Tiny Moore
Moore, a member of Bob Wills' Texas Playboys, was a pioneering electric mandolinist. In fact, he is sometimes (erroneously) credited with inventing the solidbody version, and is still the person most closely associated with the instrument.
     Tiny studied the violin as a child. He picked up the electric mandolin after hearing the playing of Leo Raley. Tiny's first electric mandolin was built by Raymond Jones, a friend from his hometown of Port Arthur, Texas. Several more instruments ensued:


     Tiny joined Wills' band in 1946. During his four-year tenure with the Playboys, he played what looks like an early 1940s Gibson EM-125 (an obscure cousin of the better-known EM-150), evidently stock except for a white knob. After 1948 Tiny acquired a Gibson EM-150 with a P-90 pickup. In 1952, while living in Sacramento and playing with Wills' brother, Billy Jack, Tiny acquired a 5-string, single-course, solidbody instrument built by Paul Bigsby. Later he became associated with a maker named Jay Roberts, who built copies of the Bigsby, including one for Tiny. Tiny's EM-150, Bigsby, and Roberts now belong to a music store owner in Sacramento; you can find a photo of all three of them here).
      Tiny sold Roberts instruments through his own shop. He also played with Merle Haggard, and was an adept fiddler and vocalist. As a teacher, he can count dozens of contemporary musicians among his proteges (though not all of them are known as electric mandolinists). He published an instructional book and tape, which are long out of print.