On January 6, 1958, Gibson launched its iconic “Flying V” guitar. I share a name (spelled differently) with the wood used to create its futuristic body! “Korina” is a type of mahogany wood from a large tree native to Western Africa. It was also used to make Gibson’s “Explorer” guitars. The 1958 models of both the “Flying V” and “Explorer” are some of the most valuable production-model guitars in the world, in 3rd and 4th place on Vintage Guitar magazine’s “10 Most Valuable Guitars” list. Although the 1958 “Flying V” is now extremely valuable, at the time the guitar wasn’t an immediate success. It was even discontinued in 1959 after poor sales due to its heavy weight and modern design. In the 1960s, Gibson reduced the guitar’s weight by eliminating its curved back and almost immediately, it was in the hands of many notable musicians such as Lonnie Mack (who had also played the 1958 original), Albert King, Dave Davies of the Kinks, and Jimi Hendrix.
Happy Birthday, Flying V!
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