Rudy Mück Information Site

 

 Rudy Mück

      Various Contributors


Alex Brown and Lex Lambert - Balanced Trumpet

We received an email from Alex Brown and he says:

I started to learn the trumpet in 1955, & I was taking lessons from Les Lambert who was with the Skyrockets Orchestra, who at this time, were resident at the London Palladium.

Les used to play a Besson trumpet, but one day I turned up for a lesson & Les had a Rudy Mück balanced action trumpet, he said he had been asked to endorse the trumpet, & was considering their offer.

He must have accepted their offer, because advertisements of him playing this trumpet appeared in the Melody Maker newspaper. I think this was 1955 or possibly 1956.

    ( click on picture to see larger version )
Here's a 1940s photo of Les Lambert playing with the band
and Carmen Miranda -
he's 2nd to the left of Carmen

Thank you Alex for that great story!


A recollection from Arthur Ubry
We received an email with some personal information
about Rudy and wanted to pass that on to you.

I knew Rudy in the early 1940's. His son (Victor?) was running the NYC store and Rudy and his wife were living in South Plainfield, NJ. We kids used to visit as they were friendly and had sweets for us.

I had just started to learn music in school and Rudy and my Father worked out an arrangement for me to get a trumpet. Rudy had a workshop that had mostly brass instruments. He assembled a small-sized trumpet (cornet) that I could play. I remember he custom made a mouthpiece for me. The case was also custom made for the instrument. It served as a sled many a Winter!

I remember that Rudy could rebuild a valve and never change the tone on the instrument. I learned later that only a true master could do that. The inscription on the bell was "Wurlitzer Lyric". Rudy was Czechoslovakian, and I learned, as I grew up, that my Family immigrated from Czechoslovakia! They were Bohemian descent. I donated my trumpet to a high school in Florida when I lived there...Arthur Ubry


Bill Barnes ( "cleanhead" ) Story
- taken from email dated 10-20-07 - special thanks to
Kid Dutch
( his Kid Dutch website and Vintage Mute site )
 
who hooked us up with Bill-

When I lived in Manhattan in the early 1970's I would often go up to Mike Fiore's shop over the Rod Baltimore Music store. Mike had worked for Rudy Mück for a long time and he owned the Rudy Mück name after the last of the involved Mücks passed on.  He usually had a nice stock of old Mück instruments and unusual mouthpieces like Costello and Bukur, and it was a fun place to go and hang. Moreover, my wife's office was only a block or so away and it gave me an excuse to go and have lunch with her.

Mike did indeed tell me a funny story about Rudy Mück, and here it is:

He described Mr. Mück as a somewhat proud, grouchy European type. Bobby Hackett had ordered a cornet to be made, and it was ready for buffing. As Mike approached the buffing wheel with it, Rudy said "NO - I will buff Mr. Hackett's cornet, not You", a clear indication that only HE was worthy to service the great Bobby Hackett.

As he proceeded to buff the horn, it caught in the high speed buffing wheel, was yanked out of his hands, and began to whirl at considerable speed, banging against the table at every revolution. Mike said he had to restrain Rudy from trying to grab it, as this could have resulted in serious injuries to his hands.

Finally the cornet came free of the wheel, shot across the room, and slammed against the wall. It was a total loss, a scrambled mess. Rudy glared at Mike with a Jackie Gleason/Ralph Crandon type slow burn, and said :" NOT ONE WORD !"

Shortly afterward, Bobby Hackett came in and asked if his horn was ready, and without saying anything Rudy showed it to him. This story explains why, although he played many different makes of horns, Bobby Hackett never played a Rudy Mück cornet.

Rudy Mück was the MAN in NYC for trombone slides. Cliff Heather, a staff studio trombonist who got me my first trumpet, told me every top trombone man in the City went to Rudy on a regular basis just to have their slide perfected. This included Tommy Dorsey.

I moved to Florida in 1976. I heard that a few years later Mike Fiore retired and moved to Bradenton Florida. He is probably not alive anymore, as he was even older than I. I have a lot of Rudy Mück info if your interested in that sort of thing.

Bill Barnes


We received an email from a viewer who passed on some unsubstantiated information from a very knowledgeable person of Vincent Bach history.  If we can substantiate this, we will.

Vincent Bach and Rudy Mück at one time swapped some parts - trombone parts for French horn parts. Rudy Mück hired some of Bach's workmen by offering higher pay in the mid-1930s and, after that, Bach had nothing good to say about Mück.

If Mück's trumpets are anything like Vincent's, Bach had nothing to do with that. Bach guarded his processes and designs very well. Of course lots of people owned them, so they could be cloned to some extent.

So it doesn't appear that the two instrument makers were "best buddies" but more rivals -- all hearsay, of course, but plausible nonetheless.


Email from Bob Saccente who was friend and apprentice
to Victor Muck, Rudy's Brother


click on card to see larger version

Note:  Bob also sells on eBay under the userID of "heidisaxo" -- see here --> Bob

"My name is Bob Saccente, I do restorations on vintage horns, I learned instrument repair from Rudy's brother Victor Muck in Hollywood Florida

I met Victor in the late sixties when in high school and became a very close family friend. Vctor told me a story about Rudy ....when Rudy applied for a job repairing in new York,, he said that was Carl fisher music store ??? {could be another store} they hired Rudy to buff horns and Rudy said I can repair also .. but the owner refused to let Rudy repair anything and wasn't keen with immigrants at that time, the story goes as follows (as Victor muck told me many many times)

Rudy after being hired on was put up stairs to buff and clean horns and also was given a French horn which looked like it been run over or worse by the owner of store, the owner of store said to Rudy "Here ,if you are a repair man do this on your lunch break" ,the owner never ever figured to get this totally smashed horn fixed, a few months passed and owner was presented the now new looking perfect f- horn by Rudy!  The owner said NO WAY cant be done, Rudy said check the sn# number and sure it was the smashed horn, and now perfect cond., the owner of store gave Rudy a job repairing from then on, this story sticks in my mind for the last 50 years , Victor repeated it many times, Rudy's brother was a kind helpful person and helped me develop my skills and I bought out Victors tools before Victor passed away, 20 +years.. AGO and some of my dent hammers and mandrels were given to Victor from Rudy way back... Victor had a shop in Plainfield, NJ on 118 madison ave Enjoy

Thanks, Bob Saccente orlando florida Humm'n Horns"

Bob included a scan of the business card Victor gave him which he still has in his shop.  Does any of this ring a bell with anyone, please email us admin@rudymuck.info

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