Iconic guitars on display at Country Music Hall of Fame - WSMV News 4

Iconic guitars on display at Country Music Hall of Fame

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Chet Atkins helped popularize the Gretsch brand of guitars. Chet Atkins helped popularize the Gretsch brand of guitars.
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

When George Harrison stepped onto the stage of the Ed Sullivan Theater in 1964, he played a Gretsch guitar.

More than 50 years later, 75 siblings from the German Gretsch guitar family are on display at the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Some of the guitars are nearly 90 years old, and aging well.

“Gretsch guitars are known for their great craftsmanship, sounds and also just their beauty,” said Mick Buck with the Country Music Hall of Fame. “They really are some of the most beautiful and stylish guitars I’ve ever seen.

Randy Bachman of Bachman-Turner Overdrive agreed. He collected 300 Gretsch guitars. Many of the instruments on display at the exhibit were once his.

“They were definitely designed to stand apart from all other guitars in terms of style and pizzazz as well, having their own sound that other guitar players really like,” Buck said.

Chet Atkins, Music Row’s most celebrated guitarist, played the instruments, and that meant a lot to other young guitarists.

Bo Diddley, Jack White and Brian Setzer are just a few of the artists who have played Gretsch guitars.

The exhibit is now open at the Country Music Hall of Fame and runs through July.

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