Description

Kay Del Oro Cowboy Guitar "Lefty" 1942 | $650 | (v2408) If you're an early 'Boomer', you were probably a big fan of cowboy TV shows .. in black and white, of course. Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, the Lone Ranger, to name a few, sparked a huge marketing campaign which often tied into TV shows with sales of theme-branded items, such as guitars! It appears that Bradly Kinkaid's 1929 Houn' Dog is the first cowboy guitar endorsement, with many to follow! Most of these instruments were cheaply made in the large Chicago factories, and were of a small, 'concert size', stature so they easily fit the hands of young fans with cowboy dreams. This particular example, the Del Oro, was made in Chicago by Kay, sold through the Spiegel catalog and featured "Lefty" the cowboy, strumming left-handed. According to Steve Evans and Ron Middlebrook in their book, Cowboy Guitars, the so-called "Lefty" model was produced in vairous iterations from 1934 through 1942. This model is described in some detail in a two-page spread in the book, as well as a full color plate in the gallery section of the book. From a guitar players perspective, this version of "Lefty" is not the 'typical' cowboy guitar... i.e. wall-hanger! It's actually crafted from decent materials featuring a grand concert-size body over 14" wide and a very comfortable neck .. quite playable!

Cowboy Guitars reports that the "Lefty" model in brown with white stencil scene appeared in the 1942 Spiegel catalog as a grand concert guitar .. cost was $6.75. The body is solid mahogany. The top features a silk screen stencil of "Lefty" strumming atop his trusty steed. Saguaro cactus, billowing clouds and snow-capped mountains complete the wild-west scene. All this trimmed in white-painted purfling. The back, sides and neck feature a 'sunburst' effect. The neck appears to be basswood, capped with a maple fingerboard painted black and features four inlaid position markers. The bridge is the 'floating' type with a fretwire saddle (now replaced with bone), and the strings anchored to a tailpiece. The pickguard is attached with two screws into the top. The tuners are mis-matched replacements.

The grand concert-size body measures 14 3/8" across at the lower bout. Body depth is 3 7/8" at the end pin. Scale length is 24 1/2". The neck is 1 3/4" across at the nut with string spacing 2 1/8" across at the saddle.

We completed the following work: neck reset; replace tailpiece with period appropriate version; level and dress frets; glue top cracks; glue small portion of back/side jointure. The action is sweet and low at 5/64". We also improved the playability by widening the string spacing at the bridge, and replaced the wooden nut with one from bone. The guitar is in overall good, mostly original condition with some nicks and dings from use and time.

In summary, a vintage guitar from the pinnacle of its particular genre with a cool vibe, ...and very playable. The sound .. GC size, all mahogany body w/ tailpiece setup.. is perfect for finger picking country blues or old timey music..

Comes with a old Geib case in decent condition.

Check out the sound clip!

Vintage Blues Guitars

Vintage Blues Guitars

~1942
Kay
Very Good
Cowboy Stencil
Soft
17 Years
$575
Vintage Blues Guitars
Tom Wentzel and Bruce Roth
717.917.3738
Lancaster, PA
11:13 AM
phone calls accepted 8 a.m. through 8 p.m. eastern time .. text or email anytime

Cash, checks, PayPal, money orders or bank wire. We don't accept credit cards at this point.

We ship usually within a day of payment. International customers, we are not CITES certified. Any guitar with CITES-protected materials (Brazilian rosewood, ivory et al) shipped outside the US will be shipped at the risk of the buyer.

Forty-eight hour test drive on all instruments..if not to your liking, return for refund minus shipping costs.