Fretted Americana, Inc.
Friday, August 5th, 2016
Happy Friday!!!
  This Day in History.... 
1956: Doris Day was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Whatever Will Be Will Be', the singer actress' second UK No.1 single. The Oscar-winning song was featured in Alfred Hitchcock's 1956 film, The Man Who Knew Too Much, with Doris Day and James Stewart in the lead roles.

1965: The Beatles were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Help!' The group's eighth consecutive UK No.1 single. John Lennon later stated he wrote the lyrics of the song to express his stress after the Beatles' quick rise to success. "I was fat and depressed and I was crying out for 'Help'."

1968: American country guitarist Luther Perkins died at the age of 40 as a result of severe burns and smoke inhalation. Perkins fell asleep at home in his den with a cigarette in his hand. He was dragged from the fire unconscious with severe second and third degree burns. Perkins never regained consciousness. He worked with Johnny Cash and The Carter Family and featured on the live album Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison.

1975: Drummer Sandy West and guitarist Joan Jett formed the first ever all female heavy rock band after being introduced by producer Kim Fowley. The Runaways released four studio albums, among its best known songs: 'Cherry Bomb', 'Queens of Noise' and a cover of The Velvet Underground's 'Rock n Roll'.

1942: Born on this day, Rick Huxley guitar, Dave Clark Five, (1964 UK No.1 single 'Glad All Over', 1965 US No.1 single 'Over And Over' , plus over 15 other UK top 40 singles).

1947: Born on this day, Rick Derringer, producer, guitar, vocals, The McCoys, (1965 US No.1 & UK No.5 single 'Hang On Sloopy'), Edgar Winter Group, (1973 US No.1 & UK No.18 single 'Frankenstein').

1959: Born on this day, Pat Smear, Germs, Nirvana, (fourth member), Foo Fighters, (1995 UK No.5 single 'This Is A Call'). Left the band in 1997.

1967: Born on this day, MCA (Adam Yauch) The Beastie Boys, (1987 US No.7 & UK No.11 single 'You Gotta Fight For Your Right To Party', 1987 US No.1 and UK No.7 album 'Licence To Ill', plus 3 other US No.1 albums). He sadly passed away from salivary cancer on 4th May 2012.

Also this week in history... August 4th, 1901

Louis Armstrong, nicknamed "Satchmo," "Pops" and, later, "Ambassador Satch," was born on August 4, 1901, in New Orleans, Louisiana. An all-star virtuoso, he came to prominence in the 1920s, influencing countless musicians with both his daring trumpet style and unique vocals. Armstrong's charismatic stage presence impressed not only the jazz world but all of popular music. He recorded several songs throughout his career, including he is known for songs like "Star Dust," "La Via En Rose" and "What a Wonderful World." Armstrong died at his home in Queens, New York, on July 6, 1971.

More on this amazing musician HERE

Check out our last Pair of YouTube Videos!!!

\m/   WATCH HERE   \m/ 
\m/   WATCH HERE   \m/

Fretted Americana is pleased to present
this selection of beauties for the weekend...

Rare, Early Seventies Walt Smith Melobar
Ten-String 'Rosac Student Model' Guitar
Under the Bed for Over Forty-Five Years...
1971 Melobar Electric Model 230, Three-Tone Sunburst

Offset asymmetrical double cutaway solid body. This exceptionally rare, early seventies Walt Smith Melobar Ten-String 'Rosac Student' Electric Model 230 Guitar weighs just 8.10 lbs. Somewhere between 300 and 500 of these were produced in the early seventies. Solid alder body. One-piece rock-maple neck-through-bridge assembly attached to body at an angle of 45 degrees. The width of the neck at the nut is  just under 2 5/8 inches gently rising to 3 1/2 inches at the 21st marker and the scale length is 22.50 inches. Specifically shaped 'slotted' "MeloBar" headstock with small oval metal plate faced in red and lettered in gold and white secured by two pins with "Smith/Melobar/Guitar". Ten individual rear-facing tuners (five on each side) with rectangular white plastic buttons with rounded edges. The serial number "MS 0329" is stamped in blind on the aluminum nut. Aluminium fretboard faced in black with aluminum nut and 21 fret markers and 'pac-man' style markings. Two Paul Barth single coil pickups with metal surrounds and outputs of 6.67k and 6.71k. Small triangular-shaped, tortoiseshell over white & black plastic pickguard secured by three pins. Two controls (one volume, one tone) plus three-way pickup selector switch and jack-input, all on right-angled tortoiseshell over white & black plastic panel secured by eight screws. Original 'witch-hat' black plastic control knobs with ribbed sides and metal tops, numbered from 0 to 9. Combined 'engraved' aluminum 10-string bridge/tailpiece secured by six screws. This super rare and very unusual 'Under-the-Bed for over forty-five years' instrument is in near mint (9.25++) condition. Complete with the two original Melobar 'Finger-Protector' "Speedbars", an original "Ring" bar, an original guitar cord, an original Mosrite white leather guitar strap, several instructional and promotional sheets and a "Mel-O-Bar Guitar Song Book Two" [1968]. Housed in its original 'Victoria Luggage' three-latch rectangular black hardshell case with red plush lining and two case keys in the original manilla envelope (9.25).

The Melobar was designed to be a Lap Steel that could be played standing up with a strap. All Melobar guitars are quite rare but this one is especially unusual because of it's condition and the fact that all of the original 'paperwork' is present.

We contacted Ted Smith (Walt Smith's son) aka Melobar Ted. After examini all the photographs that we sent him he replied "You're getting some rare ones David that is an original student model rozac which is rare to not have been modified by staggering the pickups and cutting the switch off, pretty cool wish it was in a museum with all that added original instructions and bars... The Rosac model was made famous by Rusty Young of Poco who pictured it in his Steel Guitar Instruction book calling it the "Bear", a name still used by many old Melobar players. Nearly all the Rosac models (believed to be 3 to 5 hundred in the run) were later converted by cutting the swithcraft threeway switch off and wiring the two pickups together. This looks to be one of the very first produced in that it was not modified and has the original Victoria Luggage case as used by Fender during the same era only slightly fatter to allow the 45 degree angle neck. Original instruction booklets and the Chase bar is all original to the 1970 student model release."

"The really first production Melobars were manufactured for Walt Smith at the Mosrite factory in Bakersfield California in 1967. The identifying factors are: Mosrite body, Mosrite labeled pickups, Chrome control panel, Kluson Keys, a angle on the top of the head so the treble side is longer than the bass side of the head. Pick guards, fret boards were usually a pac man look. Odd 23" scale from nut to bridge. Various bridges were installed, nut's often had a serial number on the key side of the angle. The string spacing was very tight trying to squeeze in 9-strings or 10 on a 6-string pickup. The history is that Rye Cooder said the string spacing was too tight and Walt mothballed the entire lot of 300 plus guitars. We now know that the Rolling Stones Brian Jones somehow got a hold of one and loaned it to Jimmy Page just before he died. This was also the guitar model Jefferson Airplane used on the Crown of Creation Album. A few guitars were stolen out of a vehicle at the LA airport which have never been tracked down. After Walt Smiths death in 1991 his son Ted Smith dug into the back dusty pile of old Mosrites that had not seen the light of day since 1967. A article in Guitar Player magazine called Melobars Basement Genius highlighted these guitars and nearly all of them were sold to collectors." (Melobar Ted)


For more photographs and details, please CLICK HERE

An Absolutely Mint Rickenbacker Bass 
2001 Rickenbacker 4003 Bass,
Fireglo (Shaded Red with Some Yellow)

Offset asymmetrical double cutaway solid body. This fifteen year old but still as brand new stereo bass weighs just 9.40 lbs. Deep offset cutaway, 13 1/2 inch wide, just over 1 1/4 inch thick, maple body with single white binding. Laminated 'thru-body' maple neck with a nice fat nut width of just over 1 11/16 inches, a standard Rickenbacker bass scale length of 33 1/4 inches and a wonderful thick profile. Bound rosewood fretboard with 20 jumbo frets and triangular inlaid pearl position markers. Headstock with hooked "cresting wave" top and white opaque plastic logo plate with lettering in black, secured by three screws. Individual Rickenbacker (Schaller) deluxe open-back tuners with cloverleaf metal buttons. Two Rickenbacker High-Output Single-Coil pickups with outputs of 10.50k and 10.55k. Bridge pickup with original chrome cover. White plastic pickguard with eight screws. Four controls (two volume, two tone) and three-way pickup selector switch, all on pickguard. Seven-sided black plastic knobs with metal tops. Four-saddle Rickenbacker bridge/tailpiece. "Rick-O-Sound" stereo and "Standard" jack inputs on a metal plate (with the serial number "01 24668") on the lower treble bout. Inside the neck cavity are the letters "FG" [Fireglo] in black marker and inside the control cavity is the serial number "0124668" in black ink. The potentiometers are all stamped "07341 0113" (March 2001). This fine bass is in as new (9.50) condition, having hardly ever been played by it's one owner. Housed in the original Rickenbacker four-latch rectangular black hardshell case with dark blue plush lining (9.25).

The Classic Rickenbacker bass - famous for its ringing sustain, treble punch and solid underlying bass. A subtle strip of binding graces the elegantly curved body featuring a rosewood fingerboard with deluxe triangular fretboard inlays, stereo output, neck-thru-body construction, double truss rods, and high output single-coil pickups with wide response range and brilliant clarity.


For more photographs and details, please CLICK HERE

"The Best Figured Maple Plywood is Reserved for
the Body of the 6193 in Natural Finish" 
1956 Gretsch 6193 Country Club, Natural

Single round (Venetian) cutaway. This 'Natural' Country Club weighs just 7.40 lbs. and features a two and three-quarter inch deep, flamed rock maple body, with quadruple binding on the top and back and two large double-bound f-holes. Two-piece maple neck with an ebony center strip. with a nut width of just under 1 11/16 inches, a scale length of 25 1/2 inches and a nice medium-to-thick profile. Triple-bound ebony fretboard with 21 original medium-thin frets and inlaid pearl 'hump-top' block position markers. Triple bound headstock with inlaid pearl Gretsch "T-roof" logo. Individual Grover Imperial tuners with stairstep metal buttons. Two-layer black over white plastic truss-rod cover with three screws. Two DeArmond (Dynasonic) pickups, with balanced outputs of 2.88k and 2.87k. Original gold Lucite pickguard with Gretsch "T-roof" logo in black engraved from the underside. Three controls on the lower treble bout (one volume for each pickup and master tone) and one control on the cutaway bout (master volume) plus one three-way pickup selector switch on upper bass bout. Plain "Arrow" knobs with cross-hatch pattern on sides. Melita Synchro-Sonic bridge and "G" cutout tailpiece. All hardware gold-plated (minimal tarnishing). This guitar is totally unfaded and in near mint (9.25) condition. Original Gretsch rectangular white label with the model number "6193" stamped in blue, and the serial number "20540" stamped in red, inside bass "f" hole. The absolute bare minimum of belt-buckle rash on the back (nothing through the finish). The original frets and fretboard show virtually no wear. A wonderful example in near mint (9.25) condition. Housed in the original four-latch, shaped brown hardshell case with maroon plush lining (9.25).

"The Country Club was in many ways Gretsch's most traditional guitar...[and] also among the company's best. Among Gretsch's first commercially successful electrics, the Country Clubs were directly descended from the 6030 and 6031 of the Synchromatic line, which were in turn directly descended from the pre-war 'cat-eye' Synchromatic 300. In other words, the 6192 and 6193 Country Clubs were 17-inch pedigreed jazz boxes when they were introduced in 1951. They were the largest Gretsch electric models, other than the White Falcon, and the only guitars in the line other than the Falcon to use a spruce top, although spruce is rarely found after '55" (see The Gretsch Pages at

"The Cadillac Green Model 6196 Country Club that graced the cover of the 1955 catalog along with other Gretsch dazzlers was jazz guitar perfection itself, a heady combination of functionality and sparkling color. Introduced in 1954 the metallic-green beauty presented all the features characteristic of the 1955 Club. The now all-maple (leaving the White Falcon the only Gretsch electric with a spruce top, although an occasional and arbitrary C.C. does occur with a spruce top, especially in 1958 and '59), 17-inch-wide, 3 1/2-inch-deep, 25 1/2-inch scale length, true f-hole body is multiple-bound, top and back, in four plies of black and white plastic. The choicest, most highly figured maple plywood is reserved for the body of the 6193 in natural finish. The 6192, 6193, and 6196's gold parts include two DeArmond pickups, arrow control knobs and "G" cutout tailpiece both introduced in 1954 (Country Clubs were never stock with Bigsby vibrato tailpieces), Melita bridge, pickup-selector switch cap and Grover Imperial tuners. In 1955, the Club's tortoise shell plastic pickguard is replaced with a gold Lucite 'guard pantograph-engraved from the underside with a radiused 'Gretsch' block letter logo. The three-piece maple-ebony-maple Miracle Neck joins the body at the 14th fret and utilizes a Brazilian rosewood fingerboard, five-ply bound in black and white, with real mother-of-pearl humped-block inlays; from the model's inception until this time, the fingerboard was inlaid with pearloid plastic squares. The new-design headstock, debuted in 1954, has a 'Gretsch' mother-of-pearl block letter logo inlaid into a dark-stained maple or holly overlay and bound in three-ply black and white plastic. A small, bullet-shaped truss rod cover, introduced in 1954, completes the headstock motif; in 1956, all Gretsch guitars appeared with a new, enlarged truss rod cover" (Jay Scott, The Guitars of the Fred Gretsch Company, p. 45).


For more photographs and details, please CLICK HERE

An All Original Gibson EB-0 Bass 
1964 Gibson EB-0 Bass, Cherry

Double cutaway solid body with pointed horns. This ultra thin (1 3/8 inches deep) SG-style bass guitar weighs just 7.30 lbs. Solid mahogany body with highly contoured edges. One-piece mahogany neck with a nice comfortable nut width of 1 11/16 inches, a short scale length of 30 1/2 inches and a wonderful thick profile. Unbound rosewood fretboard with 20 original medium-jumbo frets and inlaid pearl dot position markers. Headstock with inlaid pearl "Gibson" logo and pearl crown inlay. Two-layer (black on white) plastic bell-shaped truss-rod cover secured by two screws. The serial number "230878" impressed into the back of the headstock. Two-on-a-side Kluson right-angle tuners with large cloverleaf metal buttons. One large four-polepiece humbucking pickup with chrome-plated cover in the neck position with an output of 27.00k. Three-layer (black over white) plastic pickguard with five screws. Complete with the original ebony finger rest on the pickguard and the metal hand rest. Two controls (one volume, one tone) and jack socket, all on lower treble bout. Black plastic bell-shaped knobs with metal tops. Combined single-saddle bar bridge/tailpiece. The pots are dated "137 6421" (CTS May 1964). All parts with the exception of the pickup cover are nickel-plated. This guitar is in excellent plus (8.75) condition with very little wear to the frets or the fretboard. There is an area of belt-buckle wear on the back of the body with an area of surface loss measuring approximately 2 x 1 1/2 inches. Some light finish checking and a few small surface marks on the edges of the body. The original pickguard has two small chips (top to screws) and a small crack on the lowest screwhole. The original cherry red finish is bright and fresh and totally unfaded. Housed in a seventies Gibson five-latch, shaped black hardshell case with red plush lining (9.00).

"In Spring 1961 the EB-0 was built with the ultra thin SG-body style of the Les Paul guitars, characterized by a double cutaway with pointed horns. The body dimensions became: 12 3/4" (W) x 16" (L) x 1 5/16" (D). The basic specifications remained unchanged but for a new wing-shaped pickguard with a white revealed edge, a metal hand-rest mounted over the strings, a finger brace screwed on the pickguard and a top-mounted jack input" (A.R. Duchossoir, Gibson Electrics -- The Classic Years, p. 192).


For more photographs and details, please CLICK HERE

Used & Abused Yet Still Stunning  
2012 Fender Custom Shop 1951 "Nocaster" Heavy Relic, Black

Single cutaway solid body. This wonderful little guitar weighs just 6.90 lbs. and features a single cutaway, ash body finished in custom color black nitrocellulose. Huge one-piece maple neck with a nut width of just under 1 11/16 inches and a super-thick 'U' shape profile very similar to a 1950 Broadcaster or a 1953 Telecaster/Esquire. Standard Telecaster scale length of 25 1/2 inches with 21 medium jumbo frets and black dot position markers. Headstock decal with Fender 'Spaghetti' logo in silver with black trim (รก la Nocaster). "Fender Custom Shop" decal in black on back of headstock. Single "round" string tree. Individual Fender 'no-name' tuners with oval metal buttons. Four-bolt neck plate with slot-head screws. Fender Custom Shop 'Twisted Tele' pickup in neck position with an output of 5.89k., and a Fender Custom Shop 'Nocaster' pickup (with flat pole-pieces) in the bridge position with an output of 9.53k. Single-ply black 'bakelite' pickguard with five screws. Two controls (one volume, one tone) and one three-way selector switch with black plastic "barrel-like" tip, all on metal plate adjoining pickguard. Chrome control knobs with lightly-domed tops and heavily knurled sides. Combination Broadcaster/Nocaster/Telecaster three brass-saddle bridge/tailpiece, with "FENDER/PAT.PEND./R 11760" on the base plate. All screws with slot-heads. This guitar is in 'as new', but heavily relic'd (9.50) condition and is housed in its original Fender Custom Shop, three-latch rectangular black hardshell case with black plush lining (9.50). Also included is a re-issue Fender, four-latch, shaped tweed hardshell case with orange/brown plush lining (9.50). Complete with all the original case candy including the Fender Custom Shop Certificate of Authenticity, signed and dated 03/26/12, 'ash-tray' bridge cover and guitar cord. The guitar comes with flatwound 11-50 strings with a wound third -just like it would have had back in 1951 !!

This Fender Custom Shop 1951 Heavy Relic Nocaster is an authentic and faithful reproduction of one of Fender's first workhorse guitars. Its lightweight ash body features a Heavy Relic lacquer finish that imparts the look of long years of use and abuse. The time-honored Telecaster snap comes from dual hand wound Nocaster pickups with three-way switching, modern wiring and Fender's Greasebucket tone circuit, which rolls off highs without reducing gain. The current Custom Shop (1951 Telecaster) listing has the available colors as 'Faded two-Color Sunburst', 'Faded Copper' and 'Faded Nocaster Blonde'. We believe that Black is no longer available.


For more photographs and details, please CLICK HERE

Paul Reed Smith 'Limited Edition'
Very Unusual One-Piece 'Tiger Stripe' Cedar Top
1991 PRS Limited Edition, Vintage Sunburst with Mahogany Back

Symmetrical double cutaway carved solid body with set neck. One of the earliest numbered "Limited Edition" guitars featuring a thirteen inch wide, one and three-quarter inch thick, one-piece PRS-shape offset asymmetrical double-cutaway solid mahogany body with a carved one-piece, vintage sunburst 'tiger stripe' curly cedar top. One-piece 'wide-fat', mahogany glued-in neck with a nut width of 1 11/16 inches, a scale length of 25.00 inches and a perfect medium profile. Single-action truss rod. Back angled three-on-a-side headstock with "1 11607" and "Limited Edition/ # 4/300" written on the back in gold marker. Single-layer ebony truss-rod cover secured by one screw. Individual Schaller/PRS 'Rotamatic' locking tuners with half-moon metal buttons. Ten inch radiused Brazilian rosewood fretboard with abalone 'bird' inlays and 24 original medium-jumbo frets. One PRS humbucker in the neck position (with rectangular white label "Limited Edition Vintage Bass" on the underside) and one PRS humbucker in the bridge position (with rectangular white label "Limited Edition Vintage Treble" on the underside) with outputs of 8.10k and 8.48k respectively. The 'double-black' pickups are uncovered as usual. One volume control, one tone control and one five-position rotary pickup selector switch. Gold plastic barrel-shape "Speed" control knobs. The potentiometers are stamped "583 9116" (CTS April 1991, the last two numbers obscured by solder). PRS combined bridge/vibrato tailpiece with six individually fully adjustable saddles. All hardware gold plated. Inside the neck pickup cavity (on the neck tenon) written in black marker is "7/30/91./AB/Jeff". Inside the bridge pickup cavity, also in black marker is "11607/Vintage/Sunburst/L.E.". There are two very small areas of discoloration on the face of the headstock (by the 'A' and the 'B' tuner posts. There is also a tiny 'additional' hole (certainly factory - possibly for another strap button?) on the treble horn, otherwise this super little guitar is in mint (9.50) condition. Housed in the original three-latch, rectangular black leather hardshell case with black plush lining (9.25).

The five position Rotary-Hybrid Pickup System works as follows:

Position 1. Treble pickup -- PRS HFS Treble pickup. Hot, fat and screams...
Position 2. Outside coils -- deep and clear...
Position 3. Series single-coils -- warm version of the "in-between the treble and middle pickups"...
Position 4. Parallel single-coils -- crisp version of the "in-between the treble and middle pickups"...
Position 5. Bass pickup -- PRS Vinatge Bass pickup -- warm, with tons of character...

The Limited Edition Series ran from 1990 to 1991 and included Signature grade woods, semi-hollow body with cedar, redwood or maple top, gold hardware, tune-o-matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece (only a few tremolo equipped guitars were made) and each guitar was signed and numbered. Only 300 of these guitars were produced. This unusual example with its very striking, one-piece, 'Tiger-Stripe' cedar top is one of the few tremolo equipped guitars. The Limited Edition was fitted with Limited Edition Vintage Bass and Vintage Treble humbuckers. These pickups "offer a warm high-mid sound that's excellent for rock or jazz. This pair first appeared on the Classic Electric model. The Vintage Bass was also featured on the Special model by 1989, and the pair then cropped up on the Limited Edition guitars." (Dave Burrluck. The PRS Electric Guitar Book, p. 168).


For more photographs and details, please CLICK HERE

Please email
or phone 818.222.4113
with any questions or orders. 
Thank you!

Fretted Americana, Inc.
P.O. Box 9029
Calabasas, California 91372