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mojoworking

Ernest Tubb's Custom Epiphone

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I stumbled across this great picture of Ernest Tubb playing what looks like a custom Epiphone Frontier FT110 (or it could be FT120 Excellente). I'm guessing it's from the mid 60s. Gotta love that headstock inlay.

 

ErnestTubbEpiphone_zpsa895d147.jpg

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I can't attest to the specific model, but that is a mighty awesome photograph. And the MOTHER of all mother of pearl!

 

However, comparing the FT110 and FT120 shown in the EPi WIki: http://epiphonewiki.com/index.php/FT-Series#FT-110_through_120

shows that the FT120 has a mustache shaped bridge. Tubb's is rectangular like the FT110 Frontier. And, the MO-mop pick guard more closely resembles the Frontier.

 

My money is on Frontier. Only a view of the back and sides would tell a tale.

 

Frontier - Maple back and sides

Excellente - Rosewood back and sides.

 

edit- The lightness of color of the back as seen through the sound hole would seem to indicate maple, i.e. Frontier.

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Thanks Tommy, you're probably correct with the Frontier. Although I've not seen one with such an elaborate headstock, which hinted at the Excellente, a much fancier guitar. In fact the headstock inlay is similar to one of the 50s Epiphone jazz guitars such as the Zephyr Emperor Regent

 

Those old country guys loved pimping up their guitars and while Martins and Gibsons were the norm, it's good to see an Epiphone receiving the same treatment: artist's name inlay in the fingerboard and outrageous pearl pickguard.

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The pickguard shape is similar to the Frontier so the body may be, but the neck & headstock are totally custom.

He did play an Excellente, but this isn't it.

El Capitano

 

Thanks a heap for the Ernest Tubb photo-What a great performer who had the best road band of his era. I don't think that guitar is any Excellente. Most likely a custom Frontier.Still waiting on that Excellente book but still no news from the author as to its publication availability.Got an interesting net contact from a person who found a 67 Excellente in great shape but needed a pick guard. I sent him to a good replacement maker and am waiting for a photo of the finished project.

 

Regards,

 

Moose

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He was awesome. Here he is singing one of his most famous hits (I think it was his - could be wrong) playing that very Epi.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWmbFXJDHrM

 

Here he is playing Walk Across Texas. He's not playing his Epi, but notice his lead guitarist.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hK_qrg4Jz20&list=RDnWmbFXJDHrM

 

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Great stuff. It looks like the lead guitarist is using an Epiphone Sheraton with optional gold plated Bigsby instead of the standard Epi Frequensator tailpiece. Looks like a sunburst one in the black & white clip and cherry in the colour clip.

 

Note how often Ernest looks down at the fretboard. Strange considering he's only playing C, F & G in the first position.

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He was awesome. Here he is singing one of his most famous hits (I think it was his - could be wrong) playing that very Epi.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWmbFXJDHrM

 

Here he is playing Walk Across Texas. He's not playing his Epi, but notice his lead guitarist.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hK_qrg4Jz20&list=RDnWmbFXJDHrM

NOT-TOO LATE THANKS-THANKS A LOT FOR THIS TERRIFIC COLLECTION OF COUNTRY VIDEOS -THIS IS REALLY WHAT COUNTRY MUSIC

REALLY IS AND TODAY ISN'T

 

MOOSE

 

P.S IF YOU LET THESE VIDEOS ROLL YOU WILL SEE PLENTY OF SHOTS OF ET PLAYING HIS REAL EXELLENTE

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Thanks,Moose,

The very next one "Thanks a lot "shows the Excellente with a Texan backing up.

 

 

It's a veritable Epiphone-fest! In true country style Ernest has his name on the fretboard AND his guitar strap. Great to see the Excellente, plus the Texan and the Sheraton there too.

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NOT-TOO LATE THANKS-THANKS A LOT FOR THIS TERRIFIC COLLECTION OF COUNTRY VIDEOS -THIS IS REALLY WHAT COUNTRY MUSIC

REALLY IS AND TODAY ISN'T

 

MOOSE

 

P.S IF YOU LET THESE VIDEOS ROLL YOU WILL SEE PLENTY OF SHOTS OF ET PLAYING HIS REAL EXELLENTE

 

I agree with you 100% Country music is NOT country music anymore - at least not the way we knew it. Its more rock than anything. Music has changed so much in the past years. One of the reason's why my brother and I shut the doors of our studio. Another reason is that many hopefuls that would have come through our doors can do their own demo recordings at home. Sorry, got off topic. Anyway, as much as country music has changed, we can still have a good library of the past giants, and Mr. Tubbs was certainly one of them.

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Yes the great Leon Rhodes used Sheratons with E.T. Pretty sure the first Epiphone acoustic seen with Ernest is a frontier but it is fitted with a custom inlay New York neck left over from the pregibson era. It has the same headstock shape as the early Sheratons that were fitted with them. It appears he got the excellente around 63 as Leon also started playing a red 63 sherry around this time to.

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ERNEST TUBB - LEON RHODES and the Texas Troubadou…:

 

Here's one of my favorites. Also on amazon you can pick up there live in 1965 album...Cal Smith does a great version of Lonesome 77203 one of my favorites also

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This would have been when he was playing rhythm guitar for ET so he was probably getting his guitars from there deal with gibson....But I think he stuck to Texans even after he left the troubadours.

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More celebrity Epiphones: Found this CD by Cal Smith with his mouth-watering Texan. The guitar dates from 1963-66 by the look of it.

 

CalSmith2_zps7d34903f.jpg

 

Mojo:

 

Thanks for the photo of another great country artist of his day-all the great videos provided throughout this entire posting really shows it like it was in the hey day of country music.

 

Moose

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Hi Mojo

 

Bixby did do some custom replacement guitar necks for various country stars and musicians.The Lefty Frizzell

guitar shown in the photo was offered for sale several years ago and brought big money.

 

Moose

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