Presenting – the ‘ Pelham Saturday Night Special ‘

One fine day last Autumn, Lewis Pelham contacted me, to see if I had any suitable C Melody’ donor horns’ for a project he had in mind.  He was quite taken by a dismantled Buescher stencil – a Lyon & Healy "American Professional" – (to quote him) ..

"It is EXACTLY what I want. Body sound but plating less than perfect; you see, I intend for it to be black, like the Impala, and I just could not paint over excellent plating. Also, the keywork, which will remain plated, is lovely…. I was slightly worried that some of the swivel screws eg, palm keys would be absent but sensibly have been put where they belong. I did not count them but assume all the fastenings are present." 


(but naturally Lewis, I may be surrounded by clutter, but it’s an organised chaos !)


Click here, or on either of the pictures, to view the full article !

The comments in the article are mostly extracted from Lewis’s emails to me  – detailing modifications and charting the progress of the horn and case.  What a gorgeous end result, but I’d  be undecided as to whether it should be played, or exhibited. 

  Click here, or on either of the pictures, to view the full article !


Note : This is not Lewis’ first custom C-Melody / C Tenor project – Click here for details of the Pelham – Conn ‘ Impala ‘… 

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6 Responses to Presenting – the ‘ Pelham Saturday Night Special ‘

  1. ukebert says:

    Typically brilliant and innovative work Lewis! What a looker. Love the case as well, complete with broadway typeface. But then I have a thing about cases, as you’ll remember from my comments on your Impala Conn case, even if it was too heavy to lift!

  2. Steve says:

    The case looks great.

  3. alan says:

    Always have wondered why the sax has forever stayed with relatively ‘small’ touches, with all the comments about ergonomics.  Why haven’t they developed into larger (almost piano type) keys that have a clear division between them, but allow for a variety of minor finger position variations.
    With the population having the prospect of living longer (even self-destructing musicians) there are going to be more gnarled/bent and arthritic fingers out there, creaking and cracking as they struggle to conform to small targets (i.e. pearls).
    Well done Lewis, functionality and ‘art’ in one hit !

  4. Lewis Pelham says:

    The case is no lightweight. I covert one one of your C Mel dedicated lightweight gig bags, but with postage from NZ being effectively equal to the item cost, I baulk.  😦

  5. Lewis Pelham says:

    A delight to hear from you….good that you are back.
    Presumably you have completed your studies….successfully one hopes.
    I always regard you as the Professor & Custodian of Rare, Endangered & Decidedly Strange Instruments.
    Hopefully, by now, you will have grown out of the anti-social practice of bell ringing    🙂
    Kindest regards,   L

  6. ukebert says:

    Too kind Lewis 🙂 I am close to completing my studies, but not close enough! I’m in my third year of four and am not enjoying it at all and it probably won’t be successful… but am enjoying the music that goes on in Cambridge, so swings and roundabouts 🙂 I’ve been playing various accordions and melodeons mostly over the last few years, with some success (I’m through to the final of a national folk competition in April… but then I remember your opinions on folk music :wink:), but I’ve been keeping my hand in at Piano, ukulele, charango and the rest. Hopefully going to start playing clarinet again soon, get my C clarinet back into the swing of things. Sax has rather fallen by the wayside though 😦 The most recent news is that I’m joining the dark side, learning cornet of all things. Don’t worry, I’ll replace it with something more unusual once I scrape up enough funds!
    And yes, I haven’t rung in years. Might take it up again someday, it’s good fun, but one can’t do everything!

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