This year marks the 75th Anniversary of one of the most distinctive—and most beautiful--acoustic guitars known to popular music. Epi fans know it as the Epiphone EJ-200
, and it was, and still is, the king of the flat-tops. The original J-200 was introduced in 1938 and perhaps no more than 100 went into production. It became an instant classic and though it was revived in the '50s, originals are expensive and tough to find. (No one ever gets rid of a '200' super jumbo.) The Epi EJ-200 made this fantastic instrument available to musicians everywhere and for the first time in its history, it's safe to say there are probably more EJ-200s in the world right now than the original designers could have ever imagined.
Singers love the "200" for its woody, balanced tone that neatly sidesteps the bass and treble range of the human voice, making it the perfect accompanist for singers. Dreadnought style acoustics can be boomy and somewhat moody in their tone, but the "200" never gets in a singer's way.
Artists from every genre including Emmylou Harris (who now owns Gram Parsons’ J-200), the Everly Brothers, Pete Townshend (who composed The Who's Tommy
on his), and George Harrison made some of their best work on a J-200. You can hear Don Everly’s J-200 (a gift from father Ike) kick off “Wake Up Little Susie,” surely one of the funkiest acoustic guitar intros in rock. George Harrison uses his J-200 on “Here Comes the Sun” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” as well as the introduction to “For You Blue” on Let it Be
. George gave one to Bob Dylan, who can be seen with his J-200 on the cover of his 1969 album, Nashville Skyline
. (Or perhaps it’s the same guitar! George was generous with his axes.)
Last but not least, there was a time when Liam and Noel Gallagher were only pop stars in their minds. Back when they were still ambitious and perhaps even a bit modest, the Gallaghers wrote a little song called “Wonderwall” on their #1 writing guitar, an Epiphone EJ-200
. Noel still owns his EJ-200 and brings it along whenever he jams with pal Paul Weller (another EJ-200 fan) to sing The Jam’s acoustic classic, “That’s Entertainment.” Our EJ-200 has all the classic look and sound of the hard-to-find originals including a maple body and a solid spruce top. With an EJ-200
, “vintage” sound is at your fingertips. Happy Birthday to the king of the flattops!