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    Conway Twitty's Owned and Played 1957 Gretsch Roundup 6130 Solid Body Electric Guitar with a Custom Hand-Tooled Leather Cover and Original Leather Strap. Twitty's first Rock and Roll guitar, used both in the studio and on stage during his early years as a Pop and Rock star. This rare Roundup is nearly fully-encased in a custom leather cover. On the front at top is a hand-tooled script "Conway Twitty". On the back is a fetching image of his second wife Maxine, known as "Mick", in chaps and a cowboy hat. The leather cover is signed, "Made And Carved/ By/ Nicholas L. Harichy". We note Conway's own guitar pick can still be found under the truss rod cover on the head. The leather strap is from Gretsch and original to the instrument.

    A very cool guitar even without the Conway Twitty association, the Gretsch 6130 was only made from 1954-1958, a model somewhat similar to the Chet Atkins 6121. This present guitar exhibits an orange finish single cutaway body with a four-ply binding. The "G" cutout tailpiece is covered by a Western-themed belt buckle, both original. The Gold Melita Synchro-Sonic bridge, two DeArmond single coil pickups, four "G Arrow" knobs, and three-position switch are all original. These guitars came from the factory with leather trim just around the body and a Western-themed strap. The leather covering on this one was custom-made. The neck is in rosewood with hump top inlays and the head bears an inlaid Gretsch logo with a horseshoe beneath. Gold Grover tuners also appear to be original. The custom pickguard is gold-colored, a replacement of the original black or dark brown pickguard. Non-original Gretsch case included.

    Born Harold Jenkins (after the actor Harold Lloyd, his great-uncle's favorite actor) on September 1, 1933, in Friars Point, Mississippi, Conway actually grew up across the river in Helena, Arkansas. That's where he started playing music, making his debut on KFFA radio at age twelve. His 1940s Country music groups evolved in the 1950s to more of a harder Rockabilly sound (inspired by hearing Presley's "Mystery Train" on the radio). His first demo recordings were in 1955 for Sun Records as he sought the right "sound." In 1957 he changed his name to Conway Twitty. There are various stories about how the name came about. One says that he looked at a map and noticed Conway, Arkansas, and Twitty, Texas, and decided that combination would be more marketable than Harold Jenkins. That year, he had his first chart hit with "I Need Your Lovin'." In 1958 fame came calling when a song titled "It's Only Make Believe," written by him and his drummer Jack Nance between sets one night, hit Number One on the charts. See Conway performing that song with this very guitar at this link.

    His career was on the fast track. Twitty remained in the Pop genre for a few years producing several other top hits and also, not unlike Elvis, appearing in a few movies. His first love, however, was Country music and he moved in that direction starting in the mid-1960s. Known so long for Top 40 songs, it took awhile to get established in Country radio. But he did and with a vengeance! He had an amazing 40 Number One hits, the last one in 1990, three years before his untimely death at age fifty-nine. Until George Strait caught up to the mark a few years ago, that was the most ever by a Country artist.

    We are excited to offer this unique and important instrument to a new owner. It was originally purchased in 1994 at Twitty's estate sale; the original certificate of authenticity from that sale is included along with a photo of him playing the guitar in a handsomely-framed display. Also, copies of various articles about the estate sale and original bill of sale included. One of the real prizes in our auction!

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2012
    14th Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 8,994

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