1946 D-18 Martin Guitar by Jim Nunally

“In 1986 I came upon a cool-looking, beat-up old 1946 D-18 Martin Guitar in a pawn shop in Vallejo, California. I would go into that place now and again because I worked a few years earlier as a welder at Kaiser Steel shipyard in Vallejo. I asked the guy how much for the guitar. He said he didn’t know because it was a friend of his who was storing it there.

I proceeded to go back every two weeks or so and ask about it. He gave me pretty much the same answer every time. One day I go in and he says his friend wants to sell it. The price was a bit high, but he said he would do a trade. I had another 1972 D-18 at the time and an Aria flamenco guitar. Swapped those two guitars for the ’46 and some guitar cases and fiddle stuff and, well, I felt good about that deal.

I used that ’46 D-18 Martin for the Beverly Hillbillies Movie soundtrack theme song "The Ballad Of Jed Clampett" and also on True Life Blues: The Songs of Bill Monroe, an album that won a Grammy award and two International Bluegrass Music Association awards. I’ve toured with this guitar by my side through all my years with John Reischman and the Jaybirds and the David Grisman Bluegrass Experience.

It is one of those guitars that no matter what you hand it it gives back equally, it keeps up with you and is very responsive, plus has amazing tone at the same time.” - Jim Nunally

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