SG TV, '60
TV Yellow, Serial # 0 9101.
The successful sales of the solid body Les Paul Model launched in 1952 convinced Gibson to expand the solid body line to include a variety of models aimed at players from beginner to professional. This led to the introduction of the low priced single pickup, flat bodied Les Paul Junior, and the high priced elaborately appointed Les Paul Custom in July of 1954. By 1955 the Les Paul line also included the Les Paul TV and the Les Paul Special.
The Les Paul TV was the same as a Junior except for having a bright “limed mahogany” finish (some early TVs had maple bodies) instead of the regular sunburst. The Les Paul Juniors and TVs may have been inexpensive student guitars, but they were built with high quality and playability to encourage beginners to stick with the guitar and eventually want to move up to more expensive Gibsons.
In July of 1958 the TV and Junior models received a radical makeover. A new double-cutaway shape was instated that allowed a player full access to the fingerboard. The Junior’s color changed to transparent cherry, while the TV’s limed mahogany became a brighter yellow. Attractive Tortoise pickguards rounded out the new color-scheme. By 1960 the TV lost the “Les Paul” portion of its name becoming instead the SG (solid guitar) TV. This name predated the pointed cutaway SG shape that came along in 1961.