Les Paul Guitars
In 1950, the introduction of the Fender Telecaster started major interest in the idea of electric guitars. In reaction, Gibson Guitar president Ted McCarthy brought guitarist Les Paul into the company as a consultant. Les Paul was a respected musical innovator who had been experimenting with guitar design for years. It was agreed that the new Les Paul guitar would be a high-end, quality instrument in the Gibson tradition.
The Les Paul guitar line was originally conceived to include two models: the regular model (nicknamed the "Goldtop"), and the Custom model, which offered upgraded hardware and a more formal black finish. Over the years, the line has been radically redesigned (in 1961), ended production (in 1963) only to be resurrected (in 1968); since then, the line has only continued to expanded and grown. But the basic design has changed very little in the ensuing 50 years. Today, the Gibson Les Paul is one of the most recognized solid-body electric guitar designs, whose shape and sound is synonymous with Rock and Roll.