Harmony H165 Grand Concert Mahogany
(used in Girls! Girls! Girls and Fun in Acapulco)

Style B half-sheet poster for Paramount's Girls! Girls! Girls! - 1962
Photo courtesy wikipedia

The 1962 release of Paramount's Girls! Girls! Girls was Elvis' eleventh movie, his fifth with Paramount and his second of three to be filmed on location in Hawaii. His first in Hawaii was Blue Hawaii, and third would be Paradise, Hawaiian Style.

Elvis with Harmony H165 in a shot from Girls! Girls! Girls - 1962
Photo courtesy web

Elvis with Harmony H165 in a scene from Girls! Girls! Girls - 1962
Screen capture Paramount

In it, supported by Stella Stevens, Laurel Goodwin and Jeremy Slate, he plays a night club singer/fisherman turned tuna boat skipper sporting a yachting cap in the style he'd wear often off screen too. Prior to its final title, the project had various names including A Girl in Every Port, Welcome Aboard and Gumbo Ya Ya.*

Elvis and Red West with Harmony H165 in a scene from Girls! Girls! Girls - 1962
Screen capture Paramount

Elvis, Ginny, Alexander and Elizabeth Tiu with Harmony H165 in final scene from Girls! Girls! Girls - 1962
Screen capture Paramount

Elvis with Harmony H165 in the final scene from Girls! Girls! Girls - 1962
Screen capture Paramount

In several scenes of the film Elvis is pictured playing a Harmony H165 Mahogany guitar, with the name removed as was the norm for many of the guitars in his movies. It first appears in a scene played by another character while Elvis plays a Martin 0-17.  Later onboard the boat it is also seen played by Red West (with brown hair) and Elvis.  By the final scene Elvis is again playing either an older H165 without a steel reinforced neck or the same one with more of the headstock blacked out blacked out.

Original One-sheet poster for Paramount's Fun In Acapulco - 1963
Photo courtesy CineMasterpieces

In the 1963 release of Paramount's Fun in Acapulco Elvis's thirteenth movie and next with the studio after Girls! Girls! Girls!, he's cast as an American working as a lifeguard/entertainer in Mexico trying to overcome his fear of heights. The film puts him opposite Ursula Andress fresh off her role as the first Bond girl in Dr. No, the first of the James Bond film franchise.

Elvis and the Harmony H165 in a scene from Fun in Acapulco - 1963
Screen capture Paramount

Elvis and the Harmony H165 in a scene from Fun in Acapulco - 1963
Screen capture Paramount

Elvis doesn't play one guitar in this film but it features several of the guitars he used in some of his other films, such as the Harmony Monterey, the Antigua Classical guitar from Tickle Me, and most notably the Harmony H165 Mahogany he played in Girls! Girls! Girls!  That guitar is seen in most of the musical scenes of the movie from the first to the last.

Harmony H165 - Mahogany guitar
Photos courtesy eBay:properchops

Harmony H165 - Mahogany guitar
Photos courtesy eBay:properchops

As one of the more popular of the Harmony line, the flat top acoustic H165 - Mahogany is a Grand concert size guitar and is 15 1/8" wide and 39" in overall length. They are described as having a body (and top) of selected quality mahogany, with neatly rounded edges, in a natural color eggshell lacquer finish.  They have steel reinforced hardwood necks with an ovaled fingerboard of Brazilian rosewood. They have 19 frets of which 14 clear the body.

Harmony H165 - Mahogany guitar with "pinless" bridge
Photo courtesy eBay:properchops

Harmony H165 - Mahogany guitar headstock with golden clef logo
Photos courtesy eBay:properchops

The bridges are "Pinless" type and they have an applied shell celluloid pickguards (later black). With three per side button tipped tuners, the headstocks featured a golden clef log up until 1968. The guitar in Girls! Girls! Girls! had replacement black button tuners. In 1957 they had a list price of $40.00, $47.50 in 1966 and $645.50 by 1970. 

section in the Harmony catalog from the H165 and H162
courtesy Lew Skinner

The H162 is the same guitar but features a spruce top. They were made from 1944 to 1971 at least. The older models have a more rounded "figure eight" body, like the guitar used in Love Me Tender,  and later models have a stenciled rosette around soundhole and are stamped H165-1 The H165 Mahogany was also sold as Fender F-1030 and a Montgomery Wards 8354. The guitars can still be found today and in recent years have sold anywhere from $100 to $500.

Dewey Phillips and Elvis with a Harmony H165 at Lansky's - 1956
Photo by Robert Williams

Coincidentally, Elvis was photographed years earlier in June 1956 with a Harmony H165 Mahogany during a visit to Lansky's in Memphis.

This page added August 15, 2010 is part of the section The Movie Guitars of Elvis Presley.

*courtesy Elvis Presley Film Society

The specifications for H165 models were obtained directly from the Harmony guitars database.


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