Author Archive

Bigsby groupAnyone 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…!

labels: Recent News

The February, 2014 issue of Vintage Guitar magazine has my article on some amazing prototypical Country Gentleman specimens.  This article features two known examples, but served to flush out yet another from a reader… and it turns out to be the earliest of the bunch!

labels: Recent News

1959 Country Gentleman model 6122

Monday, September 23, 2013

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1959-Gretsch-Country-Gentleman-GRE0012-/331008210060?pt=Guitar&hash=item4d11a0748c

The Country Gentleman model was Chet Atkins’ opportunity to “fix” all the features that he was obligated to endure on the Chet Atkins 6120 Signature model, but didn’t really like much.  So gone where the open sound-holes, screaming orange stained finish, and single-coil DeArmond Dynasonic pickups.  This new model (6122) was a professional instrument that suited both Atkins playing style as well as his more muted personality.  Introduced for the 1958 model year, only 100 were made. The 1959 model year brought a few refinements, including the “zero fret” feature and the earliest examples of the V-style Bigsby.  It was this model year that Chet’s personal instrument originated from. It was a favored guitar for many years.  Only about 150 of the ’59 model year examples were produced.  The one offered in this auction is all original and in spectacular condition.

labels: Ebay

1939/40 Gretsch catalog

Sunday, August 11, 2013

http://www.ebay.com/itm/380528390848?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

This is an extremely rare example of early Gretsch ephemera. It’s a hard-bound catalog containing all the instruments that the Gretsch company marketed, including drums, banjos, brass instrument, accessories, and of course guitars. These hard-bound books were provided to instrument dealers to keep as a house-copy. They were published every few years. Most have not survived. For Gretsch guitar enthusiasts, the attraction to this catalog is that it announces the stylish Synchromatic acoustic archtop pre-war product line. Interestingly, it also lists (but does not depict) the first Gretsch branded electric guitar offering, the “Electromatic Spanish”.

labels: Ebay