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Don Rich Guitar/Gear Info

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Lerb21, Jan 26, 2010.

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  1. Lerb21

    Lerb21 Friend of Leo's

    Dec 10, 2007
    New Florence, PA
    When I first starting learning about Don Rich, I had to wade my way through the internet and dig up a lot of obscure information. After that I decide what was true, what wasn't, and what was on the right track.

    Here's some of the stuff I've found.

    The first guitar we see Don play chronologically is a mid 50's Telecaster. It may have been Buck's, it may have been Don's. I don't know.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The pickguard is white, with 5 screws. The switch tip appears to be a top hat style. The String tree is too tough for my to decipher accurately. Though not the photos, the FENDER logo is placed behind the string tree near the nut.

    With this information, I determine that the guitar was made between the Summer of 1954 and the Middle of 1956 (the string tree position begins to move at about this time).

    I would like to add that I'm not very good at this, so any contributions are more than welcome.

    It is possible that it may be this Tele.

    [​IMG]

    Here are some videos from Buck's appearance on the 1964 Jimmy Dean Show from where 3 of the above screens were taken. Don is using that guitar.





    More to come.
     

  2. I can't thank you enough for this research. My all-time favorite guy is Don.
     

  3. Lerb21

    Lerb21 Friend of Leo's

    Dec 10, 2007
    New Florence, PA
    Here's a little bit of quick info.

    [​IMG]

    I'm fairly sure that the above picture is from 1964, or perhaps 65, as Willie Cantu appears to be on drums.

    As you can see, Buck is holding a late 50's Tele. 8 Screws in the pickguard, and the logo is on the right side of the string tree. I don't think I've ever seen Don play this guitar.
     

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  5. Dan Hicks

    Dan Hicks TDPRI Member

    13
    Oct 23, 2004
    Madison, WI
    Maybe the same guitar from the Fender 60th ad? Seems like I saw a big ad like this in Vintage Guitar.

    You're on a great topic, Clint!

    EDIT: Ooops, 8 screw.
     

  6. Lerb21

    Lerb21 Friend of Leo's

    Dec 10, 2007
    New Florence, PA
    Next is the guitar that I consider to be THE Don Rich guitar.

    It's a "Champagne" Sparkle Telecaster. Don Rich played it on the first Buck Owens Ranch Shows and on the live album recorded at Carnegie Hall.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Some of the odds and ends of the guitar narrow it down. The Gold Transition Logo. The 2 piece maple neck (No 'skunk stripe'). The unique checkerboard binding.

    The logo came around in 1964. The source I'm using states that glued on maple boards came around in 1965.

    Gruhn guitars says something interesting though.

    http://www.guitars.com/features/tele-crush/EF6677.html
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The guitar pictured here has a 1964 serial number. It says that it was constructed one of three, two of which went to Don Rich and Buck Owens.

    It works for me! 1964, perhaps 1965 Telecaster.

    Here's that guitar in action:



     

  7. Lerb21

    Lerb21 Friend of Leo's

    Dec 10, 2007
    New Florence, PA
    That would be the same guitar from post #3. :D
     

  8. Lerb21

    Lerb21 Friend of Leo's

    Dec 10, 2007
    New Florence, PA
    In late 1966 (by the time Doyle Holly left the band) Don started playing a new guitar. I believe it a be a '66, for no other reason than it appeared then and fits the criteria. From what I can tell, the champagne guitar and this silver one are nearly identical, except for the color of the finish. The necks woods also deviate.

    [​IMG]

    There's lots of footage of this guitar, from both the Buck Owens Ranch and Hee Haw.








    Obviously, Don liked this guitar a good bit! This is the guitar you hear him play on the "In London" and "In Japan" albums.

    Here's some more...


     

  9. Lerb21

    Lerb21 Friend of Leo's

    Dec 10, 2007
    New Florence, PA
    Don't forget the good ol' RW&B Teles!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Having spoken to Jerry Brightman (Pedal Steel Player for Buck, Buckaroo), he always tells me this guitar is a stock 1966 or 67 Tele that was pained by Gene Moles in Bakersfield, California.

    Allow me to quote...

    He says in two other places on the his webpage that it is a 67', so either or I guess...

    Don played this guitar later in his career, during the 1970's.

     

  10. Lerb21

    Lerb21 Friend of Leo's

    Dec 10, 2007
    New Florence, PA
    One more guitar for tonight... a gold sparkle one.

    [​IMG]

    This guitar had a plain, non sparkly headstock.

    I can honestly only determine that this is a late 60's guitar. A 67, 68 or maybe even a 69 Tele. If I could read the headstock better I'd be able to tell, but unfortunately I can't.

    This guitar got a good bit of airtime on Hee Haw.



     

  11. Buckocaster51

    Buckocaster51 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    65
    Jan 6, 2005
    Iowa USA
    Admin Post
    This one looks like it may have white binding on it.

    Eh?

    Or have the corners just been smacked down?

    Good job Young Master.

    Now go study your physics!

    :)
     

  12. Lerb21

    Lerb21 Friend of Leo's

    Dec 10, 2007
    New Florence, PA
    Correct good sir!

    Now that I remember some more...

    The guitar Don is holding the photo was Buck's, as he was tuning it for him (you can see the strobe tuner to the right). Don's Telecaster is the one seen leaning in the background to the left.

    At least, this is what I recall...

    It is entirely possible that Don had two RW&B Teles too. That might be another reason for Jerry jumping back and forth between 66 and 67.

    [EDIT]

    I've found some photographic evidence that backs what I said above

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, Buck's guitar has binding, Don's does not.
     

  13. jhundt

    jhundt Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    63
    Mar 23, 2003
    Netherlands
    gotta love that old Conn Strobotuner and the spray can of FingerEze

    what kind of amps are those in the Red White and Blue shots?
     

  14. Big John

    Big John RIP

    Feb 1, 2006
    Austin Tx.
    Great work Clint !
     

  15. nevadacalifornia

    nevadacalifornia Tele-Meister

    Age:
    49
    257
    Feb 23, 2007
    Wisconsin
    Is the neck really that worn, on the tele in the 1964 Jimmy dean show clips?
    The guitar would have only been 7-8 years old by then.
     

  16. rjtwangs

    rjtwangs Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

    Age:
    58
    390
    Jan 18, 2010
    Reston, Virginia
    Great thread, I am so enjoying these video's, thanks guy's. Don Rich was the "real" deal for sure. He is a very big part of the reason I've been so attracted to teles for all theses years.

    RJ
     

  17. strat-o-teleman

    strat-o-teleman Tele-Meister

    Age:
    52
    392
    Jan 26, 2004
    Spring Hill, TN
    I never knew that most of Don's Teles had 2-piece maple necks(no skunk stripe)...I just never thought to check.

    I guess it's just dumb luck(or was it divine inspiration?) that I decided to go with a 2-piece for my forthcoming Sparklecaster...Either way, I'm very happy!!

    Thanks for all the great info, Clinton!!
     

  18. roscoe10

    roscoe10 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    52
    192
    Dec 8, 2009
    bloomington
    What is the thing that can of Finger-ease is sitting on? Looks like some kind of tuning device, maybe?
     

  19. roscoe10

    roscoe10 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    52
    192
    Dec 8, 2009
    bloomington
    I guess I should have kept reading -- Conn Strobotuner.

    Great thread. Don is my all-time favorite guitar player, no matter what he's playing. There are some clips of him playing a Les Paul Professional (or maybe Recording), but he's still great. I heard Buck and CBS/Fender got into some kind of tiff -- what's the story on that?
     

  20. Lerb21

    Lerb21 Friend of Leo's

    Dec 10, 2007
    New Florence, PA
    I'll post the complete and full story on Buck's falling out with Fender and switch to Gibson once I get my copy of "Buck Owens: The Biography" which I'm pretty sure elaborates on the story.

    Until then, here's my brief take on it...

    I was referring to the following video.



    I never felt like Don betrayed the Telecaster... he simply had to help Buck uphold his end of a endorsement... you'll notice Don went back to the Tele ASAP.


     

  21. IPLAYLOUD

    IPLAYLOUD Friend of Leo's

    Aug 7, 2003
    Long Island, N.Y.
    "Hey Don...where is your Guitar Strap?"
    The only person I have ever seen us a Fender Go Around waist Belt.
    A couple of screw-eyes in the Guitar, put on the belt, and VOILA!...the Tele just "floats".
    Pretty cool idea, must have been HELL on your Lower Back.
     

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