only posted videos of himself. The series eventually moved on to guests with David still making regular appearances. For this reason, Flatiron and Apitius – the two brands he owned and played – accounted for 53 appearances of the Flatiron and 33 of the Apitius. To better understand the comparison, David’s appearances with these two instruments were only counted once for all episodes.
Austin Clark 3
Red Diamond 2
Brian Dean 2
Randy Wood 2
Unique appearances from the following builders: Lawrence Smart, Stelling, Blue Marlin, Eastwood, Voight, Solivan, Stadler, Bayard Blain, Hinde, Woodley, Buckeye, J Bovier, Wade, Manoel Andrade, Paul Tozer, Wes Archer, Stanley Lorton, Phoenix, Vessel, Sullivan, Jean Marc Perrin, Hugh Hansen, San Juan, Rose, Fredholm, Silverangel, Jade, Kerman, Winteringham, Carey, TKD, Gabriele Pandini, Hamlett, National, Pomeroy, Orser, The Bluegrass Mandolin, The Loar, Calace Raffaele , Webber, Vana, Monteleone, Mintu Biswas, Carl Spann, Lebeda, Kalamazoo, Turkey Creek, JJ Ryan, Doug Clark, Mowry, Fender, Davidson, San Juan, Dowling, Springwell, Summit, Ribeiro, Bulas.
What are your thoughts?