Some stories demand to be told. Others are simply content on being heard. Heard through music, through lyrics, through a cultural revolution. This is the story of Washburn Guitars.
Steeped in the tradition of fine instrument making, Washburn Guitar’s dynamic 120-history began in Chicago in 1883. The original guitar factory was located just blocks away from Maxwell Street.
In the early 1920s, Maxwell Street itself would emerge as the epicenter of a musical movement. Often considered the first entry point for thousands of African-Americans arriving from the Mississippi Delta, Maxwell Street became a hotbed for Delta Blues in its most raw and dramatic form. Newcomers and established musicians alike would listen and jam with one another in an atmosphere void of commercial influence. Once recorded, this powerful, emotional style of music would not only become the dominant form of blues but would radically change the emerging sound of rock and roll.
There, on Maxwell Street, as well as in alleyways, city sidewalks, bars, and honky-tonks around the country, Washburn guitars were embraced as the very embodiment and reflective spirit of the hard-working musicians who played them as well as the employees who designed and crafted them. It is the same spirit that guides Washburn to this day.
The history of Washburn Guitars is the history of a wide range of musicians. From blues players who shaped rock ‘n roll to multi-platinum recording artists to emerging guitar virtuosos. It is a history that can be heard and experienced every time you turn on the radio or listen to a live performance. It is a history built by skilled craftsmen and musicians who share one common love–a passion for the guitar.
Washburn continues to be a consistent leader in combining design, innovation, and technology to deliver the rich, bold sounds for a vast musical landscape.