Louis Gallo ~ Guitarist, Teacher, Composer, (1907-1988)
Louis Gallo Guitarist
Louis Gallo was a respected Guitar player, Teacher & Composer. He was one of the 1st Guitar Players in London to acknowledge Eddie Lang’s Plectrum Guitar Music. He dedicated original Guitar Solo’s to this style. He also wrote many other compositions for Plectrum Guitar & Fingerstyle. Louis was a great Teacher & expert on all things Django. He was also a great friend of Mario Maccaferri and did much to promote the 1970s CSL Maccaferri remakes. These were the brainchild of Maurice Summerfield, produced by Ibanez and approved by Maccaferri himself. The early models are much sought after instruments. Louis son Ray has some photographs of his father with Mario Maccaferri which may soon be available. These have not been published before! In addition, Louis was a big friend of the Luthier, Marco Roccia who worked for Clifford Essex Music Shop in London. It was Marco who made ‘Selmers‘ from remaining parts available when the Selmer Guitar Factory closed. Louis Gallo & Marco went to France to buy sundry parts Stock amongst other Luthiers who urgently sought after the Selmer residues.
Impromptu Jam session Poses on the Summerfield Stand at the British Music Fair, London c. 1976. Left to right:
Louis Gallo with CSL D Gypsy (sales tag still attached), Ray Gallo (playing an oval-soundhole CSL Gypsy), Ike Isaacs & Maurice Summerfield on cutaway Electric Ibanez models
Louis Gallo was a pioneer of Plectrum Jazz Style Guitar in this country and a great admirer of Eddie Lang. He made arrangements of many of his Solos from the 20s & 30s and was in great demand as a Performer, both Solo and in some of the great Dance Bands of the pre & post-War era. It was, however, as a remarkable & influential Teacher, that Louis will best be remembered. For over 50 years he taught in London and many of his pupils went on to become successful professional musicians. He could count such luminaries as Django Reinhardt, Mario Maccaferri, Joe Pass and many other stars of the Guitar world as personal friends. He had an enduring and lifelong friendship with the genius Luthier, Marco Roccia, the man behind the great Clifford Essex Instruments including the world-famous “Paragon” Banjos & Guitars.
Louis Gallo. (Above) his name endorsed the highly successful Maurice Summerfield venture, CSL ‘Gypsy’ guitars and eventually approved by Maccaferri himself.
Louis Gallo – Louis was “regularly featured in the BMG from the mid-1920s right up to its conclusion in 1975. He was well-loved by all who met him and a personal friend of Django, as well as many other great professional players, including Joe Pass who regularly stayed with Louis and his Family when he visited London. He was a great player of the Plectrum Archtop style, but an even greater Teacher over 6 decades. He was also a keen Student of what made a great Guitar and formed a lifelong friendship with Mario Maccaferri, and along with Maurice Summerfield, designed the excellent Japanese-built CSL Maccaferri copy.”
Marco Roccia (left) Mario Maccaferri (centre) & Louis Gallo (right) – For years Marco used to meet his lifelong friend, Louis Gallo, regularly each Friday Lunchtime at the ‘Italian’. Louis tells us that he will miss his old Pal and that goes for a lot of other people too.
Mario Maccaferri & Maurice Summerfield watching Louis Gallo playing a CSL Gypsy Grande Bouche Guitar on the Summerfield Music Stand at the British Music Fair in 1975. London – Bloomsbury Centre Hotel.
The “Gallo” Selmer Maccaferri
1933 Selmer Maccaferri Orchestra Model Oval Soundhole Guitar, no. 269,
labelled “Fabrique en France, Selmer & Cie, Orchestra, 269” the open peg box stamped “Special, Henri Selmer, Paris” and bearing “HSC” Gold Tuners, 24 Fret Ebony Fingerboard (14 to the Body), the back & side of Indian Rosewood, bound to the Spruce Table with Ebony & Boxwood Lines, string banding to the Oval Soundhole, Ebony Bridge and “HSC” Gold Tailpiece, original Henri Selmer Hard Case.