1955 Gibson Les Paul Special with Case
This guitar belonged to my grandfather, and from what I know, he bought it in either 1954 or 1955. He lived in southeast Missouri at the time that he purchased it just a few miles north of Memphis. I think he paid $225 for the guitar maybe and $25 for the case, which in '54 was a lot of money for a man that farmed. It's been a part of my life all my life.
Being a one-owner guitar, it's dirty, it needs to be cleaned, but it isn't like it's passed around. It was used, he loved it, he put it back in the case. I love that kind of patina on a guitar. It has some issues, but nothing that couldn't be polished up if you need to, but I don't know that I would do that because I'm sure you enjoy looking at it just like it is.
I do, it reminds me of him.
What did he do, what kind of music did he play?
He played a lot of gospel music and he played a lot of country music. A little bit of that new rock 'n roll, a little bit every once in a while. When he wasn't working, he would maybe sit out on the porch and pull out the guitar, hook up the amp, and he'd just sit there and play for a long time. And we'd sing together, and that's where my love of singing came from.
That's what an instrument's supposed to do is bring people together. From best I can tell, it's a 1955 Les Paul Special. They made the Les Paul Special in two configurations. This is a single cutaway. They also made it in a double cutaway. I've always thought that the single cutaway was a more attractive guitar, it's a nicer-looking guitar. This finish is called a TV Yellow, and they made this color specifically to look good on camera, good on TV. Everything on the guitar is original, and like I say, it’s had some wear. The tail piece is original. It's been broken, but it hasn't fallen apart. Pretty common. Some rust and corrosion here and there. The frets are worn, the tuners are original. He bought the deluxe case with it. A lot of times, these came in a soft-shell case. I would value the guitar and case in this market, which is not as strong as it was maybe in 2008, it's still between $10,000 and $12,000 in a retail environment.
Wow, I had no idea.
The case itself adds about $2,000 to $2,500 to the value of the guitar.
Wow! So don't separate them, it's very important. Okay, I won't.
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