The Gretsch 6120 is a hollow-body electric guitar with f-holes, manufactured by Gretsch and first appearing in the mid-1950s with the endorsement of Chet Atkins. The Gretsch 6120 model has grown in stature to become the flagship of the company's line. It was quickly adopted by rockabilly artists Eddie Cochran, Duane Eddy, Brian Setzer, Steven Stills, Neil Young, Eric Clapton and many others. Pete Townshend received one as a gift from Joe Walsh in 1970, which he later would use on recordings for Who's Next and Quadrophenia.
After George Harrison played Gretsch Country Gentleman and Tennessean models (which, like the 6120, were developed with and endorsed by Chet Atkins), Gretsch found that they could scarcely keep up with demand.
Due to changes in musical tastes and changes in ownership in the late 1960s resulting in deteriorating quality, production of the 6120 ceased in the late 1970s. Values of the existing instruments soared when rockabilly artist Brian Setzer of the Stray Cats was seen playing an old 6120 in his early '80s music videos. Gretsch subsequently went back into the guitar business and new 6120 guitars are widely available.
What I have in my collection is a 1958 Gretsch 6120 Chet Atkins. The sound of this guitar resonates beautifully. The guitar has been very well maintained and the wood is still beautiful after all these years. This 1958 model is very similar to the 1959 model with the exception that it does not have a zero fret. These Chet Atkins Hollow Bodies were always fantastic guitar, and this one still holds up to this very day. The tone you can pull from this guitar is jaw dropping; fat or warm or twangy, this thing has it all. The guitar is all original with the exception of the binding which was recently done.