The Gibson L-5 was first produced in 1922 and became the premiere guitar for rhythm players in the Big Band Era. Wes Montgomery became synonymous with the Gibson L-5 and Scotty Moore used an L-5 on his 1950’s recordings with Elvis Presley. Notably the Gibson L-5 was the first guitar to feature F-holes or Florentine cutouts. This guitar has a rich history in Big Band, Jazz and Rock n Roll.
For the legendary Elvis Presley Sun Sessions recordings Scotty Moore favoured an Gibson ES 295 but moved to the L-5 on “Mystery Train”.
Scotty says that he used the L-5 for the following Presley recordings: ‘Heartbreak Hotel’, ‘Blue Suede Shoes’, ‘Lawdy Miss Clawdy’, ‘Hound Dog’, ‘Don’t Be Cruel’, ‘Any Way You Want Me (That’s How I will Be)’ and ‘Mean Woman Blues’.
Other artists associated with the L-5 include Maybelle Carter, Jan Akkerman, Lee Ritenour, Django Reinhardt, Ronnie Wood and Eric Clapton. Clapton’s 1969 Gibson L-5 N has been offered on Ebay, with a testament letter from Eric’s guitar tech Lee Dickson, for $185,000 USD (click here).
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