The Gibson SG Junior was the basic no-bells-and-whistles SG (solid guitar). It came equipped with just one single coil P90 pickup, in the bridge position, but was otherwise the same as the SG Special. It was a well-built guitar, made from good woods, with a very nice translucent Cherry nitrocellulose finish. It was priced at $142.50 at it's launch in June 1961, and like the SG Custom and SG Standard was initially named as part of the redesigned Gibson Les Paul range. See the Les Paul Junior from which it descended here. Another similar model, the SG-TV was also available - identical in specification, save for a yellow 'TV' finish.
It sold well, being the biggest selling SG guitar of the 1960s, and the second best selling solid-body after the Melody Maker. In total 18997 guitars shipped between 1961 and 1970, with 1965, and then 1964 the peak years.
As the 1960s came to an end, mass produced imported guitars were getting better and better, and the SG Junior found itself in a bit of a predicament. It's mahogany/rosewood set neck construction made production just too expensive for the student guitarist, whilst the lack of a neck pickup made it insufficiently equipped for the more advanced musician. Sales declined from 1966 onwards; the model was last included in Gibson price lists in September 1970, with a US list price of $260.
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The SG Junior, like the dual-pickup SG Special, was equipped with a single coil P90 pickup. The guitar pictured is a 1961 example, with black 'dog-ear' cover. Later examples (with the full-face scratchplate) had the same 'soapbar' cover as the SG Special. Pictures courtesy Skillful Sailor Japan
From the 1962 Gibson electric guitar and bass catalogue
A best seller that's now even better - with its handsome new cherry-red finish and its highly desirable new double cutaway sculptured design
From the 1964 Gibson electric guitar and bass catalogue
You get Gibson quality and top performance
From the 1966 Gibson full line catalogue
A best seller that's even better - with it's handsome cherry-red finish and it's highly desire able new double cutaway sculptured design, and it's very popular price. You get Gibson quality and top performance
The 1970 electric solid bodies catalogue
The thin contoured body affords easy handling and flexibility