Gretsch Tennessean, '60
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Cherry Red, Serial # 34983.
In 1958 the Fred Gretsch Company decided to expand the successful Chet Atkins signature guitar line introduced in 1954, which already included the Chet Atkins Hollowbody 6120 and the Chet Atkins Solidbody 6121. The new models were the high end Country Gentleman and the low end Tennesean.
The Chet Atkins Tennessean was a stripped down version of the 6120. It shared the same body dimensions, but had only one bridge pickup, and had no binding on the fingerboard or headstock. The Tennessean also had a unique red stain finish instead of the orange of the 6120. The pickguard with Chet’s signature in a signpost was black instead of the gold color seen on the 6120.
The features on this example from the collection are common to other 1960 model year Tennesseans. These include: the zero fret, Patent Applied For Filter ‘Tron pickup, “V” cutout Gretsch Bigsby vibrato, and a body depth of about 2 and ½ inches.
These appointments remained (except for a gradually thinning body) until 1962 when Gretsch’s entire line was revamped.