Hollowbody / Production 1990 – Current day.
Although Chet Atkins’s influence of design and style continued to be as strong through the 1970’s as it was in earlier periods, Gretsch’s quality was falling short of the competition, and one of the most successful endorsement relationships in guitars history, second only to Gibson and Les Paul, ended in 1980.
Ownership of Gretsch guitars was no longer that of the Gretsch family, which ended in 1967, when the company was sold to Baldwin Piano Company, and then in 1980 Gretsch changed hands again when production slowed to a minimal output. Fed Gretsch, the great grandson of the original founder reacquired his family’s company in 1985 and began offering new Japanese made models in 1990.
Gretsch reviving the Atkins models, which were the foundation of Gretsch’s success a generation earlier, without the Atkins signature or model name, and the Country Gentleman model 6122 became the Country Classic II was the double cutaway with 1992 styling, eventually becoming model G6122-1962, while the single cutaway 1958 version was dubbed the Country Classic I. Chet Atkins died in 2001 and his estate returned his endorsement to Gretsch, and this model once again is called the Chet Atkins Country Gentleman.