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However, Standards featured a cherry-red sunburst finish.These guitars were priced higher than the Goldtop models, but lower than the Customs.The guitar made its public debut when Paul used it onstage in June, 1952, at the Paramount theatre in New York.On July 24, 1952, at a special musicians clinic at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel, it was previewed by prominent guitarists such as Tiger Haynes, George Barnes, Mundell Lowe, Tony Mottola, and Billy Mure. Called the Les Paul Custom, this black guitar with gold-plated hardware was dubbed the "Black Beauty".The Les Paul has been continually produced in countless versions and editions since.
The mid-1960s, however, brought a resurgence of interest in the Les Paul Standard.This innovation in pickups became the flagship pickup design most associated with Gibson.Many other guitar companies followed suit, outfitting their electrics with versions of the humbucking pickup.Paul states that the original Custom should have had the maple cap and the Goldtop was to be all mahogany.The Custom did not appear on the market for another two years following the introduction of the Goldtop; it is possible that Gibson had planned a full model range of guitars (with a roll-out over the course of several years) at the time when initial specifications were being set.
The later-issue Les Paul models included flame maple (tiger stripe) and "quilted" maple tops, again in contrast to the competing Fender line's range of car-like custom color finishes.