The Gibson Southern Jumbo Natural / Country Western model guitars were initially created in 1942 during WW II. As with many of Gibson’s models, especially during the early war years, there are many variations in the specs over the early years of production, but the bottom line remained the same – it is a big guitar designed to hold its own against the banjo and fiddle men in the band.
The Gibson Southern Jumbo model rose in popularity in the 1940s and early 1950s, but since people were regularly ordering them with a natural finish instead of the original sunburst, Gibson started calling this natural version a Southern Jumbo natural (SJN) starting in 1954. Sometime in 1955, Gibson re-named it again and introduced the “Country Western” model as part of the standard Gibson line up. It came with a new paper label with the model name and a rope border like the one seen here.
Solid spruce top,
14/20-fret (as of 1955)
Three-per-side nickel tuners
Two-stripe body binding and rosette
The headstock received the black overlay with pearl Gibson logo and crown, while the neck was upgraded with fret board binding and split parallelogram inlays. However, variations in these specs were frequent, and by 1962 it had the square-shouldered shape and the 3-point tortoise pick guard seen on this one.
The more or less consistent distinction between the Southern Jumbo and the Southern Jumbo Natural/Country Western was the latter’s natural finish top, which first appeared in 1954, as opposed to the SJ’s sunburst finish.
This Gibson Country Western / Southern Jumbo Natural was built in Kalamazoo Michigan in 1964. The mahogany back, sides, and neck are in very good condition for a 54-year-old guitar. There are a few dings, dents and scratches on the top, but nothing too offensive. There is surprisingly little crazing of the lacquer – the finish is in good shape.
The original Kluson Deluxe nickel-silver three-on-a-strip tuners are present & working well. The frets show very little and are in good condition. There are some small depressions in the fingerboard in the lower fret area, but not noticeable when playing. The headstock logo and crown are still nicely intact, and the binding has aged beautifully – no splits, gaps, nothing missing.
The bridge is solid, and the adjustable saddle appears to be original. The top shows no splits or cracks, the neck is solid and straight, the action is comfortably medium low, and of course the sound is terrific !
This is a great-playing vintage Gibson Country Western with tons of character. It’s not quite a museum piece, despite its very good structural condition. But this is a great player’s guitar, embodying the quality associated with Gibson acoustics from this period.
Comes in what we think is its original hard case in serviceable condition.