In 1964 and '65, when the Beatles appeared live across America on the famous Ed Sullivan Show, it wasn't just television viewing records that were broken – sales of Beatle model guitars went through the roof! Paul McCartney's Hofner bass, John Lennon's Rickenbackers, and George Harrison's Gretsch model 6122, the Chet Atkins Country Gentleman – all saw the various guitar manufacturers struggling to keep up with sudden and massive demand. (Little known fact: Elvis Presley was also a Country Gent fan)
George owned two Country Gentleman models, both with dual string mutes, (or "mufflers" as Gretsch called them), while our slightly later model here features the single "flip-up" mute. Very few players ever used the mutes, most preferring to palm or hand mute the strings when required, so whether it's a single or double system is pretty much irrelevant. Alongside "mufflers", Gretsch also decided the body style needed a name, so the Country Gent features an Electrotone body! To be fair, Chet Atkins' concept of a hollow body to reduce feedback issues, but with painted f-holes for the traditional appearance, was almost worthy of its own name.
Basic Country Gent features are Maple back & sides and a hard rock Maple neck, all finished in walnut nitro, with a bound Ebony board, featuring "fingernail" markers, (or neo-classic, as Gretsch called them). Throw in a set of adjustable pole-piece FilterTron pickups, all gold-plated hardware, including the B-6 Bigsby, zero fret, full body and neck binding and it's easy to see why "America's best-known guitarist" was more than happy to have his name on the headstock. And all those knobs and switches! Individual volume controls for each pickup, plus master volume and 3-way selector, with mute switch, standby switch, 3-way tone selector... and the flip-up lever for the mute.
The Country Gentleman has the sound to match all those topflight features, too. Have a listen to our soundfile and imagine adding that degree of versatility to your guitar rack! (If you're keeping score, the tone controls are bass boost, clean and top-end filter)
Note the difference in spelling of the model name on the pickguard. One theory is that it was a spelling mistake at the factory, while another puts it down to possible bickering between Chet Atkins himself and the Baldwin company – the new owners of Gretsch – over rights to the Country Gentleman name, which had been adopted from Atkins' 1953 hit single of that name, (a co-write with the legendary Boudleaux Bryant). Only a very small number of 6122s were produced with the Gentlemen spelling - at the start of the single mute model's 1967 production run - making this a moderately rare instrument.
Free courier delivery
A genuine piece of music history, at a real bargain price! Complete with its original Gretsch hard shell case, this superb 1967 Country Gentleman is in overall Very Good+ condition, with only very minimal signs of the infamous Gretsch "binding rot", (right in pic # 5), plus replacement Kluson "waffle-back" tuners, (pics 4 & 6*), and a pro refret job. As with all Just Guitars instruments, FREE COURIER DELIVERY is included to any address in Australia. ($100 airfreight to New Zealand, $175 to the US, Canada, UK and mainstream European countries)
*Original tuners, as shown in pic # 6, are included in the case
Weight: 8lb 3oz / 3.7kg