Gibson L-5 CT Special 1961
Posted on August 05 2021
This amazing Gibson L-5 CT Special 1961, one of the rarest Gibson standard production models, came through the shop a few years ago. The first Gibson L-5 CT was special ordered by George Gobel with a thin depth to better suit his smaller frame. I'm proud to have had this Gibson L-5 CT through my shop a few years ago and I miss it every day. Do you have a Gibson L-5? You can contact me here to sell a Gibson guitar.
Check out another vintage Gibson L-5 archtop guitar that came through the shop recently: 1931 Gibson L-5 archtop guitar.
Comedian George Gobel ordered a special guitar from Gibson in 1958 that would complement his new color TV show and his stature: the Gibson L-5 CT Lonesome George. It was essentially an L-5 but with a slimmer body depth of 2 3/4". The guitar was comfortable to hold and play standing upright but didn't lose much of the full sized L-5's punch and volume. Only 44 L-5 CTs are listed in Gibson's production records from 1958 until 1962 but at least one more has been discovered unlisted.
This Gibson L-5 CT Special, serial number 11569, is listed in Gibson's production log on August 17, 1961. It was ordered by Irving Kessler who was one of Gibson's teacher agents and owned the Hawthorne Guitar Studio in Hawthorne, NY. It has survived in nice condition but does show evidence of being played including color fading, finish checking, a few case dings on the top, and some fret wear. All parts appear to be original to the guitar including the L-5 tailpiece with height adjustment. The original hang tag, case key, tailpiece hex key, and hand written note card from Mr. Kessler detailing the dates, price, and check number are included. We're confident you'll love the tone and playability of this one owner 1961 Gibson L-5 CT Special!