Year shipped: 1935
Headstock: Horizontal ‘Gibson’ script logo
Neck/fingerboard: 20 fret ebony fingerboard with pointed end and narrow block inlays. Wide neck heel
Body: 17-inch body with small unbound f-holes
Hardware: Gold plated metal parts including Varitone tailpiece and Grover 98G ‘Sta-tite’ tuners with butterbean keys. Long bound pickguard and rosewood bridge
Notes: This L-5 belonged to the legendary Hank Garland, who bought it from country music pioneer Paul Howard in whose band he was playing (Paul Howard and his Arkansas Cotton Pickers). In a letter dated October 30th 1956, Hank wrote to Gibson and asked them to make a ‘Charlie Christian’ style pickup with a custom white pearloid cover and matching pearl coloured pickguard for his blonde 1955 Byrdland. At the same time Hank also requested a pickup for the guitar pictured here. In the early 1950s Hank gifted L-5 serial number: 92198 to his brother Billy so he could take lessons and learn how to play. After a few dozen lessons Billy told Hank he would leave the guitar playing up to him and gave the guitar back.
Images Courtesy of Mike Thompson