Tag Archives: Bo Diddley

Eight Great Gretsch Album Covers

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Gretsch guitars are fabulous-looking instruments. Always have been. So it’s no surprise that they often made their way onto the album covers of those who played them and put them to such great use. Here then, in no particular chronological order, are eight fine album covers notable for being graced with great Gretsch guitars:

1. A Session With Chet Atkins (Chet Atkins, 1961)

There are only about a bazillion Chet Atkins albums that feature a Gretsch guitar on the cover, usually in the hands of the master himself, and all of them look fabulous. So this one is kind of a tough call.

After much consideration, we’re going with the 1961 re-issue of 1954’s A Session With Chet Atkins because it must be the Gretsch-iest original-era album cover ever. The 1954 original cover somewhat somberly pictured Atkins himself, and while the ’61 re-issue cover doesn’t, what it does picture is three—count ’em, three—Gretsch guitars: a Tennessean, a Duo Jet and a 6120; the latter locked in the joyous embrace of a sultry brunette. Come to think of it, 1955’s Chet Atkins in Three Dimensions also has three Gretsch guitars on the cover, but since none of them are locked in the joyous embrace of a sultry brunette, A Session With Chet Atkins gets the nod here.

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Harrison Lands At No. 11 In Rolling Stone‘s Greatest Guitarists

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As 2011 wound down, Rolling Stone compiled a list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time, and George Harrison stands at No. 11 among the prolific list of virtuoso musicians.

In the early-December issue of the magazine, Tom Petty offered Harrison high praise.

Wrote Petty:

“George Harrison and I were once in a car and the Beatles song ‘You Can’t Do That‘ came on, with that great riff in the beginning on the 12-string. He goes, ‘I came up with that.’ And I said, ‘Really? How?’ He said, ‘I was just standing there and thought, “I’ve got to do something!’

“That pretty much sums him up. He just had a way of getting right to the business, of finding the right thing to play. That was part of that Beatles magic – they all seemed to find the right thing to play.”

Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page earned the top three slots on the list, with Keith Richards, Jeff Beck, B.B. King, Chuck Berry, Eddie Van Halen, Duane Allman and Pete Townshend rounding out the top 10.

Gretsch signature artists Chet Atkins and Bo Diddley came in at Nos. 21 and 27, respectively.

“His style was outrageous,” Keith Richards told RS of Diddley; it suggested “that the kind of music we loved didn’t just come from Mississippi. It was coming from somewhere else.”

“I think he influenced everybody who picked up a guitar,” Duane Eddy said of Atkins to Rolling Stone.

Eddy himself was also honored on this list, coming in at No. 64.

“If there was any doubt left in the late 1950s that the guitar – not the saxophone – was rock & roll’s essential lead instrument, Duane Eddy settled the argument: See his 1958 single ‘Rebel Rouser,’ curled with country twang and rippling with tremolo,” noted the music mag of the Gretsch signature artist.

For the full list, click here.

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Music Radar Lists 15 Gretsch Electric Guitar Stars

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Photo by: George Chin

Music Radar put together a of list of acclaimed Gretsch-wielding artists, ranging from rockabilly pioneers to new-wave metallers.

Below are some of the names on the list…

- Eddie Cochran. This rockabilly pioneer only ever played his Gretsch 6120 Chet Atkins hollow-body during his all-too brief life and career, and was recently honored with a 6120 Eddie Cochran Signature Hollow Body model.

- Bo Diddley. Known for his energetic performances, numerous contributions to rock ‘n’ roll and his distinctive G5810 Bo Diddley model, Bo Diddley is true icon and a true Gretsch aficionado.

- Malcom Young. The AC/DC Gretsch-wielding guitarist received his first Gretsch, a 1963 Gretsch Jet Firebird,  from his brother George. Over the years, he added White Falcon guitars to the mix and eventually received his own Gretsch signature model.

See who else made Music Radar’s list here.

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