The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

Gay Guitars

Gay Guitars were built in Edmonton by Frank Gay, a prominent musician and builder. His guitars were played by a number of prominent musicians including Johnny Cash, Hank Snow, Webb Pierce, and Faron Young.

The following text is from the Canadian Museum of History section on the making of Musical Instruments in Canada, in respect to Gay Guitars:

Frank Gay

Born in Saskatchewan in 1920 to French-speaking parents, Frank Gay was a guitarist and lutenist as well as a composer and luthier. He studied guitar at the New York School of Music and with Norman Chapman in Toronto.

A versatile performer, he switched easily from jazz to country, flamenco or classical music. He apprenticed at R.S. William & Co., one of the largest Canadian workshops of the time.

In 1953, he opened his own workshop in Edmonton, where he produced prize steel-string acoustic guitars. Country music greats such as Johnny Cash, Don Gibson and Hank Snow have owned his guitars.

His instruments have earned the appreciation of distinguished classical guitarists, including Alirio Diaz and Montoya. Gay also built folk and Renaissance guitars, lutes, mandolins and banjos. Always active in the music world, in 1959 he established a classical guitar association, one of the first in the Canadian west.

Frank Gay is recognized as an innovative artisan and a major figure in the history of Canadian stringed-instrument making.”

Gay Guitars at The Twelfth Fret