The list of ’60s players with signature Gibson guitars includes Tal Farlow, Johnny Smith, Barney Kessel, the Everly Brothers, and Trini Lopez.
Throughout its long and esteemed history, Gibson has kept its guitars associated with artists. Top players were often seen in Gibson advertisements and catalogs, and a few models were named after leading artists of the day, including Nick Lucas, Les Paul, Hank Garland, and Billy Byrd. By the early 1960s, Gibson accelerated this tradition by concentrating on even more artist-endorsed models. The list of ’60s players with signature Gibson guitars includes Tal Farlow, Johnny Smith, Barney Kessel, the Everly Brothers, and Trini Lopez.
The two Artist Models featured this month share the same body dimensions, wood, and unique double-cutaway. They are striking, distinctive guitars— especially when displayed side-by-side.
The Barney Kessel model was introduced in 1961 with input from the famous jazz guitarist. Kessel was a well-known swing and bebop player, and a sought-after session musician who backed Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, Billie Holiday, and many others. His innovative guitar work and arranging for Julie London in the ’50s established his ability to provide orchestral sounding accompaniment with only an electric guitar and upright bass. Kessel also released a number of superb albums under his own name. The Barney Kessel model came in two versions: the Regular (pictured) and the fancier Custom.
TOP: Other than its distinctive double-cutaway, this Barney Kessel shares many attributes with earlier Gibson archtops, including a carved solid rosewood bridge and traditional f-holes. BOTTOM LEFT: This Trini Lopez Deluxe sports a standby switch and matching diamond-shaped soundholes and fretboard inlays. BOTTOM RIGHT: The Barney Kessel model’s headstock has a familiar Gibson shape and three tuners on each side, but the 6-inline Trini Lopez Deluxe veers unabashedly into Fender territory. Note the full-sized Grover Rotomatic tuners—this is an elongated headstock.
The Trini Lopez model was introduced in 1965 with input from the popular singer. After moving from Dallas to Beverly Hills in the early ’60s, he was discovered by Frank Sinatra and signed to Reprise Records. Lopez had several hit records, including covers of “If I Had a Hammer” and “Lemon Tree.” The Trini Lopez model also came in two versions: the Standard (based on an ES-335), and the Deluxe (based on the Barney Kessel). The main features that make the Lopez different from the Kessel are an asymmetrical “Fender-like” headstock, diamond-shaped soundholes and fretboard inlays, and a standby switch.
You’ll find a wealth of details on vintage Gibson electric guitars in Gibson Electrics—The Classic Years by A.R. Duchossoir. To read about Barney Kessel, check out swingmusic.net/Kessel_Barney_ Biography_Jazz_Guitar, and visit trinilopez.com to learn more about Trini Lopez.
Dave ’s Guitar Shop
Dave Rogers’ collection is tended by Laun Braithwaite and Tim Mullally and is on display at:
Dave’s Guitar Shop
1227 Third Street South
La Crosse, WI 54601
Photos by Mullally and text by Braithwaite.
Kick off the holiday season by shopping for the guitar player in your life at Guitar Center! Now through December 24th 2022, save on exclusive instruments, accessories, apparel, and more with hundreds of items at their lowest prices of the year.
We’ve compiled this year’s best deals in the 2022 Holiday Gift Guide presented by Guitar Center.
This full-amp-stack-in-a-box pedal brings a new flavor to the Guitar Legend Tone Series of pedals, Missing Link Audio’s flagship product line.
Adding to the company’s line of premium-quality effects pedals, Missing Link Audio has unleashed the new AC/Overdrive pedal. This full-amp-stack-in-a-box pedal – the only Angus & Malcom all-in-one stompbox on the market – brings a new flavor to the Guitar Legend Tone Series of pedals, Missing Link Audio’s flagship product line.
The AC/OD layout has three knobs to control Volume, Gain and Tone. That user-friendly format is perfect for quickly getting your ideal tone, and it also offers a ton of versatility. MLA’s new AC/OD absolutely nails the Angus tone from the days of “High Voltage” to "Back in Black”. You can also easily dial inMalcom with the turn of a knob. The pedal covers a broad range of sonic terrain, from boost to hot overdrive to complete tube-like saturation. The pedal is designed to leave on all the time and is very touch responsive. You can get everything from fat rhythm tones to a perfect lead tone just by using your guitar’s volume knob and your right-hand attack.
- Three knobs to control Volume, Gain and Tone
- Die-cast aluminum cases for gig-worthy durability
- Limited lifetime warranty
- True bypass on/off switch
- 9-volt DC input
- Made in the USA
MLA Pedals AC/OD - Music & Demo by A. Barrero
Sporting custom artwork etched onto the covers, the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One Humcutters are designed to offer a fat midrange and a smooth top end.
Billy Corgan was looking for something for heavier Smashing Pumpkins songs, so Joe Naylor designed the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One pickup. Sporting custom artwork etched onto the covers, the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One Humcutters have a fat midrange and a smooth top end. This pickup combines the drive and sustain of a humbucker with the percussive attack and string clarity of a P90. Get beefy P90 tone plus amp-pummeling output with the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One.
Patented Railhammer Pickups take passive guitar pickups to a new level with rails under the wound strings lead to tighter lows, and poles under the plain strings offer fatter heights. With increased clarity, the passive pickup’s tone is never sterile.
Railhammer Billy Corgan Signature Z-One Pickup Demo
For more information, please visit railhammer.com.
Designed for utmost comfort and performance, the Vertigo Ultra Bass is Mono’s answer to those who seek the ultimate gigging experience.
Complete with a range of game-changing design features, such as the patent-pending attachable FREERIDE Wheel System, premium water-resistant and reflective materials, shockproof shell structure and improved ergonomic features, the Vertigo Ultra Bass takes gear protection to the next level.
The Vertigo Ultra Bass features:
- Patent-pending FREERIDE Wheel System that allows for wheels to be attached on the case in no time, giving you the option to travel with it seamlessly
- Upgraded materials, including a water-resistant 1680D Ballistic Nylon outer shell, plush inner lining and new reflective trim for maximum backstage and night visibility
- Enhanced protection with a shockproof shell structure and heavy-duty water-resistant YKK zippers for protection from the elements
- Improved ergonomics and functionality including added back support and load-lifting detachable shoulder straps with side release buckles
- Flexible storage options with added space for touring essentials