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NMM 6763.  Guitar by Grammer Guitar Company, Nashville, ca. 1969.
Model G-58 M (15-1/2″). Serial number 4022.
Board of Trustees, 1999.

NMM 6763.  Guitar by Grammer Guitar Company, Nashville, ca. 1969. NMM 6763.  Guitar by Grammer Guitar Company, Nashville, ca. 1969.

Billy Grammer, a long-time member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, began his career soon after WWII with the Radio Live Show at WARL Radio in Arlington, Virginia. After working on live radio shows for nearly a decade, Grammer signed his own recording deal with Monument Records in 1958. By 1959 Grammer had made himself a household name with several successful songs, the most popular of which was Gotta Travel On, a Top 5 hit on the country and pop charts. His career took off with appearances on venues such as the “The Ed Sullivan Show” and in collaboration with other artists, including Louis Armstrong and Patsy Cline. In 1965, Grammer helped found the R. G. & G. Musical Instrument Company with Nashville’s guitar-making Gower family and began the production of Grammer-branded guitars. In 1968, the company restructured and was renamed Grammer Guitar. By 1971, the business was bought out by Tut Taylor.

This Grammer model G-58 M is a classic dreadnought with some country-music styling. The crown-shaped bridge and fancifully cut pickguard became Grammer signatures. The purple-sunburst lacquer, a less common Grammer color option, sets this guitar apart from the understated Martin dreadnoughts.



Inscriptions:  Printed on paper label with single line border, the serial number and model written in blue ink with felt tip marker, the -M of the model written in black ballpoint pen: [g logo, white letter on black background] / GRAMMER GUITAR / COMPANY /     4022     / SERIAL No. /     G 58-M     / MODEL No. / NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE / MUSIC CITY USA

Engraved on peghead veneer, double layer, black-white plastic, so that lettering appears white on a black background: the / grammer / guitar

Stamped on top block: 02 / 341

Written in pencil on bridge plate, some numbers drilled through for bridge pin holes: 9-[possibly 1]5-[possibly 69]

Stamped on tuners: GROVER / PAT. PEND. / U. S. A.


Maker's label

Maker's label as seen through soundhole


Body:  Soundboard:  quarter-cut spruce with wide grain narrowing toward the flanks. Back:  two-piece, slab-cut maple with faint narrow curl, blister figure, and pith flecks. Ribs:  two-piece, slab-cut maple with faint narrow curl. Head:  five-piece plain maple with laminated black-white celluloid veneer, so that chamfered edges and engraved lettering appear white on a black background; decorative, engraved lines forming upside-down “L” with rounded corner, under signature lettering. Neck:  three-piece plain maple; integral with head; chrome-plated steel strap button affixed to heel with nickel-plated steel phillip’s head screw.

Front of guitar Back of guitar

Inlay:  Binding:  white celluloid; trim comprised of nine-ply black and white celluloid purfling strips. Back stripe:  comprised of brown hardwood diamonds each surrounded by four light hardwood parallelograms arranged to form herringbones, with blue-stained hardwood herringbones on outsides, each of these figures interspersed with black-white-black hardwood strips, the entire mosaic enclosed in single light hardwood purfling strips. End graft:  comprised of geometric light hardwood, mahogany, and rosewood inlay, surrounded on each side by wide black hardwood strip and thin light hardwood strip.



Neck heel

Bridge

Top: Neck heel      Bottom: bridge

Trim:  Heel cap:  laminated black-white celluloid veneer, so that chamfered edges appear white on a black background; set in from back, so that outside edge of heel is at beginning of binding. Fingerboard:  ebony bound in white celluloid, the bottom end of fingerboard scalloped; 20 nickel-silver frets; mother-of-pearl dots behind 1st and 15th frets; single black celluloid side dots behind 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th frets; double black celluloid side dots behind 12th fret. Nut:  white plastic. Bridge:  ebony with scalloped and chamfered upper edge; scalloped, tapered; angled white plastic saddle; white plastic bridge pins; single mother-of-pearl dots on each side of bridge pins covering screws. Pegs:  six chrome-plated steel worm-gear machine tuners by Grover with chrome-plated steel heads and worm gear mechanisms enclosed in round covers. Endpin:  aluminum; nickel-plated steel phillips head screw through center. Pick guard:  laminated black-white celluloid with slightly chamfered edges appearing white and black, with decoratively cut outline extending partially around soundhole. Lacquer:  dark purple-to-blonde sunburst lacquer; dark purple lacquer on neck, shaded slightly at thumb position.


Front of peghead Back of peghead

Interior:  Linings: kerfed mahogany. Neck block:  mahogany; grain running parallel to back; bevelled corners. End block:  mahogany; grain running perpendicular to back; bevelled corners. Top bracing:  spruce X-brace; two transverse braces; maple bridge plate. Back braces:  four spruce back braces, the second one from lower end slightly wider than others. Back graft:  none.



Soundhole

Measurements (actual):  Total guitar length:  1016 mm (39-31/32″)
Back length:  508 mm (20″)
Upper bout width:  303 mm (11-29/32″)
Waist width:  278 mm (10-15/16″)
Lower bout width:  395 mm (15-9/16″)
Rib height (including edging) at heel:  99 mm (3-29/32″)
Rib height, at waist:  114 mm (4-1/2″)
Rib height, at end block:  131 mm (5-15/16″)
Head length:  171 mm (6-21/32″)
Head width, top:  91 mm (3-9/16″)
Head width, bottom:  74 mm (2-15/16″)
Neck length (nut to ribs):  344 mm (13-9/16″)
Neck width, nut:  43 mm (1-11/16″)
Neck width, heel:  55 mm (2-5/32″)
Soundhole diameter:  102 mm (4″)
Vibrating string length (nut to bridge edge):  high E:  622 mm (24-1/2″); low E:  628 mm (24-3/4″)

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