LA BAYE
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LA BAYE
Instruments previously built in Neodesha, KS in 1967. Designed and distributed by The La Baye Company in Green Bay, WI. Current information can be obtained through HenriĀ“s Music of Green Bay (and Appleton), WI.
Inventor Dan Helland conceived the notion of a minimal-bodied guitar while working at Henri's Music Shop in Green Bay, WI during the mid-1960s. After receiving some support from owner Henri Czachor and others, Helland had the Holman-Woodell company of Neodesha, KS build the first (and only) run of forty-five instruments. La Baye guitars share similar stock hardware pieces and pickups installed on Wurlitzer guitars of the same era, as Holman-Woodell were building a number of different trademarked instruments during the mid- to late 1960s.
After receiving the first shipment, Helland attended the 1967 Chicago NAMM show (the same show where Ovation first debuted). Unfortunately, the minimal body concept was so far advanced that the market didn't catch up until Steinberger released his first bass in the 1980s! La Baye instruments were produced in 1967, and a total of forty-five were shipped to Helland.
Identification is pretty straightforward, given that the 3+3 headstock will say La Baye and sometimes 2 x 4. The 22-fret neck bolts to the rectangular body, and controls are mounted on the top and bottom of the body. There were four models: the six-string and twelve-string guitars, and the short-scale (single pickup) bass as well as the long-scale (two pickup) bass. However, keep in mind that there are only forty-five official La Baye instruments. Others were later offered by Holman and 21st Century, from the same factory that built the initial models. Source: Michael Wright, Guitar Stories, Volume One.

From Blue Book Publications:


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