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The Story of Paul Bigsby, Father of the Modern Electric Solidbody Guitar

The Story of Paul Bigsby, Father of the Modern Electric Solidbody Guitar

Written by Andy Babiuk – Available February 2009


The Gretsch Company “The history of the solidbody electric guitar has been documented many times, and important early innovators include George Beauchamp, Adolph Rickenbacker, Doc Kauffman, Lloyd

Loar, and Paul Tutmarc. It’s widely accepted that Les Paul and Leo Fender were responsible for sparking the electric guitar revolution and making invaluable contributions. However, their work might not have been possible without the man who had designed and built the first modern solidbody electric guitar.”

“That man was Paul Adelbert Bigsby. He made the first modern solidbody electric for musician Merle Travis, completing the instrument in May 1948. Nothing like it had been seen before. Every electric guitarist today should be grateful that Paul Bisgby did what he did back then. He changed the look and sound of the guitar forever.”

This untold story of Paul Bigsby is documented for the first time and will also tell how Bigsby, using his engineering mind and problem-solving skills, designed and developed a revolutinary guitar vibrato that is still considered by many as the best type ever built-the Bigsby True Vibrato.

Book features include:

  • Deluxe, well-illustrated coffee table book with over 300 color and black-and-white photos
  • Many unpublished photos of over 50 actual Bigsby instrument photos
  • An audio CD of Paul Bigsby himself, recorded in the late 1950s, telling stories about his business

A special, deluxe collector’s edition will feature a black leather cover and clamshell slipcase. Pre-Order your Collector’s Edition now at!
(Ships in February 2009)


Read the Bigsby Book Reviews!

Vintage Guitar Magazine

Vintage Guitar Magazine

Premier Guitar Magazine

Premier Guitar Magazine

About the Author

Andy Babiuk is a musician, a writer, and has been a professional in the music industry for more than 25 years. He is also co-owner of a boutique music shop in New York, Tone Bender Music. He is a staff consultant to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and consultant to major auction houses in London and New York. Babiuk is the author of the critically-acclaimed and best-selling book Beatles Gear: All the Fab Four’s Instruments, From Stage to Studio. He has become the foremost authority on the equipment used to create the Beatles’ music. Andy has been working on a follow up to Beatles Gear entitled Stones Gear -A History of the Equipment Used by The Rolling Stones. Babiuk has written, performed, and produced multiple albums and continues to tour throughout the world with his popular band The Chesterfield Kings. The Story of Paul Bigsby: Father of the Modern Electric Solidbody Guitar is Babiuk’s second book. Andy lives in Rochester, New York with his wife, six children, and a very large collection of guitars and music memorabilia.