most unique inventory for san antonio musicians

Mark Waldrop’s

1943 Gibson L-7

Made in the middle of WW II when Gibson wasn’t making a lot of guitars. In fact only three L-7 models were made that year. At that time Gibson was scrambling for parts. This one sports a tailpiece from a Gibson-made Recording King and inlays from a Gibson banjo because that was what was available.

The book Kalamazoo Gals tells the story of the WW II era flat top “Banner” guitars, which many collectors consider to be the finest in their history. All of them were made entirely by women who had not made guitars before the men went away to war. Therefore the few archtops that were made during this period were made by the senior employees too old to serve in the military.

But who was it who first owned it? Surely the wear and tear tells some of the story, but the specific details are mine to invent. That worn spot on the treble side, upper bout. I can envision a guitarist in a swing orchestra playing all night in his tuxedo, tapping his foot until he wore through the finish. It’s had some work on the fretboard and been refretted. The McCarty pickguard pickup was created specifically for the L-7 in 1949, so that was clearly added later. The very fact that a pickup was added further suggests that it was owned by a performing musician. So I make up stories in my mind about the history of this L-7.

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4330 McCullough
San Antonio, TX 78212
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From Downtown
We are at 4330 McCullough, and McCullough goes all the way downtown. In the old days, it was one of the few routes out of down town that didn’t cross railroad tracks. (A big deal when you have a wagon – I’ve heard. Never experienced it.) The maps and driving directions will help alot. Easy to know when you’re getting close because we’re just past the traffic circle/fountain.