Gibson Guitars gear review and company history!
Orville Gibson started making mandolins in his own way and patented the design in 1898.
The design Orville invented was the Archtop, enabling the mandolin to become a much louder instrument.
On the back of Orville’s original concept “Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Mfg. Co, Ltd.” was formed by five businessmen in 1902.
Up until Orville’s death in 1918 he was in and out of hospitals for being eccentric and was never paid by Gibson unless he put hours in at the factory.
Lloyd Loar was brought in a year after Orville kicked the bucket to further develop Orville’s concept.
The first modification Lloyd made was the F holed equipped F5 mandolin, it became the ultimate bluegrass mandolin.
In 1922 the L-5 Archtop guitar hit the streets, an extension of the Gibson Mandolin concept.
The L-5 has been played by Scotty Moore, Maybelle Carter, Django Reinhardt and Wes Montgomery but also contemporary artists like Eric Clapton and John Mayer have been known to record with this legendary instrument.
The first successful electric jazz guitar with a pickup was the ES-150.
A player in particular came to champion the ES-150 and managed to invent a new musical style at the same time.
The style was Bebop and the guitarist was Charlie Christian who picked up the ES-150, joined Benny Goodmans Orchestra in 1939 and single handedly replaced the tenor mandolins role in the big band.
Many years later the pickup in the ES-150 was renamed the Charlie Christian pickup.
Charlie Christian is by many seen as the founder of Bebop along horn players; Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie.
Without a doubt it is Ted McCarty who has had the biggest influence on Gibsons role in the Guitar World.
When McCarty joined Gibson in 1948 he began developing models like the Gibson Les Paul, the Firebird, the Flying V, the Explorer and the Thinline range with such brilliant models like the ‘335‘.
McCarty also developed a lightweight version of the Les Paul model. Les Paul himself however hated it so McCarty named it the SG.
These instruments have shaped popular music as we know it and has been played by almost every famous guitar player ever lived.
Some artists have even managed to make the model seem as if it’s their own.
No other guitar manufacturer has achieved such widespread popularity across genres like Gibson.
Gibson Les Paul
Les Paul is a guitarist and inventor who by many is seen as the father of the solid body electric guitar.
Les started experimenting making solid body electric guitars after hours in the Epiphone factory, he brought his idea named The Log to Gibson in the 40s.
Gibson weren’t that impressed but after Fender had their huge success with the Telecaster in the early 50s, Ted McCarty changed his mind and developed the Les Paul model to which he assigned Les as its endorse.
So the Les Paul might not have been invented by Mr Les Paul as one might first think, he did however invent multi track recording and sold millions of records with his wife Mary Ford (real name Colleen Summers) including How High The Moon and Vaya Con Dios so his input in the music industry is legendary.
Les performed regularly until he sadly passed away on August the 12th 2009, 94 years old.
Gibson Guitar Corporation
Since Orville Gibson’s first Archtop mandolins, through the guitar becoming electric, Gibson has managed to stay on top and are by many guitar players considered as the only choice.
Gibson’s only real competitor can only be Fender who alongside Gibson have been copied by every other Guitar manufacturer since.
Their influence on popular music is untouchable.