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The Story of Paul Bigsby

Published: Thu April 30, 2009  News Feed

New book argues authenticity of previous ‘first solid body guitar’.

Paul Bigsby: inventor of the first solid body guitar?

Fred Gretsch Enterprises has released a new book entitled The Story of Paul Bigsby: Father of the Modern Electric Solid body Guitar. The book is written by Andy Babiuk, author of the critically acclaimed book Beatles Gear: All the Fab Four’s Instruments, From Stage to Studio.

In this well-researched book that will undoubtedly raise some controversy, Babiuk re-writes guitar history proving factually that Paul Bigsby was truly the father of the modern solid body electric guitar.

Most musicians are familiar with the famous Bigsby Vibrato, but not as many know about the wonderful guitars that Paul Bigsby built in the 1940s.

Paul Bigsby guitar

The Paul Bigsby guitar...


Bigsby, who was responsible for developing and refining the pedal steel guitar, also built the first modern solidbody electric guitar for Merle Travis in 1948, predating Leo Fender and Gibson's Les Paul by a number of years. The Story of Paul Bigsby tells the untold story of how Bigsby influenced Fender and Gibson, as well as a number of other guitar manufacturers, in building techniques and design.

This deluxe, well-illustrated coffee table book contains over 300 colour and black-and-white photos, many of which have not previously been published and over 50 are actual Bigsby instrument photos. The book also comes with an audio CD of Paul Bigsby, recorded in the late 1950s, telling stories of his business.

The Story of Paul Bigsby, already described as ‘highly recommended’ and sure to ‘enthrall and entertain any enthusiast’, is the first title published by Fred Gretsch Enterprises under the FG Publishing imprint. The hardcover trade edition of the book is available in the UK and EU from Hal Leonard Europe, distributed by Music Sales and retails for £43.95.

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