Gibson’s Melody Maker was designed to be a slightly less expensive alternative to the Les Paul Junior. While Gibson knew that fact alone would sell guitars – I’m sure they didn’t expect it to sell more units than any other solid body they made at the time.
While that trend hasn’t held true to current times, its still a great guitar for those who want a lighter, thinner, and less expensive alternative to most of the other guitars in the Gibson line.
Over the last 52 years, the Melody Maker has also been through many revisions, with changes to necks, pickups, pick guards, bridge / tailpiece configurations, and overall shape.
In the late 80’s and early 90’s Gibson slapped an Explorer neck on it, with a Kahler tremolo unit on it, and two humbuckers, obviously providing an option for those who were into the heavier rock guitar that was popular at the time. It still had the Les Paul shape, and – looked a bit weird.
Here is a small gallery exploring some of the Melody Maker’s iterations over the years, from 1959 to present.
Click any image to enlarge and get more info on each image.