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Gibson: the story of a brand that almost lost the trust of rock stars

Today in our article the history of musical instruments manufacturer Gibson: how was the brand created and which musicians actively use their guitars? Let's find out further.

Gibson: the history of the brand, successes and failures

The history of every famous company has its ups and downs. Practically impossible To find a brand that throughout its existence has moved only forward and has known no difficulties. It is true stories like these that help ordinary people understand that behind all great things there is hard work and more than one failure.

Today we will talk about the history of the brand Gibsonwhich, for its century history has become a brand popular with famous artists.

Origins, or Orville Gibson and his mandolins

Orville Gibson
Orville Gibson

Orville Gibson was born in the mid-1800s in upstate New York. It is still not known how the child, who grew up on a farm and helped his parents with the farm, developed an affinity for music. When the grown-up Orville moved to KalamazooHe had already had experience playing the guitar and mandolin. Presumably the motivation to play this instrument is related to the great popularity mandolins in the late 1880s.

Beginning in 1876, Gibson began to appear in Kalamazoo musical circles. He and his new acquaintances were gaining notoriety through impromptu performances at night during walks in the neighborhood.

orvill gibson za igroy
Orville Gibson at the game

In the mid-1880s, Gibson was already famous musician in the city. He was involved in organizing benefit concerts, as well as taking part in them himself. This was his additional occupation along with his work in the shoe store. In early 1888 Gibson completed his first The musical instrument that became the nine-stringed "mandolin guitar". In early 1892, Orville created his legendary mandolin, which would patented only in 1898.

Gibson Workshop in Kalamazoo
Gibson Workshop in Kalamazoo

Extensive production of musical instruments dates back to 1894When Gibson began to actively pursue selling his wares. Some time after Gibson's success as a craftsman, a group of local businessmen decided to create a company based on Orville's activities and designs. In 1902. Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Mfg. Co. Ltd. began its activities in the sale of musical instruments.

Fighting for a place in the sun

The first building where Gibson instruments were manufactured
The first building where Gibson instruments were manufactured

Creating the company helped Orville cope with the influx of orders, which were becoming more and more numerous. The company bought out the rights in Gibson's name and paid him fee for all the instruments made; in addition, for the rest of his life Orville received royalties from sales.

Orville Gibson became consultant production, but he did not get a position in the company. He continued to make tools myself only for his musician friends.

Orville Gibson and the old company logo
Orville Gibson and the old company logo

For a long time Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Mfg. Co. Ltd has promoted its instruments through advertising in the newspapers. The company supported the makers of mandolin orchestras, supplying them with instruments and advertising the product through them as well.

Gibson grew over time, and by 1917 it was main on the market. In 1918 Orville dies, and a designer was hired to produce LLoyd Loar.. He placed an "f" shaped hole on the instruments and lengthened the fingerboard.

Parson Street Manufacturing Building
Parson Street Manufacturing Building

In 1937 Gibson produced a large acoustic guitar especially for the actor Rhea Wheatley. It is still in use by country musicians.

From the 1930s until 1948, Loar's place was occupied by Guy Hard. He supported the company during the "Great Depression" and made timely payments to employees, and after the economic recovery the company began selling out of the country. Chicago Musical Instruments bought Gibson in 1944, and a few years later the top post was taken by Ted McCarthywith whose name the appearance of the electric guitars in production.

The emergence of electric guitars

Gibson Guitar Models
Gibson Guitar Models

McCarthy became president of the company in 1950, with no background in playing musical instruments. Since Ted was engineerHe interviewed guitarists and identified features to consider when introducing new instruments. This is how the first electric guitars.

Thanks to Ted's knowledge, new models of guitars were fitted with particular breeches with separately adjustable saddles. This innovation later became feature Gibson models.

McCarthy wanted to create a guitar that combined longevity of sound and warmth. This was possible with accounting characteristics of a hollow guitar and a solid guitar. This is how the model ES-355which had a half-empty hull with a center block along its entire length and hollow side wings.

In the early '60s, the company creates upgraded The Explorer and Flying V instruments, and a little later came the SG type.

Troubled times... 

Gibson Flying V
Gibson Flying V

Gibson suspended its activities during World War II, as production was short of wood and metal. Then the factories began to make the necessary Details. There is an opinion that the plants continued production of musical instruments, as the company was hiring womenHowever, the owners of Gibson deny this fact.

Gibson SG
Gibson SG

Gibson Chicago Musical Instruments fell on hard times in December 1969. The company was bought out by the conglomerate ECLGibson was under its control until 1974. The change of management led to the decline quality of instruments and the loss of control over the company's business operations. The new models of guitars produced under the new management were made not so qualitativelyas classic models. Also in the 1980s the company began to produce synthesizers, and by the middle of the decade almost bankrupt.

The Gibson fans among rockers are ardent

Les Paul guitars
Les Paul guitars

Despite the setbacks, Gibson still remains leading guitar brand all over the world. Many stars use their instruments and even order Individual development.

Chuck Berry
Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry - one of the musicians who perfected rhythm and blues. Berry played his famous guitar solos on the guitar Gibson ES-350Tand then switched to ES-345s and ES-355s.

Eric Clapton
Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton, playing The Yardbirds, used red ES-335 1964. The singer also played on a 1958 Firebird I and Explorer.

BB King
BB King

American Bluesman BB King played the ES-5 and ES-175 at the beginning of his career, but his favorite for a long time was ES-355which he called Lucille.

Keith Richards
Keith Richards

Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones also used many Gibson models: Firebirds, Flying V, SG, L6S and Melody Maker. With the ES-350 and ES-175D Richards appeared on recordings in the studio.

Jimmy Page
Jimmy Page

Red EDS-1275 with a double gif used by Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy PageThe musician has become a trademark of the musician. He appears with it at concerts with the songs "Stairway to Heaven" and "The Rain Song".

Joan Jett
Joan Jett

Joanne Jett was the first musician to receive a personal guitar, a white Melody Maker. The guitarist used it during live performances.

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