Gibson, Melody Maker, 1961 – Tony Montana (Great White)


Melody Maker
Serial Number: 
Humbucking Pickup
This guitar was made at the Kalamazoo Plant, USA approximately in 1961.
The Story Behind

The Gibson Melody Maker was first launched in 1959 and discontinued in 1971. It had a thin slab-style mahogany body and a one-piece mahogany neck. All the electronics, from the small single-coil pickups to the cable jack, were assembled on a scratch-plate and installed in a rout in the front of the body. The strings ran from a straight-sided simplification of the traditional Gibson headstock at one end to a wraparound bridge/tailpiece unit at the other.

From 1959 until 1961, the Melody Maker had a single cutaway slab body style similar to the early Les Paul Junior model but thinner. In 1961 the body style changed to a symmetrical double cutaway, resembling a Gretsch 6122 or a Danelectro Shorthorn; the single cutaway model was discontinued. The body style was again changed in 1966 to a style similar to the SG, with pointed "horns", a large white scratch-plate, and white pickup covers instead of black. Melody Maker "D" refers to the double pickup model of any vintage but is often mistakenly used for the double cutaway model.

The guitar was built in 1961 despite the fact that it is already a double cutaway.

This guitar was owned and used by Tony Montana of Great White fame. He played it especially as a slide guitar on his solo recording.

Here what Tony remembers: 

"This Melody Maker is the primary guitar for the title track of my album "Tombstone Shuffle" (released 2000). I have witnesses to the recording session that know I literally played this track so many times for perfection, that the fingers on my right hand split open and began bleeding on face of the guitar!  Of course, we finally got the take we needed, and I cleaned up the mess.

By the way, if you get to demonstrate this Melody Maker, I suggest trying slide. This instrument is truly phenomenal sounding!  It literally crushes every Les Paul I've ever pitted it against."

Listen to the song:

If you have any questions, please contact us