This 1933 Martin OM-18, serial number 54755, was originally owned by Obed Pickard, Jr., "Bubb" to his friends. It was willed to his grandson in 1997, and has been in his possession until now. If you'll indulge us a little sentimentality, we'd like to briefly relay the guitar's history as told to us by the family:
"Obed “Dad” Pickard Sr. (1874-1954) was a hillbilly music pioneer. who helped his friend, George Hay, start the National Barn Dance radio show on WSM in the
1920s ... which eventually became the Grand Ol’ Opry. Dad Pickard was the first singing act on the National Barn Dance broadcasts, and became a regular performer on the show. He soon brought his wife and musical children onto the show, billed as The Pickard Family.
In 1933 The Pickard Family was signed by the Peruna company and Harry O’Neil to do a regular country music/variety radio show on Westinghouse station KYW, Chicago. In 1934 KYW moved to Philadelphia, and The Pickard Family followed. This is when Dad Pickard purchased the Martin guitar, for his sons Bubb Pickard and Charlie Pickard to use."
Clearly, this guitar was a point of pride for the entire Pickard family; an idea borne out by its exceptional condition. We have never seen an original OM-18 as unmodified as this one is. It's just been refretted by TJ Thompson; and there has been a neck reset performed sometime in the guitar's past. Other than those items, it's entirely original, light as air, and wondrous-sounding. Of curious note is the absence of a peghead decal. The headstock appears unmolested, with clean, original finish and no sign of a decal's presence at any point. How could that be? We're not sure, but we admit to loving the 1930-style, naked veneer.
Without gushing too much, we think it's safe to say this is one of the best sounding flattops we've ever had in the shop. And it's a grail guitar for anyone interested in pre-war Martins and their accompanying family trees. The family brought this guitar to us in a Harptone style hard case, which is where it still resides. Calton Cases are available.
- Model: OM-18
- Serial Number: 54755
- Materials: Mahogany back & sides, Red Spruce top, Ebony fingerboard & bridge, Brazilian Rosewood peghead veneer
- Finish: Original lacquer
- Hardware: All original
- Measurements: 25.4" Scale, 1 23/32” ebony nut, 2 3/8" String spacing
- Case: Harptone-style HSC