National Resophonic Guitars Co-Founder Don Young Dead at 63

The musician and resonator guitar aficionado formed the company in 1989 with partner McGregor Gaines.
National Resophonic Guitars Co-Founder Don Young in company's factory
Doug Young

Posted today on the National Resophonic Guitars Co. website:

In Memory of Donald Young


(May 8, 1953 – June 15, 2016)

“The world lost a kind and generous man last night with the passing of National’s co-founder, Don Young.  As a musician and resonator guitar aficionado, Don enjoyed sharing his knowledge of resonator history with friends and co-workers.  He will be greatly missed by all those lucky enough to have known him.  His trademark engineer’s cap symbolized his love of trains.  He is survived by his wife and three daughters.  Our hearts are with them.”

National Resophonic was formed in 1989 by Young and McGregor Gaines, in a California garage. They measured old resonator instruments of all makes and designs, and produced reproductions under the “National” brand name and trade mark, as originally used by the National String Instrument Corporation for the first resonator instruments.

Since 1990, the factory has been located in San Luis Obispo, California. Their current production is over 1,000 instruments per year, representing more than 50 different models. In addition to manufacturing new instruments, they offer a repair service capable of restoring almost any vintage National guitar to original condition.

In 2008, Young and Eric Smith, an employee of the company since 1991, purchased McGregor Gaines’ interest in the company. Young reportedly sold his interest last year.

Greg Cahill
Greg Cahill