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Selmers in Nashville!

As we all know, Selmer guitars aren't just great for Gypsy jazz and can be used in just about anything from classical to blues. I just ran across this photo of the country legend Don Gibson. As his named would suggest, he typically played some really nice Gibson archtops and the occasional D'Angelico. But here he is playing a Selmer Maccaferri!

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https://www.tennessean.com/story/entertainment/music/2018/02/13/don-gibsons-1970-s-hits-remastered-released/333278002/

While the caption reads that "he plays a guitar once played by Django Reinhardt, the man Gibson considered the best guitar player who ever lived," the guitar is clearly not a vintage Selmer (9th fret dot, 14 fret D hole.) Regardless, Don clearly had an appreciation for finely made instruments and those who played them best!

Comments

  • Rob MacKillopRob MacKillop Edinburgh, Scotlandâś­âś­âś­âś­
    I'm not sure the dog is happy about it...
    MichaelHorowitz
  • spatzospatzo Virtuoso
    According to Harry Volpe Don Gibson bought the guitar that Delaunay gave to Django when he was in Nyc in Jan 1947. The guitar was damaged by Delaunay during the flight to Nyc. The guitar might have been played by Django during his gigs at the Café Society Uptown
    MichaelHorowitz
  • spatzospatzo Virtuoso
    However it should be a Selmer but not a Selmer Maccaferri
  • spatzospatzo Virtuoso
    As Maccaferri dropped his deal with Selmer in building guitars years before 1946
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    spatzo wrote: »
    According to Harry Volpe Don Gibson bought the guitar that Delaunay gave to Django when he was in Nyc in Jan 1947. The guitar was damaged by Delaunay during the flight to Nyc. The guitar might have been played by Django during his gigs at the Café Society Uptown

    Wow, thanks for the info! Do you have a source for the Harry Volpe quote? Selmer, to my knowledge, never made a 14 fret D hole so unless it was a converted petite bouche (which might be the case if it had been damaged,) it's probably not a Selmer he's holding in the photo.

  • spatzospatzo Virtuoso
    It was in the Harry Volpe’s small book on Django if I remember well (I gave the book years ago to Antonietto)
    MichaelHorowitz
  • spatzospatzo Virtuoso
    It’s from a Johnny Smith interview :

    «  A short while ago I had a letter from Don Gibson, with whom I’ve done a couple of records; and with the letter was a big newspaper write-up about how he had purchased Django’s guitar and now he owns that Maccaferri guitar that Django used – all authenticated – and it’s a really outstanding guitar.

    We must remember that Don Gibson was 18 years old in 1946 so I don’t know if it was directly from Django that he acquited the guitar but a search has to be made to find that write-up.,,
    MichaelHorowitz
  • scotscot Virtuoso
    Spatzo's correct, it was in a magazine interview with Johnny Smith back in the 70s. I have the magazine around here somewhere but can't find it. In those days, virtually every Selmer guitar sold in the US was advertised as being Django's guitar or at least played by him and bought from one of his cousins. Well, it has been said that whenever a new batch of guitars was finished at Selmer, they sent a taxi for Django to come and try them all out. They'd then give him the one he liked best. So maybe all Selmers were played by Django...
    MichaelHorowitz
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