PBB - 408-993-BAND

  • We play the happiest music there is.
  • We've been around for over forty years and have thousands of fans in the San Francisco Bay area.
  • Our mission is to preserve the four string banjo and the music associated with it.
  • We play for parties, and meetings -- anywhere that happy music is wanted.
  • Charlie Tagawa, our leader, is a member of the National Four-string Banjo Hall of Fame.
  • We are a non-profit corporation and we make significant contributions to (mostly) local charities.
  • Over the years, we have given over $225,000 to various charities.
  • We are always open to new members.
  • We offer scholarships to people of any age who want to learn the four string banjo or the gutbucket (wash tub bass.)
  • The public is invited to attend our practices.
             We practice and play every Wednesday evening.
                      See the following.

7:00 - 8:30 PM

390 Saratoga Ave
San Jose


for directions to Harry's

View Larger Map

  • A new volume of "The Stories Behind Your Favorite Songs" is now available.
  • Volume 5 is all new, it has 18 stories. and many anecdotes.
    Click for for more information.

  • PBB Charitable conributions
    Over the last 40+ years, the PBB has given over $225,000 to various Bay Area charities.
  • Coming Events

    Some PBB performances are open to the public.
    Following is a list of upcoming public performances.

    Every Wednesday at 7:00 PM
    Harry's Hofbrau
    390 Saratoga Ave.
    San Jose

    Upcoming Public Events
    (Fee may or may not be charged)






     May 30
    Oak Hill Cemetary
    San Jose
    12.15 -1:15 pm

           Follow the PBB on Facebook
    Table of Contents
    The 2013 Jubilee is history and it was a terrific show.
    Click here for pictures and comments from band members.
    There will not be a PBB Jubilee in 2015.

    CD’s and cassettes from the Peninsula Banjo Band

    That Charlie Sound

    We start with 8 songs from the full band, with exciting solos fom Bill Lowrey, Jimmie Min and Dorothy Horning.
    o Just Because
    o Limehouse Blues
    o San Francisco Bay Blues
    o Bei Mir Bist Du Shon
    o I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter
    o Smiles
    o St. Louis Blues
    o Tarentella Napoletano / Finiculi Finicula

    These three songs are by "Charlie and Sons."
    They are the only recordings of Charlie Tagawa's mastery of the tenor banjo.

    o Minuet in G
    o Turkish March
    o Temptation Rag

    Then back to the full band. Wait till you hear South Rampart Street Parade and Stars and Stripes Forever.
    o Roll On Mississippi
    o Do You Know what It Means to Miss New Orleans
    o South Rampart Street Parade
    o Take Me Home Country Roads
    o Wheels
    o Stars and Stripes Forever

    To order
    Send check or money order for $10.00 payable to the Peninsula Banjo Band at:
    Peninsula Banjo Band
    PO Box 111974
    Campbell,  CA  95011-1974

    For other PBB recordings and books, see the following sections.

    Over the years, the Peninsula Banjo Band has produced a number of recordings.

    Our 3 offerings are: JUST BECAUSE, MORE! MORE! MORE! and JUST ONE MORE TIME.
    Contents of each are listed below.

    The cost is $10.00 each  (If ordering by mail, please include $2.00 per item, S&H, -- $5.00 maximum.

    Make your check payable to the Peninsula Banjo Band;
    include $2.00 per item ($5.00 Maximum) for shipping and handling, and mail to:
    Peninsula Banjo Band
    PO Box 111974
    Campbell, CA   95011-1974

    Just Because
    originally recorded in the 1970's, with a band of 70 members.

    Just Because
    Carolina in the Morning
    Somebody Stole My Gal
    Alabama Jubilee
    Waiting for the Robert E. Lee
    Alabamy Bound
    Bill Bailey
    Shine on Harvest Moon
    Hava Nagilah
    For Me and My Gal
    When the Saints Go Marching In
    More! More! More!
    Originally recorded in the 80's

    Beer Barrel Polka
    Five Foot Two
    Somewhere My Love
    I’ve Been Floating Down the Old Green River
    Under the Double Eagle
    San Antonio Rose
    Coney Island Washboard
    Am I Blue
    Sweet Georgia Brown
    Just A Closer Walk With Thee
    I Wish I was in Peoria
    High Society

    Just One More Time
    Originally recorded in the 90's

    Bourbon Street Parade
    At A Georgia Camp Meeting
    The Old Rugged Cross
    Sweet Georgia Brown
    Sailing Down The Chesapeake Bay
    Tin Roof Blues
    Bill Bailey
    Exactly Like You
    What A Wonderful World
    When the Saints Go Marching In
    Banjo Stories Books from the Peninsula Banjo Band

    Stories Book Cover

    Volume I

    Did you know that our Beer Barrel Polka
    was originally a Czech love song called
    "Skoda Lasky, meaning "Lost Love"?

    That and much more in Volume I.

    48 pages and a dozen articles and -- only $5.00. (+$2.00 S&H)
    Volume II

    Did you know that the
    Hoover Vacuum Cleaner Company
    adapted "The US Field Artillary March"
    ("The Caissons Go Rolling Along")
    as their company song, entitled
    "All the Dirt All the Grit"?

    That and much more in Volume II.

    52 pages, eleven articles and -- only $5.00. (+$2.00 S&H)

    Volume III

    Did you know that "My Mammy,"
    arguably the song that defined Al Jolson,
    was originally introcuced in Vaudeville
    by William Frawley, who later became
    Fred Mertz on the "I Love Lucy Show?"

    That and much more in Volume III.

    53 pages, twelve articles and -- only $5.00. (+$2.00 S&H)

    Volume IV

    Did you know that Al Jolson originally introduced
    "If You Knew Susie" in the show "Big Boy"
    but it bombed?  
    Jolson gave the song to Eddie Cantor
    and Cantor made it a huge hit.

    Later Jolson told Cantor,
    "Eddie, you dirty dog, if I'd known
    that song was that good,
    I'd have never given it to you!"

    That and much more in Volume IV.

    50 pages, 10 articles and only $5.00 (+ $2.00 S&H)

    Volume V

    The morning after Irving Berlin wrote
    "White Christmas" —
    he often stayed up all night writing —
    he went to his office and told his musical secretary,
    "Grab your pen and take down this song.
    I just wrote the best song I've ever written — hell, I just wrote the best song that anybody's ever written!"

    • Our Monkey Song — Down in Jungle Town
    • A “Towering Song,” Let Me Call You Sweetheart
    • Colonel Bogey March
    • Down Yonder
    • Funiculi Funicula
    • Ballin’ the Jack
    • Another Irving  (Caesar)
    • Curse of an Aching Heart
    • I Love You
    • Yankee Doodle Boy
    • When I’m Sixty-four
    • Do You Know the Way to San Josť
    • My Blue Heaven
    • Irving Berlin: A Love Story
    • Hava Nagila
    • Mele Kalikimaka
    • Silver Bells
    44 pages, 18 articles and only $5.00 (+ $2.00 S&H)

    All books are soft cover with photos in black and white.

    To order, send check or money order for $5.00 each, plus $2.00 per item ($5.00 maximum) for shipping and handling to:
    Peninsula Banjo Band, PO Box 111974   Campbell, CA  95011-1974
    Or, get a copy of any book free with your order for 4 CDs.
    To read about and order CDs

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    The Peninsula Banjo Band Board of Directors

     The PBB was organized in 1963 as the Cupertino Banjo Band. As it grew and attracted members from all over the Peninsula bordered by the Pacific Ocean and the San Francisco Bay its name was changed to the Peninsula Banjo Band. The band was incorporated as a nonprofit organization in 1975. Membership varies from 45 - 70 and includes plectrum and tenor banjoists as well as wash tub bass players.

    The PBB has performed at many public and private affairs including street festivals, retirement homes, private parties and grand civic occasions. It performed at the anniversary celebration of the Golden Gate Bridge, the reopening of the cable cars, San Francisco’s Black and White ball, Candlestick Park, the Cherry Blossom festivals, Music in the Park in San Jose, the opening of the San Jose Convention Center, special events at the De Young museum and for President Clinton and Vice-president Gore. Most recently, the band performed at the opening ceremony of The Tech museum in San Jose.

    The band has been directed for 47 of its 50 years by Charlie Tagawa, a master of the tenor banjo.

    Wikipedia Article on the PBB

    For a complete history of the Band, and membership list, read the article written for the Peninsula Banjo Band newsletter, the News and Views.

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    To be on the Peninsula Banjo Band E-mail list and to be notified of our public performances.

    About Banjo Bands in the Bay Area
    If you like 4-string banjo music, here are some of the places in the Bay Area that you can find it.
    The Banjo Friends First Friday  6:30 - 8:30 PM
    City Diner,     2951 Monterey Road  San Jose, Ca  95111
    The Banjo Guys Every Monday 6:00 - 8:00 PM
    The Little Store, 3340 Woodside Road, Woodside, Ca
    Contact:  John Robbins  (650) 556-9961   or,   robbins@ihot.com
    Bob Lasley
     and the Scarlett La Rue Revival Band
    One Sunday a month, at Little Lou's BBQ, 2455 Winchester Blvd.  Campbell. Check the website for upcoming dates.
    Scarlett LaRue Revival Band  web site
    Dave Marty  Dave Marty's web site
    East Bay Banjo Club Every Tuesday, 7:00 - 9:00 PM
    Luigi's Deli and Market    537 Main St. (at Castro St.) in Martinez,  CA
    Contact: Bob Nelson @ (925) 372-0553  
    East Bay Banjo Club website
    Happy Time Banjos  Tuesday at 7:00 PM.
    Harry's Hofbrau in Redwood City.
    On El Camino Real – one block north of Woodside Road – Redwood City
    Contact: John Robbins 
    (650) 556-9961   or,   robbins@ihot.com
    Jack Convery  Jack Convery's web site
    Peninsula Banjo Band Every Wednesday,7:00 -8:30  PM
    Harry's Hofbrau
    390 Saratoga Ave. San Jose
    Contact: (408) 993-BAND (993-2263)
    Sacramento Banjo Band First & third Sundays of each month, 2:00 - 4:00 PM
    Straw Hat Pizza, 2929 Mather Field Road, Rancho Cordova
    Contact: Ben Dale@ 1-800-251-6415.
    Sacramento Banjo Band web site

    San Francisco Banjo Band

    First Saturday of each month, 7:30 - 10:00 PM
    Molloy's Tavern, 1655 Mission Road, Colma.
    Contact: Bill Portman @ (650) 692-7878.
    San Francisco Banjo Band web site 
    WineLand Banjo Band Livermore, California
    Contact Jim Botorff (925) 455-6835     or jbott@ix.netcom.com
    Wineland Banjo Band web site
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    Peninsula Banjo Band Newsletter
    The band publishes a monthly newsletter.
    Click here to see the most recent newsletter.
    Click here to see the previous newsletter.
    Click to see the issue celebrating Charlie's 80th Birthday.
    In the past, the Penninsula Banjo Band newsletter, The News and Views, printed a series of articles called Our Banjo World featuring banjo bands in our area. We invite you to read the articles and visit the band in your area.
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    Four-string Banjo Related Links

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