Miscellaneous Rumbles

East Coast/Midwest tie

1

Was thinking about locations of major guitar makers in the 60s -- I came up w/ this.

Fender / Rickenbacker / Mosrite = West coast

Gibson/Harmony/Kay/Valco = Midwest

Guild/Gretsch/Martin/Danelectro = East Coast

So it's 3 / 4 / 4

2

Clearly you're thinking of US-based manufacturers. There were more than this total in Japan.


For 2-3 years in the mid-60s, there were Wurlitzer and Kustom, made at Holman-Woodell in Neodesho, Kansas. More for the midwest.

Micro-Frets, Maryland.

3

Clearly you're thinking of US-based manufacturers. There were more than this total in Japan.


For 2-3 years in the mid-60s, there were Wurlitzer and Kustom, made at Holman-Woodell in Neodesho, Kansas. More for the midwest.

Micro-Frets, Maryland.

– Proteus

Yes I was doing US only- just the main stream biggies -- Mosrite squeaks in.

Were there Kustom guitars in the late 60s-- i thought none of those until early 70s. but this suggests otherwise.

HEY MAN here's yer Kustom rig .Second one down,. Looks to be 30" short scale

https://rumbleseatmusic.com...

A few Micro Frets here in MD are still seen.

4

So you're saying Wurlitzer and Kustom weren't big enough to matter?

You wound me, sir. My first "good" electric was a Wurlitzer, I'll have you know.

And I just have a soft spot for the southeastern Kansas nexus of 60s guitar history - Neodesha (guitars) and Chanute (Kustom amps and pedals) are only half an hour so apart, and were connected via business and personnel relationships.

And being an Ohio kid, I like the connection with Wurlitzer, which was established in Cincinnati by German immigrant Franz Rudolph Wurlitzer in 1853 (30 years before Gretsch). The company had a truly epic history supplying (and often leading) virtually every development in musical entertainment through most of the 19th and 20th century - from band instruments for the US Army in the Civil war to pianos, player pianos, nickelodeons, barrel/carnival/carousel organs, the Mighty Wurlitzer theatre organs, radios, jukeboxes, electric organs, the classic 200-A electric piano, wind and brass instruments...

all before offering stereo electric guitars bearing an Elkhart, Indiana label (where Wurli's Martin brand band instruments were made). And the guitars were very well-made, with mil-spec components and manufacturing integrity, as well as their own distinctive single-coil pickups (with tap switch) and proprietary "Wigsby" trem. They shoulda been a contendah - they woulda been a contendah, except someone in Neodesha got the paint process wrong, and fragile finishes leading to easy flaking meant lots of customer complaints and warranty issues.

To finish the Wurli story, the company passed through Baldwin's hands, and thus to Gibson - who still sells Wurlitzer jukeboxes and vending machines made in their founder's native Germany. The last Wurlitzer-branded piano came in 2009.

5

Hey I know Wurlitzer pretty well and remember their guitars and these huge solid state amps and the who can forget the brasshorn attachement? The kool people like me sure do!

I have pix of almost every Wurlitzer electric piano from the 1954 prototype model 100 thru the last of the 200s in 1983. Most made in DeKalb Illinois for much of the time.

Huge Wurlitzer theater organs also outrageous.

I am a little unclear on the Baldwin/Kustom scene, but I guess since Baldwin ownend Kustom from maybe around early 70s... 70s Gretsch amps were made by Kustom I am guess out in the cornfields o' Kansas, including the demented Expander G amp

I still say that is like CBS owning Fender and Leslie, as there was a marriage of Leslie mechanicals in Fender clothes, the Leslie 16, 18 and Fender Vibratone

But if we count Kustom guitars etc. then add another to to Midwest.

Also we gotta nail down the final late 60s Chicago-area days of Kay, Harmony, and Valco.

I knew that Kay and Harmony had merged for about a year before the end but this article states that Valco was part of that .. not sure.

"Engelhardt bought the mighty Kay company from Seeburg, the juke-box company, who’d purchased Kay the year before. This was probably to get Kay’s new state-of-the-art factory. Unfortunately, the market had gone soft, and in ’68, Valco/Kay closed its doors for good, " https://www.vintageguitar.c...

I thought Valco stayed indepedent to the end and it instead was a short lived marriage of Kay/Harmony


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