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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Corsac the cat is up for adoption at Critteraid.
Critteraid hosts three adoption Sundays

More than 40 cats looking for their forever homes

Abigail McCluskey is in the Netherlands training to compete in the World Cup next month. She joins 12 Canadian speedskaters for the international competition later this month. (Dave Holland CSI Calgary)
Penticton speed skater in Netherlands for World Cup

Abigail McCluskey will be skating the long track in the international competition

Summerland Middle School
COVID exposure at Summerland Middle School

The person who tested positive was at school Jan. 11

Justin Kripps of Summerland and his team have competed in Olympic action and World Cup competitions in bobsleigh. (Jason Ransom-Canadian Olympic Comittee).
QUIZ: Are you ready for some winter sports?

It’s cold outside, but there are plenty of recreation opportunities in the winter months

A map released by the BCCDC on Jan. 15 shows the number of new COVID-19 cases reported for each local health area between Jan. 3 and 9. (BCCDC Image)
Salmon Arm and Vernon see increase in new COVID cases, curve flattening elsewhere

The rate of new cases is levelling off in Kelowna, Penticton and Revelstoke.

When people talk about Blue Monday, they really mean Seasonal Affective Disorder, according to CMHA Kelowna. (Pixabay)
CMHA Kelowna offers tips for managing winter blues during COVID-19

CMHA says it’s important to take care of mental well-being during these times

Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons was appointed to the NDP cabinet as minister of social development and poverty reduction after the October 2020 B.C. election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. job training fund increased for developmentally disabled

COVID-19 has affected 1,100 ‘precariously employed’ people

A heavy police presence near Penticton Secondary last Thursday, Jan. 14 was due to an erratic driver, a woman, 28, who was arrested. (Brennan Phillips Western News)
RCMP arrest impaired driver who rammed car near Penticton school

A 28-year-old woman was arrested at the scene

RCMP stock photo (Black Press)
Kelowna church fined a second time for violating public health order

Harvest Ministries in Kelowna has previously said they will fight the tickets in court

Okanagan Forest Task Force clean up took place on May 9 along Postill Lake Road. (Okanagan Forest Task Force)
Okanagan cleanup taskforce gears up for new year

The crew assisted in getting about 60 illegal dumpers ticketed

Bastion Elementary was open Monday, Jan. 17, after one case of COVID-19 was confirmed among the school community. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
COVID-19 case confirmed at second Salmon Arm elementary school

Member of Bastion Elementary community self-isolating, students allowed to attend school

B.C. driver’s licence and identity cards incorporate medical services, but the passport option for land crossings is being phased out. (B.C. government)
B.C. abandons border ID cards built into driver’s licence

$35 option costing ICBC millions as demand dwindles

sdf
2nd in-school violence incident in Mission, B.C, ends in arrest

RCMP notified of local Instagram page with videos (now deleted) showing student assaults, bullying

BC Emergency Health Services has deployed the Major Incident Response Team (MIRRT) as COVID-19 positive cases rise in the Williams Lake region. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
B.C.’s rapid response paramedics deployed to Williams Lake as COVID-19 cases climb

BC Emergency Health Services has sent a Major Incident Rapid Response Team to the lakecity

Most Read