George Van Eps was born in Plainfield, New Jersey, into a family of musicians. His three brothers were musicians. His mother was a classical pianist and his father, Fred Van Eps, was a ragtime banjoist. George Van Eps began playing banjo when he was eleven years old. After hearing Eddie Lang on the radio, he put down the banjo and devoted himself to guitar. By the age of thirteen, in 1926, he was performing on the radio. Through the middle of the 1930s, he played with Harry Reser, Smith Ballew, Freddy Martin, Benny Goodman, and Ray Noble.
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