This banjo is purportedly one of three copies of Ole Betsy hand built by renowned banjo player Curtis McPeake. In his prime, McPeake played with some of the biggest names in bluegrass, including Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys and Flatt and Scruggs. Featured in the book, Masters of the Five String Banjo, McPeake was also a Nashville session player and member of the Opry staff band for eight years. He has appeared on hundreds of recordings. An extraordinary instrument dealer and builder, he is considered one of, and perhaps the most highly regarded expert on Gibson pre-war banjos. Curtis also developed and marketed tone rings patterned after his 1937 RB75 (Old Betsy) that reproduced the tone of the golden era of banjos. This banjo uses Curtisís 20-hole flathead tone ring as well as his selected aged maple Lightning Bolt bridge to resurrect the sound of the 1930ís.
An exact replica of the famous pre-war Gibson Ole Betsy, and featured in Jim Mills book of flat-head five string banjos of the 30s and 40s, this banjo is in perfect condition. Constructed with a dark finish mahogany neck and resonator, nickel-plated hardware, and one-piece flange pot assembly, the banjo is equipped with a McPeake tone ring, an ebony fingerboard with Ole Betsy style inlay pattern, pancake tuners, and a Presto-style tailpiece. The banjo has great tone and a wonderfully playable neck, and comes with the case pictured here.