Pretty Gibson lapsteel EH-185. Gibson was a bit slow in entering the so-called Hawaiien craze in the begining ot the 20th century. But once the did the went full-thottle.
Pretty Gibson lapsteel EH-185 originates from Joseph Kekuku invention back in 1885. At the age of 7, Kekuku was walking along a railroad track and picked up a metal bolt, slid the metal along the strings of his guitar and was intrigued by the sound. He taught himself to play using this method with the back of a knife blade. The instrument became a major fad in the United States during the 1920s and 1930s. The instrument became especially popular in Hawaii, as musicians played in tent-rep shows. It was electrified in the early 1930s, and in 1932 the first production electric guitar was introduced, the aluminum Ro-Pat-In (later Rickenbacker) A22 “Frying Pan” lap steel. This made the so-called “Hawaiian” guitar the first electric stringed instrument (just a few years before Les Paul and Charlie Christian modified their instruments). Gibson stated that this lapsteel ‘had the quality and tone that players have dreamed about, but have never been able to find in an electric guitar before’, while highlighting ‘its great sustaining power’. More info on Gibson lapsteels HERE
The earliest documented performance with an electrically amplified guitar was in 1932, by Gage Brewer. The lap steel, dobro and pedal steel guitar are associated most closely with Hawaiian music, country music and bluegrass, though some players have used them in rock music, jazz, blues, and other musical genres. Go check out John Paul Jones HERE, and Davil Gilmoure HERE. Back in the days the original retail price was…185 USD.
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