Doug Flynn tours Eminence Speaker in Henry County, the world’s largest loudspeaker manufacturing company. In the first segment in a series on luthiers, Kentucky Life visits Frank Neat of Russell Springs, who specializes in banjos and has made banjos for many famous musicians. Last, we meet blues musician Tee Dee Young and take in a performance at Tee Dee’s Blues Club in Lexington.
Eminence Speaker Company
From the initial output of three 18-inch speakers per day, Eminence Speaker Company produces over 10,000 speakers per day, and employs almost 200 people. Eminence has sold to all the major sound amplification and professional sound companies.
Luthiers, Part 1: Banjo Maker Frank Neat
One who makes or repairs stringed instruments that have a neck and a sound box is known as a luthier. The name comes from the French word for lute, which is one of the oldest plucked string instruments. In the first of a three-part series about Kentucky’s luthiers, we travel to Russell Springs to meet Frank Neat, who makes bluegrass banjos.
Tee Dee’s Blues Club
Tee Dee Young picked up the guitar as a young boy and hasn’t put it down since. Growing up in Lexington, Tee Dee was mentored on guitar by an elderly musician, and picked up his vocal skills from his father, who was a gospel singer.