1966 Kalamazoo KG1 (1 pickup) in Flame red finish
The Kalamazoo KG1 was Gibson's attempt to compete with the likes of Fender for the mid 1960s student guitar market. Previously Gibson had only offered students 3/4 size versions of relatively expensive hollow bodies, under the Gibson brand. But now, under the name Kalamazoo it was producing very simple guitars, but well-made, and with above average components.
There were no labour intensive nitrocellulose finishes, no expensive hardwood bodies, no glued-in neck joints requiring skilled woodworkers, and easily assembled electronics pre-wired on a scratchplate. Assembly was just a matter of screwing it all together; but the result was a cheap, popular and highly playable guitar.
The solid body Kalamazoo KG guitar range consisted of four models: the KG1 and KG2; equipped respectively with one or two pickups, and the KG1a / KG2a which had an added Maestro vibrola. This guitar, with one pickup and no vibrola is the KG1.
From the 1966 Kalamazoo catalogue
Distinctively styled, superb quality solid-body guitars of rugged, lightweight design. Available in brilliant Flame Red, Glacier White or Las Vegas Blue, one or two pickups, with or without Vibrola. Slim neck, streamline styling in an economically priced guitar for years of rugged use
This guitar is one of 1020 Kalamazoo KG1 guitars in Flame Red produced in 1966, and one of just 1908 KG1s produced in total - see the Kalamazoo KG shipping figures for more details.