Guitarsite Forums Discussion Popular Topics First ever production solid bodied guitar? Re: First ever production solid bodied guitar?


Leo Fender was doing sound for the Cliffie Stone Home Town Jamboree when he saw Merle Travis playing the Bigsby Guitar. Paul Bigsby custom made Merle Travis the guitar after he drew th guitar for Paul on a napkin. The Bisgby Guitar was really something special because it is the first guitar that started the revolution and changed the face of music. Not to discredit the Frying Pan which had the first pickup ………the Bigsby Guitar was really way ahead of everyone. It is often referred to as a solid-body however it is a heel-less neck-thru body design and is semi-hollow not solid……..throughout the years many people have assumed it is solid. Far from the fact! It is actually quite hollow. I have had the opportunity to x-ray the 2nd 1948 Bigsby serial # 81848 and actually have found this guitar to be hollow. There is actually a gret resonant quality to this guitar un like any other guitars I have come across. Bigsby pre-dated Leo Fender design by 3 years becasue he actually started them in 1947…….. He also pre-dated the Gibson Les Paul by 5 years ………. Ted McCarty ……..then President of Gibson mentioned that Leo Fender was copying the Paul Bigsby guitar and was on free ground…….. So Gibson came up with there version and sought out Les Paul to endorse it…. The birth of Les Paul Guitar!! Both Fender Broadcaster and Gibson Les Paul guitars share some very similiar construction attributes of the Bigsby Guitar. 1. Fenders picked up the idea of string thru-the body 2. Six in line headstock and shape Gibson had copied 1. similiar shape of the Bigsby and the single cutaway However the Bigsby was contructed very differently than both guitars. Thanks to R.C. Allen who has been my friend, mentor and fellow guitar builder buddy I’ve had the priveldge to learn about the Bigsby instruments.