The WEYMANN “JIMMIE RODGERS” Special Model 890

and Jimmie Rodgers’ personalized Weymann Guitar

James Charles Rodgers (September 8, 1897 – May 26, 1933) was an American country, blues and folk singer, songwriter and musician in the early 20th century, and became known known as “The Father of Country Music”.

Jimmie Rodgers with his personalized Weymann Guitar

He was a huge star in his day and most likely influenced more artists than any other singer, including Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan.

There were about a half a dozen guitars of note that Jimmie Rodgers was said to have used in his career, but in 1928 he became the first country artist to endorse an instrument when he endorsed The Weymann “Jimmie Rodgers Special” Style 890.

Another photo of Jimmie Rodgers with his Weymann guitar, c.1928 – source unknown

Weymann had two personalized versions of the “Jimmie Rodgers Special” custom built for the country star.  His featured ornamental colored purfling inlaid around the sound hole and edges, and his name inlaid into the fingerboard. These two personalized guitars are now listed up there with the most valuable guitars in the USA and currently one of these forms part of the collection at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville.  The other is believed to be in private hands.

The Weymann “Jimmie Rodgers” Special Model 890

Although quite a bit different from Jimmie Rodgers’ personal Weymann guitars, the “Jimmie Rodgers Special” was still a quality, top-of-the-line instrument. Even though they could be purchased off the c.1931 Weymann catalogue, they are a very rare guitar.  Few were made.  There is most likely a number of reasons for this.  Firstly, they cost $90 at the time of the Great Depression, an expensive instrument for the day. And production was only for a few short years before the manufacturing arm of Weymann ceased.

Page from the c.1931 Weyman Catalogue describing the “Jimmie Weymann” Special Style 890

Characteristics of the Weymann “Jimmie Rodgers Special”:

This is the top of Weymann’s guitar styles, and is 14 ½” wide with mahogany back and sides with elaborate marquetry on the spruce top. It has a pearloid (mother-of-toilet-seat) fingerboard, and banjo tuners recessed into the pearloid-faced headstock.  It is a 12-fret guitar with X-bracing that is setup for steel strings.

Some photos of this rare model, courtesy Neil Reck. With a late serial number this guitar would date from 1932-1933 :

 

And another example;  the serial number of this example is only 2 digits different from the guitar above, indicating that these guitars were probably made in a batch of a small number of instruments:

Photo Courtesy Acoustic Guitar Forum

Thanks for reading,

Charles Robinson

 

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