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
[more]5

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

1960 Gretsch 6122 Country Gentleman the final & most beautiful Single Cut Gent !

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA, 33327, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$14995

WE ARE FLORIDA'S OLDEST VINTAGE GUITAR SHOP ! 1960 Gretsch 6122 Country Gent the last & most beautiful Single Cut Gent ! This is the very coolest & very rare late production example of the “Single Cutaway” Country Gent for 1960. Its got an amazingly flamey & killer quilted Maple Top w / a see-thru Walnut finish that could be the best looking Gretsch Gent ever produced as well as being quite clean showing only some basic play time. Its equipped w / a set of the grooviest black plastic inlaid ... more

1963 Gretsch Country Gentleman

LOVELAND, OHIO, 45140, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

C $12572

1963 Gretsch Country Gentleman, Just Like “George Harrison’s” Beautiful Dark Walnut Finish, Gold hardware, Two original Filtertrons, dual flip-up mutes with Red felt, Stair step Grover imperial tuners, Nice wide neck, Bound Ebony fingerboard, Great low action, Hang tags with case candy, Very Good condition, Clean Original hard case A former owner tagged the Bigsby and heel cap with his name & numbers... more

1962 Gretsch Country Gentleman

FRANKLIN, OHIO, 45005, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$11998

1962 Gretsch Country GentlemanOriginal with original case, Exceptionally heavy flamed. We have never seen one with this much flame before, in hand or pictured, until now, same model with all the same appointments as George Harrisons first Country Gentleman 100% in working order. Extemely rare with dail up string mutes, Gold hardware, Two Filtetron pick ups This is the one to have. AT DAYTON VINTAGE GUITARS & AMPS YOUR GUITAR WILL BE PROFESSIONALLY CLEANED AND SETUP WITH NEW STRINGS. SAFELY ... more

1964 Gretsch Country Gentleman (GRE0346)

LOVELAND, OHIO, 45140, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$5395

Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 1964 Gretsch Country Gentleman, Walnut finish, dual mutes with Red felt, Supertron & Filtertron pickups, Gold hardware, Bigsby, Lovely guitar! Excellent condition, Original hard case, $5, 395... more

Used 1971 Gretsch® 7670 Chet Atkins Country Gentleman Walnut Stain w / OHSC

LA PORTE, INDIANA, 46350, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$3499

Gretsch® 7670 Chet Atkins Country Gentleman This guitar is in very good condition for its age. The finish is free of any large dings, chips, or scrapes. There are some minor dings that do not go through the finish. There are a couple of chips in the clear coat lacquer finish wear the guitar hangs by its headstock. The body binding is deteriorating with about 50% being fully intact. There is a good amount of patina to the gold hardware. All electronics functions as they should. Everything is ... more

Gretsch 6122 Country Gentleman Mahogany 1964, Dual Mutes, Filter 'Tron & Super'

IRVINE, CALIFORNIA, 92618, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$3195

VINTAGEGUITARBUYERS COM * 888-GUITAR8 * WE BUY GUITARS Questions? Contact Us, We Can Help! 100% Positive Feedback on ITEM DESCRIPTION: Make: Gretsch Model: Country Gentleman Finish: Original Walnut Serial #: 71248 Cosmetic Condition: Excellent Neck: Mahogany neck with ebony fretboard Body: Mahogany Pickups: Original Playability / Sound: Sounds and plays great. Weight: TBD Case: Original Hard Notes: Dual Mute 1964 similar to George Harrisons. ITEM CONDITION: Cosmetic Condition: Excellent SHOP ... more

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