Gibson Country Western Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1962)

Gibson  Country Western Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1962)

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Item # 8375
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Gibson Country Western Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1962), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # 43494, natural lacquer finish, mahogany back and sides, spruce top; mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard, original black hard shell case.

This well-played Gibson flat-top is an example of the Country-Western model from the last year of the original round-shouldered design. While designated a separate model, it is essentially the same as the "SJ" Southern Jumbo with a natural finish rather than sunburst. It was also given a special lariat-bordered label.

The Country-Western was the top of Gibson's 1950s 16" slope-shoulder jumbo line over the SJ, J-50, and J-45. The SJ itself had become a somewhat fancier guitar in the mid-1950s, gaining a pearl logo and crown headstock ornament, while at the same time a natural top option was added. It wasn't long before the SJN was renamed the Country-Western Model, as a tip of the hat to the many players of that genre who were Gibson pickers.

This great-sounding and well-loved original style C&W dates to early 1962; by the latter part of that year, the model would be altered to a square-shouldered Jumbo format like the new Hummingbird. The guitar features a multi-bound top and back, bound fingerboard with pearloid double parallelogram inlay, and the extended tortoise celluloid pickguard used after 1955.

The neck profile is the wide and flat style used only from 1960-62. This was not the optional "Adj." model and never had the dreaded tone-sucking adjustable-saddle bridge often seen on period Gibson flat-tops. A good honestly worn guitar, likely with many old stories to tell, and ready to make more!
Overall length is 40 3/4 in. (103.5 cm.), 16 1/4 in. (41.3 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 5 in. (12.7 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 24 3/4 in. (629 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.).

This guitar shows a lot of wear to the top from enthusiastic strumming, but remains nicely original and in fine playing condition. The rim of the sound hole is well-worn, and there is pick wear down into the wood above the fingerboard, above the strings behind the sound hole, and especially below the back edge of the pickguard. The back of the neck has some finish worn away in the lower positions. The finish shows dings, scrapes, and dents overall with some typical checking.

There are a number of sealed back cracks, none major, and a couple of small old spruce grain cracks to the top -- by the lower edge of the pickguard and on the treble side of the fingerboard to the sound hole edge. The fingerboard has some divoting in the lower positions, but the frets appear to have been crowned some time back and show surprisingly little wear. The bridge appears original and unaltered and the guitar shows no signs of having had or ever needing a neck reset. A strap button has been added to the heel.

The tuners are the correct style but have likely been restored or remounted as there is some odd finish checking and bubbling around them, likely from a misguided attempt at touch-up. There is also an apparent cigarette burn above the A tuner shaft. While showing these scars from a long life of use, this guitar remains an excellent player with a warm, sweet, but still powerful tone. The original deluxe case is still present, worn and overpainted black but still functional. Very Good + Condition.