How I Met Federico Garcia!
Meet Bill Harris~"My Back In The Day" Jazz Guitar Teacher. Best known as the "Swinging Segovia" was a valued member of the 1950s R&B Group "The Clovers." Love Potion #9 was one of their well known hits. Bill began playing the Federico Garcia in the mid 1960s. It was the choice guitar of his career; he played the top of the line Federico Garcia Made In Madrid #1. He distributed the Sherry- Brener's Federico Garcia Classical Guitar to his most serious students. Paying $400.00 for the instrument, he promised it would be a life's investment for the future. Enjoy Bill Harris' "I Am The Blues" and most importantly watch this guitar in action. Beginning at segments 3:57-6:44 be amazed at this guitar's locomotive train action. You will never question this guitar's authenticity again. A guitar is only as great as the guitarist. Enjoy, Bill and my favorite guitar, the "Federico Garcia."
"Poppa, I want to play the piano," in 1967 I wanted to take piano lessons. Days passed and his reply, "Darling, you can play the guitar. I am not going to invest in an instrument that you will put down; I am not going to waste my money on a piano you will tire of. Off to the Bill Harris Guitar Studio, 2021 Hamlin St. N.W. Washington, D.C. we went! Poppa drove me in his brand new ganster lean, Cadillac Eldorado. We pulled up to the studio for my first lesson.
Mr. Harris, sizing up the situation, greets us warmly, "Mr. Holmes, it's nice to meet you. And you little lady, so you want to play the guitar?" "Yes, sir" I nodded my reply. Mr. Harris picked up his favorite classical guitar and began to serenade us with his famous repertoire of classical, jazz and flamengo songs. Not only was he exhibiting his virtuosity but was showing off his guitar. Well, the guitar was beautiful...it looked like a piece of high quality furniture and it sounded as it looked--simply beautiful. "So, little lady, would you like to have a guitar like this?" Guitar cases lined the back wall of his studio; he pointed toward them.
"Mr. Holmes, you look like a man who can afford this guitar," as Bill's eyes scanned over Poppa's shoulder to the Eldorado parked in front of the studio. "Mr. Holmes purchase this guitar for your daughter. It was hand made in Spain and it will be an investment for the future." By faith and with no way to judge the financial planning tip, Poppa purchased my guitar for his "lil' punkin." I met my dear friend, Frederico Garcia in 1967. Well, Mr. Harris thought I was a teenage cutie and when it came to my guitar lessons sought to strum more than his guitar. I quit my lessons and my dear friend Frederico Garcia has traveled a lifetime with me since.
Where I never became a classical jazz guitarist, a guitar expert or even enthusiast--I will boldly proclaim, I know the Federico Garcia guitar EXTREMELY WELL. I have held it, adorned it; I know it intimately. Going off to professional Art and Design college, it became my still life favorite. My 1967 Federico Garcia has been by my side through thick and thin. It has had a place in my heart, top of the closet, corner of the basement and even a season on a stand as a living room furnishing. I am an original baby boomer owner of this incredible instrument. I was there on the scene when it arrived upon the fingertips of countless others who were budding classical guitarists around the world.
Now I adore collecting and an appraising the Vintage Federico Garcia. I glean the stories of where they have traveled and find new loving homes for them. They are still very much an investment in both the financial portfolio as well as in the hands of young budding classical guitarists. Let Bill Harris's YouTube convince you of the capacity of this instrument and what it can STILL accomplish in talented hands.
Journey to The History lesson of how its origin and how it arrived in Mr. Harris' Washington, D.C. guitar studio, into my hands and into my heart forever. Mr. Bill Harris recommended this guitar to Poppa. His recommendation stands the test of time.
C.D. Holmes-Miller, Author, Communications Designer, Clergy