Jimmy Atkins with Jerry Reed's 6120 guitar

Talk about guitars, amps and other gear.

Re: Jimmy Atkins with Jerry Reed's 6120 guitar

Postby guitarchuck » Sat Feb 05, 2011 8:17 pm

I vote 6120 also. The majority of the features on that guitar are standard 6120 features as Norm has pointed out. The only thing that I notice that's not standard 6120 features: zero fret & what appears to be a black Chet Atkins signpost Tennessean pickguard. It would be interesting to know what the model number on the guitar actually was.
guitarchuck
 
Posts: 983
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:28 pm

Re: Jimmy Atkins with Jerry Reed's 6120 guitar

Postby smokymtguitar09 » Sat Feb 05, 2011 10:58 pm

Billy Leys, who apparently posted the photos and information about his dad and Jimmy Atkins, plays guitar in the rock band WROX based in Mobile, Alabama. He looks a lot like his dad in the band's photos. He probably could tell us more about the guitar if anyone is interested trying to contact him. WROX has a website and Facebook information including photos of Billy.

http://www.worxmusic.com/index.htm
Ronnie Evans
smokymtguitar09
 
Posts: 447
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:15 am

Re: Jimmy Atkins with Jerry Reed's 6120 guitar

Postby thenorm » Sat Feb 05, 2011 11:26 pm

It's impossible to tell in a black and white picture but I have a feeling it may have been a bright cherry red finish which would have made it a custom 6120 (not a custom CG) . There's no apparent grain visible in the wood that I can see.

A black pickguard might ahve beend thought of as good for contrast against red as it was on some of the early single pickup Tennesseeans
thenorm
 
Posts: 482
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:29 pm

Re: Jimmy Atkins with Jerry Reed's 6120 guitar

Postby smokymtguitar09 » Sun Feb 06, 2011 12:41 pm

Norm,
I heard from Bill Ley's son Billy and he provided some additional information confirming about the color you had suggested. He also gave me his father's email address and I have included him in the email reply to Billy. It is very interesting to take old photos like these and analyze them with others who know a lot about the various models and modifications.

Here is the basic information Billy provided about his father's guitar:

My father Bill was a guitarist with Walt Benton & The Diplomats. The guitar was a Chet Atkins model Gretsch. It was Chinese Red, thumb inlay. I think it was a '59 model. He sold it to someone in Atlanta right before he went into the Air Force. It was custom ordered through DeKalb Music Supply where he and Jimmy Atkins worked. Actual records (serial #, etc) were destroyed when the music store caught fire 30 + years ago

Perhaps we will hear back from his father with more information. Thanks!
Ronnie Evans
smokymtguitar09
 
Posts: 447
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:15 am

Re: Jimmy Atkins with Jerry Reed's 6120 guitar

Postby thenorm » Sun Feb 06, 2011 4:27 pm

I thought it might be red. The single pickup Tenny of the day (CA Workshop album cover guitar) is that kind of red and may have been the inspiration. Red has a certain look about it in black and white photos. Your eye gets tuned to it via seeing pictures of women (lipstick and nail polish) for example.

The votes are in, then. It's a '59 6120 special ordered in red featuring a black Bigsby.
thenorm
 
Posts: 482
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:29 pm

Re: Jimmy Atkins with Jerry Reed's 6120 guitar

Postby smokymtguitar09 » Sun Feb 06, 2011 4:53 pm

I'm abstaining until I hear from Bill Leys, but you all are probably right.

Coincidentally, I had just dug out my copy of CA's Workshop and was looking at the single cut-bridge pickup model in orange-red with black pickguard, thumb inlays, black Bigsby, and zero fret less the horseshoe headstock. When I logged back in you had beat me to it.....good for you.

This beats watching all the Super Bowl hype; however, I will watch the game although I really have not pick a favorite yet. My favorites all lost out in the playoffs.

Thanks for the information.
Ronnie Evans
smokymtguitar09
 
Posts: 447
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:15 am

Re: Jimmy Atkins with Jerry Reed's 6120 guitar

Postby smokymtguitar09 » Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:08 pm

I would like to add that this discussion might come to the attention of the present owner of the Bill Leys custom order guitar. According to his son, they are still holding out hope of recovering the guitar, so if anyone has knowledge of the guitar or any of the previous owners they might contact us or Billy Leys.

A lesson learned here is to not let go of those guitars that have created fond memories regardless of how tough things get, or worse yet to buy another guitar we think we can't live without. I'm guilty on both counts.
Ronnie Evans
smokymtguitar09
 
Posts: 447
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:15 am

Re: Jimmy Atkins with Jerry Reed's 6120 guitar

Postby smokymtguitar09 » Mon Feb 07, 2011 10:44 am

From the Gretsch Pages the 1959 catalog shows the 6120 available almost as the custom Bill Leys guitar with the exception of the black 'Chet Atkins' pickguard. It was offered with a carved saddle leather strap as shown on Bill's guitar in the 'Jimmy-Walt-Bill' photo. At the top of the page is the new Country Gentleman. You can click on the photo for an enlarged view and description.

http://gretschpages.com/media/img/memor ... age021.jpg
Ronnie Evans
smokymtguitar09
 
Posts: 447
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:15 am

Re: Jimmy Atkins with Jerry Reed's 6120 guitar

Postby guitarchuck » Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:58 am

So it looks like he must have ordered a red 6120 with a black signpost pickguard. Everything else looks standard for 1959. Thanks for posting that Ronnie.
guitarchuck
 
Posts: 983
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:28 pm

Re: Jimmy Atkins with Jerry Reed's 6120 guitar

Postby thenorm » Mon Feb 07, 2011 12:07 pm

That may be a '59 catalog but those are '58 model guitars

No zero fret (on the cg) and black Bigsby. The 6120 does have a zero fret which suggests the final 59 design features were not yet fully implemented.

The way I understand it the desingation 58 or 59 applies to the year the final model design was set. I have a single cut cg built in 1961 but technically it's a '59 because it has all the features built into the 59 final. The next change was in 1962 with the double cut but there may be some single cuts finished up in early 1962.



They used older model photo for their latest catalog. Could be any number of reasons. I doubt any guitar company anticipated the micro examination their products would get fifty years in the future
thenorm
 
Posts: 482
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:29 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Guitars and Equipment

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest