All Feature Articles

Meeting the Legendary George Gruhn at Gruhn Guitars in Music City

by Rich and Laura Lynch

For George Gruhn 2020 was probably not the year that he had hoped for. It should have been a celebration of the 50th Anniversary of his famed guitar store in Nashville, Tennessee but the pandemic had other plans. George only just recently re-opened his showroom to the public. He told us this and other stories during a spontaneous interview session on Saturday, May 08, 2021 at the shop that bears his name.


George Gruhn at Gruhn Guitars in Nashville, Tennessee.

During our conversation Gruhn covered many topics. We inquired about who he has met over the years so we asked about a few of our favorites: Bruce Springsteen - yes. Tom Petty - yes. Jackson Browne - yes. Neil Young - yes. George recalled selling over 20 guitars to Neil in the 1970's. Plenty more famous folks have purchased an instrument from him, too. In more recent times, blues axe man and preservationist Joe Bonamassa has been a steady customer with Gruhn adding that "Joe's bought about a 'new house' worth of guitars from me."

Gruhn suggested that he has met just about everyone in the industry and he has begun work on a book to document his experience in serving the world's greatest guitarists. This is pretty impressive for a man who practically fell into his line of work.


The Les Paul 90th birthday Les Paul gold top and so much more.

"This business is essentially my hobby that got out of hand," George shared. "I started by dealing some guitars out of my college dorm room and now I have an 18,000 square-foot building with three floors filled with guitars and the basic operations of the business."

"George Gruhn knows more about vintage guitars than anyone on earth," states Guitar Player editor Tom Wheeler. Gruhn moved to Nashville in 1969 after getting his bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago and doing graduate work at Duke University and the University of Tennessee. On January 2, 1970, Gruhn Guitars Inc. opened at 111 4th Ave North with an inventory of twenty-two instruments. Their office equipment consisted of a telephone and an old-style mechanical adding machine.

The business and legend expanded and they moved to a location on Broadway where they stayed for many years until 2013 when Gruhn Guitars relocated to their current home at 2120 8th Ave South. Their customized building has free parking and allows George to display their full inventory of 1,100+ guitars, basses, mandolins, banjos, ukuleles, and amplifiers. This shop provides a spacious setting for visitors and a more efficient work environment for the staff. The first floor is open to the public, the second floor houses special vintage instruments and the third floor is the repair shop.


The Martin Wall at Gruhn Guitars.

They also have extensive Martin and Taylor collections and they were awarded "Taylor Showroom Winner" in 2015 and 2017. Gruhn picked on a Martin guitar made exclusively for his store's 50th anniversary while we talked. As we were admiring the many instruments there we spotted a 90th birthday edition Les Paul signed by the innovator himself. Also of interest were carbon based guitars. George said that these instruments could withstand extremes in temperature and conditions and still sound good perhaps not as warm as a traditional acoustic guitar but a solid touring friend.

In addition to running a revered guitar shop George himself is a bit of a celebrity. He was featured in a Visa commercial in the 1990's and has appeared on the History Channel's American Pickers as a consultant. But wait there is more - Gruhn also has a YouTube Channel with 4.84K subscribers (as of this writing) that features conversations with George, tutorials and artists playing instruments.

Gruhn Guitars Inc. has grown tremendously since its start however the basic foundation of their business principles remains unchanged. Knowledge, integrity, and service are remarkably low-tech but key. The store is more than just a showcase for hundreds of instruments. It is a group of people with an incredibly wide range of experience, knowledge and passion - many of whom have been with the organization for years. Gruhn Guitars Inc. has a wide selection to meet the price and professional needs of each customer that they serve so stop in Monday through Saturday and see it for yourself.


Gruhn Guitars is the perfect marriage of online and brick and mortar sales and service.

Related Links: For more information on GRUHN GUITARS and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - Gruhn Guitars | Martin Gruhn 50th Anniversary Models | Gruhn Guitars YouTube Channel

.








The War Hippies Go to Battle for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation at 3rd and Lindsley in Nashville



Enchant Opens with Great Expectations at First Horizon Park in Nashville



Kenny Wayne Shepherd Premiers a New Documentary at Belcourt Theatre in Nashville



Thanks Were Given During Pre-Holiday Concert at at Glencliff UMC in Nashville



Joanne Shaw Taylor Shows Just Why She Is Nobody's Fool at TPAC in Nashville



PBR Team Champions the Nashville Stampede Bring the Big Buckle Home to Broadway



Zoolumination Is Off to a Roaring Start In Spectacular Return to Nashville Zoo



Parnassus Books Is Set to Tell the Story of The Birth of Rock 'n' Roll: 70 Years of Sun Records at Author Signing in Nashville



Gibson Gives and Guitars For Vets Gather For a Memorable Rock to Remember Concert in Nashville



Petra Celebrates 50 Years of Christian Rock at Cornerstone in Madison



Loretta Lynn - Celebrating the Life of The Coal Miner's Daughter at the Opry House in Nashville



BMI Rooftop on the Row Has a Rousing Season Finale with Julia Cole, Callista Clark and Tiera Kennedy



King's X Are Extremely Excellent at Sold-Out Brooklyn Bowl in Nashville



John Petrucci and Meanstreak Make It a Family Affair at the CMA Theater in Nashville



The Hobbs Sisters Break Out the Band at Live Oak in Nashville



The Southern Festival of Books Adds Another Exciting Chapter in Nashville



The Doobie Brothers Close a Chapter on 50th Anniversary Reunion Tour at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville



Songs On 2nd - Is There a Better Writer's Round in Nashville?



Steve Earle and the Kentucky HeadHunters Go to Bat for a Good Cause in Nashville



An Excellent Evening with Chris Martin of Martin & Co. at InDo in Nashville



Hany and the Nets: Nashville SC's Mukhtar Makes a Claim for Both League MVP and Golden Boot Titles at GEODIS Park



Cimarron 615 Makes It Official at The 5 Spot in East Nashville



BMI Rooftop On The Row Remains the Coolest Party in Nashville with Tenille Arts and Elvie Shane



Andrew Jackson - the Nation's 7th President - Remains Revered and Reviled in Nashville



© 2022 MusicCityNashville.net
All Rights Reserved