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Tom Wittrock

Les Paul Forum Co-Owner
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Aug 2, 2001
Messages
42,567
MK.II said:
I think I remember someone (Catto maybe?) posting a while back that at one point in the '50's where Strats actually had a higher list price than Les Pauls. I don't remember if the post said that was the late 50's or not. If so, that would kill the price theory.

It's true, at least for 1959, and probably all of the 50's. ;)
 

John Catto

Active member
Joined
Jul 15, 2001
Messages
3,609
Strangely almost everything else was more expensive. It seems that because a lot of things were tricky for them to make Fender charged more (just a feeling this) and gretsch being New York based had a funny sort of snob appeal. I don't have any 50's Fender prices to hand but I do recall a Strat being more expensive for all of the 50's.

Here's Gibsons price lists for '57 and '59

gibsonprices57-9.jpg

notice that a Les Paul Standard was only $235 in 57 going up to $265 in '59 plus $42 for the case


On the other hand here are Gretsch's 59 prices

gretsch59prices.jpg


see here that the humble duo-jet (usually plain black finish) was $35 dollars more than the lp at $300 the Silver jet (silver sparkle finish) was $320, the roundup was $360 (the roundup was already $300 in 1954 and the 6121 Chet Atkins Solidbody [like a roundup but with a bigsby] was $385 in 1955), the White Penguin was $490 in '59 compared to the Les Paul Custom which was still only $395. All those Gretsch prices were without a case as were the Gibsons

In other words Gibson's pricing in the 50's was aggressively lower than any of their competitors.
 

wicked1

New member
Joined
Feb 19, 2004
Messages
842
John Catto said:
Strangely almost everything else was more expensive. It seems that because a lot of things were tricky for them to make Fender charged more (just a feeling this) and gretsch being New York based had a funny sort of snob appeal. I don't have any 50's Fender prices to hand but I do recall a Strat being more expensive for all of the 50's.

Here's Gibsons price lists for '57 and '59

gibsonprices57-9.jpg

notice that a Les Paul Standard was only $235 in 57 going up to $265 in '59 plus $42 for the case


On the other hand here are Gretsch's 59 prices

gretsch59prices.jpg


see here that the humble duo-jet (usually plain black finish) was $35 dollars more than the lp at $300 the Silver jet (silver sparkle finish) was $320, the roundup was $360 (the roundup was already $300 in 1954 and the 6121 Chet Atkins Solidbody [like a roundup but with a bigsby] was $385 in 1955), the White Penguin was $490 in '59 compared to the Les Paul Custom which was still only $395. All those Gretsch prices were without a case as were the Gibsons

In other words Gibson's pricing in the 50's was aggressively lower than any of their competitors.
I dig the built-in pickups!
 

goldtop0

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
8,526
This is a great thread thanks guys,all the history we never knew about in NZ :)
 

bjewell

Banned
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May 26, 2003
Messages
693
Hi Big Al-san -- yup, we can disagree, but yer all wet, my friend. I didn't even bring up the Gretsch factor. Jazzmasters came out in very late 57 and were sold in ernest in 58-66. Jaguars came out in 63 and sold like crazy.

Who says Link Ray played a Lester? I have researched his carreer, and he played all sorts of guitars, but the only Gibson that comes to mind is that white 64 Firebird III...
He played a lot of Supros back then.

Duane Eddy made his claim to fame on a Gretsch -- please don't bring a Lester up with him. Carl Perkins played all sorts of guitars too. Freddie King dumped his goldtop as soon as he got enough money to buy a 345. There is one picture of Muddy with a 52, but he is best known for his rosewood-board red Tele with the amp knobs.

We started out talking about PAF Lesters, so P-90s aren't in the equation here. Big Al, you big old loveable lug, you can believe what you want, but Les Pauls were d-o-r-k-y guitars when they were new. And, are you ready?, guys who can really play, I mean burn it up, play Teles, plain and simple. Anyhow, nice to see you around :- ), and we can still, and always be friends here, okay?
 

j e gray

New member
Joined
Aug 24, 2002
Messages
290
Link Wray did indeed use a Les Paul to record 'Rumble'.
According to the liner notes of 'Rumble'! The Best of
Link Wray', he used "a 1953 Gibson Les Paul, a dinky
Premier amp". Link also recorded alot of his early sides
with a Danelectro Longhorn before switching to the
Firebird. Cub Koda wrote the liner notes.
 

lpnv59

All Access/Backstage Pass
Joined
Jul 15, 2001
Messages
10,725
I've seen pics of Link Wray also using an SG/LP Standard during the 70's.
 

John Catto

Active member
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Jul 15, 2001
Messages
3,609
He used nothing but SGs during the period he was playing with Robert Gordon.
 
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