Gibson Junior Guitars - A brief history and popular models
Introduced in 1954 The Les Paul Jr. was a student model version of Gibson’s now famous solid body Les Paul Goldtop. The Junior offered a budget version of the Goldtop and the newly released ornate Les Paul Custom. The Junior utilized a very basic slab body design with one P-90 pickup, a simple wrap around stop tailpiece, lower end open back Kluson strip tuners dot fingerboard inlays and a standard sunburst finish. Due to the growing popularity of television Gibson developed an alternate finish option for the Les Paul Jr, a pale yellow that would show up as bright white on a TV screen, the finish was dubbed “TV” Yellow.
The Les Paul Jr. utilized a single cutaway in the body on the treble side of the body similar to its predecessor, the Les Paul Goldtop. It retained this feature until 1958 when Gibson introduced the double cutaway body style. The new double cutaway body style retained all the other features of the Les Paul Jr. but two new finishes would emerge. The Standard finish for the Les Paul Jr. from that point on would be Cherry Red and the TV finish was changed from a light wheat color to a bright banana Yellow. The new body style was initially slab cut like its predecessor but the edges would gradually become more rounded. In 1961 Gibson once again redesigned the Les Paul model across the board and the SG was introduced. The Les Paul Junior followed suit and took on the SG styling. In early 1963 Les Paul’s endorsement signature was removed and it was simply be called the “SG Jr”.