1962 Gibson SJ - serial #90954 

with Calton Case & Fishman Pickup 



This guitar belonged to my brother, Mark Rapson. He got it for his 12th birthday in January 1962, along with guitar lessons at the local music store. In three months he could do something I couldn't do. We couldn't have that. So I asked for a guitar for my birthday. My mother said we could not afford another guitar. But she said, "I'm sure your brother will let you borrow his for lessons."  He did, reluctantly. In a few years I got my own, lesser guitar. 

Mark was an excellent bass player in our band, The Music Company, and his guitar playing took a back seat. After the band years, he stopped playing altogether and his Gibson saw little use.  So, I asked to borrow it for some recording.  It needed work however:  The tuners were not good so I put Schaller's on it. I found out later that collector's devalue instruments so treated. Live and learn. 

Mark took his guitar back for a few years, but eventually asked if I would buy it from him.  Which I did. 

Other work on the guitar: the bridge was lifting, it needed a refret, and I wanted a pickup in it. I had a local luthier do all this around 2000. Things were OK for a while. But the bridge started lifted again.  Five years ago I asked Juan Oscar Azaret, a classical guitar builder, if he would take a look. He crafted a brand new bridge and did some bracing work. The lower bout bellies a bit so the bridge was carved to fit it. Since then the guitar has been rock steady. 

Last year, I upgraded the pickup, installing a Fishman Rare Earth Mic Blend Active sound hole pickup. The guitar sounds and plays great: rich, complex tone and a fast action set up. 

My brother passed away in February of this year. Although I would like to keep the guitar it would be mainly for sentimental reasons. My Goodall Concert guitar is my main steel string instrument. So, as with my Martin, it's time to let someone else be the happy owner. 

You can hear this guitar via my Youtube channel. Here are some links: 


Boston Bells 


The guitar comes with the custom Calton Case. Also, a very nice leather strap, and as mentioned, the Fishman Rare Earth Pickup. So if you are a collector/investor this may not be your guitar. If you are a player it may be your main axe for many years. 

I will ship to qualified buyers for a trial.  If it's not what you had in mind, you may send it back but be aware you must pay shipping both ways. 

Email: steve@sologuitar.com

1951 Martin 0-18  serial # 119171 



Janet Mann (my courtesy aunt) bought this guitar in 1951 at Boston Music for $80. It was a considerable sum at the time and her father, Roydon Burke, complained about the expense since he was the source of funds. 

Janet was an excellent singer. She accompanied herself with the guitar at parties and such throughout the 50's and 60's. Eventually she stopped playing and the guitar languished under her bed thereafter. 

I rescued the Martin from under the bed in the mid 80's. I called the guitar "Careful" because each time I took it out, Janet would say, "Be careful with it." 

The years of non-playing had dulled the guitar's voice. The action was high, and the tuners were terrible. But, over time and playing, the voice opened up and it began to sound darn sweet. 

In 1996, I asked Janet if I could borrow the guitar for recording.  Further, I suggested it be sent back to Martin in Nazareth for refretting and general inspection. She assented and off it went. 

Six months later it came back: refretted, the neck reset, and Waverly tuners installed. The Martin Company did the neck reset at no charge to the original owner as Janet still had her receipt. She paid for the tuners and the refret. 

The guitar has been fabulous to play ever since. Fast, easy action, a ringing rich voice that surprises all who hear it. "What a big sound from a small guitar," they say. 

Janet Burke Mann passed away several years ago. She always said I would inherit the guitar, and so it came to pass. Even though it was in my full time care since it came back from Martin. I recorded several CD's with it over the years. 

Except as noted above, no modifications have been made. No pick-up installed, no holes drilled.  As befits its nickname, the guitar has been handled gently. There are no cracks, and no structural damage.  It's seventy-one years old, however, and there are the expected dings and scratches, but they are minimal. 

To hear this guitar, listen to these solo pieces from my CD, Patriotic Guitar:  My Country Tis of Thee and Yankee Doodle Dixie (the Chet Atkins arrangement). 

I am offering it for sale because I own a Goodall Concert guitar that does all I need. As a finger style player the Martin neck is a bit small for me, so recently it has languished under my care as well.  It's time for it to be in someone else's care. 

It comes with a vintage hard case, though not original, and not quite fitted to it.  

I will ship to qualified buyers for a trial.  If it's not what you had in mind, you may send it back but be aware you must pay shipping both ways. 

Email: steve@sologuitar.com