George Prichett's Gibson L4C
From the fifties to the mid eighties George Pritchett was Milwaukee's premier jazz guitarist. I am fortunate to be able to perform with GeorgePritchett's old Gibson L4C. A vintage instrument that sounds better every year. It has been restored from it's original tattered condition having been left and forgotten in an attic where the roof leaked. It's sweet voice now rekindled and ready to sing.
Learn more about George Pritchett here
Marvin Davis says
At he end of 2016 I am relaxing in Taunton, MA listening to jazz guitar and reflecting on Mr. Pritchett on the Internet. Mr. Pritchett gave me an education in jazz. Starting at age 17 years old I visited his club often from 1972 to about 1974. I remember the Marcs Big Boy, Oriental Theater and Yellow Submarine’s Myles Standish subs down the street. Mr. Pritchett knew I appreciated his craft and that I was moved by his music. He was a very fine jazz guitarist, a great person and looked out for me at his club, George Pritchett’s Jazz Revival. I am also remembering Ron Cuzner former WFMR jazz announcer.
Thank your for taking interest in my George Pritchett post. I have heard many stories about George and know of someone who took lessons from him. Some of them a very negative and yours is one of the few positive stories. I also mis Ron and his late night jazz show especially his intro to the show.
I saw George once at the Summerfest grounds back in the mid seventies as performed for a small audience. He was an incredible player. I also have both of his albums although in digital format. He had his own way of playing that I was fortunate to learn some of his techniques from friend who took lessons and is himself an incredible player. His guitar pick of choice was a Moshay. You can still find them here: http://moshaypickcompany.com/
As I have read about his tragic life I have wondered where he would have gone with his playing if he could have controlled his demons. Maybe without them he would not have reached the level of playing he attained.
annie barker-honchell says
This is the Jazz Guitarist Genius that my Uncle Frank Monreal had the fortune to befriend and booked him to play at all El Matador Restaurants in Milwaukee. I am Frank’s niece Annie and I had the pleasure to know George too. He’d come in to the lounge and we would chat. We would talk about our favorite music, he was never condescending and listen to what I had to say. I always remember him this time of year. Whenever I’d walk in to a venue where he was playing, he’d say “This (song) is for a special lady” It was “My Funny Valentine”. An amazing musician and a darn good guy.
Hi Annie, thanks for the timely comment. I didn’t know George but it’s interesting to hear from those who did. Your story is a touching memory that could be basis for a movie. My Funny Valentine is one of my favorite tunes. Someday maybe I could play it for you on his old guitar and it might evoke old memories. Who knows maybe you have already heard that tune on my old Gibson L4C.
Thanks for your great article. I was one of George’s guitar students back in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. I had to take a pause in my lessons when George went on the road with Buddy Rich. I am also very fortunate to be the owner of one of George’s guitars – an old mid-1930’s ebony Gibson Archtop. An amazing guitar. He sold it to my parents for $75.00. We later found out he needed the money to fix his old VW Beetle, as he couldn’t get to his gigs and was short on resources at the time. What an incredible musician. He had a very vulnerable side. My parents often paid him more than his asking price for my lessons. We really cared about George.
It was interesting to read your comment about George. I have a friend who took lessons from him about the same time you did. I am curious to know how your lessons went with him and what kinds of things he taught you. Where did you take lessons?
I can understand your comment about his “vulnerable side”. I think maybe his rough exterior was a cover for that vulnerability. There was no doubt a hurt little boy inside of him whose pain and suffering was never healed. Given what I know about him this is another piece in the complex puzzle that was George Pritchett.
Thanks for your comments. I would very much like to see a photo of your mid-’30s Gibson.
Rick Kruschka says
I too took lessons in the mid to late 60s at Carl Elmer music studio in West Allis Wi. I recall his involvement with another instructor Bob Couey who owned Uncle Bob’s on Capitol dr. When Carl Elmer studios moved to 27th St I stayed as a student. The Bob Couey Trio also influenced me. I played in Bob’s sat am band at Elmer’s studio as well. My music went on for many years in a band with my brother and friend Bruce playing every weekend at weddings, parties, church festivals etc. It paid the rent for many years. 18 of em for sure. Jazz was not primary but ALL music was our venue.
Michael Zens says
I love this – George Pritchett was my great uncle. George’s younger brother Frank was my grandfather. I was born in 1982, and thus never had any opportunity to get to know George or hear him play in any way that I can remember, but I loved reading his son Neal’s writing about him. I am a music teacher now, and I’m so glad that his old instruments are still out there in the hands of capable players, making music. That’s a beautiful guitar!
Hi Frank, thanks for checking out my page with George’s guitar.