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1944 Martin D-28
 
Bay Area guitarist Jim Nunally demonstrates his herringbone dreadnought, which was originally owned by Windy Whitford of the Goose Island Ramblers.
September 6, 2023
 

San Francisco Bay Area guitarist Jim Nunally is well-known for his work with David Grisman, John Reischman, Bill Evans, Nell Robinson, and many others. Jim also plays with Peghead Nation fiddle instructor Chad Manning, and he provides backup for Chad’s Western Swing Fiddle course. As a vintage guitar aficionado, Jim mostly performs on a pair of 1940s Martins. We recently featured a video of Jim demoing his 1946 Martin D-18, and in this clip, he demonstrates and discusses his 1944 Martin D-28. 

All vintage instruments have a story to tell, but not all can be traced back to the original owner. In the case of Jim’s D-28, we know a lot about its history, most importantly that it was owned and played by Windy Whitford, whose wife bought the guitar for him brand-new as a wedding present. Based in southern Wisconsin, Whitford played in the Goose Island Ramblers, who Jim had a chance to meet while visiting Wisconsin with his late playing partner Dix Bruce. Windy passed away in 2000, but it wasn’t until 2017 that Dix got a call from the Goose Island Ramblers’ accordion player Bruce Bollerud saying that the family wanted to sell the guitar. “Dix passed on it, and he gave me the number,” Jim remembers. “I called, but couldn’t get a hold of anybody. I was on tour in the area about a year or so later, and I was able to get a hold of Windy’s daughter. She said they still had the guitar, and they let me come and play it. I made an offer, and they said they’d like me to have it.” 

Like many war-time Martins, Jim’s D-28 has an ebony-reinforced neck, as steel was being rationed at the time. The guitar was built just before Martin stopped using scalloped braces, and according to a letter from Martin historian Mike Longworth, it was part of the same batch of D-28s that also included Hank Williams’s guitar.

For a while, the Whitman family considered putting the guitar into a museum, but ultimately decided that they wanted it to be played. “I’m thankful to Windy’s family and all the kids for letting me be the caretaker of it,” Jim says.

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Joe Konkoly’s Legacy | Elderly Instruments
Long-time Elderly repair guru heads for retirement.
 
 
 
 
 
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    ● Courses
    ● Live Workshops
    ● Instructors
    ● Sample Lessons
    ● Notation Guide
    ● For Beginners
 
 
    ● Vintage Vault
    ● New Gear
    ● Fine Lutherie
 
 
    ● Workshops
    ● Advice
    ● Repertoire
 
 
    ● Recordings
    ● Events
    ● Breaking News
 
 
    ● In The Studio
    ● Live Onstage
    ● Backroom
 
 
    ● New Products
    ● Inside Look
    ● Performances
    ● Partner Pages
 
 
© Copyright 2020 PegheadNation.com