By the '40s, singing cowboys such as Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, and Red Foley were all over radio, records, and the movies, inspiring countless youngsters to pick up a six-string guitar and sing cowboy songs. Seizing on the cowboy popularity, every department store sold guitars stenciled with fitting western scenes.
The Kay F-41 Red Foley "Smooth Trailin" cowboy guitar was introduced in the '40s, and to firmly establish the cowboy motif, each one was stenciled with a cowboy hat and a lariat. Constructed with a solid Spruce top and laminate back and sides, these 12-fret parlor-sized guitars—with the classic Western stenciling on the top—may have felt like a guitar Red, Gene, or Roy might play. Even though they captured unique Western vibe and were even made with the right materials, the build quality simply wasn't there—these guitars were never built to be functional instruments that would tune and play properly. Over the years, most of them have fallen into disrepair and become wall-hangers at best.
Fortunately, Scott Baxendale and his team of luthiers in Athens, Ga., recognize the potential of these cowboy-inspired guitars and regularly remanufacture them. In doing so, they totally, re-build, re-brace, and re-voice these instruments, giving them new life and world class tone with no shortage of authentic mojo. These inspiring instruments are an exceptional value, and they're an incredible way to recycle and repurpose old axes.
This Baxendale ‘40s Kay Red Foley "Smooth Trailin" has been totally rebuilt and re-braced to a scalloped X-braced pattern, which maximizes the sonic potential of this old cowboy box. It also sports new frets, a new 1-3/4" bone nut, a new solid rosewood bridge with bone saddle, Golden Age Restoration tuning machines, and a new tortoise pickguard. Its lightweight, parlor-guitar feel is comfortable and inviting, and it plays like a brand new guitar. It packs impressive projection and bass response for such a small body. Its tone remains nicely-balanced across the register, and the top is expressive and responsive. Its 12-fret parlor guitar design provides authentic small-body tone and comfort. The result is an inspiring cowboy guitar with the tone, intonation, and playability of a fine acoustic guitar.
This Baxendale '40s Kay Red Foley "Smooth Trailin" Conversion includes a hardshell case, and every Baxendale Conversion includes a lifetime warranty. Although it started as an old guitar, this Baxendale Conversion has been made new, so think of it as a "new" old guitar.