Vintage Gretsch Guitars

Remembering Grady Martin


From our FB and IG pages today:

Remembering a Rockabilly legend today. On this day 17 years ago, December 3rd 2001, we lost one of the greatest guitarists in the history of popular music and one of the all time great Rockabilly guitarists, Grady Martin. Grady, along with Hank Garland, was THE premier session guitarist in Nashville in the 1950s, 60s and 70s and he played on countless classic recordings by everyone from Buddy Holly, Johnny Burnette and Johnny Horton to Patsy Cline, Brenda Lee and Marty Robbins. The Wheelgrinders play a lot of Grady's licks in our live shows when we cover songs like Don Woody's "Barking Up The Wrong Tree" and Johnny Horton's "One Woman Man" and who doesn't love the killer Rockabilly guitar on Johnny Burnette's Rock and Roll Trio sides or Johnny Horton's "I'm Coming Home"? Grady usually played a custom double-neck Bigsby guitar, made by Paul Bigsby but he also played a prototype 1957/58 Gretsch Country Gentleman. Being a Gretsch guy myself I love the clip of Grady playing that Gretsch backing up Judy Carman on the Country Style USA TV show. Thanks for the inspiration Grady!


Ah thanks for posting that. Legendary man. Leaves me wanting more


Yep -- 100%. Wasn't a short movie made about Hank Garland, or at least one where someone played him?


That would be the movie" Crazy", loosely based on Hank's bio, with input from his brother for sure.


Hardly a week goes by I don't riff on a Grady tune.

here's a little nugget I did on my 55' 6121

He was such a perfect rockabilly guitar player


Grady played some amazing guitars! That 2-tone Gent is amazing! Where's THAT guitar now???


Rockin' daddy.


That looks like Hank Garland next to Grady playing lead in the Patsy Cline tune. He had some great stories when it came to Patsy.


Grady Martin is never far away from either thoughts or fingers.

Whether it's a rock 'n' roll or a country show, I'm already playing his parts and when improvising the question- "What would Grady do here?" is often the primary thought. It's impossible that I'm alone in doing this. Impossible.

It took years to even find out it was Grady Martin's dazzling and often brutally finessed playing on some of the greatest songs of the era. I hope we never forget him.


I'm a big fan. I don't think a week goes by where I don't listen to something he's played on.


I'm a big fan. I don't think a week goes by where I don't listen to something he's played on.

– WB

If you listen to country music from '55 - '70 on the regular, its almost impossible not to, lol.


Ha, true!


Ok, I ain't smart enough to load a proper link with pictures, but this URL will show Grady playing beautifully for Willie Nelson, I promise. At the end of his career but unmistakable and worth checking out if you're a fan and haven't seen it


And another, really great playing still and you can spot his signature style. He gets a round of applause at the end of his solo. Respect


Wow, reminds me hw much the picking hand does and how far I need to go.


It's Grady Martin on guitar by the way. Is it of interest to anyone? Rare to find footage of him in later years and it's part of his story


Did I mention that it's Grady Martin on lead guitar? This place is getting like our local Debenhams


Did I mention that it's Grady Martin on lead guitar? This place is getting like our local Debenhams

– Vince_Ray

A couple of great clips Vince. The confidence of Grady’s playing, after a lifetime of playing at the top of his game on many of the greatest Country records of all time, is just sublime. Thanks for posting these.

I gravitate to Grady’s 1950s work everytime I search for video clips of him playing but it’s awesome to see him here with Willie Nelson in the 90s.


Oh yes, me too. The Bear Family's compilation of his rockabilly, country and swing stuff is one of my favourite records ever. Willie Nelson isn't really my cuppa tea...unless it's to see and hear Grady.

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