George D McNish


George D. McNish
This web site is dedicated to my grandfather George D. McNish who was a great guitar luthier for country musicians in Knoxville, TN and Nashville TN back in the 40's, 50's and 60's.

He made a lot of guitars for the Grand Ole Opry players and even made some custom Banjos for a few folks. I don't personally have one of his guitars in my possession but I do have a one of a kind Violin that he made back in 1940 that I found in a pawn shop in Knoxville, TN about 6 years ago. 

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George D. McNish was born in May of 1898 and passed away from leukemia at the age of 77 in May of 1975. He was survived by his wife Anna Ruth Wittemore McNish for some 30 years until she passed away in 2003 at the age of 94 from natural causes.

I was only 5 years old when my grandfather passed but I still remember him being on the back porch sanding, sawing and buffing the day away making his beautiful guitars. 

I also remember that for years after he passed his workshop stayed the same, just sitting there in that frozen state waiting for him to return. Even after he was long gone his memory was still alive and well in that workshop. 

I use to play out there as a child and make stuff using his tools, man he had a million things out there. I ended up with a lot of creativity in my life from being set loose out there, even to this day I am constantly tinkering, fixing stuff and creating new projects to work on. I like to think he was always right there with me and still with me to this day, even though the workspace, the house and the family have all grown up and gone their separate ways.

Among making guitars another passion in my grandfathers life was making music and playing his guitars. I have some audio and video from about 30 years ago that I will try to post soon.

Growing up as a child I can remember my grandfather and my aunts and uncles sitting in the living room playing the night away while granny mac was in the kitchen cooking or writing a letter or quilting up a storm. 

George and my grandmother "Anna Ruth Whittemore McNish" had 10 kids ya know, talk about a full house. It was always fun hanging out at get together's with my aunts and uncles and all their kids growing up, there were a lot of us in the McNish clan by the 90's and even more in the 2010's

But as it is with life, kids grow up and go their separate ways and have their own kids who eventually grow up and go their own way and life keeps rolling along leaving the past in it's wake. 

Sadly the once tight family life that we all shared has now become an occasional phone call to a distant relative. But life happens and you can't take back the past, the only thing I can do is document it and let others have glimps into the history of a man whom still lives on in his art and will never be forgotten. 

He really did pass on a lot of talent through our family blood line, even his great grand kids are playing guitar, keyboard and drums. It's also the reason that The NISH Project came about, you can check the link to the left for more info.

If you own a GD McNish guitar then please get in touch with me by using the "Contact Me" link. I would love to have some pictures or video of your guitar so I can add it to this site and to the list of surviving artifacts. You may also upload pictures and video or post comments below. I will be doing a YouTube video covering his work soon so if you don't mind please send pictures and video clips and I will mention your name in the video. Thanks for stopping by!

Pictured: 1. George D. McNish / 2. Wife: Anna Ruth Whittemore-McNish / 3. Robert Sterling McNish (father) Mattie Moore-McNish (mother) and 3 of their 7 children. I'm guessing the children pictured are George, Lonzo and either Grace or Estella McNish according the birth dates on the Robert Sterling McNish page.