“One afternoon in 1968,” as Michael tells it, “I watched a drunken sailor with a pillow case slung over his shoulder stagger into a pawn shop in New London, CT. Since the bag on his shoulder was very guitar-like, as soon as he emerged counting his money, I went into the shop to see what he’d sold. After twenty minutes of bickering, I emerged with a very well worn, twenty year old Gibson SJ.”
Gibson’s Southerner Jumbo was made famous by country music icon Hank Williams Sr. Early models of these short scale, round-shouldered dreadnoughts are sought after and in recent years have become extremely popular, and their value has soared.
Over the years Froggy Bottom has built specially commissioned SJ-style guitars, but in 2008 the SJ was established as one of our formal models. In 2010 the SJ has become our most popular full-sized guitar, matching the H-12 in popularity.
As we built the SJ prototype, we also built a photo blog where you can see this guitar in process from start to finish: Model SJ Blog Revisited.
And what happened to that sailor’s guitar?
“As I already had a guitar I loved, the SJ was only around for a couple of months, but almost as soon as I’d sold it to a friend,” Michael says, “I was sorry.
“Forty years later, my friend still has that guitar, and it is still one of the very best guitars I have ever known.”
Every guitar I ever wanted
“The new SJ that Michael made for me is every guitar I have ever wanted, needed or played–all rolled into one! Each day, it never ceases to project: dark, light, with a flatpick, with fingers. There is no tonal shade it doesn’t cover. It’s totally crazy. And I mean that in the best possible way.”
S14 (SJ) Specs
- Body Width:
- Body Length:
- Body Depth:
- 4 3/8“
- Scale Length:
- Nut Width:
- 1 3/4” (variable at no charge)
|S14 (SJ)||standard / deluxe / limited|
|mahogany||8355 / 9510 / 10,885|
|rosewood||8355 / 9510 / 10,885|
|maple||N/A / 11,335 / 11,710|
|walnut||N/A /11,270 / 12,645|
|koa||N/A / 12,480 / 13,855|