Country Clubs

The Country Club was in many ways Gretsch’s most traditional guitar. Although they are not as avidly sought as White Falcons and 6120s, they are also among the company’s best.

Among Gretsch’s first commercially successful electrics, the Country Clubs were directly descended from the 6030 and 6031 of the Synchromatic line, which were in turn directly descended from the pre-war “cat-eye” Synchromatic 300.

In other words, the 6192 and 6193 Clubs were 17-inch pedigreed jazz boxes when they were introduced in 1951. They were the largest Gretsch electric models, other than the White Falcon, and the only guitars in the line other than the Falcon to use a spruce top, although spruce is rarely found after ‘55. Clubs were never offered with a stock Bigsby whammy bar, although one was available as an extra cost option some years.

None The 1955 model year was a major turning point for Gretsch across the guitar range, and in the Country Club line it was the first for the Cadillac Green 6196 and the earlier Synchromatic-style tailpiece was phased out about this time in favor of the common G-cutout style. Some 6196s have appeared in two-tone gray and other colors, suggesting 6196 was originally a custom paint code before Cadillac Green was established as a standard color.

Starting in 1958 FilterTron pickups replaced DeArmonds, along with other changes corresponding with the rest of the Gretsch range, including the addition of the tone switch in place of the previous knob. Stereo models were also offered, under model numbers 6101, ‘02 and ‘03, but they were never popular. The earliest, ‘58 and ‘59 stereo models are easily identified by their close-spaced pickups.

The “zero fret” became standard in 1960, and the body was thinned to about 1 7/8 inches in 1961, about the same time the stereo wiring was simplified and the pickups moved back to the normal positions.

The Clubs never went to the double-cutaway Electrotone body, and the thinner body was a relatively short-lived experiment in the line. By 1964 they had plumped back up to 2 3/4 inches. Even though the body remained a single-cutaway, the Clubs did receive the Gretsch padded-back treatment, along with a standby switch and string mutes. These other additions were also short-lived and long gone by 1964 or ‘65.

Cadillac Green was phased out in 1968, and Baldwin-era changes began. By 1972, the 7576 and 7577 designations had begun, and the Club soldiered on, selling in small numbers, until the factory shutdown in 1981. It was far and away Gretsch’s longest lasting model, and was quickly revived when Gretsch rose from the ashes in the late 80s. It continues on today, providing a classy and cool big-bodied alternative to the flashier Falcon line.

The Country Club was in many ways Gretsch’s most traditional guitar. Although they are not as avidly sought as White Falcons and 6120s, they are also among the company’s best.

Among Gretsch’s first commercially successful electrics, the Country Clubs were directly descended from the 6030 and 6031 of the Synchromatic line, which were in turn directly descended from the pre-war “cat-eye” Synchromatic 300.

In other words, the 6192 and 6193 Clubs were 17-inch pedigreed jazz boxes when they were introduced in 1951. They were the largest Gretsch electric models, other than the White Falcon, and the only guitars in the line other than the Falcon to use a spruce top, although spruce is rarely found after ‘55. Clubs were never offered with a stock Bigsby whammy bar, although one was available as an extra cost option some years.

None The 1955 model year was a major turning point for Gretsch across the guitar range, and in the Country Club line it was the first for the Cadillac Green 6196 and the earlier Synchromatic-style tailpiece was phased out about this time in favor of the common G-cutout style. Some 6196s have appeared in two-tone gray and other colors, suggesting 6196 was originally a custom paint code before Cadillac Green was established as a standard color.

Starting in 1958 FilterTron pickups replaced DeArmonds, along with other changes corresponding with the rest of the Gretsch range, including the addition of the tone switch in place of the previous knob. Stereo models were also offered, under model numbers 6101, ‘02 and ‘03, but they were never popular. The earliest, ‘58 and ‘59 stereo models are easily identified by their close-spaced pickups.

The “zero fret” became standard in 1960, and the body was thinned to about 1 7/8 inches in 1961, about the same time the stereo wiring was simplified and the pickups moved back to the normal positions.

The Clubs never went to the double-cutaway Electrotone body, and the thinner body was a relatively short-lived experiment in the line. By 1964 they had plumped back up to 2 3/4 inches. Even though the body remained a single-cutaway, the Clubs did receive the Gretsch padded-back treatment, along with a standby switch and string mutes. These other additions were also short-lived and long gone by 1964 or ‘65.

Cadillac Green was phased out in 1968, and Baldwin-era changes began. By 1972, the 7576 and 7577 designations had begun, and the Club soldiered on, selling in small numbers, until the factory shutdown in 1981. It was far and away Gretsch’s longest lasting model, and was quickly revived when Gretsch rose from the ashes in the late 80s. It continues on today, providing a classy and cool big-bodied alternative to the flashier Falcon line.

The Country Club was in many ways Gretsch’s most traditional guitar. Although they are not as avidly sought as White Falcons and 6120s, they are also among the company’s best.

Among Gretsch’s first commercially successful electrics, the Country Clubs were directly descended from the 6030 and 6031 of the Synchromatic line, which were in turn directly descended from the pre-war “cat-eye” Synchromatic 300.

In other words, the 6192 and 6193 Clubs were 17-inch pedigreed jazz boxes when they were introduced in 1951. They were the largest Gretsch electric models, other than the White Falcon, and the only guitars in the line other than the Falcon to use a spruce top, although spruce is rarely found after ‘55. Clubs were never offered with a stock Bigsby whammy bar, although one was available as an extra cost option some years.

None The 1955 model year was a major turning point for Gretsch across the guitar range, and in the Country Club line it was the first for the Cadillac Green 6196 and the earlier Synchromatic-style tailpiece was phased out about this time in favor of the common G-cutout style. Some 6196s have appeared in two-tone gray and other colors, suggesting 6196 was originally a custom paint code before Cadillac Green was established as a standard color.

Starting in 1958 FilterTron pickups replaced DeArmonds, along with other changes corresponding with the rest of the Gretsch range, including the addition of the tone switch in place of the previous knob. Stereo models were also offered, under model numbers 6101, ‘02 and ‘03, but they were never popular. The earliest, ‘58 and ‘59 stereo models are easily identified by their close-spaced pickups.

The “zero fret” became standard in 1960, and the body was thinned to about 1 7/8 inches in 1961, about the same time the stereo wiring was simplified and the pickups moved back to the normal positions.

The Clubs never went to the double-cutaway Electrotone body, and the thinner body was a relatively short-lived experiment in the line. By 1964 they had plumped back up to 2 3/4 inches. Even though the body remained a single-cutaway, the Clubs did receive the Gretsch padded-back treatment, along with a standby switch and string mutes. These other additions were also short-lived and long gone by 1964 or ‘65.

Cadillac Green was phased out in 1968, and Baldwin-era changes began. By 1972, the 7576 and 7577 designations had begun, and the Club soldiered on, selling in small numbers, until the factory shutdown in 1981. It was far and away Gretsch’s longest lasting model, and was quickly revived when Gretsch rose from the ashes in the late 80s. It continues on today, providing a classy and cool big-bodied alternative to the flashier Falcon line.

The Gretsch-GEAR database includes 14 different models and 142 examples in the Country Clubs family, including and Country Club models.

Guitar models in the Country Clubs group

6101-Stereo Country Club
Documented years: 1959

The 6101 was the relatively short-lived stereo version of the venerable Country Club. Think of a stereo Falcon in a more demure sunburst finish.

6102-Stereo Country Club
Documented years: 1959

Natural finish

6103-Stereo Country Club
Documented years: None

Cadillac Green

6192 Country Club
Documented years: 1953 to 2006

Sunburst

6193 Country Club
Documented years: 1953 to 2007

The 6193 was (and is) the natural-finish version of the Country Club. Because the wood grain was out there naked, for all to see, the 6193 often got the highest-quality, select wood.

6193-T Country Club
Documented years: 2007

The modern-era natural-finish Country Club, with a V-cutout Bigsby added to the mix.

6196 Country Club
Documented years: 1954 to 2007

Cadillac Green

6196-1955 Country Club
Documented years: 1955 to 2008

With Dynasonics

6196-T Country Club
Documented years: 2003 to 2013

With Bigsby

6196-TSP-2G Country Club
Documented years: 2009 to 2009

The 6196-TSP was a limited edition Country Club special that was released in 2009. Two versions were offered. The 2G came in a Smoke Gray/Metallic Violet two-tone, while a separate BY variant was offered in Bamboo Yellow/Copper Mist. Unusual features (for a Country Club) included Dynasonic pickups, a Bigbsy B6 ...

6196-TSP-BY Country Club
Documented years: 2009 to 2013

The 6196-TSP was a limited edition Country Club special that was released in 2009. Two versions were offered. The BY was Bamboo Yellow/Copper Mist combo, while a 2G variant was a gray/purple two-tone. Both featured Dynasonic pickups and tremolo, as well as humped-block markers.

7575 Country Club
Documented years: 1975

Sunburst

7576 Country Club
Documented years: 1972 to 1979

Natural

7577 Country Club
Documented years: None

Walnut finish