del casher

Guitarist and guitar-innovator Del Casher performed with The Mothers Of Invention around 1967.

The picture on the right shows Matt Groening and Del Casher. Picture taken from the delcasher dot com website.



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    from / Hoodini - 2006/11
Jazzing up Christmas

Holiday carols, classical music and a bit of jazz to be heard in concert at Alex.

By Joyce Rudolph
Published Nov 24, 2006 - 10:07:23 pm PST

Conductor Olivia Tsui and guest artist guitarist Del Casher go over music for the upcoming Christmas concert Friday at the Alex Theatre in Glendale.

The pursuit of the American dream will blend with traditional Christmas carols when the Glendale Symphony Orchestra presents its "Sounds of Christmas" concert on Friday at the Alex Theatre in Glendale.

Musical director and conductor Olivia Tsui has invited her longtime friend, Burbank composer and guitarist Del Casher, to join in the celebration.

The orchestra will perform two of his works, "Americana Suite" and "A Christmas Medley," with his band, Del Casher's Jazz Five, she said.

"I was really happy to have him be with us," Tsui said. "He is an old friend of mine. I've known him for 16 years and know his work. He's one of the most versatile people I know. He is a virtuoso guitarist, composer and inventor, and is also a producer and owns a recording studio in Burbank."

Tsui chose to include "Americana Suite" because she is incorporating the theme of dreams and imagination in the first half of the program, she said.

"The 'American Suite' is about [Casher's] father and his dream to come to the United States," she said. "He wanted the American dream. He struggled with a new language and culture and the family finally succeeded, she said.

The piece follows the family's hardships of coming to America and the last movement is a celebration of arriving in America, she said.

"There's a story to the suite, it's not just a composition," Casher said "My father came to America from Austria when he was 13, and by 21 years old, he was an accomplished musician and he became a teacher and orchestra arranger and conductor."

When Del Casher decided to pursue the guitar, his father was his first teacher, he said. He was also interested in electronics and became fascinated with the recording techniques for the guitar. He developed the wah-wah pedals for the guitar and the Ecco-fonic echo machine.

Del Cashier grew up in Indiana and after college came to California. His early success involved working with Lawrence Welk and Gene Autry.
He later was featured with Elvis Presley in the film "Roust About" and helped Frank Zappa launch his Mothers of Invention band.

"'Americana Suite' is an inspiration of the American dream," he said. "And because I compose my music on the guitar, I translate it then to the orchestra sound, and the first movement is called 'The Pursuit.' It is a fast and lively song with vivid anticipation of the American dream."

The concert path will change in the second half with Casher's "A Christmas Medley," which will feature his Jazz Five band. He chose musicians in the orchestra to include in a jazz jam session, he said.

"We'll be showing the audience that the players in a symphony orchestra are not such rigid players that they can't really live it up and jam with the best," he said.

They'll play "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," "Winter Wonderland" and "Jingle Bells."

"We are going to ask the audience to join in and hand clap, too," he said.

The program has been tailored to satisfy all ages and musical tastes, Tsui said.

Youngsters will be familiar with "The Polar Express" concert suite by Silvestre and everyone from 4 to 94 knows "T'was the Night Before Christmas," which will be narrated by K-Mozart 105.1 FM host P.J. Ochlan, to orchestral accompaniment.

Excerpts from Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker Suite," which will feature dancers from the Marat Daukayev School of Ballet, and continuing the orchestra's tradition, carols arranged by the orchestra's former music director Carmen Dragon will be featured.

The Angeles Chorale will sing "Randall Bass Gloria" and 7-year-old Marc Yu, a virtuoso pianist who has appeared on "The Tonight Show," and "Oprah," will perform the third movement of Mozart's Piano Concerto in B flat major, K450.

The varied program falls into Tsui's plan for the orchestra, to provide entertainment for people of all ages, ethnicities and professional backgrounds, Tsui said.

"No other orchestra has come up with this versatile a program," she said. "I did the research. We are offering a program from classical ballet to jazz to movie music."

WHAT: Glendale Symphony Orchestra's "Sounds of Christmas" concert
WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday
WHERE: The Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale.
TICKETS: Starting at $20
CONTACT: (818) 243-2539

    from / Hoodini - 2006/11
From -

If you have ever heard a screamin' Wah Wah pedal guitar solo, watched the NBC Nightly News or have been a part of the mainstream culture for many years, chances are you have already heard Del Casher. Del has been directly responsible for the development of many legendary guitar sounds heard over the world thousands of times.

Del has been on the cutting edge of music, guitars and entertainment for all audiences. His credits include all areas of the entertainment industry.

Del produced and played for Vic Mizzy, the alternate theme for Sony Pictures' "Spiderman 2." He appeared on screen with Elvis Presley in the movie "Roustabout" and Jerry Lewis in "The Patsy" both at Paramount. Warren Beatty selected Del to be featured in the film "Love Affair" at Warner Brothers with his ethnic balalika performance.

Del introduced the first wah wah to the world at Universal Pictures. Del was featured with his "Wah" on the opening title to Vic Mizzy's theme for "The Traveling Saleslady" starring Phyllis Diller. He was featured on the sound tracks for "The Ghost and Mr. Chicken," "The Shakiest Gun in the West," and "The Ambushers" at M-G-M. Del introduced his personal wah wah circuit design for the guitar while working with Vox . He produced a record demonstrating the new sound of a wah wah which until that time had never been heard.

He began his career during his high school years in Hammond, Indiana and starred in his radio show "The Many Guitars of Del Casher" at WJOB.

After college, Del came to Hollywood. He brought his invention ideas of the Ecco Fonic that earned him a position with the world famous RCA New York recording group "The Three Suns."He appeared at the Coconut Grove, Las Vegas, and an international tour to Japan which featured their hit RCA album "The Three Suns in Japan."

After his tour, Frank Zappa discovered that Del had unique pedals and echos and asked Del to arrange, produce, and play the theme for a Roger Corman movie "Queen of Blood." Immediately Frank Zappa asked Del to join his group, "The Mothers" for appearances at the Shrine Auditorium and the Whiskey A-Go-Go in Hollywood. Frank featured Del on his famous "Freak Out" performance that was aired on the David Susskind TV Show for ABC television.

On the opposite end of the spectrum he was the music producer and arranger for "The New Zoo Revue" children's.

He also composed music for "Chico and the Man" starring Freddie Prinze and Jack Albertson, both for NBC followed by music for NBC's Thorton Wilder's "Our Town."

Union Records of Japan contracted Del to arrange and produce his own albums as "Del Casher and his Sonics" for the Japanese market.

Japan Victor commissioned Del to produce several albums of the Billy Vaughn Orchestra and their hits.

In the beginning in 1966, Vox Musical Instruments asked Del to develop and promote new sounds for the guitar. His greatest achievement was the Vox wah wah pedal. He introduced it in February 1967 by producing a record with his guitar demonstrating the "wah wah" with his original music that best demostrated the use of the "wah wah."

Incorporating his unique guitar sounds NBC asked Del to produce a new "NBC News Center 4" theme which played every night for 18 years. It became one of the longest running television news themes from 1971- 1988.

Del has performed with Julie London, Bobby Troup, Bob Hope, Peggy Lee, Buddy Ebsen, Danny Thomas, Donald O'Connor, Motown Records,The Ray Conniff Orchestra, Sonny and Cher, Phil Spector's "Wall of Sound" and played with "The Three Suns" in Hollywood, Las Vegas and Japan. He has appeared on Doug MacIntyre's KABC radio talk show and Art Fein's "TV Poker Party" interviews. Del also played on numerous "Little House on the Prairie" episodes and was the featured guitarist on Gene Autry's weekly TV show "Melody Ranch."

Del produced, arranged, and performed a Jimi Hendrix-style wah wah for Miramax's film "Reindeer Games."

Del was recently a featured artist at the "Viva Las Vegas Festival" in Las Vegas and will perform in London as a featured guest on several radio interviews and performances there.

He is also the anime producer for the Tenchi Muyo DVD series. 

Del is the composer for his "Americana Suite" for orchestra which was recently world premiered in southern California.

Del performs throughout the world as a featured guest soloist.


Del's original proto type VOX Wah Wah pedal

First Commercial film recording of the Wah Wah pedal
Feb. 1967


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