Up for sale, a Gibson Custom Shop Jerry Kennedy "Pretty Woman" 1961 ES-335 in mint condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original hardshell case, COA, and all factory paperwork. One of Gibson's most unique artist model recreations, the Jerry Kennedy ES-335 was limited to just 50 pieces worldwide and is the pinnacle of Custom Shop craftsmanship, with meticulous factory aging to perfectly match the original, as well as the distinctive High E and B Bender palm pedals devised by Kennedy and implemented on his personal instrument.
This limited edition replica of Jerry Kennedy's iconic 1961 ES-335 was nicknamed "Pretty Woman" after he used it to play the famous guitar riff on the Roy Orbison mega-hit. Jerry bought the instrument new in the summer of 1961, having just moved to Nashville to begin a session musician career. Two years later, he had it outfitted with a unique palm pedal system to bend strings like a steel guitar - its only modification to this day.
Jerry's distinctive ES-335 would be the foundation for his incredible musical legacy, heard on classics by Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Tammy Wynette, and many more. The guitar eventually found another life with Jerry's son, Gordon Kennedy, who used it in sessions with Peter Frampton, Garth Brooks and Faith Hill.
Every detail of the original instrument, from the wear patterns to the intricate palm pedal system, has been meticulously and painstakingly recreated by the skilled artisans at Gibson Custom Shop for this very special release, limited to 50 pieces worldwide
The semi-hollowbody maple construction ensures both an articulate note attack and a distinctive natural tonal breadth and warmth, qualities which are faithfully translated through Gibson's CustomBucker PAFs. As Gibson's most current premium iteration of the PAF, these pickups are truly an inspired and exacting design that faithfully replicates the rich, textured tonal qualities of the Patent Applied For humbucker of Gibson's golden age. Available only in Gibson's top tier Custom Shop offerings, the CustomBucker design delivers a quintessential Gibson tone in every position on the three-way toggle. The bridge pickup has incredible clarity and top end detail, with sweet midrange push and focus. The tone is both taut and growling, cutting through with a lively, dynamic sound through an overdriven amp. On the neck pickup, there's a sweetness, vocal midrange quality, and girth that's perfect for lead work, with a smoothness and transparency that retains clarity in complex chord voicings. This Gibson weighs 8lbs 8oz, surprisingly lightweight given the hardware complement, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings, low action, and accurate intonation.
The one-piece mahogany neck with long tenon and hide glue fit features a Slim Taper D-shaped profile carve, scanned and recreated from the original, offering more roundness in the shoulders than some produced early in the decade and measuring .845" deep at the 1st fret and .940" at the 12th. The medium jumbo fretwire is flawless, playing easily up the 24 3/4" scale, and the nylon nut measures 1 11/16" in width. The headstock features Kluson Deluxe double ring, single line tuning machines that turn smoothly and hold pitch well even with use of the palm pedals.
The electronics function flawlessly, with the CustomBuckers coupled to a hand-wired harness with 500K CTS pots, Black Beauty capacitors and a Switchcraft three-way pickup selector toggle. The unique hardware includes palm activated B and E benders with adjustable stops beneath the palm points to adjust how far the pitch is raised. Gibson has also faithfully replicated the B7 Bigsby plugs and small gold foil piece of material used surrounding the rear strap button. Visible through the F hole, the orange oval label with handwritten serial number is present. The finish is a rich, vintage correct shade of nitro lacquer, christened "Aged Faded Cherry" for this model. The finish on both body and neck is faithfully distressed to match the original, and there is virtually no wear beyond the factory aging.
The Gibson Custom hardshell case is included, along with all factory paperwork and the COA.