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Bill Gruggett

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Country star Garth Brooks plays the American flag Telecaster-style guitar that Bakersfield’s Bill Gruggett designed and built for Buck Owens, who used it regularly. Bakersfield businessman Stan Ellis commissioned and paid for the guitar and gave it to Owens as a gift. (Photo courtesy of Buck Owens Productions.)

Bill Gruggett, the backbone of the Bakersfield musical community, has left us, but not without leaving his mark on the musical history of Bakersfield and on the world.

Bill was born in Tulare on Sept. 14, 1937. As a young man, he had a variety of jobs before he found his true life calling, which was music and the handcrafted building of stringed musical instruments. Bill was responsible for the design and building of guitars for such companies as Mosrite and Hallmark, but his legacy will be best remembered through the guitars that bear his name: Gruggett. Bill's guitar creations are spread throughout the world, and one of his creations is the Telecaster-style guitar emblazoned with the American flag that he built for the late Buck Owens and was used by Owens regularly.

Bill Gruggett is a huge part of musical history and the sounds that shaped that history, and he will always be remembered in the highest regard by the people that were fortunate enough to have known him. Bill Gruggett was "simply the best."