In 1955, the competition to develop and market solid body electric guitars that were both affordable and professionally built was heating up. Just three years earlier, Gibson had introduced the incredible Les Paul model with a $249.50 price tag (including case), yet increased competition was triggering the exploration into new directions that would eventually yield a wide variety of new and innovative Gibson products at various price points. Among those new products was the Les Paul Junior single cutaway model in 1955—a stripped-down, affordable alternative to the more expensive Les Paul model.
It was given a dark brown color around the guitar’s edge, with a golden sunburst shading in the middle of the body. This finish would eventually become known as Vintage Sunburst. At $99.50—or $149 with a Gibson amplifier bearing the same name—the Les Paul Junior single cutaway, with its lightweight slab mahogany body and single Gibson P-90 pickup, quickly became Gibson’s most popular model, outselling the ES-125 by 142 units in 1955 and peaking at 2,959 units shipped in 1957. It would continue its reign as Gibson’s best selling model until 1960. Built primarily as a “student” model, and later redesigned, the Les Paul Junior of the mid 1950s became the instrument of choice for such legends of the late ’60s and ’70s as Leslie West, Steve Marriott, Keith Richards, Mick Ralphs, Mick Jones, and Paul Westerberg.
Gibson Custom’s 1957 Les Paul Junior Single Cutaway is a meticulous reproduction of this classic Gibson model at the height of its popularity, faithfully capturing every detail and intensity of the original. Every period-correct feature is there—24 ¾-inch scale length mahogany neck that meets the body at the 16th fret, long neck tenon, 22-fret rosewood fingerboard, pearloid dot inlays, Gibson’s traditional ’50s rounded neck profile, CTS potentiometers, bumble bee capacitors, white-button tuners, and lightweight wraparound tailpiece. It is available in Vintage Sunburst, TV Yellow, Faded Cherry and TV White finishes – in either V.O.S. or Gloss – and comes with the standard Gibson Custom Shop case and certificate of authenticity.