1936 King Junior Cornet

Check out the engraving.

1936 King Cornet

My dad was wandering around a swap meet in Austin Texas sometime in 2009 (likely looking for parts for his 1940 Dodge, or old tools), when he called me and said "hey, this guy has an old cornet by King. Is it any good?" I said "how does it sound?"  He said "how the hell would I know?" So he had the seller play it over the phone to me. The guy was a good player, but I couldn't really tell too much about the horn over the phone. I figured, eh, screw it, this is a cool story, let's grab it. I think it was $100.

So he bought the horn and sent it to me. It's awesome. Yeah, it's beat up, quirky, and old. Like I said, it's awesome. 

The horn is a 1936 H.N. White King Junior Bb Cornet. It came with the original case and mouthpiece. The sound is smooth, warm and open. I actually like the sound better than the trumpet, and will usually play this around the house. While the tone really gets that old school jazz flavor, it doesn't have the cut that my trumpet does, so doesn't work as well with horn sections in loud bands. But for that nice, open cornet sound, it is awesome.

The mouthpiece is the original HN White "Del Staigers' Model", stamped 38, which makes it a 6038 according to the King catalog of the time. Medium bore, medium cup, medium rim, and in their words "the mouthpiece of the world's greatest cornetist." Now it's the mouthpiece of the world's worst. HAH.

While the valves are in solid shape, there clearly has been repairs all over the instrument, the finish is worn away, and it looks like it's been around; but that's part of it's charm.

If I practice a bit and get loose, I can get to high C, but I wouldn't say it's particularly smooth or musical, and I can't navigate around that high, more like "breatttthe - blowwwwww real hard". My "iffy" range goes up to the G (concert F) below high C. It's not the most solid, dead center G, but I'll try it. Quickly. I am comfortable with anything up to the E below that. (concert D) . I actually am OK with the limited range, I just wish I could find time to practice enough to get more stamina. But I'm still trying to figure out how to play the god danged guitar.

My mutes are the same as trumpet, and include a straight, Harmon (with stem sounds real cool on this horn), and plunger (that old school, wah wah sound).

1936 King Cornet

From the King Catalog, courtesy of HNWhite.com

1936 King Cornet