Early Mosrite Electric Dobro Resonator Guitar - 1966
Serial # 60432
When Semi Moseley owned & operated Dobro, at first he used left over stock and operated out of the old Dobro facility in Gardena, CA. Later moving Dobro production to his facility in Bakersfield, CA
Semie purchased the company that manufactured dobros, and, according to Moles, “we had dobros coming out of our ears.” Still, Moseley expanded his line: the Ventures model; the Celebrity 1, 2 and 3 acoustic models; a larger thick gospel-acoustic model (Semie gave away dozens to churches across the country); the Serenade acoustic; and the electric Californian, which had a Mosrite neck and a Dobro body.
A short Mosrite History:
By 1956, the Moseley Brothers started Mosrite of California. When Semie, who built guitars for L.A.-based Rickenbacker, proudly told co-workers he was making his own product, he was fired. It was sink or swim now.
At first, it was all custom, handmade guitars, built in garages, tin storage sheds, wherever the Moseleys could put equipment. In 1959, Andy moved to Nashville for a year to pitch the Mosrite name. “We sold a few to Grand Ole Opry people, and to road musicians,” Andy said. “And that’s how we kept the factory going at the time: custom guitars.”
Mosrites are collector’s items today. The first three 1963 production-line guitars, originally sold to Rich, Moles and Edwards, are said to be worth over $30,000 each. And Bakersfield-era Ventures models are worth $2,000 to $2,500 in new condition. There’s still a certain demand for them.
“They really represented some of the finest craftsmanship in guitar-making anywhere,” said Artie Niesen, owner of Bakersfield’s Front Porch Music, and a collector who owns more than 100 Mosrites. “They were great guitars.”