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Press Release January 2009
Fred Gretsch Enterprises publishes
The Story of Paul Bigsby: Father of the Modern Electric Solidbody Guitar
On January 15th, at the 2009 winter NAMM convention in Anaheim, California, Fred Gretsch Enterprises will release a new book entitled The Story of Paul Bigsby: Father of the Modern Electric Solidbody Guitar. The book is written by Andy Babiuk, author of the critically acclaimed book Beatles Gear: All the Fab Four’s Equipment, From Stage to Studio.
In this well researched book, that will undoubtedly raise some controversy, the author re-writes guitar history proving factually that Paul Bigsby was truly the father of the modern solidbody electric guitar. Most musicians are familiar with the famous Bigsby Vibrato, but not as many know about the wonderful guitars that Paul Bigsby built in the 1940s. Bigsby, who was responsible for developing and refining the pedal steel guitar, also built the first modern solid body electric guitar for Merle Travis in 1948, predating Leo Fender and Gibson’s Les Paul by a number of years. The Story of Paul Bigsby tells the untold story of how Bigsby influenced Fender and Gibson, as well as a number of other guitar manufacturers, in building techniques and design. This deluxe, well illustrated coffee table book contains over 300 color and black and white photos. Many of these have not previously been published, and over 50 are actual Bigsby instrument photos taken by fine arts photographer Greg Morgan. The book also comes with an audio CD of Paul Bigsby, recorded in the late 1950s, telling stories of his business.
The Story of Paul Bigsby is the first title published by Fred Gretsch Enterprises under the FG Publishing imprint. The hardcover trade edition of the book will be distributed worldwide by Hal Lenard Publishing and retail for $50 US. A deluxe edition of the book with a special embossed leather bound cover, gilded gold edges, cloth woven bookmark, autographed by Fred Gretsch and packaged in a special clothbound commemorative Bigsby clam-shell box will be available in a limited edition direct from Fred Gretsch Enterprises / Bigsby.com and retails for $100 US.
About the author
Andy Babiuk is a musician, writer, producer, founding member of the Chesterfield Kings, and owner of the boutique guitar shop Andy Babiuk’s Fab Gear. He has been a professional in the music industry for more than thirty years and is a consultant to the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame and to major auction houses in London and New York. Babiuk is a respected expert on vintage guitars and the foremost authority on the equipment used by The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. His critically acclaimed book Beatles Gear (2001) manages to be both a historical document and an entertaining read. His new book Rolling Stones Gear will be published in the fall of 2013. He is also the author of The Story of Paul Bigsby: Father of the Modern Electric Solidbody Guitar (2009). He worked as technical consultant and associate music supervisor for David Chase’s feature film Not Fade Away released by Paramount Pictures in the fall of 2012. He lives in Rochester, New York, with his wife, six children, and a very large collection of guitars and music memorabilia.