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175 50s with Charlie Christian pick up?

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My father left me this Gibson guitar and told me it was a 175 from the 50s  now people are telling me it’s a l4c because of the pick up in it (not a p90). 

EA6C163E-E2A4-4B76-A55F-04FD2671458F.jpeg

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I can’t be 100% sure from the pic which yours is,  but an L-4C will have a solid spruce top while a 175 has maple plywood. 

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The ES-175 with a Charlie Christian pickup was made in 1978-79, and still appeared in the 1980 catalog.  Both the sunburst & tailpiece are markedly different from your guitar.

Your photo does conform to the specs of the L-4CES.  They were only available as a custom order in 1958, with nine examples shipped in 1959.  A very cool guitar, indeed!

I have seen one L-5CES with a Charlie Christian pickup, owned & played by the late Hank Garland - a stunningly gorgeous instrument.

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On 8/20/2020 at 1:34 PM, bobouz said:

I have seen one L-5CES with a Charlie Christian pickup, owned & played by the late Hank Garland - a stunningly gorgeous instrument.

If you've ever seen my avatar, then you've seen two.  😎  Mine was custom-ordered in 1966.  Here's a bigger image for you...

DSCN3492.jpg&key=6b2979daa40cd6e15a3aba8

Hank Garland's CC-equipped guitars (at least the best known ones) were a Byrdland (natural finish) and an L7. 

hank-garland-0bdd2fb5-9f34-4e76-ac00-39e

Hank had a lot of guitars, and may have also had a full-depth L5 with a CC, but I'm not sure about that.  I don't think so.  The L5CC player that I think of, though, is Kenny Burrell, who had a custom L5CC that he used in the early 1960's on some of his best recordings.

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As mentioned, the L4's with CC pickups are very very rare.  I've only seen two or three in my 45 years as a Gibson enthusiast.  Please post more photos if you can!

Edited by JimR56
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Jim, your guitar is magnificently beautiful!

As for Hank’s CC instruments, yes he had a number of them.  You’ll need to add his L-5CES to your list of known examples.  It is essentially identical to yours, but has a medium-light sunburst finish.  Because he had his car accident in September of 1961, it’s build came before that date.

Hank’s guitar Is prominently displayed on the cover of a 2-CD set titled, “Move! The Guitar Artistry of Hank Garland.”  He is seen sitting in a sports car, with five of his instruments.

Edited by bobouz

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Ah, you're right- I had forgotten about that photo, which is of course from the cover of the "Jazz Winds From A New Direction" album (which I own!).  Well, if I have any excuse for my error,  that's the only place I've seen a photo of him with that guitar... I wonder if he ever even used it?  Poor guy had so little access to good guitars.  🙃  Just kidding, of course, and when I use the phrase "poor guy" in relation to Hank, it of course has much more serious and sad meaning in terms of his real life.  

Thanks for the compliment on my L5.  It sounds as good as it looks, and I am very fortunate to own it.

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You know, bobouz... I think that L5 on the trunk of the car may be an L5CEST, not an L5CES.  I'm serious, but just kidding in terms of trying to make myself correct.  Haha.

hank-garland-transcriptions-book-jazz_1_

Edited by JimR56

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54 minutes ago, JimR56 said:

... I think that L5 on the trunk of the car may be an L5CEST, not an L5CES.

Good one, Jim!  You’ve indeed got a better look at it on the album cover than I do on the CD, and it just might be a T.  Such beautiful instruments, I’ve always been partial to natural finishes, so yours is really something special, and so interesting that it was ordered in ‘66.  A very unique & significant Gibson, imho.

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1 hour ago, bobouz said:

A very unique & significant Gibson, imho.

I agree, of course!  🙂 , and back on topic... so is the OP's L4, if it is indeed one of those original late-50's L4's with CC pickups.  I'd love to see more photos!

Edited by JimR56

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