It was in the early 1970's and I was attending a bluegrass festival in Corinth, New York when I was a member of "The High Peaks Boys" and we were playing at this festival. I had the great pleasure of meeting Billy Edwards backstage and he commented on how he liked my pickin' and was impressed with my version of the Vic Jordan tune "Pickaway". As we talked he showed me the records (33 1/3 LP's) in the trunk of the car they were traveling in and explained that he had the banjo with him that he'd used to record in 4 of the albums, but it was a "mix" of different banjos and even though it sounded great (recording quality) he couldn't sell or trade it easily on the road. I offered to trade him my brand-spanking new Gibson RB 250 for that banjo and after a little coaxing, he even threw in the 4 albums.
I later found out it was a Gibson 1929 tone ring and a "Bow Tie" 1966 neck. So this first "Bow Tie" really didn't have a "Bow Tie" tone ring but rather a very sought-after ring. I LOVED that banjo for many years and it was the start of a love affair with "Bow Ties" that I still have. Later on, I bought an original 1956 "Bow Tie" from Louis Catella in Berlin, New Hampshire and I've owned a few others along the way.
I shall forever be indebted to Billy Edwards for trading me such a great recording quality banjo for one of the new RB 250's. The "Bow Tie" banjo tone ring, whether arch-top or flat-top is one of Gibson's "popping-est" banjos I've ever played and I wouldn't even think of being without one.
My 1959 that I'm playing now is all original and "pops" like there's no tomorrow!