Back Catalog Memories: 1950’s Airline Town & Country Guitar

1950's Airline Town & Country Standard Electric Guitar (Sunburst)

Airline guitars were being made in USA from 1958-1968 by Valco Manufacturing Company and sold primarily through the Montgomery Ward catalog company. Valco also made other popular brands like Supro and National. Today they are being made through Canadian company Eastwood Guitars. By the early 1960’s Airline were producing many different models – the more valuable vintage models were made of res-o-glas – but most in those early days were solid wood designs like this Town and Country Standard.

Back Catalog Memories: 1970’s UNIVOX Coily Bass Guitar

1970's UNIVOX Coily Bass Guitar (Sunburst)

UNIVOX guitars were imported to North America from Japan in the late 1960’s to the late 1970’s. They had many different models – most popular of which is the Hi-Flyer – but also included an array of Les Paul copies, Hagstrom, Fender and others. UNIVOX guitars were built by the Matsumoko guitar factory in Japan, who also built guitars for Aria, Westbury, Westone, and several other brands at the time. This model, the Coily Bass is based on the Epiphone Casino.

Back Catalog Memories: Airline 3P Res-O-Glas Guitar (White Finish)

Vintage Airline Res-O-Glas Electric Guitar (White)

Originally, Airline branded electric and acoustic guitars were made in the United States from 1958-68 by the VALCO Manufacturing Company, and sold through Montgomery Ward catalogs. VALCO also used the brand names of National and Supro. Today, old Valco guitars are played by a wide array of bands and artists including David Bowie (Supro Dual Tone), The Cure (National MAP), Jack White (Airline 2P), Calexico and P.J. Harvey using this original Airline 3P Res-O-Glas, the top-of-the-line for Airline at the time.

Back Catalog Memories: Bartolini Avanti Electric Guitar

Vintage 1960's Bartolini Avanti Electric Guitar - white

In the 1950’s Italian manufacturers were cranking out accordions by the thousands. When Rock ‘n Roll came on the scene, many of these builders switched from accordions to electric guitars. Bartolini was one of them. When the electric guitar boom took off in USA in the early 60’s, Italy became a source to fill the appetite. Accordions were plastic covered, so […]

Back Catalog Memories: Galanti Panther Guitar

Galanti Panther Guitar (3 pickups)

Italian brand Galanti has its roots more than 100 years ago. The Galanti accordian factory was cranking out accordians into the late 1950’s, then for a few shorts year included a shift to electric guitars. In the 1970’s they moved into making electric organs. Look closely, are those accordian switches?

Back Catalog Memories: Ampeg AUB Bass

1960's Ampeg AUB Bass Guitar

Although better known for their monster SVT amps from the late 1960’s, Ampeg made a family of electric basses that were quite unusual and advanced for the time from 1966 through 1969. There were four basic models, each of which was available in fretted and fretless versions.

Back Catalog Memories: Kawai Moonsault Guitar

Kawai Moonsault Guitar (circa 1980s)

One of the most unconventional and impractical body shapes from the electric guitar world, this Kawai Moonsault was a big hit in Japan. Really. The initial production was 1982 and the build quality was superb as Japanese guitar manufacturing had hit its stride in the early 1980’s, many producing better quality guitar than those in USA.

Getting the Guitar…But Not The Girl! (Vintage 1985 Aria Pro II Knight Warrior Electric Guitar)

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Sex always sells…or so they say. And certainly when you’re marketing an electric solidbody guitar to testosterone-heavy adolescent and young adult males, showing a bit of female flesh is sure to get attention, whether or not it will move product. Few guitar ad campaigns have pursued this strategy with more verve than the one for […]

Robin Wedge, Exclamation Point on a Storied Brand (Vintage 1985 Robin Wedge Electric Guitar)

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One of the privileges of writing about guitars for as long as I have is that guitar people will talk with you. I’ve had many memorable conversations with people who’ve helped shape—often literally—the guitars we all know and love. Perhaps no conversation was more memorable than a long, detailed talk I had with Dave Wintz, […]

Back Catalog Memories: EKO Guitars

Vintage EKO Barracuda Electric Guitar & Bass (Set)

I’ve been running www.myrareguitars.com since about 1997. Before that I was doing it with pen and paper. Recently I discovered a file folder on my backup drive with TONS of photos containing just about every guitar I’d ever bought and sold over the years. Looking at these photos have stirred up some memories. Here is another story with some photos (to the best of my deteriorating memory) from the Back Catalog of myRareGuitars.