1 abc 4 years ago Been posting a lot of stuff from last weekend...not in the same league as Proteus though..but here's a final batch. This is El Monte luthier and guitar picker RC Allen pictured in 1954 with his brand new custom built Gretsch Country Club (at least I think it's a Club..)in the book "The Story of Paul Bigsby: Father of the Modern Electric Solidbody Guitar" by Andy Babiuk. Fantastic book by the way, with a nice message from Fred Gretsch and among the contributors was Deke Dickerson. ...and this is a scan from the same book of the second ever Bigsby solidbody built in 1948. Merle Travis had the first one of course. ...and the connection between these two pictures and last weekend is... That's RC last weekend at the LA Vintage Guitar Show and RC is the owner of that same Bigsby which he bought in 1948. And the connection to me... RC was kind enough to hand me that almost priceless Bigsby, plugged it into an old tweed amp he had there and let me play! What a treat! I picked out a few bars of Cannonball Rag and then handed it back to RC before I embarrassed myself more with my playing or dropped the guitar... RC then showed me this guitar which he built back in 1964 for himself and which his good friend Merle Travis took on the road with him for several months in the Sixties. RC also let me play this one. RC pickin' Thumbs Carlisle style I met RC at the Duane Eddy headlining Deke Fest when he came up to me to complement me on my Merle Travis shirt. Little did I know that I was talking to a living link to the glory days of Western Swing and to some of the giants of guitar picking. He invited me to come chat with him at his booth the following day. I went down there and he treated me like an old friend. RC made guitars for Merle Travis...this one on Merle's "Strictly Guitar" album... ...and he was also a very good friend of Paul Bigsby, played rhythm guitar with Jimmy Bryant, knew Chet and was there when it all happened on the LA scene in the late 40s and the 50s. RC is still making beautiful guitars, some of which you can see over his shoulder in the pics. It was an honor to meet this wonderful guy. I know that some of you guys already know RC but those that don't, if you ever get a chance to drop by any of the vintage guitar shows in the LA area you'll probably run into RC. I highly recommend stopping and visiting with him.