George Gobel's
1958 L-5CT Prototype


Gibson produced many Artist models in the 1950s and '60s -- the Les Paul, Byrdland, Tal Farlow, Barney Kessel, Trini Lopez and Johnny Smith are probably the best known. This model, the L-5CT, is one of the most rare of the Artist models; and this particular guitar was owned and used by comedian George Gobel.

The CT is a variant of the venerable L-5 with a thinline body and cutaway, and was originally designed for Gobel. In 1958, Gobel was big-time -- he had his own TV show, and the first L-5CT was presented to him by Tennessee Ernie Ford on Gobel's show.

The comedian wanted a thinline, short-scale guitar to fit his somewhat rotund and short-armed body, and the CT design was Gibson's answer. The production model of the L-5CT had the thinline body and 24-3/4" scale length, but this prototype has the standard L-5 scale of 25-1/2". Another unique feature of this guitar is the cherry red finish, which was the first use of that color.

The thinline L-5 design has an easy feel and good balance, but the real value of this instrument is its collectibility -- not only is it a celebrity guitar, but it's also the prototype of a Gibson rarity. Only 44 L-5CTs were built between 1958 and 1962. Now that's rare!

This instrument is SOLD