In 1952 the Gibson Guitar Corporation started selling “The Gibson Les Paul” a solid body electric guitar with a gold finish, with two P-90 single coil pickups, a one-piece, ‘trapeze’-style bridge/tailpiece with strings fitted under a steel stop-bar. The Les Paul was designed by a team comprising the then Gibson president Ted McCarty, factory manager John Huis and guitarist/inventor Les Paul – although some dispute remains as to the precise involvement of each party.
In 1957, the “humbucker” pickups were added and in 1958 the trade mark sunburst finishes were first offered – although they were not instantly a sales success. The Les Paul has been continually produced in countless signature versions and editions since featuring legendary guitarists including Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Pete Townsend and Slash.
Les Pauls have proved very popular with many genres of music to this day.
I am a rubbish guitarist but the staggering beauty off these instruments has for me an enduring appeal. The above iconic tobacco burst is from 1958 and is a highly collectable example of this American iconic design.
Photo from Gibson