Information about Gower and Grammer Guitars

(See also Butch Moore's Grammer Guitar Collection web page and Rob Kilgore's "The Grammer Guitar" site.)

   
   
1972 Gower acoustic
 
1972 Gower acoustic
 

1972 Gower acoustic
 
Left: Gower factory
Right:Wilson Hyde (JW's cousin), JW Gower, Travis Moore (photos from Charles Moore)

Gower guitars on display (photo from Charles Moore)

Max Gower's electric guitar

Gower electric head stock (photo from Max Gower)
  
Grammer acoustic, serial number 1087 (photo from Bill Nelms)
   
   
Jef DuPre's Grammer acoustic 12 string, model R-10 (Serial # 4629)

Grammer G-10 acoustic, serial number 7570
(photo from Tom Langseth)

Grammer G-10 acoustic, serial number 7570 (photo from Tom Langseth)

Grammer G-10 acoustic, serial number 7570 (photo from Tom Langseth)

Grammer G-10 acoustic, serial number 7570 (photo from Tom Langseth)

Grammer G-10 acoustic, serial number 7570 (photo from Tom Langseth)

Grammer acoustic, online auction photo (it went for $526)

Gower G-55-2, said to be from the 1950's. "Handcut abalone, solid spruce top," (possibly) Brazilian rosewood

Gower G-55-2
     
Eric Wrobbel's pre-1970 Gower

1967 newspaper story about Gower guitars
     
Rob Kilgore's Grammer G-58

Rob Kilgore's Grammer G-58
           
Ronnie Dobb's "Leon Rhodes" model Gower G-75
 
 
Gower G-75 in Oregon, said to be worth about $950

Brazilian rosewood, built ~1970, said to be worth about $800

Grammer with elaborate inlay on headstock, owned by Sherri Carpenter

Grammer in need of a pick guard and truss rod, owned by Kyle O'Neal
   
   
Hoyt Kennedy's 1960's era Gower G-75, serial number 1644, from the "Nashville Musical Instrument Co., Inc."
 
 
Dan Doty's 1971/1972 Grammer
   
   
Hobbs guitars; pictures from Scott Dwinelle. The guitar was built by Bob Kujala in Grand Island, NE. Mr. Kujala says he had worked for Grammer Guitar.
 

Dick Hubbard's 1971 Grammer G-58. There's a story about this...
       
Dan Hall's Grammer G-10, now owned by Greg Mayo
   
   
Red Adamson's Electric Grammer is really a repaired Rickenbacker. See the story, below.
     
   
   

1955 Gower guitar sold on E-bay. Note the unusual headstock. Click here for more information.
 
Grammer brochure from Butch Moore, pages 1 and 2
 
 
Gary Bellucci's 1973 Gower electric. See his email message, below. He's looking for replacement parts.
     

Gower G-100, serial # 2093, for sale on E-bay. The interior label says "Nashville Musical Instrument Co., Inc., 1307 Division Street, Nashville, Tennessee, Music City, U.S.A.
       
       
For more information about this Grammer contact rvg@pwrtc.com.
 
   
Grammer owned by Greg Mayo

Seen at eBay: "Nice, original sign from a local record shop. Probably from the 50's or 60's. Measures appx. 28" x 102". Looks to be professionally hand painted on a heavy type canvas material. It came from Ralph's Record Shop in Demorest, Ga."
 
 
Grammer G10 seen on eBay. Probably Brazilian rosewood.
 
 
Grammer G10 seen on eBay. Probably Brazilian rosewood.
 
 
Grammer G10 seen on eBay. Probably Brazilian rosewood.
 
 
 
Justin Harsha's Grammer
 
   
Pantelis Goudis' rebuilt Grammer. See his email message, below.
 
 

Kevin Chamberlain's blond Grammer. Perhaps the back and sides are light-colored maple? Click here to read Kevin's note.
 
 
 

Gary Buttram's B 20C Grammer, with "Nancy Dee" inlay. See his note below.
   
 
 
 
 
1983 Grammer. Label says "The J.W. Gower & Son Iinstrument Co. this guitar was manufactured for Mr. Tillin ---- by J.W. Gower in November, 1983. Many hours of enjoyment, J.W. Gower
   
   
 
Charles Goodman's 1966 Grammer, serial number 1028 (see Charles' story below). Note the price in the ~1966 brochure: $350.
   
 
 
Early Gower, seen on eBay
     
     
     
     
An unusual electric Gower, seen on eBay.
       
     
     
Smiley Burnette's 000 Martin
 
Beautiful Grammer G58, photos from Tony Calabro, New York City
 
Buddy Cannon sends photos of a Gower L-45, serial number 1125 (the smaller of the two guitars)
 
Know anything about this guitar? John Bushouse is looking for information. See his note, below.
     
     
   
Gower model N-75, serial number 3175, on eBay, spotted by Rob Kilgore.
     
Gower model G-55-2, serial number 3085, owned by Glen Marlin's father.
     
     
Gower G-65, Brazilian rosewood, seen on eBay.
     
   
Randy Keller's "Johnny Cash" Grammer, serial number 7612.
     
   
Gower headstock templates, for sale on eBay; seller is in Madison, AL. Pictures grabbed from eBay by Rob Kilgore.
     
     
Photos of Scott Grammer's guitar, signed by his uncle, Billy Grammer
     
     
More photos of Scott Grammer's guitar, signed by Billy Grammer
     
     
Even more photos of Scott Grammer's guitar, signed by Billy Grammer
     
     
Jeff Baldwin's Grammer G-10.
   
   
   
Gower electric, seen by Rob Kilgore on eBay, August 2012.
   
   
Gower maple acoustic parts, formerly owned by Leon Rhodes and his partner, spotted by Rob Kilgore on eBay, August 2012.
 


Here is what I know about Gower Guitars.

I am the original owner of a Gower 6-string, built in 1972. The Gowers lived near Nashville, where they owned some sort of small recording studio. Perhaps originally as a money-making hobby, the Gowers built guitars which they sold through Grayson's Music, an instrument dealer in New York City and, at that time, Freeport, NY. Other dealers must have sold their instruments too.

I don't know how Grayson's made initial contact with the Gowers. I do recall that there would be a small amount of written correspondance concerning what style of guitar would be built (for example, a Martin D-45 imitation), and when it might be ready to be shipped.

My guitar says "Gower Guitar est. 1955" on the head, but came without serial number or other identifying information inside the guitar body. It has rosewood sides and back, a mahogany neck, spruce top, ebony fingerboard. If I recall correctly, the rosewood (which dates from before the ban on exportation of certain tropical hardwoods) is Brazilian.

The tuning machines should have been of better quality, and I had them replaced with sealed Grover machines a couple of years ago. The pick guard is layered, with a black surface attached to a slightly large white piece. The inlay in the fingerboard is simple: slotted mother- of-pearl rectangles in the usual places, but the purfling (the striped binding where the back and sound board join to the sides is pretty cool: it's 14 layers thick on the sound board- to-sides edge. There is white binding along the edges of the fingerboard. The quality of the (visible) craftsmanship is very good. I've never taken an inspection mirror to the guitar when changing strings, so I can't comment about the bracing. The guitar has a variety of dings and some cracks which have been repaired. (The imperfections are much less noticeable than the pictures would make you think they are.)

Mine's a nice instrument, with an unusually narrow neck (1.625" full width at the nut) and good tone. In 1972 it cost $300, which was the "street price" for a Martin D-18. It's a much nicer guitar than a D-18, and I've always been happy with it.

A luthier in Champaign, IL who knew of their guitars told me that Mr. Gower had died some years ago.


Serial number
Model
Approximate date
of manufacture
Comments
35 Grammer 1971/1972  
1001 Gower G-7 1973 from Gracin's music in New York
1002 Grammer 1965 or 1966  
1008 Gower    
1028 Grammer RG&G 1966  
1063 Grammer RG&G mid-1960s Interesting green sunburst
due to painting error
1087 Grammer G-10    
1125 Gower L-45    
1177 Grammer G-20   "Johnny Cash" engraved on headstock
1275 Grammer G-50    
1330 Grammer ~1970 small neck and body
1372 Grammer    
1378 Gower mid-1960's said to have belonged
to Billy Grammer
1485 Grammer RG&G 1966  
1528 Gower G-75   Leon Rhodes model
1529 Grammer RG&G 1968, if new when purchased  
1644 Gower G-75 1960s  
1686 Gower G-75 ~1970  
1705 Gower G-75   maple back and sides
1864 Grammer RG&G   blue-green with
German "key heads"
1985 Gower G-100 pre-1974  
2032 Gower G-100 pre-1974  
2093 Gower G-100    
2179 Gower G-100    
2382 Gower electric   Electric guitar
3008 Gower G-55    
3085 Gower G-55-2    
31xx Gower G-55-2    
3175 Gower N-75   Maple back and sides
4137 Grammer G-58 ~1970  
4250 Grammer M058M   green trim,
natural wood
4484 Grammer G-30    
4588 Grammer G-58    
4629 Grammer R-10 1968 12-string
5136 Grammer S-10 1971  
5272 Grammer G-20    
5363 Grammer G-20 1969 red sunburst
5433 Grammer G-50   "Johnny Cash"
5594 Grammer G-10    
7034 Grammer G-20 C 1972 Red-to-natural finish
7481 Warner G-30   Mahogany
7570 Grammer G-10   Brazilian rosewood
7612 Grammer   "Johnny Cash" engraved on headstock.
Brazilian rosewood.
7857 Grammer G-10    


Max Gower, the son of one of the Gowers who made guitars, sent me an email message in August, 2003 with a little more information about the family and their guitar-making. Bobby Gower (Max's father), Bobby's brother JW, and his sister Alma (Gower) Moore built the guitars. JW died in the 1990's but Bobby and Alma are still alive. Max thinks they sold the business to Grammar Guitars in the 1970's. (Another family member, Charles [Ricky] Moore, sent me a correction to this: see below.) He doesn't own a Gower acoustic, but does have an electric guitar they built. Here's his account, briefly:

I would love to have one of the acoustics they made but I do have a rare Gower, it’s a Gretsch style electric guitar made in 1959 that was never played until it was given to me in the late eighties by JW and I had some pickups installed. It had been sitting on a shelf for around 30 years completely intact with a sunburst green finish. A very odd color but a nice looking guitar.


Charles (Ricky) Moore, Alma's son (and JW's nephew), sent me a message shortly after I heard from Max. He reports that his mother and his uncle started the company in 1955, initially building guitars in a garage. They built both acoustics and electrics, and moved into a a bigger building in the early 60's. They did mass produce accoustics (I had thought it was just a hobby) until about 1972.

Mr. Moore thinks they probably made some number of thousands of guitars over the years they were operating. Alma also worked for Grammer Guitar (. Apparently, the company was still supposed to use the Gower name, but Billy decided to put his own name on the guitars. Moore reports that Grammer Guitar was sold to Tut Taylor in the mid 70's; Alma worked at Taylor's and then went to worked at Gibson for 11 Years.

Here's more information from Mr. Moore:

Grammer never bought out Gower. This is what happened according to my Mom. It was when my mother and Uncle JW were building guitars in their garage that Billy Grammer approached them to go into business. When my uncle JW found out they were going to put "Grammer" on the Guitars, my uncle got mad and left Grammer and went into business as Gower Guitar. My mother worked at Grammer's briefly after JW left, then she left and went back to join my uncle at Gower Guitars. When Gower Guitar went out of business my mother went back to Grammers.
Mr. Moore is the source of the black-and-white photos above. The picture of three men in the factory shows Wilson Hyde (JW's "double first cousin") on the left, JW Gower in the center, and Travis Moore, Ricky's uncle, on the right.

Ricky may produce a few guitars from parts that are on hand; here is his March, 2004 message.

Hello George!

I wanted to let you know in the next couple of months we will be doing minor repairs in our basement. It has to be cleaned out first. We also have a few old bodies that we are thinking about finishing. These will be the first new Gower Guitars made since the early seventies. You can post this on your web site if you like and my e-mail address.----- gowerguitar@comcast.net

Thanks,

Ricky.


Stan Beaver, whose father produced some records in the Gower & Moore studio, wrote with some more information. Stans' web site is here: http://www.rockabillycat.rocks.it.

Hello,

I surfed in to your site on Gower guitars and wanted to comment.

First, I have 2 Gowers, a G-100 and a G-75. I bought the G-100 in the mid 60's directly from the Gower factory in Nashville. I had known J.W. for some time before because my Dad produced some records in the Gower & Moore Studio (just off Thompson Ln.) in the early to mid 60's. J.W. gave my dad and me, both, a guitar back in the late 60's for promotion, because we were going to play a show in Pigeon Forge, TN. that summer. Dad sold his guitar back in the early 80's but I still have mine. Both of my guitars are in need of repair (they've been kicked around a bit) but they are still wonderful instruments. I wonder what they're worth?

I am writing to learn more about the recording studio. They never recorded a "hit" there but they recorded some famous people including Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson. I think someone ought to write a book about the studio. It's a really interesting story. Thanks for your time.

Respectfully,
Stan Beaver


Bill Nelms wrote with some information about Grammer Guitars, and sent a pair of nice photographs of his guitar. Note the similarity in headstocks to the Gowers in the photos. Here is his information.

Hi,

My name is Bill Nelms. I really enjoyed your page on Gower Guitars. I live in Benton, Il about 6 miles from Billy Grammer. I play music with him from time to time. I am 41, so I am the junior in the bunch!! I have the 87th Grammer made. Lowest number Billy knows of in private hands.

Let me tell you his take on the company. The dates and such are correct, Ruth his wife agrees, the Gower split, ??, This is his side... Clyde Reed, JW Gower and Billy started the company, thats the RG&G found on the early ones. Billy owned 51% of the company. He also figured if he was going to be the main spokesman and at the time had the most name recognition, Grammer should be on the headstock. (sounds reasonable). They bought and cut up a D28 Martin to see how it was but together... spent a year in trial and error. First Grammer was in March of 65... started production on April 7, '65... built 5 guitars a week. He also said they never gave a guitar away to any entertainers, but sold the guitars at cost to get them out there. In 65 a new D28 was $395 and a G58 was $495. Billy says JW left because Grammer was put on the guitars and not Gower so i guess that part jives. After the fire in '68, he sold the company to Ampeg. Dan Armstrong killed the Grammer as he talked Ampeg into focusing on his guitar because it was electric and Ampeg was really an amp builder, also makes sense.

Here are some tell-tale signs between the handmade Grammers and the Ampeg ones. All the handmade ones have an RG&G label inside, unbound necks, no Ampeg 'A' on the head stock. All of them had binding down the fret board, and he started the serial numbers at 1000. The first one is in the hall of fame.

I guess I have rambled enough... again i really enjoyed your site.. I am including some photos of my Grammer, serial number 1087.

Good luck,
Bill


Mike Dudley owns a Gower acoustic which has a bit of a story behind its acquisition. Here it is:

Dear sir,

Thank you for the information that you posted online about Gower guitars. I am also the owner of a Gower 6-string which looks just like the one in the pictures online, except the writing on the headstock only says Gower.

This is how I came to own it. Some friends of my father had one made in the mid '70's and it had his name in the fret board in abalone. After he died my brother... pawned it for what ever reason. Another friend of my dad's got the pawn tick about a year later and went to see if the guitar was still there, well the guitar the pawnshop owner turned over was a Gower, but not the one that belonged to my dad. End of sad story, but not really because my family thinks that we got the real one back and I won't ever tell them or my brother. Still as you said it is a sweet guitar that has a sound as lovely as any Martin or Gibson I have ever heard.

I also own a late 60's or early 70's Martin D-18, and a Lyle (Japanese Gibson) hummingbird and I play the Lyle or Gower over the Martin all the time.

Thank you for the information and for your time.

Thanks Mike Dudley


Brad Martin has "an old D size rosewood Sturgill guitar." He reports that

It's my understanding that Dave Sturgill designed or produced the Grammers and acted as a shop foreman or production manager. He may have had something to do with the Gowers as well.


Bobby Kujala worked at Grammer Guitar starting in 1962. He worked with Dave Sturgill:

I went to work at Grammer Guitar in 1969, I routed necks and installed adjusting rods. I then moved to the fitting room and Dave Sturgill made me assistant plant manager to Gene Martin. I later become plant manager under Little Roy Wiggins. I worked with Max, Travis, Alma and JW. the finest craftsmen in the business. I am 62 years old now and disabled. I am so glad I found this Web site. Thanks so much.


Tom Langseth owns a Grammer G-10, serial number 7570. Here is his message (his photos are included with the pictures above):

Hi Grammer Enthusiast,

I have a splendid Grammer G-10 guitar, SN# 7570, that I acquired about 10-15 years ago. (I have attached some photos) This guitar has what appears to be Brazilan rosewood sides and back of the highest quality (it is far better figured than my Martin D-45) That fine rosewood, combined with the quilted spruce top, projects an excellent tone with the proper "ring" at all positions.

The guitar has an unbound, (clearly) ebony, fingerboard but does not have the the "RG&G" label inside. My label has the "g" logo on the left and to the right, says,

Grammer Guitar Co.
serial #
G-10
Nashville, Tennessee
Music City, USA

This guitar, unlike the one pictured in the link, below, has a 1/4" inlay down the center of the back like the Martins, but with a different pattern. The guitar is fitted with chrome plated "Grovers" which appear to be original.

This guitar seems to agree with the indicators of the "non-Ampeg" Grammer, but I am suspicious of the engraving on the headstock. The headstock is engraved with "the grammer guitar" (all lower case) and a right angle triangle with one leg down and the other to the right and a small radius, that may be the cursed Ampeg "A" although it does not resemble the current Ampeg logo. In fact, my guitar appears to be identical to the one at

http://www.myauction.com/index.html?/Auctions/215/Detail/Lot_43.html

I would very much appreciate it if someone who knows the history of these fine guitars could give me some idea as to the manufacture date of this instrument and if it is truly a hand-made Grammer as I think it is, rather than an Ampeg one.

Thanks,
Tom Langseth


Leon Rhodes is a musician who has also been involved in construction of Grammer and Gower guitars.


Will Beasley has a pair of guitars which he had thought to be Grammers. However, one has "Warner Guitar" engraved on the headstock, even though it has the same shape (and model number) as a Grammer guitar. I've asked him if he can send a few photographs. If any of you know something about a possible Warner-Grammer connection, plesae let me know!

Here is Will's message:

Thanks for having such an informative website. I recently acquired two guitars. I originally thought they were both Grammers, however I found the paper label inside one of them that states: Hand Made By: WARNER GUITAR CO. Serial No. 7481 Model G-30 Mahogany, 912 Main Street Shelbyville TN. This guitar also has Warner Guitar engraved in the headstock just like Grammer or Gower. The pick guard is engraved JACK LEONARD, same shape as Grammer, as is the Bridge, fingerboard inlay pattern, headstock shape, grover tuners. The other guitar has no label or makers mark that I can find. It has the same features as the Warner but the pick guard is shaped differently but made of the same gray marblized material, schaller tuners. Back & sides may be rosewood, unfortunately the top is all cracked up.

Do you or any of your readers have any knowledge of Warner Guitars or any relationship they may have had with Grammer or Gower? Thanks in advance for your time.

Regards,
Will Beasley
Nashville, TN


Terry Trinka has a 1972 Grammar G-20 C. Here's his note:

Hi, Just reviewed your web site, found it interesting and informative. I too have a grammer, it's a G-20 C. It was custom made for me in 1972 and has a unique red to natural finish, serial # 7034, bound top and back. I know this came from Grammer Guitar Co. as due to a scheduling conflict it wasn't ready to be shipped in time for my wedding (I was planning to use it to perform at our wedding ceremony) so we ended up going to Nashville (as a honeymoon) to pick up the guitar. Well we did, and Bob Quillia gave us the grand tour and treated us like royality, it was an experience I've never forgot. By the way, I still have the same wife and guitar!


Hans Moust runs an instrument repair facility in the Netherlands. He has a double-necked Gower which is in need of work, and is looking for parts or plans in order to produce a finished instrument. Please contact him by email: guitarchives@wxs.nl if you can help.

Here is Hans' message:

Hi there,

Found your site after a quick Google search for Gower guitars. However, maybe I should introduce myself properly first.

My name is Hans Moust and I run a formal repair facility for guitars and related instruments in Breda, which is in the Netherlands. As a sideline I also have a small publishing company called GuitArchives. We publish articles and photo material on the subject of 'vintage guitars' for magazines over here and every once in a while we do a somewhat bigger project ourselves. Our biggest one so far is called 'The Guild Guitar Book - The Company and the Instruments, 1952-1977', which you might be familiar with.

Since I've been researching guitar history for a long time I'm well aware of the difficulties involved with trying to document this kind of stuff.

I'm not sure how long you've been researching Gower guitars but after looking at your site I would say it looks like an open invitation to everybody who might have some interesting info on Gower guitars and which he or she might want to add

At this point there's not a whole lot I can add but I was wondering how much info you already have about real early Gower guitars. I own a double neck Gower guitar that I've bought in Nashville about 20 years ago. It's a guitar/mandolin that is sort of similar to the double neck Travis' guitars that were made during the early '50s. According to what I know about the various parts and hardware that were used on this guitar, I would say that this guitar was probably made during the second half of the '50s.

The guitar is not complete and there are various parts missing but since this is a handmade guitar I should be able to make parts from scratch in the same way as the original builder would have done. So basically I'm looking for info on other early Gower solid bodies, so I have an idea how to finish this restoration project.

Well, I hope you will be able to help me in this matter and I look forward to hearing back from you.

Sincerely,

Hans Moust


Don Redfield has forwarded a message from Rod Ham concerning Billy Grammer. Here is Don's email:

I guess old age is finally catching up with me. I can't remember if I forwarded this email from Rod Ham. He started out playing drums for me at age 13 in Eugene, Oregon...switched to bass many years ago and has been living in the Nashville area for many, many years. He works with Connie Smith and when I found that Connie was going to be on the Opry this weekend I asked him to contact Billy and try to get an email or snail mail address. He came through for me - Don

----- Original Message ----- From: Rod Ham
To: Don Redfield
Sent: Tuesday, August 31, 2004 12:28 PM
Subject: Grammar

I talked with Billy Grammer on Sat night and since he is nearly blind now I read your email to him. He did seem to remember you and the events surrounding that time frame. He didn't know his email address but I gave him your email and he said his wife handles that stuff and that he would touch base with you. We'll see.

If you want to hear his spot go here: http://66.250.84.150/archive.asp?SHOW=goo, and click on August 28th HI bandwidth, when the player window opens slide the bar to 04:09 hours and his spot will start. If you want to hear our spot go to 03:06 and we'll be on after the commercial.

Rod


Eric Wrobbel has a red, sunburst-finish Gower, bought used in 1970. Here is Eric's message:

Hi,

I enjoyed your site! I bought my Gower, used, in 1970 from a memeber of a raucous Gospel group called the Sacred Harvesters in Flint, Michigan.

It is red with a sunburst-type finish on the front. Pretty narrow neck. Through the years my fingers have grown a bit fat for it. Headstock logo is in Old English type and says "Gower" in curved type, with "Guitar" and "Est. 1955" in straight type under the curved Gower. Label inside says "Guaranteed Lifetime against defects in workmanship to original owner. Nashville Musical Instrument Company, Inc., 1307 Division Street, Nashville, Tennessee, Music City, U.S.A." Model number is given as G-75.

I love the old thing but don't play it much anymore because the neck is warped where it joins the body. It's still got a lot of sentimental value for me, though.

The guitar and headstock are pictured on my web site discography: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/discography.htm

Thanks again and best regards,
Eric Wrobbel
Los Angeles, California


Sean Henderson has a Gower G-55-2. Here is his description:

Hi,

Just found your website. I have a Gower G-55-2 that has a label inside as follows:

Nashville Musical Instruments Co., Inc.
1307 Division Street
Nashville. Tennessee
Music City, USA
Serial # 31xx
Modet# G-55-2

There is no date, at least that I have found. The body is constructed of rosewood on the back and sides, with a spruce top. The neck markers are simple round mother of peal dots inlayed into an ebony fingerboard. The finish is a semi-gloss on the sides and almost matt on the top... which leads me to believe that it may have been refinished as yours apears to be a high gloss finish. This one is in excellent condition, except for the tuning heads which are open back Grovers that have developed a lot of backlash from years of use. I will be replacing them with the same units if I can find some, otherwise with new sealed back Grovers.

I have owned a number of Martin's, mostly D-35's. When I played this particular Grover, I told the owner that if he ever waited to sell it to let me know. I like the sound much better than all but a few Martin's I have played and some customs. This one is a keeper and will be past on to my son or daughter.

Sean Henderson
Underhill, VT.


Here's a request for information about a "Johnny Cash Gower guitar" owned by Jeff Cross:

I own a Johnny Cash Grammer Guitar and would like some info on it if anyone can help. All I know about it is that its been in my family for over 30 years, it was bought in a pawn shop in Nashville by my Grandfather in the late 60's or early 70's and has been in our family ever since. My grandfather left it to me. It is in immaculate condition. It has never been played while in the family and has been stored in a guitar case. It is blonde in color and does not have a blemish on it, amazingly still looks brand new. It has Johnny Cash engraved in the headstock between the tuning keys and grammer in the top of the head stock, it has pearl inlays in the fret board and the neck is narrow. It also has ivory around the top and back where the top and back are put together. The back of it looks like some type of birds eye maple or something of that sort and has not lost any of its original shine. It has never been refinished; everything is still original in mint condition, a beautiful guitar. The serial # is 1177 and the model # is G-20.

If anyone has any information about this guitar like the year it was made, its current value, or the rarety of this guitar I would greatly appreciate your help. My email address is jcross24@citlink.net


A message from Cathy Beasley [grandoleopry@comcast.net]:

Hello,

Yes, Mr. Gollin I have someone here who knows allot about these guitars, for he is the original maker of them. Mr. Bobby Gower & Mrs. Alma Moore *(his sister) are the ones who started these guitars in 1955, in which Alma other brother James W Gower in Nashville on Louise & Harlan Drive. Bobby can tell you about these guitars, for they have them here in their house right now. If you are interested in getting in touch with Bobby email him at: grandoleopry@comcast.net

By the way, his brother James W Gower (Jay) has passed away. Alma and Bobby are still around. In fact Alma later on worked at Gibson Guitars. I saw this add on the web, and also saw where your email was.


Steve Perman bought his Gower from Gracin's Music, in Freeport, New York, the same place I bought mine. Dr. Perman's was made in 1973. Here is his note; he can be contacted at DRPERMAN@aol.com.

Hi--Just discovered your website and would like to share my "story".

I purchased my Gower guitar from Bernie Gracin owner of Gracin's Music in Freeport Long Island in, I believe, 1973. It looked a lot like a Martin D-28. He explained that I was getting the first of a new model line from Gower (not sure if that was just a sales pitch, but the engraved plate visible thru the soundhole where the neck attaches to the body (white on black, like the headstock) reads G7- the model- over the number 1001-the serial # indicating that it was the "first" in the series). It was an easy decision to purchase it for, if memory serves me, about $325 I have no idea how many were made or if this was a prototype of a model line that never materialized.

Mine has a few differences from the 1972 acoustic in the photo gallery on your site. First of all, the Grover tuning machines on mine are original with the guitar. Like yours, it has a spruce top, ebony fingerboard, and rosewood body, but the spruce color is lighter-more of a straw color-, possibly due to less oxidation of the finish since mine is always in a humdified hardshell case when not being played. Also, the distance from the sound hole/bridge to the end of the guitar is shorter than yours in the picture, that is, on mine it is a little more centrally placed on the face of the guitar. The side panel width does not taper as much as yours though the end is thicker that the top of the body. The shape (top edge) of the headstock is very similar, but not identical to yours in the picture, but the engraving is the same. Fingerboard inlays are the same as yours, but the inlay down the center seam of the back of mine is quite different .

My guitar has always been and continues to be a joy to play and hear and over the 30+ years it has been played a lot and has traveled a lot! I had it appraised about 12 years ago by the curator of a guitar museum and was told that quality-wise it was in the $6500 range and that if it had a better known pedigree (like Martin) it could be worth twice that much. I have no frame of reference other than that to know the guitar's value ( I'm not looking to sell it) since Gowers seem to be few and far between. Any feedback from you or those who visit your site about my instrument or other Gower "lore" would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, sincerely,

Dr Steve Perman Boca Raton, Florida


John would like help identifying his Grammer guitar. Here is his message:

Hi, I have a Grammer guitar that I would like to get some info on. It has a natural top with Brazilian rosewood sides and back, Grammer logo on the headstock but, no Ampeg logo. It has no pickguard or label but, has X 147 stamped on the end block. Is this possibly a prototype? I would appreciate any information that any one might be able to pass along.

[A later message, including a change of email address...]

I have three Grammers: an early sunburst RG&G label maple back and sides, a G58 Ampeg with incredible brazialian rosewood and, the one that appears to be a prototype. I will try to send along some photos if I can figure out how. Thanks for all your help.

Thank you, John e-mail: transmodeinc2@aol.com.


Rob Kilgore would like to develop a Grammer Guitar web page. Here is his message:

Greetings! I was surfing the internet looking for imformation on Grammer guitars when I came across your page on Gower guitars. It was great to read all the correspondence on this guitar that I knew nothing about until coming across your sight. It would seem that the Gower, like the Grammer, is a wonderful American made instrument that somehow has slipped through the cracks. Judging from what all the Gower owners had written, I would say that these are not only unique, rare instruments, but are great players as well.

I purchased a Grammer a year and a half ago, and have really been enjoying playing it. I was lucky enough to run across an Ebay auction for a G-58 with Brazilian rosewood back and sides with the serial number 1864. This is one of the original pre Ampeg Grammers and it really is a beautiful instrument. It also has the original case, and every time I get it out to strap it on, people are naturally interested in a guitar that they have never seen or remember seeing back in the day. My Grammer has loads of dings and pings on the spruce top, but if you could play it and hear it, you would know why. It sounds and plays fantastic.

I have been trying to contact Billy Grammer with the hopes of starting a web sight on the Grammer guitar. I have been in contact with Bill Nelms who's beautiful greenburst Grammer you have on your sight. I also contacted Bob Jackson who runs a music store in the Chicago area. It would seem that Billy is a hard guy to get ahold of. If anyone can tell me his address, I would really like to get in touch with him or his wife to further discuss a future web page dedicated to these fine instruments.

Many thanks for all this great information.

Sincerely,
Rob Kilgore
kilgore@pop600.gsfc.nasa.gov


Ronnie Dobbs (rddobbs@gulftel.com) has a "Leon Rhodes" model Gower G-75. The headstock looks a little different from mine; see the pictures above. The guitar also has a three-piece back. Here we go:

Found your web site and wanted to send a few pictures of the Leon Rhodes model that I acquired in Old Hickory, TN some 20 to 30 years ago. I bought it from the owner of the store who told me he had made a record or two in Nashville. Can't remember his name and I can't remember the year it was bought. The guitar has the guranteed life time to original owner and place of manufacture with Serial #1528 and model G-75 sticker on the inside. If anyone can shed anymore light on this particular guitar, I would appreciate hearing from you. It has mirror image pick guards with Gower Guitar est 1955, leon Rhodes model on the headstock.


Sherri Carpenter owns a small-bodied Grammer with a modified head stock. Here is a message from her husband:

You seem to be the go to guy on Grammer guitars. Many years ago my wife and I purchased, for her, a small body customized Grammer in Morganton, NC. The guy we bought it from had purchsed it for his children and they weren't interested and resold it to my wife who has small hands. The customization is a re-inlayed head, so there is no identifier there except for the distinctive shape. The inside label has apparently vanished but on the inside of the block at the neck is stamped the number #7911. I'll attach a couple of pictures too. [see above]

Any information would be great and thanks for your efforts to maintain the information. Thanks. sdc


Kyle O'Neal owns a Grammer G-10:

I have a Grammar Guitar very similar to Tom Langseth who sent you a message which is posted [on this page]. Mine is Grammar G-10 with the serial number being 7857. Like Tom's Grammar, it does not have the RG&G logo, but the G logo. It has the same inlay described by Tom (a 1/4" inlay down the center of the back like the Martins, but with a different pattern). It also has the same right angle he described (a right angle triangle with one leg down and the other to the right and a small radius). I will include a picture. [Posted above.] Mine however, is missing some pieces. The guitar is fully functional, but is missing the truss rod cover and the pickguard. Would you be able to tell me if this is an original handmade guitar or an Ampeg copy? Also, would you have a guess at the year it was made from the serial number? Thanks for all your help!


Christopher Coats writes this about his Grammer G-10:

My name is Christopher Coats and I just bought a G-10 from Norm’s rare guitars in Hollywood. I paid $1,650 for it and feel I got a great deal. It has a Brazilian rosewood back and sides and a spruce top with an ebony bridge and finger board. The label reads: "Grammer Guitar Co.," with a serial number, model number, and place of manufacture (Nashville Tennessee). On the left there is a “G” logo. It has the “split A” underneath “The grammer Guitar” etching on the head stock so it may be of later vintage.

I took steel guitar lessons from the late, great Jerry Byrd and he played a Grammer to accompany his students. That is why the one I bought sort of stuck out when I was at Norm’s, as I’ve never seen one in a shop before. When I played it I knew it was pretty special (except the neck is a little skinny, as some say about Grammers). Every once in a while Jerry would hand his to me while he showed me something on the steel guitar. I remember Jerry’s had a blonde back and sides (possibly finished), and I can not recall what type of top it had. I think it was probably spruce. I don’t recall that guitar sounding very special but then again, I was little preoccupied in my lessons: when he was playing it I was playing something for him on steel, or he would ask me to play an accompaniment for him in which case I was listening to his steel. I do recall it had the number 2 stamped into the wood on the back of the head stock. He once told me it was given to him by the maker.

Mine has the “split A” that people are saying is from the Ampeg days, but it is still very much a hand-made looking instrument and with beautiful tone too. No doubt these are great guitars and as far as Ampeg buying Grammer out and being less desirable (as is insinuated in another Grammer story on your site) this one still appears to be hand made, at least as much as Martins were back then. They didn’t have those computers cutting the wood or anything that is out there today. Just look closely at the engraving of the name on the headstock and the glue joints of these instruments. They may have been mass produced at some level but a lot of real sweat went into them. Jerry’s is still out there somewhere here on Oahu. It may have gone to Akaka or Olsen (two former students of Jerry’s) but I am not sure.

Thanks for getting this Grammer site going, it’s been interesting to read the history and Grammer stories and hope this one helps piece the big puzzle together.

Aloha, Chris


Hoyt Kennedy (hoythk@earthlink.net) has a Gower G-75:

I found your site as I was trying to find out information about my Gower guitar. I enjoyed reading the stories that had been sent to you by Gower owners, and I thought I would share some about my Gower.

I have a G-75. Its serial number is 1644. My father bought this guitar in the 1960s. I remember going with him to pick it up, but I do not remember the exact year. The guitarI came to me when my father passed away.

At the time I was not a guitar player. I am a bass player, but since that time I have been learning chords and improving my guitar playing. I am not a great guitar player, but I am improving with the help of my Gower.

I sending pictures of my G-75 and if you would like you can check out my band's web site at www.meshach.us.

Thanks for the information,

Hoyt Kennedy
Robbins, NC


Dan Doty (ddoty35@comcast.net) has a 1971/1972 Grammer. He'd like to know if the guitar dates from before the Ampeg days:

This Grammer I have had since 1975 at the time Billy Grammer wrote that he thought it to be 1971/1972 vintage. However there was "stage use" and road mapping evident that leads me to think it was more than 3 to 4 years old. There is a faint sunburst around the edge of the box. There is no "A" that indicates it came from the Ampeg days.

To further the mystery the serial number on the neck block is #35 . According to Billy the original numbering began at #1000??

I am a pretty good amateur judge of vintage guitars and I believe this guitar was made prior to the Ampeg days. I would in my opinion grade the condition to be excellent.

Due to recent upsurge in the interest in Grammer guitars I think it would be informative to post this on your web site.

thank you
Dan Doty
ddoty35@comcast.net

George I guess I got so carried away with the description of my Grammer that I forgot to ask a question. However when a guitar like this one is found it's hard not to talk about it.

My questions are. Was this Grammer made prior to the Ampeg days? How does the serial number #35 agree with the report that the originals starting with #1000?

More on the description, the neck of #35 is typical 3 piece, the headstock is 5 pieces, the finish of the back and sides is a near gold in color. The finger board is unbound with 2 very thin white stripes that run either side from nut to sound hole. The neck is 3 piece, the headstock is 5 pieces.

The only signs of use are slight wear on the fingerboard at the first fret position where the player would play in maybe d, a, or g positions. I believe the guitar was played without a pick as there is slight evidence of wear at the bottom, inside edge of the sound hole as if it was used as a "rest" for the players fingers.

Thanks for reading my email.

Dan Doty


Butch Moore (manomusic@charter.net) owns 8 (!!) Grammer guitars. Here is his message:

Greetings Mr. Gollin,

It was such a pleasure to find your web page devoted to Gower & Grammer guitars. I’ve maintained a great interest in the Grammer instruments since my early childhood. Now 50, I remember visiting the Grammer plant on many occasions as a youngster. My late father, Fred T. Moore (no relationship to Ricky Moore), held part interest in the company. He was a printer by trade, newspaper editor, auctioneer, and politician (having served nearly 30 years in the SC Legislature). He was on the Board of Trustees of the Medical University of South Carolina when he passed away in 2001. I mention these things in hope of jogging the memories of those who may recall Dad’s involvement in the grand days of the Grammer.

I personally own 8 Grammers of various models and vintage. Most are in good shape…a couple superb. I remember driving a station wagon to Nashville just before the plant closed and bringing back whatever we could get into the car.

Dad’s prized red sunburst Grammer was stolen in the 80’s. Created especially for him, it featured beautiful mother of pearl inlay. It was, by far, the best sounding and playing instrument I’ve ever encountered. I still constantly search e-Bay and the net for some sign of that great guitar. They also created a “Stars and Stripes” model which had the distinction of being played on the SC Legislature floor during a filibuster. That little episode made the front page of the state’s largest newspaper. Dad was quite a colorful character and his Grammer always figured into his plans.

I thought that I would pass along to you that I possess several of the original full color brochures for the Grammer Guitar Company. [I've posted these with the pictures at the top of the page.] Although the originals are not for sale, I would be happy to send you a digital scan of the tri-fold, two sided brochure. Perhaps your website would be an appropriate place to share this small piece of history. Also, I have a good number of black & white promotional pictures featuring famous country artists of that time with their Grammers. I have no interest in selling any guitars or memorabilia, but would be happy to share the images if anyone is interested.

I would love to hear from anyone who may have memories of my Dad. He was in Nashville often and made quite a few friends. While growing up, our home was often the stop-over for stars traveling through the Carolinas.

Let me know if you have an interest in the scans.

Thank you for your time and thank you for creating and maintaining the Gower/Grammer webpage.

Sincerely,
Butch Moore
Belton, SC


Richard Hedges writes (richardluke1423@earthlink.com):

If you want more info on Grammer and Gower guitars call my brother George Hedges who owns a music store in Mt. Juliet TN. My dad (Fred Hedges), my brother and I manufactured guitar parts for both of these guitars in the sixties and seventies.

In 1974 we started the Shiloh Music Center near Nashville TN. My dad, who was a long time friend of Billy Grammer, passed away in 1999.

I own one of the first Grammer guitars ever made. George owns a few early Grammer and Gower models. He may still have an assortment of guitar parts for both brands. Also, he is one of the very best guitar repairmen in the coutry. His phone number is 615-758-9437.

I am no longer in the music business and now live in Durham NC.

Sincerely, Richard Hedges.


Ken Jolly writes:

I wanted to share my gower story, my wife and I attended an auction in Erin Tn some years back and although George Gruhn was there and bought up about $25,000 in old instruments I was able to take this one home for I believe around 100 dollars, serial # 1008. It was in pretty rough shape as the neck binding had begun to pop due to moisture and was left strung with heavy gauge strings for possibly years. It appears to have a spruce top with rosewood sides and back, large block cut inlays and a very narrow neck. I was able to repair it to a very playable condition and it seems to have survived years of neglect very well, I was amazed at the volume and tone of this piece, I have several nice acoustics including a 912 Taylor, but the Gower holds it's own and records beautifully. I had pretty well given up on finding any information on Gower guitars and was delighted to have stumbled on your site.

Sincerely, Ken Jolly
Adams Tn


Scott Dwinelle (dwinelles2@earthlink.net) writes:

Hello,

I purchased my guitar from Gruhn's and they described it as "late 1960's, closely modeled after Grammer, probably by a Grammer employee". It is described as having a 15 5/16" wide body, spruce top, and solid Brazilian rosewood back & sides. It has abalone trim around the top and edge of peghead. Here is a link to the picture on Gruhn's website. The peghead has the name "The Hobbs" on it. There is no other identification on the guitar. Here is a link to the picture of it on Gruhn's website: http://www.gruhn.com/photo/AM5645.jpg.

It was $750.00. I thought you might know if this could possibly be a Grammer employee guitar.

Thanks
Scott Dwinelle

Here is a second message:
Hello,

I recently emailed you about a guitar I got from Gruhn Guitars in Nashville, TN. It says "The Hobbs Guitar" on the peg head and has nor serial number or other identifying marks or labels.

Gruhn's believes it is a Grammer Employee Guitar and dated as being from the late 1960's. It is OM/000 or Auditorium sized being 15 5/16" wide. It has a 24" scale and is 1 11/16" wide at the nut. It has all of the characteristics of a Grammer Guitar. The oversized Brazilian rosewood bridge is crown shaped as is the head stock. It has a Brazilian rosewood fingerboard with pearl dot inlays. The bridge also has pearl dot inlays. The nut is made of brass and the saddle appears to be compensated white plastic. It has two thin white/black/white fiber inlays for a sound hole rosette. The peg head & sound board have abalone inlay borders. The neck appears to be 5 pieces and made from natural Mahogany. The back is solid Brazilian rosewood and the sides app! ear to be Brazilian rosewood laminate. The tuners are chrome enclosed with no identifying marks other than a star on each one. There is a bullet shaped truss rod cover on the peg head. The peg head also has black plastic laminate overlay instead of wood and engraved with "The Hobbs Guitar". There is black plastic body binding around the top & back. The inside X-bracing is scalloped in a unique way. The neck is thick & oval shaped and is dovetailed like a Gibson. The body has a full gloss finish. The heal plate appears to be black plastic like the peg head overlay. It had no pick guard, but I applied one after receiving it from Gruhn's. Since there is no serial number this guitar could very well be an employee guitar or a prototype.

If readers of your website know if Gower/Grammer allowed employees to make their own guitar or if there are any OM/000 Auditorium models made by Gower/Grammer I would be interested in knowing. I have attached several pictures of the guitar that you may post on your website if you like. Thanks for your time and consideration. [I have posted the pictures; see the thumbnails at the top of the page.]

Sincerely,
Scott Dwinelle
Alexandria, VA

More information:
...I have since found out that the guitar is solid Brazilian rosewood back/sides and not solid back/laminated sides as reported in my previous email. This guitar is believed to be a Grammer by everyone who has seen it, but without any identifying marks other than "The Hobbs Guitar" on the headstock there is no way to prove it. It is a very well built and great sounding instrument and sounds more like a dreadnaught than a auditorium sized guitar. Your website is very interesting and about the only one dedicated to the subject of Gower/Grammer guitars. Keep up the good work.
Bob Kujala wrote this:
Just a little information, I am the one that built the Hobbs guitar in Grand Island, Ne. and yes I did work for Grammer Guitar. Anyone wanting more info can contact me at bob_kujala@yahoo.com
Well, that's very cool. And there's more! Again, from Bob Kujala, 1/26/2006:
Thanks for the comeback, That guitar was orginally to be built for Merle Haggard. When the plant closed I had the body at home to do the inlay, It was in rough form. I moved to Grand Island Nebraska and built a few electric guitars with the Hobbs logo and decided to finish the one you own now. It was kinda styled after the Martin 000-28 although the demensions were different. The bracing was hand carved, something we were expermenting with to get the bass and the treble balance, The top is sitka spruce, the back and sides are brazilian rosewood. as well as the fingerboard and the bridge. The Haggard model would have had a slotted head stock but I chose to build the standard Grammer style. The keys are schallers. (german) It was a long time ago and to tell you the truth thats about all I remember about it. myself I am not interested in buying the guitar but Larry Hobbs is, It was originally built for him. so if you ever decide to sell would really appreciate you letting me know. I am sure you will be hearing from him also, Thank you very much and hope you enjoy the guitar

P.S. The adjustable rod is a 2 piece Vega rod.


St. Wishnevsky (a pen name) writes:

...heres what i know... Dave Sturgill was from Piney Creek NC, and had been making banjoes and things since childhood, when needed. His first banjo had a calico cat hide on it. He rambled a lot before wwii. and then settled into the DC area for Defence work. at Grumman and Westen Electric. There was a loose collection of luthiers in the area, and somehow Dave met Billy Grammer. At some point Billy hired Dave to run Grammer Guitars, and Dave gave up his job with Western Electric and moved with second son Johnny to Nashville. Johnny was spray painter, and did some inlay. The Martian Sunbursts are very Johnny Sturgill. Microfrets of Frederick Maryland had similar finishes. I dont know the connection.

Incidently, the cut off guitar wastebasket photo on your sight is familiar, Dave had one in his office. The story was that Billy got mad at all the seconds, and cut a whole rack of guitars in half in rage. Unfortunately, he cut the wrong rack and destroyed the only good guitars they had.

Somehow Dave and Billy lost control of the company to Ampeg, (there is an Ampeg book) and somehow George Gruen was involved. There was some bad feeling there. Dave and Johhny went back to Piney Creek and opened a shoestring operation that made perhaps a thousand guitars under the Sturgill name. They used free hippy labor on an apprentice system, and also made banjoes, mandoes, kit instruments, lots of dulcimers, and so on. Johhny designed basses and pedal steels for Morrell, but nothing came of that.

In 1975 or so they, bought the dead Microfrets and Harptone (of Newark NJ) guitar factories and tried to set up a factory, Diamond S, in Independence Va. They were desperately under funded and soon died. Dave continued to make instruments and play music until a few years ago, when his health failed. He diesd last summer and is buried under a banjo shaped tombstone. He was very similar to Semie Moseley of Moserite, who was also from NC. Dave was one of themost unique people i ever met, and was very bright and innovative and quite a decent person under a crusty exterior. He left five children , dozens of grand children, and even great great grand children when he died. Any body with more input to may forethcomiing book can respond here... thanks..

"I am starting a History project, called "How the Hippies Ruined Hillbilly Music" it is to be a collobrative history of the great Old Timey Revivial of the 1970 - 2000. If you were part of it, hated it, or have some stories to tell, click here."

URL : http://www.old97wrecords.com/othistory/


1/24/2006 Jaime Kees writes:

Hi there, My name is Jaime (Gower) Kees. J.W. Gower was my paternal grandfather. I lived with him and his wife, Jewell in a duplex with my parents until the day he died in February of '91. He died when I was 14 so I wasn't that interested in guitar making at the time but, he did sit down and teach me a couple of chords just before he died on the accoustic that he still had. My family moved to Franklin, TN about 20 miles south of Nashville in 1970. There he built a shop behind our house to continue making guitars. After he died, we sold most of the equipment although I know my dad still has a few finger boards and such that he saved. I don't know that I'll have many answers but, I can always ask my dad or grandmother if you have any questions.

Unfortunately, my uncle (you refer to him as Bobby on your site), passed away this summer. My Aunt Alma is the only one left in the family that helped to build the guitars. Although, my dad did play piano on a few sessions in the old studio. .Jaime Kees

Please send me email if you'd like to contact Jaime.


2/28/2006 Dick Hubbard writes:

Sir,

Attached are pictures of my 1971 Grammer G-58. I got it free when a music store owner in Mobile, Alabama stiffed me on an Epiphone. He didn't know my best friend was his Peavey supplier.

What is a Grammer worth these days?

Dick Hubbard


4/11/2006 (and again 4/12/06) Dan Hall writes:

Sir,

I have had a Grammer since the early ‘90s. It was given to me by “Snuffy” Miller. He was a producer in Nashville that worked with Jerry Clower and several others. I have attached several pictures of this beautiful guitar. I was wondering how I can find out a little more about it, such as how old it is, what the serial number tells me (It is #1372 since it is difficult to see) and any other information I can find out about it. I had lost contact with Snuffy over the years and never got to learn more about this wonderful guitar before his passing.

I can be reached at this email address at night, or at Daniel.Hall@arkemagroup.com during the day.

Thank you for your time. I have enjoyed your site and have learned a great deal about these guitars.

Dan Hall


Mr. Gollin,

My name is Dan Hall, I have had a Grammer G-10 sitting around the house for several years and stumbled across your website while trying to learn a little more about it. This guitar was given to me by "Snuffy" Miller who was record producer for many artist in Nashville. I don't play anymore (some would say I never did), but I thought I would share a few pictures of the unusual knot pattern on the back. Grammer sure did make beautiful guitars and this one is still in wonderful condition

Thanks,
Dan Hall


4/15/2006 Bud Chowning writes:

Sir,

I have a Grammer guitar that I bought new in about 1966. It is all original, except it has a brass nut & bridge. It is a R G and G,. serial no: 1485. In 1998, my son, Nathan Bud Chowning, played this guitar at The Ryman Auditorium in Nashville for six months, in the "Bye Bye Love" musical of the Everly Brothers. The play was on Thursday, Friday, and Sat. nights. Nathan played the part of young Phil Everly. The guitar has many autograph's from so many big stars on the front maple top. It has a black pick guard, with white binding on it. The sides, back, and back of neck is mahongany color. Bud Chowning-Member Rockabilly hall of fame. highpriestguitar@insightbb.com


4/27/2006, 5/23/06: Red Adamson writes:

I have a solid body electric guitar that has the Grammer Guitar logo on the head stock. I would like to know any info. On a solid body electric made by Grammer or if any were ever made. Some pictures would be nice. Please send info to (Red Adamson 1189 wren rd. B.g. ky. 42101). Email is crakhead1988@aol.com or phone (270) 783-3047. Thanks, red.


The first set of pics I have been told is a 1957 Fender p bass any info. Will be great, the second set is what looks like an electric Grammer. For any more info. My email is crakhead1988@aol.com, or write Red Adamson 1189 Wren rd. Bowling Green, ky. 42101, or phone (270) 783-3047. Thanks for any help, Red


5/12/2006: Buddy Cannon writes:

When I first came to Nashville, in 1972, I got a job playing bass for Grand Ol’ Opry star Bob Luman. It was about that time I bought a Gower flat top guitar. I kept it for a while and like most young musicians was eager to try new instruments every other day and traded the Gower for some other instrument. I don’t remember now what I traded for. Anyway, the feel of the neck on that guitar was something I never forgot. About 3 years ago I started looking on ebay for a Gower. Finally about a year ago I won the auction on the first Gower that came up for sale. I’m sure I overpaid for it but I’m glad I bought it. I had to have some re-glueing, etc… done but it is one of the best playing guitars I’ve ever had. It feels just like the first one I bought back in ’72. This past weekend I saw another Gower on ebay and bought it. It just arrived and needs a little TLC but I’m getting ready to take it to the doctor (no broken bones or anything).

I’m a Gower Junkie.

Buddy Cannon


5/20/2006: Bob Sturgeon writes:

I'm Bob Sturgeon @ Rbobs400@aol.com I have a Grammar Guitar I picked up in Phoenix 30 years ago. On the head stock is engraved ''The Grammar Guitar' and the label inside lists the model as 'G50 and the serial no. is 1275. The serial no. is stamped in and the model is penciled in.It has a narrow neck equal to an Epiphone. It is in good condition and has a beautiful sound. I love playing it.Aside from that, I don"t know anything about it. I would like to add that I seen Billy Grammar on the "opry" many time's and feel that he never got the recognition he deserved. He was a great guitarist.

Thanks,
Bob


6/13/2006: Bob Kujala writes:

The Red Adamson Guitar [in the picture] is a Rickenbacker. It had a busted neck in it when I got it and I built a neck for it while I was working at Grammer. I loaned it to a fella by the name of Buddy Phifer and never seen him or the guitar again until Mr. Adamson contacted me. LOL! It's a small world. It was red in color and I sanded it down and did it natural. Just thought I would pass this info on.

Have a great day...Bob


7/14/2006: Jim Pate writes:

In 1968 I purchased my Grammer in Whitehaven, TN (Memphis). Serial No. 1529. It has rosewood sides and back with spruce top. The label inside is the RG&G label printed in blue with the serial no. but no model no. At the time, I was looking for an instrument to use in lieu of my D18 Martin. When I played my Grammer in the store, I was amazed that the tone and depth of sound rivaled my Martin. Upon close inspection, I noticed the instrument had some pick marks so I assumed it had a previous owner and was able to negotiate a better price. Needless to say, I took it home with me. Over the years, the sound of my Grammer has just gotten better and I played it as much as my Martin until arthritis took over. It is still in excellent condition as is the original case - plush lined hard case with a set of the original strings inside.

Thanks for this informative website.

Jim Pate


7/16/2006: Ricky spotted an early Gower for sale on E-bay:

This instrument (see the pictures titled "E-bay Gower" in the table of photos) has pearl inlay around the body. The top wood appears to be spruce while the rest is curly maple. The bridge is unique, and has inlayed pearl on it. The headstock has “Gower” in brass letters. The guitar belonged to a Nashville country musician and was sold on E-bay in 2006 by Ricky Moore for $1500. The guitar was built by J.W. Gower and Alma, Ricky’s mother, probably around 1955. It is an early version compared to their production models: note the different headstock shape.


7/17/2006: Keith Boehme writes about a black & white checkered Grammer acoustic guitar:

ln the 1970's my brother won the above [a black & white checkered Grammer acoustic guitar] in a contest in San Antonio, Texas. It was reported to be 1 of a kind manufactured for just this contest. I got back from Europe and my brother and I started a band in San Antonio and we ran into a guy named Larry(??) Quimby(??). He swapped guitars with my brother 1 night for just one gig, and we never saw him or the custom guitar again The next time we see it is on the cover of an album by David Johansen the old New York Doll band leader, out on his solo career. We could never get a call back from the leader of the band or their agent...... Now it's 2006 and I was curious if anyone has run into this strange guitar..... If you ever see it please let me know as I have always felt responsible....

thx,
Keith


12/13/2006: Kevin Chamberlain writes about his blond Grammer:

Hello,

Here are a few pics of my Grammer. My grandmother bought it for my grandpa for their 25th wedding anniversary. I have had the guitar for 10 years and it is my baby. I jokingly tell my wife; If I come up missing and the guitar is still here, better come looking, If I am missing and the guitar is gone too... Don't bother looking. It is totally blond all the way around. I have only seen one other Grammer like mine and it was in a picture of Billy himself playing it. I have never seen one other than mine in person or print. I would love to find another one or any information about it.

Hope everyone enjoys the pictures.

Kevin Chamberlain
New Smyrna Beach, Florida
LChamb8530@aol.com


2/14/2007: Plama Dobo writes about his Gower electric:

I can't really add much, but they made me my first electric in that little garage shop behind their house over near Thompson Lane and Knolensville Road in Nashville. It was about 1960, and I was stationed in the Air Force at Sewart AFB, at Smyrna. I particularly remember the pride with which they showed me their pickup winding machine they made from a sewing machine.

They made the guitar to order for me, and painted it a red to black sunburst per my request. It seems like it took two weeks for them to build it.

I traded the guitar a year or two later at Hy's Pawn Shop on Deaderick Street towards a new Gibson EBO bass guitar. I kept my eyes open in my later years for another Gower like mine, but never have come across one. It would be a real nostalgia item for me!


3/28/2007: Justin Harsha from Hillsboro, Ohio writes about his Grammer, serial number 1063 (see the pictures, above):

1001 was the first Grammer. Mine is 1063, which I believe makes it the 63'rd guitar they made. So mid 60's.

I read this on the Grammer Guitar site.

RG&G was not afraid to push stylistic boundaries and offered progressive finishes such as red, purple (wine), and blue bursts, and the famous green burst that was so desirable. The green burst was one of those brilliant mistakes. Some of the blue finish was still in the paint gun when the painter went to do a yellow sunburst finish. A Grammer with a green burst finish is one of the most sought after and collectible.


5/14/2007: David Newton writes:

Hi.

I remember fondly a all-blonde, birdseye maple back and sides (three piece back) Gower Guitar that I traded for a Regal guitar in Meridian MS, in 1972. I was stationed at the Navy base there and wanted something to play bluegrass with, and a fellow had this Gower and wanted my Regal (???).

I enjoyed it for a couple of years, and remember the plastic overlay was peeling up a bit and cutting myself on the headplate and pickgard. Pointy! I later traded it back to the other guy, as I got a D-28 and he was wanting his Gower back. I wished I would have kept it now, just for the history of a small shop guitar. Thanks for the neat website.

David Newton


5/23/2007: A mail message from Pantelis Goudis in Athens. Please let me know if you have information that can answer his question!

Dear Rob & Butch, George,

Greetings from Athens, Greece.

A year ago a friend brought back from one of his trips in the US a Grammer Guitar in mid condition, which it took us a couple of months to bring back to shape (we kept all the original parts). Now it sounds just great even when played side by side with a Martin from 1965. I need to know more details about my Grammer and I would really appreciate if you can take a look at the pictures attached and give me any additional info such as year of make etc.

Many thanks in advance.

Kind regards,
Pantelis Goudis


6/14/2007: Jeff DuPre has a Grammer Model R-10 (Serial # 4629) 12-string. See the pictures, above. He guesses that it was built around 1968.


7/3/2007: Gary Bellucci bought a Gower electric from Gracin's Music in Freeport in 1973. I have his contact details if you have the information he's seeking. He writes:

I am the original owner of a rare solid body Gower electric guitar which no one seems to have a picture of on any of the sites I have researched. I have enclosed several low resolution shots I took with a camcorder to show my specific problem. But first, a little history.

One summer day in 1973 I walked into Gracin's Music in Freeport, NY (no longer there) with the single-minded intention of buying a white Jimi Hendrix style Fender Stratocaster. Bernie Gracin, being the consummate salesman he was, also showed me a guitar I had never heard of before, a beautiful Gower electric. He told me that it was the second sold body prototype from Gower-- famous for their acoustics. He told me, though, to wait a couple of weeks because he was expecting the third-and final-version of the guitar and it would have a more finished look.

Well, I loved the sound and action of the guitar so I gave Bernie a down payment and waited for my Gower to come in. When he finally called, I raced over to his shop and there was my Gower. It really was a beauty! It was a one-of-a-kind design. A beautiful wood finish (I still don't know what kind of wood but it's heavier than a Les Paul) and shiny chrome hardware against a black pick-guard.

Since that time I have played Hard Rock, Jazz, Country, Fusion, Pop, Christian Contemporary and even Ambient music styles with this guitar and earned a good living with it for many years. I find now that it needs new bridge parts and though I've sent the enclosed pictures to other repair shops, no one seems to have seen a bridge like mine. I just need to replace the string saddles but there seems to be no way of removing them from the bridge frame. If you are able to help locate the replacement parts I would be ever so grateful as I love this guitar; we have a 34 year history that I want to continue.

Thanks for your help.
Gary Bellucci


8/10/2007: Gary Buttram has a Grammer B 20C with "Nancy Dee" inlaid into the finger board. He writes:

wonderful web page!

i was wondering if i could pick your brain about a little history? you seem to know quite a bit about grammer guitars. i found a b20c grammer short scale a year ago or so and have had no luck in finding the history. it has Nancy Dee written down the fingerboard and is a blue sunburst. it does not have the @ under grammer on the peg head.

i actually found a little info from Neil Flanz who used to play at the Deeman's Den in nashville where all the musicians in the 60's & 70s used to come play. He said Nancy Dee owned the den and sang and played there. she actually did a couple of records with Webb Pierce around oct 71, which is when this guitar was made according to the heel inside the guitar. Neil also said Webb could have been a silent partner in the night club with her. i noticed Webb Pierce had a similar looking grammer made about the same time. i wonder if he had it made for her?

lot's of guessing here i know, but i was 3 in '71 and would not know any of this. which is why i was posting you. in your adventures with your grammers and gowers, have you ran across any info i could use to track my little baby grammer?

sincerely
gary buttram

ps feel free to call if you have any info and do not want to write a book


8/22/2007: A note from Rob Kilgore:

...Justin Harsha's beautiful green burst Grammer is just like one that Billy himself owns. A guy that lives near the Grammer's in Sesser was selling it and contacted Billy to see if he wanted it and it turned out that he did in fact buy it. It's a greenburst with the mustache bridge just like the one on your site.

I recently contacted a guy selling a custom made G-50. I'm not sure there is another one like it. He is sending some photos so I can post them on the site.

I'll keep checking in with you now and again.

Many thanks!
Rob


12/19/2007: A note from Charles Goodman:

Hello Mr. Gollin,

I'm also a proud owner of a Grammer Guitar. Mine is one of the earlier ones manufactured. The serial Number is 1028, the 28th one made. It has a natural (Sitka Spruce) front and Burgandy sides and back with a herringbone strip up the center of the back. The fretboard is African Ebony and so is the Mustache bridge. The tuning keys are Grover (chrome). I bought it from the R. G. & G. company around 1966, along with a hardshell Lifton case, with green interior.

I'm personally acquainted with Billy Grammer and Clyde Reid, as well as most of their employees. Indeed they did cut up a Martin D28 to study the construction when they first opened. Billy was a perfectionist when it came to the Grammer Guitars. I've seen him take a bandsaw to some of the guitars that had defects, as he wouldn't allow one to leave the factory until it was perfect. His honesty was a real attribute, as we can now appreciate (some forty years later) as our Grammers are still very playable and have outstandingly rich tones. The original Grammer factory hired some of the best in the business. Leon Rhodes, Gene Martin, and Fred Hedges were excellent musicians, as well as skilled craftsmen. I'm proud to have known the people at R. G. & G. Musical Instruments, they were a great bunch!

I'd be willing to share pictures of my Grammer if anyone wants to see them.

Thanks for sharing with us,
Charles Goodman

Another note, 1/2/08:
George,

I had forgotten to send a picture showing the sticker inside my Grammer. I don't know the exact date of the brochure but it was around 1966. You'll notice my name stamped on the back of the brochure.....I was an authorized sales person for the guitars, but not an employee of R G & G. Some other music personalities that owned Grammer Guitars were: Ernie Ashworth (Talk Back Trembling Lips), Ernest Tubb, The Wilburn Brothers, and I believe Peter, Paul & Mary also bought one. Ernest Tubb had a small (3/4 scale) Grammer built for his grandson, Tinker. One of the Tubb guitars, Ernest or Tinker, had a beautiful design made by the grains of wood on the back of their guitar that looked exactly like a tiger's face. The back of the guitar is made of two pieces of wood cut from the same stock, with the grains matching and forming eyes, nostrils, and mouth.

Also, I included a better picture of the headstock of my Guitar.

Best regards,
Charles Goodman


4/26/2008: A note from Thomas Branham:

Grammer Guitar, Johnny Cash G-50

I just found your Web site. It is a great to read so many stories about these legendary guitars. I thought I might add my story to the list if you think it is interesting.

As they say "Back in the day" I had a band working around the Indiana area (Tommy Branham & The Country Blue Boys). From time to time we would have guest stars working with us. In June of 1972 we had Lattie Moore as a guest. Lattie had worked the Tri-state area for a lot of years and after moving to Nashville he naturally was a good draw in the area. We had a fine turn out and we were well pleased with him and our band.

All weekend I had been envious of Lattie's guitar, a new Grammer G-30. We sat down and had a little liquid refreshment and talk got around to this guitar. I purchased it from him. And I owned a "Grammer."

The next day the band and I were doing a Sunday show and when I showed my treasure I was quickly informed it was pretty BUT it had a broken neck. A dim bar ain't the best place to buy a guitar. I had a bad day. June 8th. I was in Nashville and went in "Little Roy Wiggins Music Center" and was looking around, Roy Wiggins walked up to me and said are you interested in owning a Grammer? I said I have one. He asked if I liked it. I told him No and he ask why. I told him it had a broken neck, he said he had never seen one! I asked him if he wanted to. I went out to my car and brought it in. He looked at it and said where did you buy it, I told him Indianapolis. He said he wanted to take it to the Grammer Shop and wrote me reciept. I went back the next day and he told me for $75.00 he would trade it for any Grammer in the store.

I had my guitar player with me and he played every guitar in the place and picked the G-50 as the best one he played. So we traded and on that day I had the "Best Grammer Guitar for sale in Nashville, TN"

My Grammer is Johnny Cash model # 5433. It has Grover tuners, "Little Roy Wiggins Music City" sticker on head between Tuners, near perfect condition. It does have a split in the bridge I talked to Geo. Hedges, listed in your E-mails, and said it has to be custom made. I have the sales slip No. 07397 dated 7-10-1972 made out by Roy Wiggins.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Tommy Branham aka (now Just) Tom


Info about an electric Gower found on eBay, 7/17/2008:

Up for auction is a genuine vintage Gower guitar, made in Nashville in the late 50's or early 60's. Serial number 2382.

Not much is known about Gowers, but I like 'em and I'll tell you what I know. JW Gower made and repaired guitars in Nashville starting about 1955. He mostly made acoustics, but made a few electrics. I own three electrics. Gower is known as the person who made one of the necks for Earl Scruggs banjo that Earl used throughout the 60's and was used on The Ballad of Jed Clampett, among others. Gowers have a wild, country western star look about them. He was an early innovator in Greenburst and Blueburst finishes, which were discovered by accident when paint colors were accidently mixed.

You may have heard of the guitarist Billy Grammer, who bought the Gower company in 1965. Grammers and Gowers are very similar in features and were probably made by the same craftsmen. There was a cool black and white video floating around on Youtube.com a coupla years ago that showed a man playing a "mystery guitar" on Porter Wagoner's show and doing an instrumental. None of the viewers could identify it, but it was a Gower electric identical to this one. I checked on Youtube.com but I couldn't figure out how to search for it. It may still be there.

Also, about 6 or 7 years ago in 20th Century Guitar magazine, Scott Freilich had a column called Oddball Guitars and he featured this same model Gower electric. This picture was in black and white, but my friend saw the actual guitar in Scott's shop and said it was an orangish burst, kinda like a Dreamsicle, if you can picture that. I have also seen two other styles of Gower electric besides this style. One was an SG standard body shape and the other was a 17 inch Country Gent style guitar. As far as this guitar goes, I've have it a long time and used to play it on stage every night and its a good ol' guitar.

About 20 years ago, I put a humbucker in the bridge position, but I used the original mounting ring and did not have to route the guitar. I still have both the original handmade Gower pickups, neck is still original on the guitar and I'll include the bridge pickup, see last pic. You can see the simple but wonderful, handmade workmanship. It works fine, about a 12K single coil, great for that single-note Billy Byrd kinda sound! As far as the condition, you can see it is well worn and dinged up, but has the original finish and most of the original parts. Tuners were changed at some point, it has Grover Deluxe tuners on it now, but they were similar to the originals. Both pickup rings are cracked and have been reglued, but work fine. One knob doesn't match the others. There are some extra holes near the bottom strap button, probably from a Bigsby, I'm guessing. The bridge base may not be original, but then again it may be. Gower was a unique company and fabricated many parts from aluminum, such as the tailpiece, jack plate, pickup bottoms, neck plate, etc. I plugged it in and it still sounds great, comfortable neck like an early 60's 335, action is good. Frets worn, but still play OK. I've got nickel Thomastik flatwounds on it and they still sound great, but probably need changing, but nickel 10 flatwounds with a wound third are the way to go and really sound in tune on this guitar. Anyway, it is a cool ol' guitar like they can't make anymore. Big and crazy, looks like a 335-sized tele! Like I say, it is well worn, but that is not why you're buying it. It is a collectors item and a great piece of Nashville guitar history. And you'll never see another one (unless you come to my house!) up for sale. I've never seen one on eBay.

If you attend a large guitar show, you MAY find a Gower acoustic, but probably will NEVER see a Gower electric. Be the only one on your block with a Gower! Comes with a recent deluxe Ibanez hardshell case that fits it real well.


5/22/2008: News from Rob Kilgore:

George - Greetings to you once again. I wanted to let you know that a Gower has surfaced on Charles Johnson's Mandolin World Headquarters website. It's in rough shape and is missing the back. He is only asking $200 which is pretty amazing since everything else on his site is fairly high in price. If someone is good with wood and wants a Gower, this is the one.

http://www.vintagemandolin.com/70s_gower_project.html

Also, Last week on eBay, the Nancy Dee Baby Grammer sold. It only fetched $1600.00 which was a great price for such a nifty little guitar finished so nicely with the inlays and all. The great thing about the auction was the winner: it was won by the National Music Museum at the University of South Dakota. The Nancy Dee Grammer will spend the rest of time next to Webb Pierce's Grammer. Pretty neat! It still isn't listed under their recent acquisitions.

Keep on doing what you do so well.

Rob


1/23/2009: Information (and questions) from John Bushouse:

I just purchased the Gower referenced in your 5/22/08 e-mail from Rob Kilgore. As Rob mentioned, it is in very rough shape, needing a lot of work (back replacement, neck reset/refret among other things). I was very happy to find your site, as I had not heard about Gower guitars until I stumbled across the listing at Mandolin World Headquarters (http://www.vintagemandolin.com/70s_gower_project.html). However, a number of things are unusual about this guitar which don't fit into either the "typical"Grammer or Gower specifications.

However, the headstock shape looks correct, the body shape looks correct, and both Gower and Grammer made guitars out of birdseye maple. The finish looks very nice, so I tend to think it was finished by someone who really knew what he or she was doing.

I wonder if there are any readers of your site that might be able to give me some insight. Is it really a Gower? If so, from what time period? Is it a project built by an employee as his or her personal guitar? Did someone see a Gower and decide to build a copy? Did someone do a poor restoration before?

I am very excited by this guitar. It will take a lot of work - for instance, how am I going to match a new back to the rest of the body? But, I think all the time and effort will be worth it.

Thanks for any help you or your readers may be able to provide,

John Bushouse

Here's Randy Gower's 10/22/09 reply:
John,

If this is a Gower it was built in the late 50’s. Dad did build a few with T-Rods similar to what Martin uses. I seem to remember a few built in that time frame with the plain bridge, as welI. I was no more than 10 or 12 at the time but the old shop was at the house so I was around all the time. If you look at the rings around the sound hole and if they are plastic binding it is not a Gower. He was using fiberglass at the time and would poor the rings and sand them down.

I will be happy to answer any question I can.

Randy Gower


3/30/2009: More news from Rob Kilgore:

George - How are you? Hope all is going well with you and our lousy economy.

I ran across another Gower and this one is fantastic (I think they all are)! It's up for auction on eBay so I will include the address for you. I'll also attach the photos that came with the auction.

Billy just celebrated 50 years as an Opry member on Feb 27th. He played the Rhyman and the Opry house and they gave him a Grand Ole Opry guitar as well as a cake. It was in all the papers in Southern Illinois.

Keep on doing what you do with the Gower guitar site. Its really come a long way since we first spoke.

Talk to you soon,

Rob


6/9/2009: Glen Marlin writes:

Hi,

I have attached some pictures of my Dad's guitar. I just recently thought of trying to find out more about it when I came upon your site. It has been very interesting!

As you can tell his guitar is a Model G-55-2. I have seen a few pictures of this model but none look the same as his so it made me even more curious to find any information about it.

My Dad seems to remember that, at the time, they made a "Nashville" model and a "Tennessee" model.

If you have any more information about his guitar it would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
Glen Marlin


12/29/2009: Rob Kilgore writes:

I found another Gower on eBay. This one is a G-65 and is made with beauteous Brazilian rosewood. Interestingly, this one has no Gower on the headstock, but the label lets you know for sure. I went ahead and grabbed all the photos and will attach them to this email.

I had emailed the seller who listed this as a Grammer. I told him it was a Gower but since it doesn't say Gower anywhere on the guitar, he replied "You could be right." I referred him to your website. I'm not sure how JW assigned his models, but this G-65 looks exactly like the G-75 and G-100 you have on your site.

This is a really nice Gower although there has been a headstock repair which always lowers the value of any guitar considerably.

Rob


1/16/2010: Tom Reed writes:

George,

I saw your webpage regarding Gower guitars, and am following up about the Gower that I own.

My father purchased a Gower model G100, serial 2032 from a friend of his in about 1974 (as I recall) and gave it to me. The man thought he would enjoy playing the guitar, but found there was alot of practice involved so sold it. I took the guitar to one of the Gower owners at his home or shop. It seems maybe the man's first name was Bill, but unsure. He also lived in the Brentwood / Franklin area near Nashville. He did a little work on it, and for many years this has been one of the best sounding guitars I've ever played.

However, as some stories go, there's the other side. Our basement flooded and the guitar was in the basement in its case. The water soaked through, and a part of the back came loose from the back through some swelling. Also, the pick guard came off. Thus, the guitar needs to be repaired. It's not alot of damage, but enough that I am sick because its a beautiful musical instrument.

My question is,....what's the history of the G100? I saw a picture of this model on your website, but don't know anything about it, when they were, and if they were handmade or otherwise. My guess, just looking at it is that is not so-called handmade. But I'm not an expert. Also, is there a really good Gower craftsman in the Nashville area who does repair work?

If you have any information, I would really appreciate it.

Thanks,

Tom Reed


2/22/2010: A query from Randy Keller. If you know anything about this guitar, please contact me and I'll forward your info to Randy.

Hi George

Love the website great job that you have done with it. I have grammar that has the Johnny Cash name on the headstock with Brazilian rosewood. I could not find a paper label inside only a number 7612 in green stamped on the inside neck. No pick guard on the guitar and it looks like it never had one. Here are some photos of it. Maybe you could help me ID it. Thanks in advance.

Randy


8/16/2010: A note from Scott Grammer, Billy Grammer's nephew.

Dear George,

Here are some pics of my Grammer Guitar, My name is Scott Grammer, I am Bill's nephew. My wife bought this for me in 2000, Billy Jr. was going to get this one too but Uncle Bill didn't trust the internet back then. I was glad that he signed it for me, I always liked Uncle Bill, I used to think of him more like my grandpa. I have 2 ampeg models one is a blonde and the other is Brazilian rosewood. I hope you like the pics.

Sgt. Scott A. Grammer DAV


11/11/2010: A note from Charlie Logsdon.

My name is Charlie Logsdon. I purchased a Gower guitar in 1968 (it could have been 1969) from Hascal Haile in Thompkinsville, Ky. He is a well known luthier who made guitars for Chet Atkins and Jerry Reid. It is my understanding he acquired a group of Gower guitars from an auction. He got the guitars in addition to woodworking equipment he wanted. I was introduced to his brother, Tom Haile, and I told him I was looking for a guitar. He told me that Hascal had these guitars and was selling them for $100 each. I drove with a friend that night to Hascal’s house. He only had three guitars left and I bought one that had birdseye maple back and sides. His brother Tom ordered a case for me. It cost $40.

I have since owned many high end guitars, but I often tell people that was the first “good” guitar I owned. I sold it to a friend years ago. I spoke with Tut Taylor recently and asked him if he was involved with Gower. He said no, but that he had been part owner of Grammer Guitar. From what I have read, Grammer and Gower were very interconnected. My Gower even had the same headstock design as the Grammers I have seen. I just thought someone might like having a bit more trivia about the Hascal Haile involvement with Gower.


11/17/2010 and 11/27/2010 notes from Jeff Baldwin.

Hello Gentleman,

You are among the best possible resources as I have recently become the proud owner of a Grammer G-10. The guitar is in wonderful condition with the exception of a slightly rising and cracked bridge.

My desire would be to obtain an original replacement. It is my understanding that original parts may still be in existence as they were auctioned in the early 70's with the closing of the factory in Nashville.

If so, are any of you able to steer me in the appropriate direction. Many have offered to stablize and reattach the existing bridge or to custom build an exact copy. Neither would be my first choice but may resort to these experencies if other possibilities fail.

Almost forgot, the bridge is an ebony crown. I look forward to future communications with each of you as the guitar is already bringing much joy.................it must be the brazilian rosewood. Please accept my thanks in advance!

Best regards,
Jeff Baldwin

Dear Mr. Gollin,

Most recently I have acquired a Grammer G-10. I am currently researching the history of the guitar as it appears that she has spent her entire life in the state of North Carolina. I think the guitar will be a new addition to your site as I have never seen this serial number documented.......... 5515. I am thinking 1970 but (+/-) one year in either direction.

She is in excellent condition, completely original and without issues of any kind. The brazilian back and sides are a divine intervention as only God could be responsible for such tonal bliss! The spruce top, a beautiful golden hue facilitated by 40 years of a very meticulous owner. Ebony board & bridge are exceptional as are the neck and tuning keys.

I am truly delighted to have found the guitar and very interested in helping facilitate the historic record of these wonderful instruments. Please accept my photos as an addition to your site.

Best Regards,
Jeff Baldwin


2/14/2011 note from Bruce Temple.

Hi. My name is Bruce Temple. I do not own a Gower or Grammer. I was searching for info on a guitar I own with the label 'Nashville Musical Instrument Co.' or 'NMI' (which is on the headstock). Like the G&G's, it is hard to find anything about this now defunct company. I did find some blogs on The Acoustic Guitar Forum and one had mentioned having a Gower with the same label inside. Also, I stumbled upon your site and was curious. Is there any connection between these two companies who shared the same name? Are they the same company?

Here's what I know, or think I know. These are Japanese made Martin copies that were reasonably priced and distributed by NMI, a Nashville based company with only a PO box for an address. They were copied so well that Martin sued them in the late 70's and all their stock was supposedly destroyed by court order. Court records are said to be sealed. This is about all I have been able to learn about the company.

My guitar is a Model W604. It looks to be a copy of a D-28. I bought it new in Nashville in 1977 from Cotton Music Co. I have seen and read about other models on the before mentioned site, but I have found nothing about my particular model. They are awesome guitars. It plays better than a Martin and has a rich tone that keeps getting better with age. One blog claims to have been offered 10 grand for his N400D model.

Just wanted to throw this out there and see if anyone had any thoughts or info. Your site is very interesting and informative. I have learned a lot about your beloved G&G's and hope that someday I can own one of these fine instruments. Sorry about the length. Hope to here back. Thanks.


9/5/2011 note from John Wagner.

Hey Gower lovers, another story. Saw the old guitar a few years ago in the pawn shop for $25, light as a feather, crispy dry, tight as a drum, worn-out satin finish, covered in duct tape, with wood ruler for a bridge, bic pen for saddle, trapeze tailpiece, string strap, 5/8” action, 300 cracks, and awesome silky smooth chocolate colored rosewood/maple neck. Suffering had imbued the guitar with a calling spirit, so I had to buy it with no idea of the make. After clean up, the Nashville Musical Instruments G-55-2 label, serial #3087 showed up. Months and 300 glue and vice jobs later I still needed a bridge, pick-guard, and nut - 2 of 3 were “easy”. Found this site and Ricky Moore, whose mother Alma, I believe, worked with her brother, JW Gower, making those guitars and who just so happened to have a bridge in the basement. So Ricky sent it to me, no charge. Did I say thank you, and isn’t that cool?! Anyways, it’s a Grammer style bridge, but Ricky says JW designed that bridge…I believe it based on the shape of the Gower headstock. It’s a canon, and a sweetheart, I have not heard a better sounding guitar....will send pics later.

Cheers, John Wagner


Email: g-gollin@uiuc.edu
Phone: (217) 333-4451
Fax: (217) 333-4990