On the 'tube

Actual date for the Chet Atkins “Sandman” & “Country Gentlemen” Opr…

1

Many of us have seen these wonderful videos many times.

My question is does anyone know the actual week or month Chet performed these songs on the Opry?

I was wondering as the Bigsby is pretty different from most others circa 54' and the pickguard is no signature.

Thanks

2

Hi Gasmoney, l know that is colorized, but it looks like his guitar is that early ruddy brownish orange color. It also looks like there isn’t any binding on the headstock ala Bobby Cochran’s guitar.

3

Yes I am familiar with the Bobby Cochran 6120.

Its indeed a unique ruddy red finish.

4

Yes I am familiar with the Bobby Cochran 6120.

Its indeed a unique ruddy red finish.

– Gasmoney

"Familiar with...." That's an understatement, right?

Anders

5

The Mr. Sandman clip is not from 1954 as stated in the You Tube title as the Opry TV show didn't debut until Oct 1955.

These clips could have come from the Saturday October 15th 1955 debut broadcast of "The Grand Ole Opry" on ABC TV. Chet is listed as being one of the featured performers on that first show.

There was a TV show called "Stars of the Grand Ole Opry", a syndicated show distributed by Flamingo Films in 1955, which was shot both in color and in B/W and released for sale to markets across the US on April 1st 1955. It didn't begin airing until May/June of 1955 and it's possible that these clips were from that show.

I think they're from the ABC TV "The Grand Ole Opry" broadcast though.

I'll do a little digging and see if I can narrow down a broadcast date for the episode these clips came from.

6

Thats such great information

I figured it was mid/late 55'. The bigbsy looks like a precursor to the break-away and that didn't come out til 56' or so.

This bigsby has me intrigued.

Hes using a metal bigsby bridge as well.

Keep us posted if you get more detailed session info -- and thanks again

7

You’re welcome Fred.

The ABC broadcast aired once a month through the end of 1955 on these dates: Sat Oct 15th, Sat Nov 12th and Sat Dec 10th. Chet appeared on the October and November shows so these two clips could quite possibly have been recorded either Oct 15th 1955 or Nov 12th 1955.

Of course, they could also have been recorded in early 1956. I'm looking into those air dates to see if I can determine when Chet was on the show.

8

This clip of Chet playing “Wildwood Flower” is from the Purina sponsored “The Grand Ole Opry” on ABC TV on Saturday March 3rd 1956.

This 6120 is different from the one Chet plays in the two color clips. It has binding on the headstock and has an odd looking non-stock neck pickup.

EDIT: Haha! I didn’t even notice the absence of f-holes in the top!

9

This clip of Chet playing “Wildwood Flower” is from the Purina sponsored “The Grand Ole Opry” on ABC TV on Saturday March 3rd 1956.

This 6120 is different from the one Chet plays in the two color clips. It has binding on the headstock and has an odd looking non-stock neck pickup.

EDIT: Haha! I didn’t even notice the absence of f-holes in the top!

– Wheelgrinder

Now that is cool. I don't think I've ever seen the solid top 6120 with it's original neck, and am even more surprised to see that he already had the proto-FilterTrons in March of 1956.

10

That’s a really early version of his famous sealed top 6120. As you can see it has a western appointment neck. The pickups are the Butts Humbucker prototypes like in the black 6120.

The neck on the sealed top was replaced at some point and it had a horseshoe headstock with plain blocks that remained with the guitar to this day.

Excellent video. He was a master and second to none.

11

Not Chet this time...but Carl Smith’s Lead Guitar player Sammy Pruett (ex- Hank Williams’ Drifting Cowboys) on “The Grand Ole Opry” in 1955. Is this the same 6120 that Chet played in the two color clips?

It has a different Bigsby handle but no name on the pickguard, no binding on the headstock and a similar three pole piece neck pickup.

Sammy comes in at 1:10 in the video.

12

Yes super cool

Thats Chets 6120 for sure. I guess he lent to whoever left theirs at the hotel room....

13

...don’t mean to derail your original queries Fred, but in my snooping around in the Opry circa 1955 I came across this shot of Chet with the sealed top 6120 from the April 28th 1956 episode (with Carl Smith, Minnie Pearl, the Collins Kids and Buddy Ebsen).

There’s a really poor quality video on You Tube of Chet playing “The Poor People of Paris” from that show, but this video from another show around the same time is a bit better and has some nice close ups of the original neck on the sealed top 6120.

14

Powertronman -- this is not colorized footage. During the 1950's a series of country music performances were filmed in Eastman color even though they were broadcast in black-and-white, the idea being color televisions were soon-to-be on the market and being in color would make the reruns much more valuable. A number of syndicated television programs also did the same even though they were broadcast in black-and-white: The Cisco Kid, Science Fiction Theatre, Sgt. Preston of the Yukon, and The Adventures of Superman

15

Not Chet this time...but Carl Smith’s Lead Guitar player Sammy Pruett (ex- Hank Williams’ Drifting Cowboys) on “The Grand Ole Opry” in 1955. Is this the same 6120 that Chet played in the two color clips?

It has a different Bigsby handle but no name on the pickguard, no binding on the headstock and a similar three pole piece neck pickup.

Sammy comes in at 1:10 in the video.

– Wheelgrinder

Carl Smiths guitar is an interesting one too. Never heard of Gay Guitars before...

https://uniqueguitar.blogsp...

It's interesting that even though Gay was a French Canuck, born in North America, his guitars still have a decidedly European aesthetic in many ways, but with a Bigsbyesque Western touch. Cool guitars.

16

They were def A Thing for a minute. Webb and Farons' had me scratching my head in the pre internet days about what the heck they were playing.

17

I love this series of shows. An absolute goldmine of vintage instruments.

Keep the 6120 showcase coming

18

Another slight derail...my apologies...but since today is the 47th anniversary of the death of Gene Vincent here’s a great shot of Gene in Japan in 1958 with a 55/56 6120.


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