Vintage Gretsch Guitars

The “Grady” project. Doing up a Bigsby inspired Gretsch.


I’ve long been a major fan of Grady Martin.

I’m taking my love for his playing to the next level of obsession.

His two tone Gent will be basis of the look.

Just picked up this 57’ streamliner from John (crowbone) as the bones of this guitar.

Going to have Curt refinish the back black. The back is trashed now. It’s presently copper as are the sides. Not sure about the top right now. It’s nicely aged yellowish color is pretty close to the color of the Gents that were done on two tone in 57’.

Ed has supplied me with a bunch of good photos of some of those rare two tone gents.

I’ve had this original fixed arm B6 for years. It’s the core of the build in conjunction with a pair of TK Smiths CAR bigsby pickups.

Plan is also a New headstock overlay. Black signpost guard.

It will take several months so Curt and I will update every so often.

Here’s the start photo.


Awww-yeaah... this is gonna being uber-cool!! Can't wait to see those pickups in that guitar!


Looking forward to this!


Oh boy! I love these posts. Sounds like it will be cool.


Looking forward to this one. I wil l post pics of my “horse of a different color” project in the morning. Mine is based on a trestle braced Streamliner. Great guitars.


Cool Project. Can't wait to see the process!


Good bones, indeed on this one.

This was also the "Bejeweled" Streamliner, so I'm happy it's going to be the base for the "Grady".

Love the color and the checking on the front of it, too.

Good Luck, Fred, as I think this is going to be a really cool project.


An 57' white Gent similar to Gradys. His had a gold guard. I prefer black

This guitar will be the color chart


Cool, maybe some extra bracing to get closer to that tone?


Cool, maybe some extra bracing to get closer to that tone?

– JazzBoxJunky

The majority of Gradys rockabilly classics were done on his Bigsby Guitar. Which was the double neck solid body.

The extra bracing is actually a good concept. However I don't want to take off the back of the guitar.

Im hoping it will have a "GradyBillyTwang" tone with the hollow body


Sweet project! Looking forward to see the progress.


Cool, perhaps with 2 pickup cutouts you could add some bracing through the top, if desired.


Oh hell yes! This will be very cool. Certainly keep us posted. I'll grab some popcorn along the way.


Cool, perhaps with 2 pickup cutouts you could add some bracing through the top, if desired.

– JazzBoxJunky

Well--thats a good idea. I'l see what Curt has to say about that idea. Thanks


Make sure to ship it my way so I can check it out for you (free of charge of course) when it's finished.


When I initially got the guitar, it came without any hardware other than the tuners, but I just stumbled across an auction photo of the whole guitar before it was scavenged for parts and the husk was sold.


Notice the jewels in the fret board.


Grady would approve I am sure.


Fred, What is your favorite Grady tune or solo? The one that always stuck in my head was a solo he did on “help me make it through the night” with Willie Nelson. Might have been a live track, but I recall Willie calling his name to take the solo. The solo was nothing and everything all in one.


Hmm. Lately it’s “lonesome tears in my eyes” or “juke joint Johnny “

So much nuance in so few choice notes.


Grady at his g......n Gradiest...


lets see if this link works. Its a You tube video of great solos from Grady a few are on the Gretsch.


That’s so cool.

The tonal difference really pops out from the Country Gent to the Bigbsy.

And man he could use that bigsby arm well.

Thank you.


That's going to be a very cool guitar Fred!!


While I was and am aware of Grady, there has only been a few songs that I ever really copped any of his licks. Otherwise I just enjoyed listening to his playing behind artist of the 60s and early 70s. So I am surprised at how much my own playing in this style is reminiscent of his style.

Of course our playing is a combination of all those that influenced us. For me, that was/is Kenny Burrell, Tony Matola, Al Ciaoloa, Albert King, Dickey Betts, Warren Haynes and Brian Setzer. As I moved from style to style of music, you here a little of them in my playing.

This thread has me digging back in the archives to see what else I may have overlooked.

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