Derek Puckett Owner / Builder
My name is Derek Puckett. Born and raised in Kentucky, I now reside here in Tennessee. I was a mechanic for 15 years and also helped run my Uncle's counter top business when I was younger. Both of these skills have now combined to help me become one of the youngest steel guitar builders in the industry. Now learning new skills while building steel guitars by Gary Rittenberry. He has chosen me to carry on the Rittenberry Steel Guitar Company.
Gary Rittenberry / Founder
Gary Rittenberry SR. was born and raised in Cookeville, Tennessee with many years of HVAC/electrical maintenance along with many other jobs he decided to build steel guitars and owning brands like Nashville LTD, LaGarritt and also building a few Remington steels. He was also good friends with the late Jimmie Crawford and many other builders. His attention to detail and design of these guitar are like none other. He is always designing and creating. After several years of health problems and prevailing from those he searched for someone to carry on the legacy of Rittenberry steel guitars. He trusted Derek to take the torch of his namesake guitars.
Statement Regarding the change in fret boards on Rittenberry Steel Guitars
In reference to the new fret boards being used on the Rittenberry steel guitars: the fret board was originally designed by Jimmie Crawford for the JCH steel guitar. Jimmie Crawford along with Duane Marrs were Gary’s mentors. Gary always admired the JCH fret board. In a couple of discussions that Gary and I had while he was in the process of building my JCH guitar after Jimmie’s passing, which was done with Elsie Crawford’s blessing and approval, we agreed on our mutual admiration of the fret board design on the JCH steel guitars. We felt it would be a fitting tribute to Jimmie's legacy if Gary was to revise the use of this fret board on his guitars and let it be known that it was being done in tribute with a “tip of the hat” to Jimmie.
It was then that Gary and I approached Elsie with our thoughts and desire to use this fret board design on Gary’s Rittenberry steel guitars. At this time an agreement was reached and Gary was granted the exclusive rights to begin doing so.
It should be noted that due to neck dimensions, although the same scale, the “new” fret board on Gary’s Rittenberry steel guitars are of a different size than the original fret board Jimmie Crawford used on his JCH steel guitars. Therefore they will not interchange.
Anyone wishing to obtain “new” JCH fret boards with the original dimensions can do so by contacting either Elsie Crawford or myself (Derek) with the serial number for their JCH through an email address that will provided on the tribute page to Jimmie and a CDs and instruction material page with ordering information on this website.