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Hi I'm New! Need information on ShoBro

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(@dellani)
Active Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 9
Topic starter  

Hello one and all. I have no experience playing a guitar, though I hope to one day. I came here mostly because I am in search of information. I am hoping someone out there can point me in the right direction.

My oldest son (22 - and a very good guitarist) was willed a Sho-Bro guitar when my cousin's husband died. We are currently trying to find out anything we can about it. Precious little, as it turns out. The guitar is made by Gretsch. It has a curved neck and the body is a cutaway - similar in shape to the Gretsch Silver Jet. The serial number on the back (by the Made in USA marker) is 4 3051. I read up on Gretsch serial numbers, but didn't see anything like this one. Is there anyone who can help me decipher this? Where can I go to find out more for my son? He is very interested in the history of his instrument. It was dearly loved by Marty, the man who left it to him. My son has no intention of selling the guitar, he just wants to know its roots. Thank you for any information you can give me! :)

"Play me a song, Curtis Lowe, Curtis Lowe. I've got your drinking money, so tune up your Dobro..." Ballad of Curtis Lowe by Lynyrd Skynyrd


   
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(@elecktrablue)
Famed Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 4338
 

Quote from Ric Nelson:

"The ShoBro, a resonated guitar eventually available in both Spanish and Hawaiian models, was first manufactured by Shot Jackson beginning in the 1950s. The guitars have a larger body and an arched back producing a mellower sound than other resonator guitars, even though the ShoBros have a Dobro® resonator. Over time, they were available in 5, 6 and 7 string models.

In 1955, Shot, an avid tinkerer with a passion for building guitars, using Jack Anglin's garage as a workshop, built a 7-string pedal dobro which he called a pedal ShoBro (a play on Shot and dobro). It was featured on several Johnnie and Jack recordings in 1955-56, on his Starday album (SLP-230) and on at least one Melba Montgomery release. Having to be played on a stand, it proved cumbersome for road work and was restricted to sessions. Normally, Shot played a 6-string Norwood Chime (manufactured for and sold by Montgomery Ward) and later one of his own 7-string ShoBros.

Shot and Buddy Emmons formed the ShoBud company (SHOt-BUDdy) in early 1957 to manufacture the ShoBud steel guitar. Also produced were several custom made ShoBros. First located in Shot's garage, they moved to a building on Nesbitt Lane in Madison. In 1967, the Jackson-Emmons partnership was dissolved, with Shot continuing the business at a new location, 416 Broadway in Nashville. Shot sold the ShoBud name and pedal steel guitar line to Baldwin-Gretsch in 1980, continuing a repair business until retirement in June, 1983.

When Dobro® guitars began to be manufactured again in 1969, Shot interested Baldwin-Gretsch in manufacturing and marketing a resonator guitar of his design under the name ShoBro. The Gretsch models were #6030 for the round-neck Spanish version, with a cut-away body, and #6031 for the Hawaiian square neck instrument. Prior to 1969, these model numbers were assigned to other designs of Gretsch guitars. After 1971, new models numbers were assigned: #7705 Hawaiian 6-string; #7710 Hawaiian 7-string; and #7715 Spanish.

The first models had a long neck, attached at the body at the 14th fret (as some Dobros®). This put excessive pressure on the resonator, causing problems, and was later re-designed attaching at the 12th fret. This later model is preferred. During this time, Shot continued to make hand-crafted guitars, which he labeled ShoBud. At the Gretsch plant, ShoBros were done on an "assembly line", much to Shot's chagrin since Shot's method was to have one person work on an instrument until completion.

Gretsch was not impressed by the slow ShoBro sales and they dropped the line in 1973. The relatively mellow-sounding ShoBro was not in the same demand as the Dobro® with a brighter tone, sought after by Bluegrass musicians. Gretsch-made ShoBros have sound wells, as do Dobros®, whereas ShoBuds and Shot produced ShoBros do not, giving the latter two a still mellower sound yet; the body is the sound well. They contain sound posts for support.

After 1973, Shot continued to hand-craft guitars, usually with the ShoBro trade mark. The initials of the purchaser on the face of the pegboard or body can identify most of those instruments. It was an extra charge to the customer as was any mother-of-pearl or abalone trim. Shot purchased neck stock and bodies from Gretsch, both usually already having serial numbers and assembled the ShoBros at his shop. He also purchased tail pieces from them which carry the "Gretsch" name. The Gretsch manufactured ShoBros do not have the same quality/sound as those made by Shot.

He suffered a sever stroke on August 17, 1983, and another in 1990, and died of a heart attack on January 25, 1991. He was inducted into the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame in 1986. One of his personal 7-string ShoBros was donated for permanent display to the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville on July 23, 1999.

Gretsch Serial Numbers (1965-1973)

Number on top of peg board. After June 1967, on back, with Made in USA added (later dropped).
First digit or first two digits = month ( 1-12)
Next digit is later digit of year = (1969-73: 9,0,1,2,3)
Remaining digits = rank of individuals instrument (not just ShoBros but all Gretsch models)
Example: 8 3124 = August, 1973, instrument 124 made by Gretsch"

So, that means that your instrument was built in April, 1973 and was the 51st instrument produced. (4 3051)

I have no idea where you would find the model number to determine whether it's the Hawaiian or Spanish model! Perhaps someone with a resonator could shed some light as to where the model number might be located?

Hope this at least gives you and your son a jumping off point for more research if needed! :D

..· ´¨¨)) -:¦:-
¸.·´ .·´¨¨))
((¸¸.·´ .·´
-:¦:- ((¸¸.·´ -:¦:- Elecktrablue -:¦:-

"Don't wanna ride no shootin' star. Just wanna play on the rhythm guitar." Emmylou Harris, "Rhythm Guitar" from "The Ballad of Sally Rose"


   
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(@dogbite)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 6348
 

cheers to electrablue. !
Dellani,
you have a valuable guitar. hang on to it.
take some pictures that you can post. there is a steel guitar forum
with knowledgeable folks. posting there and you may even meet the one of the original makers
of your guitar. we'd ;like to see it too.
Gretsch I believe is now owned by Fender.

http://www.steelguitarforum.com

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


   
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(@smokindog)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5345
 

Wow, thats pretty cool 8) EB you have some serious research skills :D First my brother in laws "10 string ukulele" and now this "Sho-Bro". I think you could probably market that skill :D

Dellani, thats a beautiful ax 8)

My Youtube Page
http://www.youtube.com/user/smokindog
http://www.soundclick.com/smokindogandthebluezers

http://www.soundclick.com/guitarforumjams


   
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(@dellani)
Active Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 9
Topic starter  

Thanks so much! This will make my son very happy. The guitar has a lot of sentimental value, but knowing more about it will really please him. Every guitar has a story, this one is still being written. I will get some pictures to post so everyone can see what a beautiful instrument it is.

"Play me a song, Curtis Lowe, Curtis Lowe. I've got your drinking money, so tune up your Dobro..." Ballad of Curtis Lowe by Lynyrd Skynyrd


   
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(@conuvial)
Trusted Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 45
 

Here's a copy of a Gretsch Sho-Bro ad from 1972.

It shows the difference between the Hawaiian and Spanish models.

The text is rather small - the Hawaiian model is on the left - the Spanish on the right.

"...it's in him, and it got to come out..." - JLH


   
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(@elecktrablue)
Famed Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 4338
 

I see! The neck is much wider on the Hawaiian.... makes perfect sense, now that I've seen it! It looks like the body is slightly larger than the Spanish, as well. And the placement (and size?) of the resonator is different, too. They're using the old model numbers, which were changed in '72. Very interesting! Thanks for posting that, Conuvial!

EDIT: Did you notice the placement of the fret markers on the Spanish one? Interesting! I don't believe that I've ever seen them placed on the edge before!

..· ´¨¨)) -:¦:-
¸.·´ .·´¨¨))
((¸¸.·´ .·´
-:¦:- ((¸¸.·´ -:¦:- Elecktrablue -:¦:-

"Don't wanna ride no shootin' star. Just wanna play on the rhythm guitar." Emmylou Harris, "Rhythm Guitar" from "The Ballad of Sally Rose"


   
ReplyQuote
(@boxboy)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1221
 

Hello one and all. I have no experience playing a guitar, though I hope to one day. I came here mostly because I am in search of information. I am hoping someone out there can point me in the right direction.

My oldest son (22 - and a very good guitarist) was willed a Sho-Bro guitar when my cousin's husband died. We are currently trying to find out anything we can about it. Precious little, as it turns out. The guitar is made by Gretsch. It has a curved neck and the body is a cutaway - similar in shape to the Gretsch Silver Jet. The serial number on the back (by the Made in USA marker) is 4 3051. I read up on Gretsch serial numbers, but didn't see anything like this one. Is there anyone who can help me decipher this? Where can I go to find out more for my son? He is very interested in the history of his instrument. It was dearly loved by Marty, the man who left it to him. My son has no intention of selling the guitar, he just wants to know its roots. Thank you for any information you can give me! :)

Wow, thats pretty cool 8) EB you have some serious research skills :D First my brother in laws "10 string ukulele" and now this "Sho-Bro". I think you could probably market that skill :D

Dellani, thats a beautiful ax 8)

Dellani, great to know it is in good hands.
:)

Don


   
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(@dellani)
Active Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 9
Topic starter  

Based on what's said there, I'm guessing it's a Spanish style rather than Hawaiian because the neck is curved like a regular guitar. My son has several, so I can compare easily. He has the converstion kit to play it like a Dobro, but prefers to use it as a guitar, not a steel slide guitar. The tone on it is really beautiful. I can see why it wouldn't be too popular with the steel slide/ country/ bluegrass crowd. It's not got that kind of voice.

Y'all are great! Thanks! :D

"Play me a song, Curtis Lowe, Curtis Lowe. I've got your drinking money, so tune up your Dobro..." Ballad of Curtis Lowe by Lynyrd Skynyrd


   
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(@elecktrablue)
Famed Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 4338
 

You are more than welcome! I love finding out about instruments that I'm not familiar with! Thanks for posting your question at GuitarNoise! I learned something!!

:D

..· ´¨¨)) -:¦:-
¸.·´ .·´¨¨))
((¸¸.·´ .·´
-:¦:- ((¸¸.·´ -:¦:- Elecktrablue -:¦:-

"Don't wanna ride no shootin' star. Just wanna play on the rhythm guitar." Emmylou Harris, "Rhythm Guitar" from "The Ballad of Sally Rose"


   
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(@dellani)
Active Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 9
Topic starter  

I was trying to post a reply when the power flickered and the system shut down. Got to love Florida in the summer!

I've shared the information with my cousin and she's very pleased. You've found things her husband never knew about his Sho-Bro. He picked it up second hand in a shop in Indiana in (I think) 1974 or '75.

I'm trying to figure out how to upload pictures. (she's a beauty!) I think I'm a little too computer impared.... :? Advice? :oops:

"Play me a song, Curtis Lowe, Curtis Lowe. I've got your drinking money, so tune up your Dobro..." Ballad of Curtis Lowe by Lynyrd Skynyrd


   
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(@dogbite)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 6348
 

uploading pictures has gotten easier.
if you have digital pics all you need is to get them onto your desktop.
then you need a photo server. that's where you post pics in your private file and then have a web address.
then you type in the address when you are posting.
it takes a few minutes to set up but after that it is great.
I use http://www.photobucket.com

exciting news about the guitar. second hand in the early seventies and with a manufacture date around that time, I'd say it wasn't too used.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


   
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(@dellani)
Active Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 9
Topic starter  

Boy, do I feel like a newbie! :oops: Oh well, we're all new sometime, right? Thank you for the help.

"Play me a song, Curtis Lowe, Curtis Lowe. I've got your drinking money, so tune up your Dobro..." Ballad of Curtis Lowe by Lynyrd Skynyrd


   
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(@dellani)
Active Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 9
Topic starter  

I haven't forgotten about the Sho-Bro pictures, but I've been busy with other stuff. I'm still not sure exactly how to do this, but I'm giving it a shot. If it doesn't work, please let me know. Dellani

"Play me a song, Curtis Lowe, Curtis Lowe. I've got your drinking money, so tune up your Dobro..." Ballad of Curtis Lowe by Lynyrd Skynyrd


   
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(@leonf)
New Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 4
 

I have this same guitar, the 6 string ShoBro, except mine is broken. Actually, only one of the tuning pegs is broken.

My guitar has been in my closet for 25 years, abandoned when I found that I was not ever going to be a slide guitar player, and so went back to tweaking my stereo -- the only thing that I can play decently.

This morning I took the thing out of the closet to clean it up and prepare it for offering up to the ebay god. But unfortunately one tuning peg knob had suffered a bad knock and refused to turn. WD40 was of no help. Using a bigger wrench only resulted in the knob breaking off.

So, I am now in the market for a tuner peg. After 3 hours of hard Googling, I have yet to determine the make of the thing. Possibly Gretsch? In any case, I figure every body on this board probably knows but me. My tuning pegs are just like the ones on the photos previously posted above. Silver, with cover that is peaked in the middle. I can supply photos if needed.

Thanks for any help.

Leon


   
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