GRETSCH | COUNTRY GENTLEMAN

Gretsch Country Gentleman

hollow-bodied guitar

Model: Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gentleman 6122
Available: 1957-1981
Pickups: bridge: Filter'Tron; neck: Super'Tron
Scale: "
Body: single cutaway 1957-61, double cutaway thereafter. Wide 17" maple body, simulated f-hole. 2" deep. Real f-hole from 1972
Neck: maple neck 22 fret bound ebony board
Hardware: gold

The Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gentleman was a very well respected hollow body electric, first launched in 1957, and continuously available throughout the 1960s and 70s. It naturally varied over the years of production, but was essentially a 17" wide, 2" deep, all-maple hollow body - just like the White Falcon. This was a big guitar. By contrast, the Gibson ES-335TD was smaller and thinner with a body width of 16" and a depth of just 1 3/4".

Gretsch and Chet Atkins

Country guitarist Chet Atkins endorsed Gretsch guitars for most of his career, and the Country Gentleman was one of the guitars most associated with him. The instrument is, of course, named after his 1953 song 'Country Gentleman' that appeared on his debut album Mister Guitar.

When the model was launched it was actually a single cutaway instrument; the body remained this way right through to 1961, when it was restyled with the (now) more familiar double cutaway. It was available in either mahogany or walnut finishes with gold hardware - except for the Bigsby vibrato tailpiece, which was nickel.

Gretsch Country Gentleman, 1957-1961

1961 Gretsch single cutaway Country Gentleman Image Heritage auctions

Gretsch Country Gentleman, 1962-1971

The model was then redesigned, most notably with a double cutaway body, but also a new muffler (mute) system, padded back, and standby switch. These features were widely lauded and the focus of Gretsch advertising for much of the mid-1960s. Initially the mute was operated by screwing down two metal knobs, though this soon changed to an easier to operate flip up switch

1968 Gretsch Country Gentleman Image Heritage auctions

The following description comes from the 1965 Gretsch catalog

The handsome showpiece of the fabulous Gretsch Chet Atkins line - the new slim Country Gentlemen with the styling and tone that have made it the most desired electric guitar in the world. Slim 17" Electrotone hollow body with simulated "F" holes, new double cutaway, 2" thickness, for ease of playing. Deluxe high ratio enclosed gears. Gold-plated Gretsch Bigsby tremolo and tailpiece. Adjustable rod-Actionflo neck. Satin ebony Neo-Classic fingerboard. 24 karat gold-plated metal parts. Filter'Tron bridge pick-up and Super'Tron II (jazz) fingerboard pick-up. Built-in double muffler. Standby switch. Leather shoulder strap. Padded back, cushioned for comfort. Rich mahogany grained finish.

George Harrison and the Gretsch Country Gentleman

Other than Chet Atkins himself, George Harrison was the biggest endorser of the Country Gent, and was responsible for the company's inability to keep up with demand in 1964/65. Harrison used other Gretsch guitars (previously the solid body Duo-Tone, and latterly the Tennesean), but owned two examples of the Country Gentleman. He bought the first in 1963 from Ivor Arbiter's Sound City in Rupert St. London. Arbiter was the exclusive distributor in the United Kingdom. This first example had the screw down mute. He bought a second guitar in late 1963, though this had flip up mute. Both were dark brown, and were used widely in the early and mid-1960s. For more information about Harrison and his guitars, check out Andy Babiuk's excellent Beatles gear with huge amounts of information about all the Beatles guitars.

Gretsch Country Gentleman, 1972-1981

The model was redesigned once again for 1972, with, significantly an open, rather than painted f-hole. Brown finish was also offered from '72 with model designation 7670. In 1975 the vibrato was modified, although only briefly, with a tubular arm added, though this was changed back to a flat arm again by 1979.

1971 Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gentleman
1976 Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gentleman

Have a closer look at two examples of 1970s Country Gentleman, a 1971 and a 1976

Vintage Gretsch Country Gentleman advertising

Electric guitar advertisements originally published from 1962 onwards. Click on the images for larger copies. Check out other vintage Gretsch advertisements

Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gentleman 6122 - The Sound of Superiority

Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gentleman 6122 - The Sound of Superiority (1962)
This advertisement shows a broad selection of Gretsch's early 1960s guitar offering, though interestingly, by the time this advert was placed many of these guitars had been redesigned as double cut...
[more]0

Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gentleman 6122 - Chet Atkins: the "Personal Touch" built in...

Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gentleman 6122 - Chet Atkins: the "Personal Touch" built in... (1963)
An early 1960s advertisement for three new Gretsch Chet Atkins guitar models, all designed with input from Chet Atkins: the Country Gentleman, Hollow body and Tennessean. These guitars were hugely ...
[more]1

Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gentleman 6122 - Chet Atkins Says: Look at it My Way and You

Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gentleman 6122 - Chet Atkins Says: Look at it My Way and You'll Play a Gretch Too! (1964)
Gretsch advertisement for the Chet Atkins series of hollow body guitars: Country Gentleman, Hollow Body and Tennessean. The advert, as was so often the case between 1963 and 1966, highlights three ...
[more]2

Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gentleman 6122 - Chet Atkins says:

Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gentleman 6122 - Chet Atkins says: 'this shape means sucess!' (1965)
Mid sixties grestch advertisement for the Chet Atkins series of Gretsch guitars, and the Gretsch Country Gentleman in particular. This ad ran fom very late 1964 right through to 1966, and refers to...
[more]3

Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gentleman 6122 - "Gretsch", Says Chet, "Is Where The Authentic Sound Is."

Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gentleman 6122 - "Gretsch", Says Chet, "Is Where The Authentic Sound Is." (1966)
Advert for three Gretsch Chet Atkins models, the 6119 Chet Atkins Tennessean, 6120 Chet Atkins Hollowbody (after 1967, known as the Nashville) and the 6122 Chet Atkins Country Gentlemen
[more]4

Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gentleman 6122 - When you call a guitar a name it better be good

Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gentleman 6122 - When you call a guitar a name it better be good (1969)
The Chet Atkins endorsed Gretsch models, The Country Gentleman, Nashville, and Tennessean
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Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gentleman 6122 - Give Your Sound the Professional Edge

Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gentleman 6122 - Give Your Sound the Professional Edge (1972)
1972 Gretsch advertisement for three Gretsch semi-acoustic electric guitars: the Country Gentleman, Nashville and Tennesean

When you're serious about your Sound,you treat it right. And yo...
[more]6

Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gentleman 6122 - The Country Gentleman

Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gentleman 6122 - The Country Gentleman (1979)
This is the guitar for the serious musician. Designed and played by Chet Atkins, the Country Gentleman has been welcomed in concert halls throughout the world and has gained the distinction accorde...
[more]7

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Gretsch Country Gent for sale

Vintage 1960 Gretsch Gold Switch Nuts and Washers White Falcon Country Gentleman

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, 60618, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$45

Vintage Correct Parts is proud to offer, for your consideration, A completely original and fantastic Vintage original 1960's Gretsch Nut / Washer Set This set includes all items as pictured - three nuts, three washers and three brass switch nuts. These are authentic 1960's Gretsch parts, check our other stock for a bunch of vintage Gretsch goodies! Correct for a variety of Gretsch guitars including the White Falcon, Viking and Country Gentlemen These are great tuners - made to outlast the ... more

Vintage 1960's Gretsch Brass Switchtips White Falcon Country Gentleman 1963 1964

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, 60618, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$95

Vintage Correct Parts is proud to offer, for your consideration, A completely original and fantastic Vintage original 1960's Gretsch Switchtip set This set includes all tips as pictured - three smaller and one of the larger tips. Correct for a variety of Gretsch guitars including the White Falcon, Viking and Country Gentlemen These are great tuners - made to outlast the human race Perfect working shape and ready for your 60's Gretsch! WE SHIP WORLDWIDE Get it back to stock, get it VINTAGE ... more

Vintage 1960's Gretsch Guitar Strap EMBOSSED White Falcon Viking Country Gent -1

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, 60618, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$95

Vintage Correct Parts is proud to offer, for your consideration, A completely original and fantastic Vintage original 1960's Gretsch Guitar Strap Very nice original condition - rare! One of two we have available ! Correct for a variety of Gretsch guitars including the White Falcon, Viking and Country Gentlemen Perfect working shape and ready for your 60's Gretsch! WE SHIP WORLDWIDE Get it back to stock, get it VINTAGE CORRECT!... more

4 NOS 1970'S GRETSCH GOLD G KNOBS WHITE FALCON COUNTRY GENTLEMAN 6120

LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY, 40503, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

C $121

New old stock original 1970's Gretsch gold "G" knobs. 4, still sealed in plastic! Buyer to pay $6 95 US shipping. International $18 95.... more

Gretsch Guitar Mute Assembly White Falcon Country Gentleman Viking Vintage 1960s

KANSAS CITY, KANSAS, 66103, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$129

Gretsch Guitar Single Mute Complete Assembly. White Falcon, Country Gentleman, Viking, Vintage Correct 1960s Models.... more

Vintage 1960's Gretsch Country Gentlemen Pickguard Chet Atkins 1950's w / bracket

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, 60618, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$145

Vintage Correct Parts is proud to offer, for your consideration, A completely original and fantastic Original Vintage Gretsch Country Gentlemen Pickguard with original bracket Correct for your vintage 1950's Thru 1960's Country Gentleman This guard is in AMAZING conditionOne light crack coming off the guard mounting screw hole as picturedOtherwise fantastic shape! FLAT RATE PRIORITY USPS SHIPPING! WE SHIP WORLDWIDE Check our feedback and bid with confidence.... more

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