Great Gretsch Guitars on Display at New Hall of Fame Exhibit
January 15, 2016

Steve Wariner, Duane Eddy attend opening of "American Sound and Beauty" on Jan. 14.

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A fascinating historic exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, American Sound and Beauty: Guitars From the Bachman–Gretsch Collection, officially opens to the public, Friday, Jan. 15.

The exhibit features 75 Gretsch guitars from the collection of guitarist Randy Bachman,a key figure in classic rock bands Guess Who and Bachman–Turner Overdrive.

Randy acquired more than 300 rare Gretsch guitars, mainly during the 1970s and '80s. His collection was purchased in 2008 by the Gretsch Foundation, the charitable arm of the Gretsch family and the Gretsch company. And for historical perspective, this marks the first time that this collection has been made available to the public. It's also the largest collection of stringed instruments ever displayed at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

Industry members, Nashville media and other invited guests were given a special preview of American Sound and Beauty at a reception held at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Thursday night (Jan. 14). Steve Wariner and legendary rock/country guitarist Duane Eddy were among those on hand for the festivities.

Steve, who's been playing Gretsch guitars for years, raved about the exhibit with members of the media prior to the reception. "It looks awesome. I'm very jealous," Steve commented with a laugh. "I have a lot of Gretsches that I have collected over the years, but not this many. Randy Bachman's collection is fantastic. You can tell that he's a really wise and smart guy because he's collected some really rare, one-of-a-kind guitars."

Steve added that the exhibit will fascinate general music fans as well as guitar buffs. "Even if someone doesn't know anything about guitars, they'll enjoy this," Steve said. "They are just beautiful. And they are part of music history."

The collection includes select Gretsch Country Gentlemen guitars, the model favored by Chet Atkins. Also on display are such items as a Chet Atkins 6120 Hollow Body and a 1953 Duo Jet model, a favorite of George Harrison, Jack White, Bo Diddley and others.

During the opening ceremony, Duane Eddy addressed the audience and recalled his history with Gretsch.

Steve Wariner also spoke of personal guitar influences Duane Eddy and Chet Atkins, who both played Gretsch guitars. "It is really an honor to be here tonight," Steve added.

Steve then performed three solo instrumental numbers to close the event.

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