Vintage Gretsch Guitars

Film of Chet at NAMM 1957


Apologies if this has been linked to before but I found it fascinating.

It's part two of a 'tube video of super 8 film of the Fender factory in '57, so it's mostly Fender focussed obviously. But you will see Chet playing and Jimmy Webster showing his touch style of playing. No sound unfortunately. Still, I think it's amazing.


Jimmy thanks for posting. This is fascinating, you are correct. Imagine if there was sound with home movies back then, all the amazing guitar work we'd hear.

Love that Ric archtop. The Kay is amazing. Love seeing Chet Atkins play that brand new Gretsch that is over 60 years old now. Love seeing Jimmy Webster doing the two hand touch or finger tapping as EVH made popular in the '70s. .


Wow. This is incredible. Thanks so much for posting.

Check out Chet's 6120: this is a new one, folks. Look carefully at the switch arrangement on the upper bout. We haven't seen that before. Neck and bridge volume knobs seem close to the edge too. Looks like they were still figuring out how to do the Filtertron thing. I wonder where this guitar is now.

Jimmy Webster's Filtertron Falcon has the same "straight" switch arrangement on the upper bout as Chet's 6120 and still has a Melita bridge.

Fun Fender stuff and Barney Kessel with his cool Kay too.


Wow that's the first time I saw a live footage of Jimmy Webster. I understand that he was on US TV in those days but there are none on found YouTube.


How we wish there was sound, huh?


I wonder how many super 8 films with interesting content are still around? And maybe more importantly people to narrate on them.


That was great, thanks for posting. I echo everything lx says. The knob and switch placements were the first things that caught my eye.

And I too wondered where all those guitars might be these days.


Historically significant stuff there... love it! Seeing a 50s 6120 in "new" condition, with the fresh finish and glittery gold plating is really amazing after only seeing aged examples for most of my life. I share lx's excitement about this 6120 (early Filtertron/neo specimen)... anyone happen to know what month the 1957 NAMM show was held??

More evidence that Gretsch made new "model year" feature upgrades in the months prior to that new year.


Great stuff! Thanks for posting!


I love these old 'snapshots of the past'. Thanks for posting.


Just watched this again on youtube in theater mode: the Falcon has a vertical logo. According to Ed, some of the early Filter Falcons didn't have the mudswitch, so this must be a very early iteration.


And the there’s THIS...Have we seen this one before?

– Deed Eddy

Deed thank you for posting. I never saw that before. Great playing. Interesting instrument. No doubt an influence on Junior Brown.


I noticed Barney Kessel at the 10:11 mark and who is that doing the Van Halen style playing on the white Gretch just after Chet? He looks a lot like Ray Butts.


I noticed Barney Kessel at the 10:11 mark and who is that doing the Van Halen style playing on the white Gretch just after Chet? He looks a lot like Ray Butts.

– James V Roy

Isn't it Jimmy Webster?


Isn't it Jimmy Webster?

– ThePolecats

I believe you are correct. Thanks


Wow, I had not seen that before, chock full of some of my favorite Guitar "Trailblazers" (and Guitars), thanks very much Jimmy

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