That Was The Year... 1956
Barbican, Suez and Violins
HOFNER DRAWS UPON iTS YEARS OF CLASSiCAL
expertise to produce their first violin shaped body for the guitar family. The 500/1 bass makes its debut at the frankfurt Music fair with an arched spruce top and maple back and sides, with two black pickups at bridge and neck positions, each with a volume and tone control set on an oval plate. it’s destined to become one of the most iconic instruments of all time and although guitar versions were soon introduced, it’s this full sounding bass that captured the imagination.
PETROL RATiONiNG iNTRODUCED DUE TO
Middle eastern supply blockades during the suez crisis; chew Valley lake in somerset is inaugurated by the Queen as a reservoir to serve Bristol; the rAf retires its last lancaster bomber; the Gower Peninsula of Wales is first in the British isles to be designated an Area of outstanding Natural Beauty; and the possession of heroin becomes unlawful.
PLANS ARE ANNOUNCED FOR THOUSANDS OF
new homes in london’s Barbican area devastated by the luftwaffe during the second World War; first showing of documentary films at the National film Theatre in london; chancellor of the exchequer, Harold Macmillan, announces the launch of Premium Bonds with a £1,000 prize available from the first draw; and french Premier Guy Mollet proposes a merger of france and the Uk but the idea is rejected by PM Anthony eden.
RiCKENBACKER iNTRODUCES A ‘STUDENT’
model guitar, designated the combo 400. it features a new through body design with a tulip styled maple body and a maple neck. The 21fret rosewood fingerboard features white dots and the single covered pickup is located in the neck position. controls are volume and tone with a two-way tone selector switch. With a stylish gold scratchplate it’s offered in Jet Black, Blue Green or Gold finish.
PG TiPS LAUNCHES iTS CHiMPANZEES’ TEA PARTY
advertising campaign (voices by Peter sellers); Manchester based Granada Television begins transmission; lugano in switzerland hosts the first eurovision song contest; the first Berni inn steakhouse opens in Bristol; and popular new books include Gerald Durrell’s My family And other Animals, Agatha christie’s Dead Man’s folly, and ian fleming’s 0007 thriller, Diamonds Are forever.
GiBSON LAUNCHES THE ES-140T 3/4 GUiTAR
with a single sharp cutaway downsized body and a much thinner depth than its usual models. With a pair of f-holes cut into the bound arched maple body, a simple trapeze tailpiece and floating tortoiseshell scratchplate it offers very clean lines indeed. The single P90 pickup is supported by surface mounted tone and volume controls and the adjustable bridge is rosewood. The maple neck is unbound with a rosewood board and pearl dot inlays and it’s overall proportions are
both elegant and beautiful.