Mike Miltimore of Lee’s Music said the Gretsch electric guitar brought into his store is from 1955 and similar to one played by country music legend Chet Atkins before he developed his signature series of guitars. (Mike Miltmore photo)

Rare guitar touches a chord with connection to Salmon Arm family’s past

1950s Gretsch, worth up to $26,000, belonged to resident Sherrie Favell

Kamloops This Week

When Renee Latheur decided to take an old guitar into Lee’s Music in Kamloops, she didn’t expect the instrument that had sat in a closet for years to be worth thousands of dollars.

“It’s in a ratty old guitar case,” Latheur said. “But I remember my aunt saying, ‘I don’t know what to do with this when I pass away.’”

Sherrie Favell died in March, leaving Latheur wondering about the instrument and its connection to the woman she loved as an aunt, even though they were not biologically related.

It wasn’t until Latheur recently walked into the music store and saw the owner Mike Miltimore’s eyes sparkle at the sight of the case that she began to learn more about the guitar and its value to Favell’s father, who bought it nearly 65 years ago.

Miltimore said the worn tweed and leather case was a telltale sign that it may contain a unique instrument.

When he opened the case, he saw a Gretsch from the 1950s, featuring a big brass buckle on the top and a leather studded belt around the outside.

“It’s a played instrument, you know. It’s been loved. If it could talk, it would tell probably about hundreds of concerts played throughout its life,” Miltimore said.

He said his research from the serial number revealed the electric Gretsch, or Roundup 6130, was made in 1955 and similar to the instrument later played by country legend Chet Atkins.

“It’s a hollow-bodied guitar and a lot of companies were doing solid bodies at that time,” Miltimore said, adding a hollow instrument was used for the country style of picking that Atkins popularized.

The guitar Latheur thought may be worth $200 is actually valued at between $12,000 and $26,000, Miltimore said, noting about 400 of the instruments were made in the 1950s.

Read more: McGuire Lake memorial bench request redirected to walkway project

Read more: Battling cancer

“I was blown away,” Latheur said.

She recently learned her aunt treasured the mahogany guitar that kept her connected to her father, Roy Favell, who played his beloved instrument in a band called McKinna Gold.

“He caught his hand in a planer at a mill in Salmon Arm and he actually had to retrain to play the guitar,” Latheur said.

Favell lost his thumb at age 21, but still managed to perform with it.

However, Favell inexplicably sold his guitar at a pawnshop. It was later rescued by Sherrie Favell and her mother, Latheur said.

Sherrie bought it back again when it was hocked a second time, Latheur said, and she kept it after her father died about 20 years ago.

Sherrie sometimes played the Credence Clearwater tune Bad Moon Rising on the guitar, but her prized possession spent much of its time hidden away, Latheur said.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Salmon Arm

Just Posted

Neil Perry, current owner of Wayside - Interior BC’s largest print and marketing company. Celebrating 100 years (1921-2021) of business in Vernon, B.C. (Contributed)
PHOTOS: A century of service from Wayside in Vernon

The press and printing company, founded by Harold George Bartholomew, turns 100 in 2021

Vernon-Monashee NDP MLA Harwinder Sandhu supported a motion in the B.C. legislature for Canada to create a national Indigenous History month Monday, June 13, 2021. (Contributed)
Canada needs a national Indigenous History Month, Vernon MLA agrees

Harwinder Sandhu supports motion to recognize June as month to advance reconciliation efforts with First Nations

A for sale sign is shown in by new homes in Beckwith, Ont., just outside Ottawa, on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Thompson-Okanagan population grew despite COVID-19: report

The Chartered Professional Accountants of BC said there are 8,462 new residents in the region

Closure of the 2900 block of 30th Avenue will allow restaurants and other businesses to extend their patios onto the street. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Green light given to downtown Vernon road closure

Single block of 30th Avenue to close over summer months to boost business

Stage one water restrictions will be back in place for some Regional District of Central Okanagan water users. (Black Press Media file)
Outdoor watering restrictions return to RDCO for the season

Customers who use water systems operated by the regional district will be affected

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Facebook)
New trial date set for Penticton beach attacker’s triple assault charges

May trial was delayed after Crown witnesses failed to show up

Graduating Grade 12 student Savannah Lamb has been awarded an approximate $40,000 scholarship from the Beedie Luminaries foundation. (Contributed)
Dedicated Salmon Arm student earns scholarship to pursue post-secondary education

Savannah Lamb is graduating from Salmon Arm Secondary with a $40,000 scholarship

A provided photo of the suspect. (Kelowna RCMP/Contributed)
Kelowna RCMP investigating after business robbed

An undisclosed amount of money and merchandise were taken from the business

Travel Penticton went to city council for support in increasing the tax on short-term stays to fund a convention bureau and affordable housing. (File photo)
Travel Penticton seeks to grow through increased hotel tax

The increased funds would go to creating a convention bureau and to affordable housing

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Grace (left), a caribou that was born in a maternal pen north of Revelstoke, is alive and well said the province. It appears she even has a calf. Maternity pens aim to increase caribou calf survival by protecting them from predation until they are older and less vulnerable. (Contributed)
For the first time in years, caribou numbers increasing near Revelstoke

North herd growing but south herd still concerning

Most Read