ES-150 CC (first variant) Guitars

1937 Gibson ES-150 CC (first variant)

Color: Chocolate Brown with Golden Sunburst, Rating: 8.75, Sold (ID# 01669)
Call to Inquire: (818) 222-4113


The First Gibson 'Electric' Spanish Guitar Model.


1937 Gibson ES-150 CC (first variant).


One of the first Gibson electric guitars - immortalized by Charlie Christian - this 16 1/4 inch wide, 2 5/8 inch deep 1937 ES-150 CC weighs just 5.50 lbs. Single-bound X-braced carved spruce top with slender 'f' holes. Single-bound mahogany back and sides. One-piece mahogany neck with a very fat nut width of just under 1 3/4 inches, a wonderful thick deep V profile and a scale length of 24 3/4 inches. Brazilian rosewood fretboard with 19 original medium frets and inlaid pearl dot position markers. Headstock face with Inlaid pearl "Gibson' script logo and single-layer black plastic bell-shaped truss-rod cover with two screws. On the back of the headstock stamped in blind is "Made in the USA". Individual open-back Grover 'sta-tite' tuners with oval metal buttons. Original single-bound tortoiseshell pickguard with original nickel-plated bracket. One single-bound 'blade' Charlie Christian single-coil pickup with an output of 2.64k which is height-adjustable by three screws through the top. Two controls (one volume, one tone). Original 'ridged-side' black bakelite 'Radio' knobs with white arrow pointers. Pre-compensated ebony bridge on height-adjustable ebony base. Trapeze tailpiece with raised diamond on cross-bar. Jack input at tailpiece base. Inside the treble 'f' hole is the FON number "440 C" stamped in black followed by a hand-written red "6". This seventy-six year old guitar is in remarkably good condition with no repairs or refinishing. There are quite a few surface marks (playing wear) on the top, there is a small eyelet for a guitar strap on the bass-side of the neck heel (with two additional small screw-holes) and also four really tiny holes on the back of the headstock where a small plaque was fitted at some time and four more tiny holes on the bottom edge of the body just to the bass-side of the input jack. There is considerable playing wear on the back of the neck and two very, very slight seam cracks on the back. Overall this important piece of guitar history is in excellent plus (8.75) condition. This is the earliest ES-150 CC that we have ever handled - it plays and sounds quite wonderful. Housed in the original four-latch shaped green hardshell case with brown plush lining (9.00).

The first year of production was 1937 with 504 units being shipped in that year… out of a total of 1095 units shipped between 1937 and 1939.

"Announced in 1936 but only shipped in quantities by 1937, the ES-150 has gone down in history as the first electric Spanish guitar commercialized by Gibson. During the pre-war era two variants were successively produced but, despite a similar designation, they should be regarded as distinct instruments owing to their specific features." (André Duchossoir. Gibson Electrics - The Classic Years. p.155).

"The ES-150 did not meet with a spectacular success, and generally speaking the electric guitar did not really "take-off" until just after the Second World War. However, one man was to contribute more than any other to immortalizing this model, that is still associated with his name. We are speaking of Charlie Christian. After meeting Eddie Durham in 1937 when he was eighteen years old, Charlie Christian became very interested in the electric guitar, whose potential he very quickly realized. In 1939, thanks to John Hammond, he was auditioned by Benny Goodman, who signed him up after hearing him play a few bars. From that date on, he could finally show what a guitar player was capable of, by developing, a little like a tenor saxophone, the linear idea of the chorus. Surely, considering the level of the media in 1940, there is no doubt that the Charlie Christian phenomenon did not spread as it would have in today's conditions. Nevertheless, he is of great importance as the forerunner of the modern guitar, because even if he was not the first to make use of it, it was Charlie Christian who revealed the possibilities of the electric guitar. Unfortunately, an attack of tuberculosis in the summer of 1941 greatly shortened his career, and Charlie Christian died in March 1942 at the age of 23." (André Duchossoir. Gibson Electrics. p.18).

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