Vintage Gretsch Guitars

Chet Atkins with a Hi-Lo Tennessean?


The magazine article on Chet with a DC 6120 got me to wondering, are there any pictures of him holding the Hi-Lo Electrotone Tennessean? I haven't seen any that I can recall. I know that he preferred the single cut Country Gentlemen but I would think there would be a picture of him out there somewhere of him with a Tennessean that bore his name.


I posted this question recently -- but so far no pix found. He did have the single p/u Tennessean on that album cover tho.


Maybe the 6113/6119 kerfuffle left a bad taste in his mouth regarding this model.


He may not have liked Hi Los since that was from another gutiarist's bag of ideas, IIRC


The HiLos were invented because Gretsch wanted to ditch DeArmond and (probably) realized that the simple soapbar pickup on some of the early '59 Clippers (400-500 units) wasn't going to cut it against the P90 and whatever Guild was using at the time. What was the story with the 6113/6119 kerfuffle?


I would also like to know the story... the (rare) 6113 was a deeper body IIRC?


Yup, the 6113 had a 2 1/4" body, unbound neck, white button Waverlys with large stencil f-holes and was produced in '61 with (IIRC) at least 3 batches. All while the '61 Filtertron Tennys were still happening. Maybe the electrotone 6113s were selling more units and Gretsch said to Chet, let's go in this direction. According to Ed's manual, there were only 350 Tennys made in '58/9.


What was the story with the 6113/6119 kerfuffle?

According to Dan Duffy, Chet was none too happy when he found out that the 6113 was essentially replacing the 6119 (and his royalties) in the lineup, and raised enough of a stink that Gretsch changed course and rebranded the 6113 as 6119 and put his name back on it.


Was that story from Dan's GDP corner? I missed quite a few of those back then and the whole crash and loss is a real tragedy. According to Dan's book (page 108) he was there in the Gretsch showroom when Jimmy Webster and Chet were trying out a "6119 prototype" and Dan recalls Chet saying "hey, this isn't bad."


I had a 6113 back in 2012 and mine and another popped up around the same time with the original papers and that is how we discovered the existence of the 6113. I sold mine on eBay. I just searched my inbox for "6113" and found the link to my auction, and miraculously, it's still there - text, pictures and all. In the description, I quoted Dan, so this is exactly what he had to say:

"The 6113 was a take off on the 6119. Chet got pissed off because of the royalty and the mod 6113 had a short life if any at all...All that I can tell you about this guitar is that very few were made.It was dead before it started. This could be one of only TWO. I only remember it because of the controversy."

Obviously, he was mistaken about the rarity. I believe there were actually two batches. But I assume he was correctly remembering the part about Chet being ticked about the 6113 replacing the 6119, and it explains why it had such a short life before reverting to 6119.


This is great stuff. It's good to know we have backup in case of another crash. The three serial #'s I have are: 41975, 42618, 44254.


I had a 6113 back in 1976. Was a nice guitar but at the time just thought it was a regular ol' Tenny. There wasn't much info on them back then.. I ended up selling it and buying a `58 6120 for $400. Wish I still had both..

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