Thursday, 1 May 2014

Just what is that mystery guitar?
Casey writes:
Obviously this is a very young Chet Atkins, with a nice Gretsch, but what the heck is the dude holding in the background?
My guess would be that it is something built by Paul Bigsby - I recognize the style. However, that's a weird body shape even by Bigsby's standards. It looks almost like a doubleneck with the lower neck removed.

Can anyone out there reading make a better identification?

G L Wilson

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  1. Definitely a hacked-up Statosphere double neck guitar. The guy's name is Jackie Phelps from what I gather.

  2. I'm not sure if that's Jimmy Bryant, but he is associated with that guitar - the Stratosphere Twin. See the link (be sure to listen to Stratosphere Boogie, that's one hell of a guitar player!):

  3. It's a Stratosphere

  4. That's Jackie Phelps with his Stratosphere guitar. They were made by Russell Deaver in Springfield, Missouri, USA, as the Stratosphere Guitar Manufacturing Co. in the 1950s. Most of the surviving ones seem to be the doublenecks (as seen in Deaver's original patent illustration Here's the video of Jackie playing it as shown in your two pics ...and MUCH better footage of it where Jackie's playing it with Hawkshaw Hawkins

  5. Looks to me like a Stratosphere, maybe originally a double neck with the lower one removed?

    I think this is the same guitar in action here, the guitar player is Jackie Phelps.

    In fact comparing it to the first link, it looks like the bottom neck has been moved to the top as it has the matching headstock!

    This is the actual Chet Atkins clip from what those screen shots were taken if anyone is interested.


  6. It's a Stratosphere, as featured on this very blog a few years back! (That one was sunburst).

  7. It looks like a Stratosphere with a single neck >>

  8. What model Gretsch is Chet slinging in these stills? The body looks smaller than the usual stock Tennessean.

  9. thanks yall! no i know!



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