Leo Raley
Possibly the first professional musician to record with an electric mandolin, Raley played with Western swing fiddle legend Cliff Bruner and the Texas Wanderers, as well as other Houston-based bands. (Bruner, a former sideman with Milton Brown and His Musical Brownies, formed the Wanderers following Brown's death in 1936.) Raley is pictured here with a Martin A-style mandolin with a pickup built by Ted Daffan, the proprietor of a Houston radio repair shop. It was Raley's playing that first inspired Tiny Moore to pick up the electric mandolin.
     In 2012 Raley's family released a treasure trove of photos and other information, and put up for sale two of his mandolins along with a Fender amp and the Daffan pickup! It seems that Raley also played, at various times, a Gibson A4, a 1930s Gibson EM150, a Gibson snakehead A Junior, a Martin 2-15, and a 1960s Gibson 2-point A5 like the one made famous by Jethro Burns. He kept the Daffan pickup throughout his career and simply installed it on whatever mandolin he was using at the moment (except on the EM150, which had a stock Charlie Christian pickup).