Matchbox Blues

Matchcovers & Music

Cavern Club Matchbox

A Matchbox from the infamous Cavern Club, where the Beatles (formerly the Quarrymen) first became popular

What is the Connection?

Over the past number of months, I have been busy working on a new blues instructional program for fretted instruments.  One of the songs incorporated in my lesson plan is “Matchbox Blues”, which was written and recorded by Blind Lemon Jefferson in 1927.  Many of you may not know who Blind Lemon Jefferson was but everybody from Carl Perkins, The Beatles, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Johnny Cash and more have recorded a similar version of his song (although in some cases titled “Matchbox”).

A Beatles Matchcover from Liverpool

A Beatles Matchcover from Liverpool

I am fascinated with the history of music and how it was promoted and advertised, long before today’s media extravaganza.  Which leads me to the point of this Blog and another one of my interests and hobbies; Matchcover Collecting.

Most people have picked up a pack of matches at a restaurant or tavern which they have visited. I did so myself throughout the years and threw them in a bag.   Years later I learned just how interesting older covers can be when I acquired a collection from a friend who’s father (a matchcover collector) died. It was then, that I became a true matchcover collector.

A matchcover collector is known as a “phillumenist”.  Each collector has preferred categories such as World War II navy ships, pin up girls (referred to as girlies), railroads, cars and transportation, disney, soda or beers, featured covers with printing on the matches, hotels, to name just a few.  The time frame of “old” does not mean the 1960s or 1970s but as early as the 1930s and if you are lucky, covers dating even earlier than 1930.

Fretmentor.com has a gallery of music related matchcovers, with more to be added in the future.  You can take a look at these covers by clicking this link:

www.fretmentor.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=54:advertising-a-music&catid=34:music-history-101&Itemid=17

Do You Wish To Participate?

John Lennon Memorial Matchcover

John Lennon Memorial Matchcover

I am looking forward to adding more music related covers from not only my personal collection but from other collectors and non-collectors as well.  I not only encourage, but invite you to send me any scans of music-related matchcovers to david (insert @ symbol) fretmentor.com. I will add your cover or covers to this digital collection. You can also share your story of the cover in the comment section below.

If you want to learn more about this wonderful hobby which combines history with collecting, you can follow one of the following clubs or resources:

1. Rathkamp Matchcover Collector Society

2. Sierra Diablo Matchcover Club

3. The Matchcover Vault

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About fretmentor

Born in Detroit, Michigan, David F. Jakubiak has been involved in music since the age of 7, beginning as a clarinet player and then at 9 turning his attention to stringed instruments. He earned trophies in group talent competitions while a student at the University of Michigan. The instructor earned a BA degree in Organizational Psychology from the University of Michigan and a Masters in Public Administration at the University of Kansas. At college, he also studied classical music and music history. His passion is teaching music and in performing as a musician. In addition to on-stage performances, David has played in various venues from outdoor festivals to small nightclubs. He plays, performs and teaches various styles of music, including rock, pop, blues, jazz, classical, country and bluegrass styles. He performs and teaches acoustic and electric guitar, five-string banjo, and mandolin. His styles range from Scruggs, melodic, Reno and old-time style on banjo, to finger-style and flat-picking technique on guitar, to various styles of mandolin. For over 45 years, Mr. Jakubiak has taught all age groups, taking a personal interest in each student to ensure that they receive the attention and lesson plans that meet their needs and interests. His lessons and instructional materials place a strong emphasis on the practical use or music theory to ensure that the student understands the instrument and learns how to improvise to develop their own style. Mr Jakubiak teaches group and studio classes, webcam lessons over the internet, and individual private lessons to students of various ages. He has compiled and produced six instructional books on CD. David has written for Banjo Newsletter, a monthly publication for the banjo enthusiast and is in the process of writing an article for the Fretboard Journal. He is the founder of www.fretmentor.com. To contact David Jakubiak, please feel free to e-mail him at david AT fretmentor.com (substitute the @ sign for the word AT)
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