The Rancher was a 17"-wide jumbo acoustic with a triangular soundhole based on Gretsch’s earlier 125F, but with Western-themed decorations similar to the Chet Atkins 6120, 6121, and the 6130 Round Up.
The 6130 Round Up introduced its most famous flattop—the Rancher—in 1954. The Rancher was a 17"-wide jumbo acoustic with a triangular soundhole based on Gretsch’s earlier 125F, but with Western-themed decorations similar to the Chet Atkins 6120, 6121, and the 6130 Round Up. The model boasted a Golden Red finish, and you can see one of these eye-catching guitars being violently strummed by Paul Peek of Gene Vincent’s Blue Caps in the classic 1956 film The Girl Can’t Help It.
The stunning orange 1957 behemoth spotlighted this month has the features typical to the model’s evolution that year. These include an extremely figured maple back and sides, large triangular rosewood bridge supporting an adjustable rosewood saddle, a “G” brand, a 25 1/2"-scale rosewood fretboard on a maple neck, pearloid humped-block fretboard inlays (replacing the original block inlays engraved with cow and cactus designs), a horseshoe headstock inlay (replacing the original steer’s head), and a plain gold pickguard (replacing the earlier tortoiseshell ’guard).
The large triangular rosewood bridge and adjustable rosewood saddle are among this instrument’s unique features.
On April 20, 1957, the guitar was originally purchased new for $275, including case and strap, at Zadworny Accordion Studio in St. Paul, Minnesota. A trade-in allowance of $65 was given for a Harmony Monterey guitar, leaving a balance of $210. The original hang tag, Gretsch Guitar Guarantee, polish cloth, and strap have been preserved in great condition inside the case.
Gretsch offered a lifetime guarantee against defects in workmanship or materials to the original owner.
More information and photos of Ranchers and other Gretsch guitars can be found in Gretsch: The Guitars of the Fred Gretsch Company by Jay Scott.
Original price: $275
Current estimated market value: $3500
Dave ’s Guitar Shop
Dave Rogers’ collection is tended by Laun Braithwaite and Tim Mullally and is on display at:
Dave’s Guitar Shop
1227 Third Street South
La Crosse, WI 54601
Photos by Mullally and text by Braithwaite.