The talk box has long been an instrument in the musician’s arsenal, from modern pop to ’70s funk and all the way back to the Golden Age of radio. The first talk boxes were used in 1939-1940. These devices can function in a variety of ways, but each use the musician’s formation of the words to amplify and transmit the sound through a separate musical instrument.
In 1965 the movie Second Fiddle To A Steel Guitar effortlessly showcased the talk box of one incredible country musician. The amazing performance combines elements of ’60s pop with country & western while at the same time letting the talk box take center stage. Pete Drake invented the set up using his steel guitar as the central instrument.
Drake would later give an entranced Peter Frampton his own talk box (the “Talking Music Actuator” as Drake called it) and Frampton would go onto worldwide fame based on his talking guitar with songs like “Do You Feel Like We Do?” Have a listen to Pete Drake’s talking steel guitar in the clip below.