Hello fellow players,
As most of you know, the Sho-Bud company was bought by Fret Gretsch in January of ’85 and moved to Ridgeland, South Carolina with the main office being in Charlotte, North Carolina. Fred bought Sho-Bud because it was thrown in on the deal that he was making to Baldwin to reacquire the name of Gretsch.
He didn’t really want Sho-Bud, but somehow Fred ended up with the Kustom company that was in Chinook, Kansas. So Fred ended up with Kustom, Gretsch, Sho-Bud, MCI guitars and somehow, Bigsby. This is fine and a whole lot better than having these names die, but I’d sure like to see him do more with them.
The true originators of the Sho-Bud company and the boys that built so many of these guitars over many years were the sons of the immortal Shot Jackson, David and Harry Jackson. David and Harry are still both in great health and building the new, already legendary Jackson guitar.
There always seems to be a new steel guitar popping up on the market straight out of somebody’s garage or basement, but this Jackson guitar is not one of those. The legendary thinking that went into some of the greatest Sho-Bud guitars is still showing up in these beautiful Jackson guitars.
David and Harry both came into my shop a couple of days ago and like always, we had long talks about the future of steel guitar and the future of designs that are coming. These boys are continually thinking and experimenting as proven by some of the mechanisms that David has recently come up with, like the finger that bends in the middle and requires very little pedal pressure and eliminates the typical wear parts in most all pull designs.
David has many other ideas that he shared with me. I offered my opinion on some of them and told him what I thought the pros and cons would be and at times he would look at me with a sly smile and say something like, “Yes I’m aware of that and I’ve already thought of that.” Pretty amazing minds these boys have and I still have the feeling that David will never get the true glory and recognition that he deserves along with his brother Harry.
The Wright Brothers couldn’t have been any smarter than these two boys. During this visit we discussed the past forty five years of steel guitar development. We discussed patents, who patented what, variation details on the all pull mechanism, who did what and at what time and who the true inventors were.
Names like the Harlan Brothers of Indianapolis, the Kelly patent that David dug up in the archives of the Patent Office and David’s designs of the all pull changer that he came up with to improve upon the systems that were being built at the time.
I remember at a very young age seeing Gene Pooler show up with Johnny Lee Wells at a dance I was also playing in Oklahoma. This was about 1957. Gene showed me his new cable operated Standel Custom steel guitar built by the great Chuck Wright. The changer was beautiful. Multiple raise and lower, tuned with your finger on top, very smooth and tremendous quality in the guitar.
Gene wouldn’t touch the guitar except to play it unless he was wearing his white gloves. The thing that impressed me the most was the design. Nobody ever mentions or says anything about this guitar, but it was definitely a good one. Chuck Wright must have been a very busy, hard working, intelligent being. Chuck is the father the incomparable David Wright, great steel guitarist of this day.
Ben Rubright in Florida, is the proud owner of one of David Jackson’s great guitars. Fred Shannon in west Texas and Charles Tilley of east Texas are friends I would like to mention because of the wonderful things they have done for steel guitar. I also had a visit this week from Bob Vantine. I hadn’t met Bob before. I found him a very interesting steel guitar guy that is primarily a lead guitar player he says. Bob is in middle New York state and member of a very fine steel guitar club in that state.
There are incredible steel guitar players all over the United States here to say nothing of players on other major continents. We have many readers of this newsletter from all over the world and I love the replies I get from all of them. It seems to be a very large force that’s still growing in England and the rest of the world. I’ve heard a lot of these guys play and I’m very astounded at their abilities.
I’d like to mention Basil Enriques, Ken Byng, David Hartley and B.J. Cole. I think it’s wonderful that the world is covered with steel players of such high caliber.
Steel Guitar Nashville, being a store in the Nashville area and serving highly discriminating steel guitarists here and around the world, demands a high quality stock of guitars, working and collector type. We would love to have more non-pedal classic pro guitars of yesteryear and I’m sure we will have in the future, but we seem to sell these old Fenders, Rickenbackers, Gibsons, Nationals and Bigsbys as fast as we get them.
The best thing I can say is that if you’re searching for that elusive user or collector guitar, keep following our webpage changes and I’m sure what you want will turn up.
Check out our monthly specials at http://www.steelguitar.net/monthlyspecials.html and we’ll try to save you a lot of money.
Steel Guitar Nashville
123 Mid Town Court
Hendersonville, TN. 37075
Open 9AM – 4PM Monday – Friday
Closed Saturday and Sunday