Vintage Gretsch Guitars

Vintage Tennessean

1

I appreciate the assistance with a vintage Tennessean acquired from an estate. Label inside shows model 7655 with serial number 23397. Tuner backs are almost triangle shaped. Beautiful mahogany instrument, trying to put a date on it. Thanks

2

Though I'm not the expert you are looking for, I would like to welcome you to the GDP. I'm sure you will find multiple experts here to help in dating your lovely new guitar. If you could please post some pictures, it would be beneficial. Use the little yellow camera icon to choose and post any pictures you might have, the system will only allow 1 picture per post, good luck!

3

February 1973?

All the best.

4

Your Tenny is an example of the "drum label" category which seems to translate to the very late '73 and early '74 timeframe. After damage assumed created by the late '73 fire at the Gretsch Arkansas factory the serial numbering device that typically applied a date-coded number (and "Made in USA") onto the reverse side of the headstock was out of commission for a short period. During that time Gretsch used a truncated version of the same paper label they applied to their drum line. These borrowed labels carry a hand-applied model number and a pre-printed sequential serial number. Here's the label from another Tenny made in close chronological proximity.

5

And here's the Tenny associated with that "drum label".

6

Ed, thanks for being a member of this site and for helping so many people sleuth about for information about their vintage Gretsches. You are a valuable resource for all of us GDPers.

7

I get puzzled about all the variations of the Tennessean. Or other models for that matter, some of the differences seem vast. Is an Anniversary just a green 6120? How come the red Tennessean with one pickup shares its name with the model above?

8

Ed, thanks for being a member of this site and for helping so many people sleuth about for information about their vintage Gretsches. You are a valuable resource for all of us GDPers.

– Ric12string

Why thank you Bob... I quite enjoy the company here!

9

I get puzzled about all the variations of the Tennessean. Or other models for that matter, some of the differences seem vast. Is an Anniversary just a green 6120? How come the red Tennessean with one pickup shares its name with the model above?

– Vince_Ray

The Gretsch guitars of their Golden Era were subject to the increase in consumerism of the 50/60s. Companies drove the sale of their products with tantalizing promises of "new and improved" features... so, most every year something had to be changed to encourage sales of the "better" version of the product. The auto industry is another obvious case study to this. Why did the Corvette body style change so often? Same thing!

10

Your Tenny is an example of the "drum label" category which seems to translate to the very late '73 and early '74 timeframe. After damage assumed created by the late '73 fire at the Gretsch Arkansas factory the serial numbering device that typically applied a date-coded number (and "Made in USA") onto the reverse side of the headstock was out of commission for a short period. During that time Gretsch used a truncated version of the same paper label they applied to their drum line. These borrowed labels carry a hand-applied model number and a pre-printed sequential serial number. Here's the label from another Tenny made in close chronological proximity.

– kc_eddie_b

Thanks for the valuable information. The guitar plays like a sweet dream. Not sure about the toggle next to the Bigsby, may not be working. Bought the guitar, original case and Fender DSP90 amp for 2k. May go back for Electromatic and Twin Reverb amp. David

11

David... that switch is a "kill-switch" (officially called "stand-by" switch). It allows you to cut power to the guitar to avoid unwanted sound in live performance stations.

12

David; These guitars are made from laminate Maple(usually 3-ply). Gretsch never really used mahogany except for the necks & backs on the Jet series and the Corvette & Astro-Jet. Almost all hollow bodies were built with nice Eastern Maple. Eastern Maple is a harder wood than the Western, big leaf Maple. Enjoy your Tenny! I've owned around 25 Tenny's made between 1961-1966


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