DWIGHT
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DWIGHT
See chapter on House Brands. Instruments previously produced by Valco of Chicago, IL (circa 1950s), and Epiphone of Kalamazoo, MI (circa 1963 to 1968). Distributed by the Sunny Shields Music Shop of East St. Louis, IL.
This trademark has been identified as a House Brand of the Sunny Shields Music Shop of East St. Louis, Illinois. The Dwight name was for the owner of Sunny Shields, Mr. Charles "Dwight" Shields.
The Sunny Shields Music Shop marketed some Supro (Valco-built) guitars. In addition, Shields also marketed a rebranded Epiphone Coronet model between 1963 and 1968. According to Bob Vail, a retired employee from the Sunny Shields Music Shop, the Chicago Musical Instrument (C.M.I.) company always sold the rebranded Epiphones on a per dozen basis to the store (which, of course, reinforces the notion of a House Brand instrument). Vail feels that before Gibson "bastardized" the Epiphone name, they made some pretty good guitars - the Dwight models are counted among the good ones.
In addition to the Supro and Epiphone Dwight model guitars, Shields also offered Dwight steel guitars and accordions. Vail estimates that there are probably plenty of Dwight instruments in basements and attics throughout southwestern Illinois.
The Epiphone-built Dwight Coronet model has Dwight on the headstock and a D in the center of the pickguard. Epiphone guitars were built during this time period at the Gibson facilities in Kalamazoo, Michigan (American Epiphone production ran from 1961 to 1969), and were distributed by the Chicago Musical Instrument (C.M.I.) company. Sources: Bob Vail, Sunny Shields Music Shop employee from 1949 to 1951, and 1955 to 1958; and Michael Wright, Vintage Guitar Magazine.

From Blue Book Publications:


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