It’s always a good day here when we get a box from Froggy Bottom. Here’s a brand new rendition of their most popular full-sized model, the SJ, based on the iconic Gibson Southerner Jumbo. The guitar has an Adirondack red spruce top, East Indian rosewood back and sides, Gabon ebony fingerboard, 1 3/4 buffalo bone nut and saddle, #3 pattern green abalone inlays, abalone rosette and backstripe, Waverly tuners, maple bindings and heel cap, short 25″ scale, and Froggy’s typical Vermont magic. Best of the best.
And how did the SJ come about?
“One afternoon in 1968,” as Michael Millard, the man behind Froggy Bottom, tells it, “I watched a drunken sailor with a pillow case slung over his shoulder stagger into a pawn shop in New London, CT. Since the bag on his shoulder was very guitar-like, as soon as he emerged counting his money, I went into the shop to see what he’d sold. After twenty minutes of bickering, I emerged with a very well worn, twenty year old Gibson SJ.”
Gibson’s Southerner Jumbo was made famous by country music icon Hank Williams Sr. Early models of these short scale, round-shouldered dreadnoughts are sought after and in recent years have become extremely popular, and their value has soared. Over the years Froggy Bottom has built specially commissioned SJ-style guitars, but in 2008 the SJ was established as one of our formal models. In 2010 the SJ has become our most popular full-sized guitar, matching the H-12 in popularity.
And what happened to that sailor’s guitar? “As I already had a guitar I loved, the SJ was only around for a couple of months, but almost as soon as I’d sold it to a friend,” Michael says, “I was sorry. Forty years later, my friend still has that guitar, and it is still one of the very best guitars I have ever known.”
Bonus link: See the Froggy Bottom SJ prototype build documented by clicking here:
Condition: New; Top: Adirondack spruce; Back and sides: East Indian rosewood; Neck: Mahogany, gabon ebony fingerboard, #3 inlays; Nut: 1 3/4; Width: 16; Depth: 4.375; Scale: 25; Binding: Maple; Purfling: b/w/b; Rosette: Abalone; Orientation: Lefthanded (of course)