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Gibson SG Family Chronology Part 1 - 1960s

1960s Timeline

Gibson SG Introduction | Vintage SG adverts | SG forum posts | SG timeline 1960s | 1970s

models Gibson SG Standard | Gibson SG Special | Gibson SG Junior | Gibson SG Custom | Gibson SG Deluxe

A closer look: 1963 SG Standard | 1969 SG Special

YEAR PRICE NOTES
1960

1960 Gibson full line catalogueThe Gibson SG or solid guitar was announced in late 1960. As they were redesigned Les Paul instruments, they initially were marked and sold as such. Initially just the white SG Custom, and Cherry SG standard were announced.

1961 Early 1961 prices [1]
Les Paul Custom $395
Les Paul Standard $265

September 1961 prices [2]
Les Paul Custom $425
Les Paul Standard $290
SG Special $210
Les Paul Jnr $147.50
SG TV $147.50

1961 Gibson brochure announcing the Les Paul Custom and Standard
1961 Gibson advertisement with Les Paul and Mary Ford
This was the launch year. Listed as 'Les Paul' solid bodies rather than SGs because the instrument was actually planned as a redesigned Les Paul. Shipping figures also include a 'Les Paul Special 3/4 size' [3] - though this does not appear in the price list

The image above is taken from the 1961 Gibson promotional leaflet announcing The first of the new Gibsons for '61

1962 1962 prices [4]
Les Paul Custom $425
Les Paul Standard $290
SG Special $210
Les Paul Jnr $147.50
SG TV $147.50

Les Paul and Mary Ford Gibson Gazette - Spring 1962Left: The Spring 1962 issue of Gibson Gazette of 1962 shows Les Paul and Mary Ford, with Les holding an unusual looking Gibson SG; note the full-body scratchplate with humbuckers, and the split-diamond headstiock inlay. Clearly not a production model.

Below: Two 1962 Les Paul Standards. Notice the ebony tailblock with Maestro vibrola, and the side to side vibrola

1962 SG Gibson Standard1962 Gibson SG Standard

1962 Gibson full line catalogueIn the 1962 catalogue (which states that model specifications are from May 1961), the Custom, Standard and Junior are listed as 'Les Pauls' though the Special and TV are now SGs. The special has two colour options, SG-R Special - cherry red finnish, and SGC Special - cream finish

Two ways new! A lovely new finish in a new shade of limed mahogany or Gibson's new cherry red
1963 July 1963 prices [5]
Les Paul Custom $425
Les Paul Standard $290
SG Special $210
Les Paul Jnr $147.50
SG TV $147.50

September 1963 prices [6]
Les Paul Custom $450
Les Paul Standard $310
SG Special $225
Les Paul Jnr $155
SG TV $155

1963 Gibson SG Standard

1963 Gibson SG Custom

SGs in the 1963 Gibson catalog

Top left: 1963 SG Standard. Below: 1963 SG Custom

1963 saw the publication of a new catalogue featuring five SG models, the top of the range Custom, the Standard, Special, and two entry level models the Junior and TV

1964 September 1964 prices [7]
SG Custom $480
SG Standard $330
SG Special $240
SG Jnr $165
SG TV $165
1964 Gibson SG Special

Left: 1964 Gibson SG Special

1965 February 1965 prices [8]
SG Custom $480
SG Standard $330
SG Special $240
SG-TV $165

June 1965 prices [9]
SG Custom $455
SG Standard $305
SG Special $225
SG Jnr $165
SG TV $165
1965 SG SpecialThis was the decades peak year with a total of 8871 instruments shipped. The previously used nickel hardware was replaced with chrome in this year.
1966 April 1966 prices [10]
SG Custom $455
SG Standard $305
SG Special $225
SG-TV $165
SG Jnr $165

October 1966 prices [11]
SG Custom $455
SG Standard $305
SG Special $225
SG-TV $169.50
SG Jnr $169.50

SGs in the 1966 Gibson catalogThe series was redesigned in late 1966; larger scratchplate, with pickups mounted into it, rather than directly onto the body. The full colour catalogue from that year still shows the smaller scratchplates - examine the 1966 Gibson catalogue

George Harrison gets an SG Standard, using it live, and recording much of the Revolver album with it.

1967 September 1967 prices [12]
SG Custom $455
SG Standard $305
SG Special $225
SG-TV $179.50
SG Jnr $179.50

Cream and the two Fool guitars, Gibson SG and Fender Bass VIIn 1967 Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce of Cream comissioned psychedelic artists The Fool to paint an SG standard and a Fender Bass VI. Clapton gave the guitar plenty of use both on stage and in the studio until the band split in 1969.
1968 June 1968 prices [13]
SG Custom $495
SG Standard $335
SG Special $245
SG-TV $189.50
SG Jnr $189.50

Gibson 1968 pamphlet.
1969 September 1969 prices [14]
SG Custom $525
SG Standard $355
SG Special $265
SG Jnr $199.50

1969 SG Special1968 saw a dip in SG sales - they were at just 40% of their peak in 1965. So in 1969 the model that had sold the least; the SG-TV, was dropped, as was the unpopular white-finish SG special. Check out a 1969 SG special in Cherry finish

Both Pete Townsend and Carlos Santana give iconic performances on their SG Specials at the 1969 Woodstock Festival

1) New '61 Gibson flyer • 2) Gibson price list 1/9/1961 • 3) Gibson Shipment Totals 1937-79 by Larry Meiners • 4) Gibson 1962 catalog • 5) Gibson price list 15/7/1963 • 6) Gibson price list 1/9/1963 • 7) Gibson price list 1/9/1964 • 8) Gibson price list 1/2/1965 • 9) Gibson price list 22/6/1965 • 10) Gibson price list 1/4/1966 • 11) Gibson price list 1/10/1966 • 12) Gibson price list 1/9/1967 • 13) Gibson price list 1/6/1968 • 14) Gibson price list 1/9/1969 •

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There are 1 comments on this article so far. Add your comment
gary Comment left 3rd June 2017 20:08:43
I am the original owner of a 1968 sg standard that does not have the cherry finish and the heavy neck. THE FINISH IS MAHOGANY BROWN AND HAS A SLIM AND NICELY BALANCED NECK. Is this a rare model?

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