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Jerry Reed's Guitar


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Originally posted by Stackabones

Thanks, TAH! I'm looking up info on him, but I'm not finding much. I have found a good page with Paul Yandell talking about Chet's guitars, etc.


I'm not sure if I got the spelling of Haille's name correct, but here's a little more Jerry Reed info:





Jerry Reed's first good guitar was the Gretsch Chet Atkins signature model 6120 he was playing when he first met Mr. Guitar. Introduced in 1955, the Gretsch featured a hollow body with open soundholes, two DeArmond pickups, a Bigsby vibrato, and a kitschy western design motif that included engraved block fret markers, a steer's head inlay on the headstock, and a G cattle brand burned into its orange top. Atkins said Duane Eddy was the only player who seemed to get a good sound with this early version of the 6120, but Reed was apparently very fond of the guitar.


It's unclear exactly when Reed switched to acoustic nylon-string guitar as his main instrument, but he's playing what Paul Yandell suspects is a Guild classic on many of his early RCA records. Reed phased out the acoustic nylon-string on his records after he found the Baldwin with the Prismatone piezo pickup in the mid-1960s.


"Jerry doesn't seem to like good, expensive guitars," Yandell says. "His favorite guitars are those old Baldwins. He loves them. He loves the necks on them. That's what he made all those records with. Fender spent thousands of dollars making him a special guitar, and he was right back to that Baldwin." Yandell owns the original Baldwin that Reed used to record "Jerry's Breakdown" and many of his other classic instrumentals.


Yandell recalls that in the '60s and early '70s, on-board EQ, notch filters, and sophisticated outboard gear were virtually nonexistent. "Jerry would just plug it into an amp, and away he went," Yandell says. "It didn't have any EQ, just a preamp to boost the signal." Yandell has high praise for the piezo pickup Baldwin used. "I think the Prismatone is the best, most balanced piezo ever made," he asserts. "It's a shame they're not making it now."


Iowa luthier Dave Plummer (4008 E. 29th St., Des Moines, IA 50317; [515] 266-0773; plummerguitars@mcleodusa.net) hopes to break Reed's Baldwin obsession. After Reed met Plummer at a concert last year and played some of his instruments, he authorized Plummer to build and market a Jerry Reed signature model acoustic-electric nylon-string. Plummer says the only specs Reed was adamant about were for the neck. He wanted it exactly like

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