Gibson SJ-200 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar Formerly owned and played extensively by Dave Dudley (1952)

Gibson  SJ-200 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar Formerly owned and played extensively by Dave Dudley (1952)
Formerly Owned by Dave Dudley
$18,000.00 + shipping
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Item # 6133
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Gibson SJ-200 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1952), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # A-11754, sunburst lacquer finish, maple back, sides and neck; spruce top, rosewood fingerboard, period brown tolex hard shell case.

In the annals of country music, Dave Dudley occupies a special place. His 1963 hit recording "Six Days on the Road" remains the definitive truck driving anthem, and is credited with launching "Trucker Music" as a distinct sub-genre of American country. The song has since been covered many times, and is still a bar-band staple all over the world today.

Dudley had more sizable hits, including "Truck Drivin' Son Of A Gun" and "The Pool Shark"; by the late 1970s, he had amassed 33 Top 40 Country hits. His career slowed after that, but his legend remains intact, especially tied to his first hit song and the "Truckin'" genre in particular. Dudley passed away in 1993, but "Six Days On The Road" has achieved country immortality, re-recorded by (among others) Johnny Rivers, Steve Earle, and Sawyer Brown.

This guitar was Dudley's personal stage instrument for many years, and was likely used for recording purposes as well. The guitar itself is a 1952 Gibson SJ-200 that has seen considerable use and repair work over the years but remains a very good playing instrument. While we don't have documentation to the exact period of Dudley's ownership, he can be seen in photographs with this guitar spanning many years. Dudley appears with this guitar on several mid-1960s LP covers, at which time it appears to have already been stripped to a natural finish. The late 1980s LP cover to THE SILVER ALBUM shows the guitar in its current state, with a factory refinish to sunburst and a late 1960s era Gibson bridge.

In all iterations, the custom-made tooled leather double pickguards with "DAVE DUDLEY" in large block letters are a constant and make the guitar instantly recognizable. This SJ-200 is as close to a Truckin' music holy grail as there is -- a true country music icon and a very fine player's instrument still.
Overall length is 42 1/4 in. (107.3 cm.), 17 in. (43.2 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 4 7/8 in. (12.4 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 25 1/2 in. (648 mm.). Width of nut is 1 3/4 in. (44 mm.).

Overall this guitar has been well-played and loved for many years with some repair work over time, but it is still an excellent playing instrument. There are several large repaired side cracks on the lower treble bout, solidly but very visibly repaired and not finished over, and several smaller old back cracks under the finish. There is a repaired grain split on the treble side of the top along the fingerboard. All repairs are solid and the guitar is structurally excellent. There is a medium-sized spot of buckle wear to the back, and some finish wear in other places including a few spots through the lacquer.

The tuners are nickel-plated Klusons Deluxe from the mid-1960s with round (not keystone) buttons and appear to have been on the guitar for a long time. There is a strap button added to the heel, and as noted the pearl-inlaid bridge is a correct Gibson piece but from a later period than the guitar. The custom hand-tooled leather pickguards that are the instrument's distinctive feature are intact and solidly attached; the lower one shows a lot of wear and darkening from contact with the artist's hand, which has been accumulating since the early '60s. There is a wear spot throught the finish above the top edge of the lower guard as well, all indicative of a lot of strumming! With all the history behind it, the guitar still plays and sounds terrific, and includes an original 1950s period Super 400 case it appears to have been living in for a long time. Overall Very Good + Condition.