Southern California Music Co.


Socal Rolando Bracketless Banjolele Banjo Ukulele
Rolando Banjolele
Made by Sam Osborn Co
Southern California Music Co Hawaiian Soprano Ukulele
Hawaiian made Soprano
SoCal Omega Alpha Chi Soprano
Omega Alpha Chi Soprano
The Southern California Music Co. are a California distributor founded in 1880 and still in business today, though today they are now only one shop and mainly a piano retailer. In the early 20th century they had 6 shops in Los Angeles and San Diego, and were a distributor to other retailers. Their own brand was Rolando and they used this on a range of Banjoleles, (made by or for them in California by George Sandstrom in the teens and moving to supply from the Chicago houses, (Sam Osborn to start with) in the early 20's, plus some other instruments like Guitars. I have read of, but never seen a wooden Ukulele branded Rolando. SoCal, (as they were known), also sold a lot of Hawaiian made Ukuleles at the time and may have owned the M.Nunes name from the late teens onward, (they commissioned the first ever steel strung Martin Guitars in 1916 and wanted some branded Rolando and some branded M. Nunes? This timeline would also fit with Leonardo Nunes leaving M. Nunes & Sons and striking out on his own?)

Rolando Banjoleles started out with a hole in the headstock for a strap, (originally they were sold with this string strap in place but the hole was stopped on the later ones), and no tailpiece with the strings going through small holes in the drum, (very similar to John Bolanders 1916 patent)

Omega Alpha Chi were a special batch of Sopranos made for a university sorority and featured the greek letters on the headstock, possibly they provided a similar service for others too?

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