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Chet's Stereo Tunes

PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:41 am
by gregnorris
Chet used his stereo6120 to record the "Finger-Style Guitar" LP,with great tunes like
"Heartaches" and "Swedish Rhapsody".I've been listening to these songs all my life, and
they've never sounded like they were recorded with the stereo guitar.
However,I have found several tunes that were undeniably recorded with the 6120CGP.
They are:"Swannee River","I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles",My Funny Valentine","I Know
That You Know",Country Style",and"Zing!Went The Strings Of My Heart".
None of these tunes are on the "Finger-Style",yet they are in stereo,and none of the songs on that LP
appear to be in stereo.
What gives? Are there more stereo recordings out there? I just can't get enough Chet, and any help
in finding stuff that's new to me would be greatly appreciated.

Re: Chet's Stereo Tunes

PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:16 am
by thenorm
Firstly, the prototype for the CGP was never intended as a "stereo" guitar. It was rigged with the split pickup as a "recording" mode so he could run effects through three strings and dry on three strings. He and Ray weren't thinking "stereo" when they did this. Paul said Chet only used the split pickup while recording, not on a gig.

I think those pickups were made in 1957 so any recording he did until 1959 could have had the split pickup effect. I think sometimes he would have songs 'in the can' so to speak that would get added to an album later on although that is just speculation on my part.

After 1959 (Swanee River et al) Chet would sometimes add a split pickup temporarily on his '59. There is a picture of him and brother Jim in the studio. I saw the picture once but darn if I can remember where. Chet has his '59 and you can see an extra wire running along the face of it. Paul once pointed that out and said it was a split pickup Chet sometimes used. Apparently he could slip it on or off without too much trouble.

I think he would do things like that just to spice up a cut. Keep them guessing. I know Swanee River sounds like Something Else heard through headphones and he probably used it on other cuts too.

I don't think he ever changed his 59 pickups once he had that hot pickup at the bridge and the double bar pickup at the fingerboard. As Paul once said, "That guitar had balls...!"

Re: Chet's Stereo Tunes

PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:58 pm
by gregnorris
Very cool,Norm.Your info and insight has got me itchin to pick,but that"ll have to wait
a couple hours because my Bear box set just arrived at my front porch.
Great love to all you Chet fans out there.And God bless Paul Yandel-what would
we do without him?
On go the headphones...

Re: Chet's Stereo Tunes

PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 6:05 pm
by thenorm
One of the great mysteries to me was why Chet didn't keep that guitar as pivotal as it was and good sounding as it was. As I understand it he gave it away twice, first to Lowell Atkins, who gave it back then to Jimmy Atkins who kept it but said he didn't use in much because it was so heavy. He of course sold it after Chet passed.

Still, Chet kept several of his iconic guitars, his L-5, the one brother Jim gave him, his first Gretsch guitars but not that guitar that the CGP is based on.