The Gretsch Country Gentleman debuted in 1958 as the top model of the Chet Atkins line, which included the economy Tennessean 6119, as well as the Chet Atkins Hollowbody
The Gretsch Country Gentleman debuted in 1958 as the top model of the Chet Atkins line, which included the economy Tennessean 6119, as well as the Chet Atkins Hollowbody 6120 and Solidbody 6121.
The Country Gentleman’s features were developed because of Chet’s continuing quest to achieve a better amplified guitar sound. These features included better bracing to help sustain, closed f-holes to eliminate feedback, and hum-canceling pickups. Chet also wanted the guitar to have a classier look than the bright orange 6120, so it was stained a dark mahogany color. The single cut-away Country Gentleman remained his favorite Gretsch even after the model changed to a double cutaway in 1962.
The Country Gentleman featured this month has all the features typical to 1961: a 17-inch wide body with a slim two-inch depth (shrunk from 1958’s 2¾” inches), gold plated U.S. Pat. 2892371 Filtertron pickups, a brushed aluminum Gretsch “V” cutout Bigsby, closed f-holes, gold plated Grover Imperial tuners, zero fret (added in 1959) on an ebony fingerboard with Neo Classic (thumbprint) inlays, a nameplate with serial number on the headstock, and a gold plated bar bridge.
This guitar cost $575 when new in 1961 and came with a dark gray Deluxe Gretsch case. Original single cutaway versions of the 6122 are seen less often than the double cutaway versions made popular by George Harrison and can be very expensive. Faithful reproductions of the 1958 and 1959 single cutaway Country Gentleman are being made by Gretsch today for much less money than an original.
Dave''s Guitar Shop
Daves Roger’s Collection Is tended to by Laun Braithwaite & Tim Mullally
All photos credit Tim Mullally
Dave’s Collection is on dispay at:
Dave''s Guitar Shop
1227 Third Street South
La Crosse, WI 54601