Rendal Wall

Rendal Wall
A guitar virtuoso, Rendal was raised on music by his famous Dad, the late, Rem Wall. In addition to performing live on the longest running country music television show, THE GREEN VALLEY JAMBOREE, for 34 years, Rendal spent many years with Gibson Guitar and now, The Heritage Guitar company, building some of the finest guitars available.

He is proficient in every type of music and has played on many of Bob Rowe's recordings, including, ONE HEART, CHRISTMAS BELLS, PORTRAITS, and others... He accompanies Bob on many live performances.... see related story

 

Guitar makers share stories with public museum audience

Rem and Rendal Wall picked a few tunes in the Kalamazoo Public Museum Saturday and reminisced about their decades of guitar making at the Gibson and Heritage Guitar companies.

Appearing as the featured speakers in "Guitar Town: The Gibson and Heritage Guitar story," the Walls father and son did more talking than playing, discussing Rem Wall's Hall of Fame stature in country and western music and his son's skills as an inventor and salesman for Gibson and Heritage Guitar companies.

Rem Wall, who came to Kalamazoo from southern Illinois in 1939 in pursuit of a girlfriend, worked at Gibson for 37 years, retiring in 1980. Rendal Wall worked at Gibson from 1960 until the early 1980s when he got a letter from the company telling him he was "no longer needed," he said.

Rem Wall is best known as the leader of the Green Valley Boys, a C&W band that played on radio and television for more than three decades beginning in the 1950s. Their television program, Green Valley Jamboree, was one of the longest running shows ever.

Rem Wall recorded a number of songs on the Columbia label.

Gibson Guitar, founded by Orville Gibson in the mid-1890s, grew to be one of the busiest makers of guitars and mandolins anywhere. In the 1960s, the company was producing as many as 1,000 guitars a day.

"When the Beatles hit, we couldn't hire people fast enough," said Rendal Wall, who at that time spent his days testing and tuning guitars in a soundproof room surrounded by walls measuring a foot and a half thick.

Some of the guitars, which have been played by musicians from B.B. King to Chet Atkins, Gene Autry, Johnny Cash and members of the Rolling Stones, are now worth up to $250,000 or more, according to Rendal Wall.

A few of the highly prized guitars were so valued by performers that Rendal Wall, who often hand delivered them to their owners, said he flew coach while the instruments went first class.

Between 1972 and 1983, however Gibson's fortunes declined as annual sales of fretted instruments in the United States dropped from 2.5 million annually to 875,000 in 1981. In 1984, the company closed its doors here and established its headquarters in Nashville, Tenn.

Rendal Wall and several of Gibson veterans, whose guitarmaking experience collectively totals more than 500 years, chose to remain in Kalamazoo and in 1984, they opened the Heritage Guitar Co. Heritage now produces from 2,00C to 2,500 guitars a year, with some of the 50 different models selling for as much as $8,000.

Rendal Wall said one of his tasks many years ago was to "kiss and make up" with Bill Monroe, the great blue grass musician who, in a fit over a refurbishing job on his mandolin done at Gibson, took a pen knife and carved out the Gibson name

"It took me a year to get to Bill, but I did it," he said.


 

Home ] Up ]

Send mail to naharding@chartermi.net with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright 2007 Renaissance Enterprises
Last modified: 09/28/14