- acoustic guitars
In the early 1960s J.W. Gallagher and his son Don Gallagher helped set up a production line for the Shelby guitar in the Slingerland drum factory in Shelbyville, Tennessee. The Shelby was a budget acoustic model - J.W. Gallagher wanted to make a higher quality instrument so in 1965 made the first Gallagher acoustic guitar.
J.W. & Don met Doc Watson at the 1969 Union Grove Fiddlers' Convention at Union Grove in 1969. This was when Doc Watson picked up the mahogany Gallagher G-50 guitar he went on to use on many recordings. J.W. retired in 1976 and Don took over and modernised the workshop. In 2015, Don’s son Stephen took over the Gallagher Guitar Company.
Gallagher guitars are still made by hand in limited numbers in a workshop of four people making around 75 instruments per year.