Gibson Les Paul - Pearly Gates
Orville Gibson founded the company in 1902 as The Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Mfg. Co., Ltd. in Kalamazoo, Michigan to make mandolin-family instruments. Gibson invented archtop guitars by constructing the same type of carved, arched tops used on violins. By the 1930s, the company was also making flattop acoustic guitars, as well as one of the first commercially available hollow-body electric guitars, used and popularized by Charlie Christian. It was bought by Chicago Musical Instruments in 1944, which was then acquired by the E.C.L. conglomerate that changed its name to Norlin Inc. Many observers see this as the beginning of an era of mismanagement.
Gibson sells guitars under a variety of brand names and builds one of the world's most iconic guitars, the Gibson Les Paul. Many Gibson instruments are highly collectible. Gibson was at the forefront of innovation in acoustic guitars, especially in the big band era of the 1930s; the Gibson Super 400 was widely imitated. In 1952, Gibson introduced its first solid-body electric guitar, the Les Paul which became its most popular guitar to date— designed by Ted McCarty and Les Paul. Gibson was owned by the Norlin corporation from 1969 to 1986. In 1986 the company was acquired by its present owners. Gibson Guitar is a privately held corporation owned by its chief executive officer Henry Juszkiewicz and its president David H. Berryman.
In addition to guitars, Gibson offers consumer audio equipment devices through its subsidiaries Onkyo Corporation, Cerwin Vega and Stanton, as well as professional audio equipment from KRK Systems also pianos from their wholly owned subsidiary Baldwin Piano and music software from Cakewalk.
ZZ Top // is a rock band formed in 1969 in Houston, Texas. Current members are bassist and lead vocalist Dusty Hill, guitarist and lead vocalist Billy Gibbons (the band's leader, main lyricist and musical arranger), and drummer Frank Beard. One of just a few major label recording groups with the same lineup for more than 45 years. "As genuine roots musicians, they have few peers," according to former musician, critic and collector Michael "Cub" Coda. "Gibbons is one of America's finest blues guitarists working in the arena rock idiom [...] while Hill and Beard provide the ultimate rhythm section support."
The band released its first album—called ZZ Top's First Album—in 1971. Beginning with blues-inspired rock, the band incorporated new wave, punk rock and dance-rock by using synthesizers. The band is also known for its humorous lyrics laced with double entendres and innuendo.
The band's top-selling album was the 1983 Eliminator, which sold more than 10 million copies in the United States. Total record sales of 25 million place ZZ Top among the top-100-selling artists in the United States, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. That includes 11 gold, seven platinum and three multi-platinum records as of 2016, according to the RIAA. By 2014, ZZ Top had sold more than 50 million albums worldwide.
ZZ Top was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.