I just picked up a used banjo. It has a lable "Lee Gibbs" on the headstock. It looks like a Hofner of Framus from the 60's. Can anyone tell me anything about this banjo or Lee Gibbs?
Sorry no pic right off the bat here. I've been trying to upload a pic of the headstock. But the internet is moving real slow tonight. What's that line from the Dire Straights song, "A thousand lanes of traffic, nine hundred and ninety-nine moving slow"?
Lee Gibbs was Montgomery Wards house brand. They sold Kay-made guitars under the Lee Gibbs Concertone label. I imagine they must have contracted with Framus to label some banjos in the 50's-60's. The banjo you have looks like a German-made Kay-style, that used the headstock design of the earlier Kay and Old Kraftsman banjos
Thanks beegee. Was there an actual person these were named after? I've googled the name and only found two references to the name Lee Gibbs. One was a site that mentioned Concertone guitars and then had banjos as an afterthought. The other site listed a banjo for sale, coincidently just down the street from where I live.
I think it was a made-up name designed to subconsciously evoke Gibson. Montgomery Ward used to sell Gibbs-Wilcox sewing machines, but I don't know if there was a Gibbs anywhere in Montgomery Wards organization. I also have no idea if there was a popular performer by that name. I think I'll stick to the made-up name theory for now.