Vintage Gretsch Guitars

1967 Gretsch Question

1

I recently came into a '67 Country Gentleman-- its been ages since I had a 60's Gretsch and am loving it! As I understand it, 1967 is year that Baldwin took over. I'm trying to figure out if this guitar pre-dates that.

The serial number is on the back of the headstock, but does not have "Made in the USA".

It also has a plaque on the back of the headstock reading "Gretsch BKLN N.Y."-- No idea why that plaque is there-- there is nothing underneath it.

The case has a plaque that says "Gretsch Brooklyn-Chicago." Maybe there was a purpose for identifying the guitar as coming from Brooklyn?

Is this guitar pre-Baldwin? Any ideas on the purpose of the plaque on the back of the headstock?

3

That was the year, but exaclty when i don't know. I do know that as far as changes made by new owners... that may not happen right away.

It's of course part of Fender lore that when CBS took ownership at the start of 1965, things didn't change for some time -- eventually new corporate owners send their efficiency experts/cost cutters in to study things and see what can be done to make changes with that aim. . So later in the year I guess is when changes began that led to the whole 'pre-CBS' distinction being made.

Certain things, like so called "Baldwin knobs" may have actually started a bit earlier. That plaque is new to me tho.

Later, Baldwin changes were apparent but yours may really be no different that pre-Baldwin.

4

Thanks! This doesn't have the Baldwin knobs-- it has the gold metal ones just like the guitars from the early 60's I've owned. I didn't know that Gretsch had the Chicago connection, either.

5

Here the front of the guitar, if that helps. It has the pad on the back.

6

Thanks! This doesn't have the Baldwin knobs-- it has the gold metal ones just like the guitars from the early 60's I've owned. I didn't know that Gretsch had the Chicago connection, either.

– gretschbigsby

Others will know about Chicago -- it may been just a sales office. Chicago was a lower end (still cool tho) guitar town with Kay, Harmony, and Valco/National all out there.

Cincinnati also figures in at some point -- may have been when Baldwin bought Kustom in the early 70s .

7

Can’t say if it’s before Baldwin took over but it’s got pre-Baldwin features and was made in the Brooklyn factory so who was actually writing the checks doesn’t really make much difference. My namesake CG is from December of 1966, would be considered ‘67 model year I suppose, and is exactly the same as your’s except with an ebony fingerboard.

BTW does your pickguard say “Country GentleMEN” like mine.? Just curious

8

gretschbigsby, Baldwin purchased Gretsch on June 1, 1967. The first change Baldwin made was to change the metal knurled knobs to die cast aluminum knobs with a silk screened "G" and that occurred prior to November 1967. The Chicago Gretsch office was on South Wabash Avenue and was only a sales office and where Gretsch kept a small inventory of guitars and drums for mid-west and western distribution. Baldwin did not begin making significant changes -- including redesigns of many models -- until 1971 and largely after the move to Booneville, Arkansas.

9

I've owned two 1967 Gretsches, a Nashville and a CG. I still have the CG. The plaque on the case is common, but I've never seen the one on the back of the headstock

10

Can’t say if it’s before Baldwin took over but it’s got pre-Baldwin features and was made in the Brooklyn factory so who was actually writing the checks doesn’t really make much difference. My namesake CG is from December of 1966, would be considered ‘67 model year I suppose, and is exactly the same as your’s except with an ebony fingerboard.

BTW does your pickguard say “Country GentleMEN” like mine.? Just curious

– 66gent

Yes, Country Gentlemen in the plural. Awesome!

11

I think the small plaque on the back of the headstock was put there to stop the neck splitting. A rather tasteful little touch.

12

My thought too, Mr Tubs. It looks odd but almost stock.

13

I think the small plaque on the back of the headstock was put there to stop the neck splitting. A rather tasteful little touch.

– Mr Tubs

That's cool. My initial thought was that it covered a prior serial number or something like that. But there is nothing underneath.

14

I wonder if the change back to to a neck filtertron, single mute and rosewood fretboard come with the Baldwin ownership or was it in the works already.

16

I wonder if the change back to to a neck filtertron, single mute and rosewood fretboard come with the Baldwin ownership or was it in the works already.

– gretschbigsby

Your and my Gents were made around April 0f '67 and December of '66 respectively, prior to the 6/1/67 date of the Baldwin takeover (assuming that's correct and I have no reason to doubt that it is), and they both have neck filters and single mutes, with your's having the rosewood board, so it's safe to assume that all these changes were in the works already.

Cool that you have the plural "Gentlemen" on the guard too. I've always been curious about the timing of that and if it was on purpose or a "we made a mistake but use them anyway" type thing.

17

Your and my Gents were made around April 0f '67 and December of '66 respectively, prior to the 6/1/67 date of the Baldwin takeover (assuming that's correct and I have no reason to doubt that it is), and they both have neck filters and single mutes, with your's having the rosewood board, so it's safe to assume that all these changes were in the works already.

Cool that you have the plural "Gentlemen" on the guard too. I've always been curious about the timing of that and if it was on purpose or a "we made a mistake but use them anyway" type thing.

– 66gent

Ha! I think you are right. Worthy of Gibson. They used to have "floor sweep" guitars when they would assemble a guitar made up of left over parts, confusing everyone as to what exactly it was.


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