When Harrison appeared on Ed Sullivan with the double cutaway model, well, as Fred Gretsch said: "All hell broke loose". This guitar in the video is the "Nashville", which differed only cosmetically from the Country Gentleman - the sound is the same.
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. Today, a wide range of 6120 models are available, including an assortment of Brian Setzer signature models and faithful reissues of 50s classics. Like most Gretsch guitars, production is now based in Japan at the Terada factory, although custom-shop American-made 6120s are also available.
Note that in the mid-60s, the proper name of the 6120 changed from "6120 Chet Atkins Hollow Body" to "6120 Nashville", but the original name is again in use, although a Brian Setzer signature model is called the "Brian Setzer Nashville" (another 6120 is called the Brian Setzer Hot Rod).
Gretsch country gentleman
All that needs to be said about this guitar is that the king of rock 'n’ roll played one of these. Oh, and this guy George Harrison played one, too. You may have heard of his band, The Beatles? They had a bunch of hits back in the day.
Notable players: George Harrison (The Beatles), Elvis Presley, John Squire (The Stone Roses)
gretsch duo jet
Known mainly as a manufacturer of country and rockabilly guitars, Gretsch rose to further popularity outside of its home shores thanks to the British Invasion of the '60s, especially through the frequent use of its guitars by Beatles guitarist George Harrison. Despite sharing a similar body shape to the Gibson Les Paul, the Gretsch Duo Jet is renowned for the various types of tones that it can produce with its multitude of pickup combinations.
Fun Fact: The Gretsch Duo Jet was the guitar George Harrison used when the Beatles were playing the strip club circuit in Hamburg. Kids today might recognize it as one of the controllers that can be used for the video game The Beatles: Rock Band.
In Feburary 1964 the Beatles visited America for the first time. Their appearance on the “Ed Sullivan Show” marked the beginning of the “British Invasion” and is touted as “the day popular music in America was changed forever.” By this time George Harrison had been a Gretsch player for several years (his first quality American electric guitar was a Duo Jet) and when he appeared on the Sullivan show playing a 1963 Country Gentleman this marked the beginning of the Country Gent’s rapid rise to the role of cultural icon. The development of the Country Gentleman goes back to late 1957 when it made its official debut as a 1958 model. While the name “Country Gentleman” could aptly describe Chet Atkins himself, it’s more likely in reference to a song of the same name that Chet originally recorded in 1953. As a high-end model (it was the top of the line in the Chet Atkins series), it was produced in limited numbers. And given the $500 price tage, a substantial sum of money in 1958, it sold in limited numbers (in Gretsch’s electric line, only the White Falcon was more expensive). Produced as a single cutaway from model year 1958 through model year 1961, there’s a simple understated elegance to this version of the Gent. Sporting a closed 17” wide “electrotone” body (with solid bracing and simulated f-holes), Gretsch’s new humbucking pickup (the Ray Butts-designed Filter’Tron), and its trademark metal nameplate on the headstock, the Gent was fairly conservative in its appearance. Its walnut/mahogany stained finish was quite a contrast to the rest of the Grestch line which featured more wild colours.By ’61, Gretsch had decided to revamp its line of electric guitars. The single biggest change was the decision to phase out the single cutaway construction in favor or a double cutaway design. The Country Gentleman made this transition in late 1961. Other significant changes included a snap-on back pad for more comfortable playing, and the addition of two felt “string mutes” (one for the bass strings and one for the treble strings) that could be raised or lowered by dialing up the appropriate knob. Still a high quality instrument, the Gent retained the Grover Imperial tuners, dual Filter’Tron picups, and metal nameplate. Like most of Gretsch’s other instruments, the double-cutaway version of the Country Gent went through many changes in its production life, including different pickup configurations, truss-rod systems, tuners, mutes, control knobs, and closed/open f-shaped sound holes (our example from ’67 has a single string mute for all six strings and large button Grover tuners.) There were very few 12-string versions produced, quite possibly only one or two.
While the Les Paul, Stratocaster, Telecaster, and White Falcon are clearly in the first echelon of cultural icons, Gretsch’s Country Gentleman is ensconced at the upper end of the second echelon, due largely to the impact of Chet Atkins and George Harrison, two of its most-celebrated players. A 1960s Gretsch Country Gentleman. The Chet Atkins Country Gentleman (the model’s official name) had at least two distinct incarnations (and several variations) during its long life span: originally as a single cutaway model and later as a double cutaway version. The development of the original single-cutaway model probably began in late 1956/early ’57
Don't fall into the trap of believing that certain guitars are only good for limited styles of music. Too many misinformed blues players think you can't use a Gretsch for blues, for instance. Rubbish!
Gretsch guitars are classic designs that can be employed for any type of music you wish. They're versatile. You're limited only by your own preconceived notions.
Gretsch electric guitars (like all guitars) are good for whatever YOU.RE good for! (musically speaking of course.
Elvis Presley"s 1964 Gretsch Country Gentleman serial number 80736. It is similar to George Harrison's second Country Gentleman notably the double flip-up mutes. This model however features a SuperTron II with bar/blade pole magnets in the neck position as opposed to another 12-pole FilterTron as in the bridge position. It also has the large, semi rectangular ("kidney") tuner buttons rather than the stair-stepped Grover Imperial tuner buttons. These features are typical transition 1964 era, since they had dropped the double mutes in favour of a single lever type, phased-in about '65/'66.
gerorge had 2 gretsch country gentlemen one a 1962 the other a 1963… george brought his 1962 into the shop for repairs while he waited they gave him a 1963 country gentlemen to use george preferred this one because it featured flip up mutes instead of dial up (the only difference between the two) when the beatles were on the road for their last tour of Britain their car hit a bump the 1962 gretsch fell of the car and was ran over by several cars …. how ever his 1963 country gentlemen the one that was on the ed Sullivan show is still around Ringo Starr is the owner of the guitar