My Gretsch addiction began harmlessly enough with a visit to the 1992 Philadelphia Vintage Guitar show. I was out of college, and had just started to play the guitar, and wasn’t sure what to expect from the event. I emerged a changed man! In spite of the overwhelming sea of different models on display that day, I was immediately enamored with the uniqueness and utter-cool factor that the Gretsch guitars possessed. The following year I returned to that show with a pawnshop Gibson 335 to trade and $750 in my pocket. I came away with my very first vintage Gretsch, a 1958 Chet Atkins model 6119, and that was where my journey began.

Ten years later, after I had acquired a couple more vintage Gretsch specimens, a member of the on-line forum Gretsch Discussion Pages turned me on to collecting examples of the sequential serial numbers Gretsch used on their guitars from 1947 thru mid-1966. That’s when I began to build my personal database of documented Gretsch specimens. In the years since, that resource has steadily grown, allowing me to glean information about the Gretsch Brooklyn factory’s production history, previously unavailable as a result of the official records being lost to fire in 1973. It is the data from this continually expanding database that I now use to fuel my various writing efforts.

In July of 2010 my first article was published in Vintage Guitar magazine, the same month that my first book was released by Schiffer Publishing. Entitled Gretsch 6120, The History of a Legendary Guitar. This book was my chance to offer a deep-dive into all aspects of the company’s flagship model, the Chet Atkins model 6120. In the years since I have written other articles, published in a variety of magazines, featuring Gretsch-related subject matter. In the Summer of 2014 another book, Ball’s manual of Gretsch Guitars – 1950s, a macro view of the entire Gretsch guitar product line of the 1950s, was released. Additional projects are currently in the works, so stay tuned for news about those…!

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Anyone who knows the story of Paul A. Bigsby, understands the massive impact he had on the development of the solidbody electric guitar.  His own hand-made instruments were as much works of art as they were engineering achievements, as well as the genesis for what was about to happen in the music industry in the early 1950s.  Ironically,  Bigsby may well be most recognized in modern times as the inventor of a wonderful guitar accessory known as “The True Vibrato”.  I’m currently satisfying my obsession with these devices through deep research.  We’ll see what comes of that…!

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Released in 2010 by Schiffer Publishing, this book was my debut effort. Recognizing the evolutionary nature of the both the Chet Atkins model 6120 guitar, as well as the entire Gretsch guitar product offering, I applied Darwinian concepts of natural selection to tell the story of the emergence of the electric guitar, and eventual introduction and maturation of the famous Chet Atkins model 6120. The material has been very well received and I encourage you to read the many positive reviews.

Errors & Updates
Amazon Reviews

Ball’s Manual of Gretsch Guitars – 1950s

Released in 2014 by Schiffer Publishing, this effort is more of a technical resource featuring the most accurate explanation of the several Gretsch serial numbering schemes, the common features found on Gretsch guitars, and an overview of each of the models offered for sale during the decade of the 1950s.  Most significantly, there is a table I’ve created identifying each year’s factory production, batch-by-batch, in chronological order based on serial numbers.  This information resides nowhere else, and will help to clarify nagging issues within the Gretsch enthusiast community relating to model year attribution for each batch.

Amazon Reviews