If you happen to be retro-minded and are in the market for a historically accurate Gretsch hollowbody guitar, you may wish to consider the Gretsch G6119-1959 Chet Atkins Tennessee Rose. This is a recreation of a 1959 Gretsch Tennessean, though this model made its official debut almost a year earlier, sometime during 1958. It was meant to offer guitarists on a tight budget an alternative to the pricier Chet Atkins Model 6120 (later best known as the Nashvelle) and the Model 6122 Country Gentleman. A unique black Lucite pickguard with the Gretsch logo radius engraved in white letters along with the Chet Atkins signature signpost, also in white, were standard for the years 1958 through 1961. At 16 inches wide and 2-3/4 inches deep, the Tennessean was a pretty big guitar. Like the original, this reissue is constructed of laminated maple – front, back, and sides – a maple neck with tapered heel and an ebony fingerboard with those instantly recognizable neo-classical pearl position markers.
When this guitar was first introduced, it carried a price tag of $395, which was a pretty steep price for a guitar with one pickup, but you must remember that of the “big three” guitar builders in the U.S. back in the ’50s and ’60s, Gretsch actually had the reputation as being the best you could buy (and obviously the best marketing). This reissue has a finish called Flagstaff Sunset, a nod to the famous Gretsch marketing campaign of the 1950s in which Gretsch advertised that many of its guitars came with a finish that was “the color of a Flagstaff sunset!” The nickel-plated TV Jones Power’Tron bridge position pickup is a specially voiced recreation of the original Filter’Tron, with a slightly hotter output. Naturally, no Gretsch is complete without a Bigsby vibrato tailpiece, and here we have the accurate B6 model (it wasn’t until 1960 that all the Chet Atkins line got the newer “Gretsch by Bigsby V-cutout” tailpiece). All the hardware here is nickel-plated, and like the original, the single-ply cream-colored binding does not extend out onto the neck. Real oversized f-holes wrap up this timeless classic, which ships to you in a genuine Gretsch plush-lined hardshell case.