C. F. Martin 000-45 Jimmie Rodgers Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1997)

C. F. Martin  000-45 Jimmie Rodgers Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1997)
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Item # 10066
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C. F. Martin 000-45 Jimmie Rodgers Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1997), made in Nazareth, PA, serial # 599322, natural finish, rosewood back and sides, spruce top; mahogany neck with ebony fingerboard, original black tolex hard shell case.

This is a very special Martin limited edition guitar, the 000-45 JR model issued only in 1997 to Commemorate the 100th anniversary of Jimmie Rodgers' birthday. Jimmie almost always played Martin guitars, starting with a bottom-line 2-17 when that was all he could afford. Once "Mr. Victor" started paying royalties on his best-selling records, Jimmie went all-in and ordered a custom top-of-the-line 000-45 with his name inlaid in pearl on the fingerboard and "Blue Yodel" on the headstock. It even had THANKS painted in block letters on the back, which Jimmie would flash at the audience in appreciation for the extraordinary success he's gained. Martin appreciated him as well; inside the original guitar a handwritten note stated "To Jimmie Rodgers, America's Blue Yodeler, with all good wishes C. Fredrick Martin III July 27, 1928"

While he technically had an endorsement deal with Weymann, The Martin 000-45 is the guitar Rogers most often documented recording or performing with. It was reportedly his personal favorite, and it is the "Ol' Guitar" he is handed for the single filmed performance clip of him singing and playing live on the Vitaphone soundstage in 1929. After his premature death in 1933, Rodgers' widow loaned the 000-45 to her then-protégé Ernest Tubb who played it for decades. The technically priceless guitar was later donated to the Jimmie Rodgers Museum where it is kept in a safe behind glass.

In 1997 Martin undertook to re-create this one of a kind guitar as closely as possible for a limited edition of 100, of which this is #26. This 12-fret 000 has numerous deluxe and/or era-correct features including an Adirondack spruce top on the superbly high-grade Brazilian rosewood body. Abalone trim adorns the edges. The straight across ebony bridge has snowflakes inlaid in the wings and fossilized ivory saddle and bridge pins. The neck is provided with adjustable truss rod, which of course the original was not; however the original custom inlay is beautifully re-created. The instrument is finished out in Nitrocellulose lacquer with the "Thanks" replicated on the back under the finish.

This is one of the nicest and most accurate of Martin's older re-issues, a real benchmark for them in re-creating their finest vintage guitars. This limited edition sold out almost immediately, and they do not come to market often today. This is a superb example and a truly lovely instrument, a treat for Rodgers fans for sure but simply an absolutely superb guitar by any standards.
Overall length is 39 1/2 in. (100.3 cm.), 15 3/16 in. (38.6 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 4 1/16 in. (10.3 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 25 1/4 in. (641 mm.). Width of nut is 1 13/16 in. (46 mm.).

This guitar is super clean overall, showing minimal signs of use and no repairs or alterations. The finish has some fine handling marks but that's about it. It is a fine playing and wonderful sounding guitar, amazingly almost 25 years old already and just mellowing in. We can only imagine how good this would sound if it had been played every day since then! As it stands this is a truly lovely instrument, one of Martin's finest and most heartfelt custom re-issues complete in the original case with paperwork. Near Mint Condition.