1958 Gibson Les Paul Model Serial #8 1131

The venerable Gold Top

By the early 1950s, popular recording artist Les Paul had been working on a solidbody guitar for a number of years. Only the impressive sales of Fender’s solidbody, the Telecaster, finally convinced Gibson to consider his idea and come up with one of its own. Gibson approached Les Paul, and with his input, the Les Paul Model solidbody guitar was introduced in 1952. The model evolved through the 1950s as practical improvements were made in its design.

The Les Paul featured this month is among the last with the original gold-colored finish (the finish changed
to cherry sunburst later that year). This guitar shows all the improvements that were made up until 1958. These include the stop tailpiece (1954), the Tune-o-matic bridge (1956), and Patent Applied For (PAF) humbucking pickups (1957).

The humbucking pickup was well received when it came out in the ’50s, but didn’t reach its full potential until the heavier rock and blues players of the late ’60s discovered its capabilities. The PAF pickups used on late ’50s and early ’60s Gibsons are still considered the best sounding humbuckers today.

More detailed information on Gibson Les Paul guitars can be found in The Early Years of the Les Paul Legacy 1915-1963 by Robb Lawrence.

Dave's Guitar Shop
Daves Rogers’ collection is tended to by Laun Braithwaite and Tim Mullally
Photos and words by Tim Mullally
Dave’s collection is on display at:
Dave's Guitar Shop
1227 Third Street South
La Crosse, WI 54601
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