Classic gear: the history of the Gibson J-45

Gibson J-45 acoustic guitar
(Image credit: Future)

The Gibson J-45 ($45 jumbo) flat-top appeared in 1942 and supplanted the similarly round-shouldered 16-inch-wide Jumbo 35/J-35. Considering the shortages of supplies and labour across the industry during wartime, releasing a new guitar model was a challenging venture for any firm. 

“In war as in peace,” reads a Gibson press ad. “Only a Gibson is good enough… War materials have the right of way at Gibson… We are making some instruments, and some strings, but in limited quantities.”

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Rod Brakes

Rod Brakes is a music journalist with an expertise in guitars. Having spent many years at the coalface as a guitar dealer and tech, Rod's more recent work as a writer covering artists, industry pros and gear includes contributions for leading publications and websites such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Guitar WorldGuitar Player and MusicRadar in addition to specialist music books, blogs and social media. He is also a lifelong musician.