Gibson, the renowned manufacture of high-quality guitars, has recently launched a limited edition run in honor of its collaboration with country music star Ray Whitley. In 1937, Gibson and Whitley worked together to create “the most famous and most distinctive guitar in the world”, called the SJ-200. Whitley’s co-stars fell in love with it and asked for their own copy of the instrument.
Now Gibson is offering a limited edition run of SJ-200 Ray Whitley Specials, exquisite replicas of the original. The company’s master luthier Ren Ferguson builds each example with the same care and dedication that brought to life Whitley’s guitar. The special edition guitars however feature a few extra details, including a diamond, dotting the “I” in Gibson’s logo, and other gems in the bridge pin.
For the guitar, Gibson used AAA Adirondack red spruce and mystic rosewood, with traditional tree-rope marquetry binding. The neck is made of highly flamed Eastern curly maple and is finished with an ebony fingerboard. Ferguson also hand-engraved Whitley’s original country-western icon inlays on the guitar. Each piece will be accompanied by a handmade gold-leaf custom frame, plus a custom case. The serial number of each guitar will contain one year in the life of country music of the buyer’s choice. Proceeds will benefit the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, for a museum expansion project.