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The story of the Epiphone Texan (or FT79 as it was first known) follows a long and winding road that begins in 1942 and passes through honky tonk country, the folk revival, the British Invasion, 70s rock, New Wave, Grunge, Britpop, and Americana. Considering the many other fine acoustic instruments that share the Texan's timeline, it could have easily wound up as a curiosity among collectors like so many other guitars from the pre-rock era. And at various times, both the Epiphone and Gibson company dismantled, abused, and stopped production of the Texan (even while The Beatles--the Texan's most famous admirers--were still together, no less).

 

But even before Paul McCartney debuted "Yesterday" on American television playing an Epiphone Texan, it was already an acoustic guitar with a high profile thanks to the folk music revival. John Herald of the Greenbriar Boys and the Jim Kweskin Jug Band performed with Texans at Hootenanny's and club dates in New York City and Boston (and often on locally produced televised music shows). Country's honky tonk queen Connie Smith was an early Epiphone Texan fan. Paul McCartney put the Texan on the map for good with his appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1965 and at the Beatles televised appearance on the UK's Blackpool Night Out, probably one of the best live performance clips of The Beatles from the Help! era.

 

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