“Let’s get real, real gone for a change,” Elvis said in the introduction of “Milk Cow Blues Boogie” before Scotty Moore ripped into a wild blues/hillbilly guitar riff that would soon be known as rock n’ roll. The guitar that helped Scotty achieve his often-imitated sound on those early Sun label records was a Gibson ES-295.
The Gibson ES-295 was introduced in 1952 as the full-sized, hollowbody complement to the solidbody Les Paul Model, also debuting that year. While the ES-295 shared the same flashy gold coloring of the Les Paul, along with the unique tailpiece, it was basically a fancier two pickup version of the ES-175 (the two-pickup ES- 175D did not appear until 1953). The basic features of an ES-295 included an all gold finish, two single coil P-90s with cream covers, a cream pickguard with gold floral designs, a Les Paul bridge/tailpiece combination and gold-plated metal parts.
The guitar featured in this month’s article is a typical 1953 ES-295 in every way except one: the color. While a tobacco sunburst finish was standard on most Gibsons from the thirties through the fifties, it is very rare to see an ES-295 in this color. The only other P-90 equipped ES-295 we know of was sold in 1999 at Eric Clapton’s Christie’s auction (two late cherry sunburst humbucker-equipped examples from the fifties are also known to exist).
Dave notes, “I purchased this guitar recently from my good friend and mentor, Jeff Hill, former owner of Knut Koupee Music in Minneapolis. He was the person solely responsible for inspiring me to open my own guitar shop, so now we all know whom to blame!”
For more detailed information on ES-295s and other Gibsons from the fifties and sixties, check out Gibson Electrics – The Classic Years
by A.R. Duchossoir.
Dave's Guitar Shop
Daves Roger’s Collection Is tended to by Laun Braithwaite & Tim Mullally
All photos credit Tim Mullally
Dave’s Collection is on dispay at:
Dave's Guitar Shop
1227 Third Street South
La Crosse, WI 54601