History Of Mosrite Guitars

History of Mosrite Guitars

Dana Moseley and Semie Moseley

Semie Moseley was born in Durant, Oklahoma on June 13th, 1935. He and his older brother Andy experimented with guitar making in their teen-age years. Andy and Semie played guitar for an evangelist music groups during this time.  After realizing that a living was not to be made playing guitar Semie sought employment in guitar manufacturing. He found that employment working for the Rickenbacker guitar company which was headed by Paul Barth. Semie was with Rickenbacker for two years. During this time he mastered the art of the "German Curve" body style employed by the Mosrite guitar from German immigrant Roger Rossmeisl. Semie also gave back to Rickerbacker by implementing some of his own designs which Rickenbacker still uses to this day. He was fired from Rickenbacker after they learned he was designing his own products. Semie also learned many of the guitar manufacturing techniques he would soon use in his own guitar manufacturing company while working with Paul Bigsby, known for the Bigsby Vibrato tailpiece.

In 1952 with encouragement and a $20.00 financial advancement from his good friend and mentor Raymond L. Boatright, Semie founded Mosrtie. Another famous guitar manufacturer, Fender Musical Instruments was also founded this year. The name "MOSRITE" comes from a marriage of these two names MOS (Moseley) RITE (Boatright). That same year Raymond and Semie approached Joe Maphis to play Mosrite guitars. Joe asked Semie to make the double neck guitar that would later become his trademark.

During the 60's, costing roughly twice as much as a Fender Stratocaster, Mosrite guitars became known as the most sought after boutique guitar in the world. The high quality materials, superior design and craftsmanship were unmatched and never completely duplicated. Far superior to other bridge systems of the time the Mosrtie "Vibramute" bridge system was a major reason for this difference in price. All materials for Mosrite guitars were made in house during this time except for the tuners. The Mosrite "Fuzzrite" was the premiere guitar distortion device of the time. The Fuzzrite was used by many players of the era, most notably Jimi Hendrix.  Jimi Hendrix also played Mosrtie guitars and although he was knows for smashing or burning his easily replaced Stratocasters his Mosrties were deeply respected and cared for by this iconic guitar master.

The following is a short list of notable players who have carved a mark in musical history using a Mostire guitar:

  • Dave Alexander of The Stooges
  • Davie Allan Duane Allman
  • Roy Buchanan
  • Kurt Cobain
  • Larry Collins
  • Noki Edwards of The Ventures
  • Art Greenhaw
  • Iron Butterfly
  • Jimi Hendrix
  • Arthur Lee Love
  • Joe Maphis
  • Nick McCarthy
  • Nick Nastos of Bill Haley & his Comets
  • Dottie Rambo
  • Buck Owens
  • Jimi Page
  • Andrew Scott of Sloan
  • Fred Sonic Smith of The MC5
  • Rick Springfield
  • Tommy Tedesco
  • Takeshi Terauchi
  • Buck Trent
  • The Ramones
  • Kevin Shields
  • The Strawberry Alarm Clock
  • Ben Weasel of The Riverdales
  • Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys
  • Ricky Wilson of The B52's
  • Kayama Yuzo

Today genuine Mosrite guitars are hand assembled by Semie's daughter Dana Moseley in Bakersfield, CA. Dana worked in the Mosrite factory her entire life where she learned from her father how to build instruments the correct way, the Mosrite way.

 

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