Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

“Gibson Girl”: Actually, Billy Byrd’s a Gibson Guy

Guitarist Billy Byrd – according to Ernest Tubbs‘ biographer, Ronnie Pugh – ”came from a pop and jazz background, and there were some people who were leery of the notion that he could play country with Tubb.  [But] he did it and did it well.  The ten years Billy was in the [Texas Troubadours] band, (1949-59) he did practically all of the instrumental breaks.”

Billy Byrd

Sometime in October 1961, Billy Byrd recorded six songs at the Starday Sound Studio in Nashville – including “Gibson Girl“:

“Gibson Girl”     Billy Byrd    1961

Billy Byrd + Hank Garland = Gibson Byrdland

With the input of guitar greats, Billy Byrd and Hank Garland, Gibson’s then-President, Ted McCarty, developed and debuted the Gibson Byrdland electric archtop guitar in 1955, three years before the better-known ES-335. points out that the Byrdland was reintroduced as a limited run in 1977, 1978 & 1992 – primarily as a result of the popularity of Ted Nugent, who himself wielded a Byrdland in tribute to Jimmy McCarty of Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels.

Gibson Byrdland

One Response

  1. I my self knowing the kneck of a guitar is not made for hugging but is made to play out lyrics riffs runs harmonics and to restring and tune, but billy byrd could get more and better sound out of a Gibson guitar than any body I ever had heard, his noteing very unique a style that you don’t hear any more of, one reason theirs really nobody can do it, like billy byrd did he hardly ever looked down at his fingers when he was playing lead guitar for ernest tubb? to me he was and still is one of the greatest guitar players in the history of a guitar long lives his name and music – bobby self

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