Gibson Everly Brothers – when a guitar becomes a star

Post- Les Paul & Mary Ford and pre-Beatles the Everly Brothers were, without doubt, the Pop music sensation in the USA. The brothers – Phil and Don – provided a great mix of Rock’n’Roll -raucousness and Country -cleanliness to reach mass appeal. Their hits are true Pop gems and their golden vocal harmonies are legendary, inspiring many other acts, such as Simon and Garfunkel and the Beatles.

In 1962 Gibson released a signature model, based on a downsized Super Jumbo body, and featuring two large pickguards, star-shaped inlays and a pin-less, adjustable bridge. The large tortoise-pattern pickguards dampen the spruce top somewhat. In conjunction with the maple back and rims this results in a great strummer with a very precise attack and a transparent mid-range, extremely well suited to accompany vocals, and belting out those strummed Everly-riffs.

There were also versions with white pickguards.

In the late Sixties Gibson changed the pickguards’ size and shape, and also started offering the Everly Brothers -model in natural finish alongside the original black.

The Gibson Everly Brothers -model is one of the few cases of an acoustic guitar having its own owners’ club. Proud users include stars like Paul McCartney and Albert Lee.

Epiphone and Orville have issued their own reissues over the years – called the SQ-180 and Don Everly Signature.

Gibson Acoustic is offering a brand-new Billie Joe Armstrong Signature J-180, which is basically an Everly Brothers -model with an added Fishman -pickup system. A review of this model will be published in Riffi-magazine in our issue 5/2011.


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