Solidbody / Production 1954 – 1958, 1986 – 1992, 1998 to current day.
Gibson’s 1952 Goldtop Les Paul priced at £150,00 competed with Fender’s £120.00 Telecaster, but Fender also offered the Esquire at a much lower price. In 1954, Gibson came after the Esquire model with its own single pickup model called the Les Paul Junior.
Gibson knew from experience that the lease expensive models would always out sell the higher spec and fancier range models, as long as the essential elements were still present. The Les Paul Junior did not have the Goldtop finish or even its maple top cap, and with no binding, it was a little less glamorous than its big brother. However, it did have the Les Paul shape, the same neck and the same pickup and was the best value solidbody guitar on the market at a price of £70.00
The Les Paul junior when sold with a companion amp, became the starter kit of its day, for thousands of young budding guitarists in the 1950’s. As Leslie West proved when he used his Les Paul Junior to create the memorable lead part of Mountain’s 1970 recording of Mississippi Queen.