Also see Headstock Styles and Logo Styles for help determining when your guitar was made (particularly helpful if there is no serial number).Note: Any guitar with a serial number with the prefix "SI" is Indonesian-made.If this is the case, the only other way to date your guitar is by looking for a date ink-stamped on the side of the original box switch.However, as 1990 approached, the use of one digit for the year presented the issue of repeat serial numbers.Gretsch and Gibson were pursuing very similar design/development paths during this time period. Both companies were working steadily on what they perceived to be the next generation of electric guitars semi-solid with a much thinner body and electronics that didn’t hum.Gibson was developing its legendary humbucking pickup, and the ES-335 – and Gretsch was working on its humbucking pickup, the Filter’Tron, and what was to become the Country Gentleman model.
He was also interested in increasing an instrument’s sustain and thus was a proponent of solid construction – from the nut to the end pin.
The Country Gentleman (numerically designated in Gretsch catalogs as Model PX61232) made its official debut in late 1957, as a 1958 model.
While the name “Country Gentleman” could aptly describe Chet Atkins himself, it’s more likely in reference to a song of the same name that Chet originally recorded in 1953.
Bearing no official name, just a lable affixed to the bottom of the pickguard with the model number 6122, these instruments appear to be Country Gent prototypes. Three or four have surfaced and all of them have serial numbers in the 23000 range.
It’s clear from examining these “White Gents” that Gretsch was developing one of the earliest semi-solid, thin body electric guitars.