Here's a rare 'Singing Cowboys' guitar from our most recent US buying trip. One of the most famous of all the Singing Cowboy models, The Plainsman was in production from 1938-42, with this stunning bronze model available for 12 months only.
Cecil B. De Mille
The Plainsman model was named after the big budget Paramount western of 1936, starring Gary Cooper and Jean Arthur and produced by the legendary Cecil B. De Mille, (who provided all 64 pistols used in the production from his personal collection!). A typically over-the-top De Mille production, the film requires massive suspension of belief, as it brings together Abraham Lincoln, General Custer, Calamity Jane, Wild Bill Hickock and Buffalo Bill Cody! ("How do you like your bacon, Bill?" "I like my bacon fine.")
Montgomery Ward / Richter
Built for the big Montgomery Ward catalogue and department store chain by Richter of Chicago, The Plainsman initially came in a gunmetal grey, with the stenciled scene in black and white. Towards the end of 1939 the design changed to this fabulous bronze enamel lacquer, with the scene depicted in cream and two shades of brown. The following year the guitar reverted to its original color scheme, along with a different tailpiece. In 1941, alongside the gunmetal version, the guitar also came in blonde with the Plainsman scene in black and brown. Later that year the gunmetal was gone, with the blonde version closing out the production run, just prior to the calendar turning over into 1942.
Birch & Poplar
Not just super cool looking, but also in very good condition and highly playable, the three-quarter size Plainsman features an all-Birch body, V-shaped Poplar neck, an ebonized board & bridge and inlaid celluloid dot markers. 12 frets to the body, the typically thin frets of the day, painted-on front, rear and sound-hole binding, nickel-plated trapeze tailpiece, plus black-button, 3-on-a-plate Kluson tuners.
Immediately playable, with very little wear, (a few touchups to the binding paint; light playwear on the back; very little on the front), this is a guitar that you will turn to time after time, not just for its handy size, but its sweet Birch tone and huge projection. Songwriting guitar, travel guitar, studio instrument, killer wall decoration – The Plainsman will fit into your life very easily!
As a fantastic bonus, your 1939 Plainsman comes in its original, end-opening soft case, (see pic # 5).
Singing Cowboy guitars
The following link will take you to a brief history of guitars – scroll about four-fifths of the way down, and you will come to a fascinating section titled "Cowboy Serenaders." LINK