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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Who is Lee Gibbs and why did they name a banjo after him?

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Newl Post - Posted - 02/20/2011:  19:17:09

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"?

beegee - Posted - 02/20/2011:  19:51:34

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

Newl Post - Posted - 02/20/2011:  20:40:31

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.

beegee - Posted - 02/20/2011:  21:02:50

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.

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