Kay K-161 ThinTwin

Kay K-161 ThinTwin

The Kay ThinTwin guitar. The Kay K-161 ThinTwin electric guitar made from 1952-1959, was one of the longest produced guitars by Kay Musical Instrument Company. The K161 Thin-Twin was commonly referred to as the "Jimmy Reed" guitar. Introduced not long after Gibson's Les Paul, the ThinTwin was a semi-hollow body guitar and larger than it's name "thin" implied. The guitars body was 2 3/4 inches deep. "ThinTwin" was a reference to the unique appearance of the dual pickups, having a very slim profile.

Started in 1890 and based in Chicago, the Kay Musical Instrument Company introduced, in 1957, the Gold "K" line of guitars. These included electric guitars as well as archtop and flattop acoustics. Before then, the company's guitars had been known mostly for student and department store grade instruments. They made instruments for many companies under different names; "Old Kraftsman", "Airline" and "Silvertone" were just a few of them used. They stopped making the "K" Gold line in 1962. Kay had got Barney Kessel, the top guitarist in the late 50's, to endorse three models (Jazz Special, Artist, and Pro) of the series. This only lasted for three years then Kessel left to join Gibson.

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