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The baby boom showed no signs of letting up and “Boomers” were hitting high adolescence – prime guitar playing years.Thus, guitars were blessed with the Midas touch, veritable gold mines guaranteed to swell the bottom line as large corporations sought to diversify.Despite the good times for guitar sellers, Burns London was in desperate need of a rescue.This is where the Baldwin Piano and Organ Company of Cincinnati enters the picture.
Harrison recalls that Burns was pleasant enough, but that he spent most of the next several weeks in talks with Burns’ attorney trying to sort out the terrible state of affairs at the guitarmaker.
In the late ’50s he was part of Burns-Weill, making some of the earliest production guitars in England.
In ’60 he founded his own company, Ormston Burns Ltd., which began selling guitars branded “Burns London.” Among his most endearing guitar designs were the pointy, horned Bison and a guitar made for Hank Marvin, England’s answer to the Ventures.
Burns guitars were generally well designed and produced, with feather-touch vibratos, a unique “gear-box” truss rod adjuster (which ended up on many Baldwin-era Gretsches), and nifty electronic features like the “Wild Dog” setting on the Jazz Split Sound (basically an early out-of-phase tone).
Since most of Burns’ guitars ended up in the Baldwin line, there’s no need to go into them at length.