Want to share my Chet of a different color (and brand)

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Want to share my Chet of a different color (and brand)

Postby nasonm » Sat Nov 09, 2013 7:16 pm

I hadn't thought about the Gibson Chet Atkins models in years but as I had some GAS money saved up, I went hunting and found one that was in the "Chet Orange". When it arrived (from a GC in South Carolina) it was in lackluster condition. After a few days with a local repair guy, it's been polished, the frets have been dressed and it's a winner! (it's also the perfect Chet companion for my Gretsch 6120).

Image
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Re: Want to share my Chet of a different color (and brand)

Postby guitarchuck » Sat Nov 09, 2013 11:45 pm

Nice looking guitar! I'm pretty sure it was Paul Yandell's idea to bring the Tennessean to Gibson. He also told Chet that he should have Gibson use the orange color on his guitars. Mike Voltz at Gibson said that Chet was very picky about the orang color. Mike said that it was really important to Chet that they got the orange color right.
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Re: Want to share my Chet of a different color (and brand)

Postby nasonm » Sun Nov 10, 2013 8:34 am

Interesting. Thanks!

The brown finish they were available in was very Gretsch as well but this orange is the one I was hoping to find! Side by side with my 6120, it's a much richer and darker orange but they were definitely born out of the same idea.
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Re: Want to share my Chet of a different color (and brand)

Postby David Elliott » Wed Nov 27, 2013 12:31 pm

guitarchuck wrote:Nice looking guitar! I'm pretty sure it was Paul Yandell's idea to bring the Tennessean to Gibson. He also told Chet that he should have Gibson use the orange color on his guitars. Mike Voltz at Gibson said that Chet was very picky about the orang color. Mike said that it was really important to Chet that they got the orange color right.


Hi Chuck,

I had a conversation with Paul about this guitar some years back, (when I was thinking to buy one). As I recall, he and Mike Voltz (0f Gibson) designed the guitar, and it was Paul's idea to have the pick guard in the shape of the state of Tennessee, (which I thought was kind of neat)! I believe Paul said that the guitar was essentially nothing more than a Gibson 335, with a little different windings to the pickups, and minus one of the cutaways. I think he indicated that Chet used the guitar on a few occasions during a few appearences, but being the fact it didn't have a Bigsby tailpiece he wasn't too enthusiastic about it.

David
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Re: Want to share my Chet of a different color (and brand)

Postby guitarchuck » Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:13 pm

David,
I always thought that the Tennessee shaped pickguard was a great idea. One of Chet's prototypes had one. Chet also had a orange double cutaway Tennessean. (Essentially a orange ES335 with Chet Atkins on the truss rod cover & possibly a wider neck) The "Chet Atkins - Me and My Guitars" book has photos of these guitars. At one time I owned the very first prototype Gibson Tennessean. It was sunburst with a red block thumbnail Gibson Country Gentleman neck. It had a Bigsby B7 with a roller bar on it. You could tell that they had been trying to make a standard Bigsby B6 to work, because there was several different screw holes in the tailpiece area. Also this guitar didn't have a pickguard, evidence that they were trying different pickguards.
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Re: Want to share my Chet of a different color (and brand)

Postby Ray Bohlken » Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:45 pm

I have a 1990 Gibson Tennessean and I really like it very much. I think you will enjoy yours a lot. Mine is orange, too, but it has a light colored pick guard in the shape of Tennessee. I bought a Les Trem for it and it feels and works very much like a Bigsby, but you don't have to modify your guitar to install it. I play this guitar as much as I play my Nashville Classic. The necks are both 1 3/4 wide and have a long scale and feel very similar to me. Chet had his name on some marvelous guitars, didn't he? Good luck with your new (old) guitar.
Ray

Here is a link to show you what a Les Trem is. I think you can still buy them. The first 3 rows show photos of them. They veered off in to other brands on subsequent rows.

http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/i ... em+tremolo

Here are a couple of links to Chet playing Gibson Tennesseans. I've never found a video of him playing a Gretsch Tennessean. Has any one ever seen one?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szuii56LTVY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRSbnb57GaU
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Re: Want to share my Chet of a different color (and brand)

Postby guitarchuck » Wed Nov 27, 2013 11:06 pm

I hadn't seen that second video: "But I Still Love You". Another thing I had forgot was they changed the shape of the pickguard slightly when they changed the color from sliver to black. I haven't ever seen any other's besides Chet's with a Tennessee shaped pickguard. You can see Chet's on page 157 of the "Me and My Guitars" book. The book lists it as: "an unusual fixed-bridge Prototype". ( It looks like a standard Gibson Tennessean only it has the Tennessee shaped pickguard).
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