On this day in music history: January 6, 1958 …

On this day in music history: January 6, 1958 – The Gibson Guitar Company registers its design for the Flying V guitar with the US Patent Office. The unique instrument is designed by Gibson president Ted McCarty with the intention of adding a futuristic aspect to the companies image. During their original manufacturing run, the guitars’ body and neck are constructed from African Korina wood and mahogany with either ebony or rosewood fretboards. Guitarists such as Albert King and Lonnie Mack adapt to them immediately and becomes closely associated with both artists. However, initial sales are slow and they are discontinued in 1959. When guitarists like Jimi Hendrix and Dave Davies of The Kinks begin playing them, it renews interest in the Flying V and Gibson reintroduces the guitar in 1967. The instrument becomes a favorite of hard rock and heavy metal musicians during the 1970’s and 80’s. Original Flying V’s made in 1958 and 1959 today are valued at between $200,000 and $250,000. To this day, the Flying V remains one of Gibson’s most popular guitars.