The first Froggy Bottom guitar was built in 1970; 2020 will mark our 50th anniversary.
In celebration, we will be offering a group of sixteen 50th Anniversary guitars, available through our dealers or directly from the Froggy Bottom shop. As of January 1, 2020, nine have already been ordered.
These instruments will feature our very finest woods – 5A grade Brazilian rosewood, Master Grade Madagascar or Guatemalan rosewood and either Master Grade Adirondack (red) spruce, or our finest German spruce. (We even have a few of Michael’s 1876-vintage German tops available, including a couple with lovely “Bearclaw” figure.)
Players will select the Froggy Bottom model of their choice, from parlor to jumbo, in either DeLuxe, Limited, or Custom Grade.
Glenn Carson's Engraved Mother of Pearl
Each instrument will be decorated with the masterful Mother-of-Pearl engraving work of Glenn Carson on the headstock and fretboard position markers. The headstock decoration can be either an engraved FBG “froggy” logo or the small, medium or large headstock inlay. An elegant banner identifying each guitar as a 50th Anniversary Froggy will adorn the 12th fret position and engraved Waverly tuners in either nickel or gold finish will be a standard feature.
Petria Mitchell’s Hand-Engraved Heelcaps
We have received hundreds of requests over the last six years for the scrimshaw work that graced many Froggy Bottom guitars from 1984 to 2013. On these 50thAnniversary guitars, we can offer those folks some good news.
Our old friend, master engraver Petria Mitchell, will be doing a scrimshaw heelcap for each of these guitars, hand-engraved with the subject of the buyer’s choice. She is coming out of retirement only for these sixteen guitars! After these 50th Anniversary instruments, there will be no further offering of Petria’s engraving.
While we are extremely excited about all the beautiful possibilities listed above, we are most excited to be building a group of instruments of the very finest materials we’ve ever used, at a time when we are building the very finest instruments we have ever created.
We have been complimented on the quality of our woods for the last fifty years, but our greatest satisfaction has come from building guitars one-at-a-time for individuals who have come to us imagining a guitar which fulfills their highest hopes and dreams in how that guitar actually functions.
Customizing for Function
Ask anyone who has commissioned a guitar directly from our shop how that instrument has worked out for them. The endorsements of custom instrument clients are dear to our hearts. Exceeding their expectations is a part of the art involved in building these guitars.
Every element of our building methodology is conceived to allow change and variation to every guitar, comprehensively. This is about function – how a guitar actually works, not decoration, ornamentation or bling.
This flexibility and responsiveness sets us apart in this Golden Era of steel string guitars, and we fully expect that each and every one of these 50th Anniversary instruments will sit solidly among our very finest work.
Millard is Retiring!
When these guitars are completed, our founder, Michael Millard will ride off into the sunset to play guitar, enjoy family, friends, and his Golden Retriever, and just go fishing.
Andy Mueller and Eric Goodenough together have more than fifty years in building Froggy Bottom guitars and working with our dealers and players. They are both masterful and their work in the years to come will build upon and handsomely surpass what Froggy Bottom guitars have been known for in these last fifty years. Michael will be around as Froggy Emeritus as long as they wish him to be, but he is passing the torch to Andy, Eric and the rest of the crew with gratitude and confidence that all future Froggys will really be better than ever.
Froggy Bottom Guitars will continue to fashion legacy-quality instruments with the care and attention to detail that players have come to expect.
Michael’s gratitude to everyone he’s worked with, and for, over these fifty years is immeasurable.
He sends his thanks!
Here are additional features which will grace the 50th Anniversary Guitars we build in 2020: