When the bass was repaired by my husband and made playable once again, my research and love of Epiphone basses began.
According to history, all makers dropped what they were doing to join the war time effort.
Epiphone had suspended their guitar production to make aileron parts for aircraft.
However, the company emerged from the war with a different face…the man whose name was on every musical instrument had died during the war.
Epi passed on June 6, 1943 at the age of 50 from leukemia; his passing changed the fate of the company and was the first blow to the decline of the Epiphone Empire…in his sister Elly’s words, “Epi was the brains”.
The Epiphone Company was in a great period of expansion and innovation.
The only force powerful enough to stop their progress was the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.In 1917 Epi gave the family business a new name “House of Stathopoulo” and continued the tradition of making mandolins.By 1924 times were changing with the great age of Jazz and Dixieland music, Epi expanded his business by adding banjos.These early print ads were before the complete B-1 through B-5 line up was established.According to Walter Carter’s book, both Epiphone and Gibson companies’ bass production would be curtailed by WWII, but Epiphone basses endured into the postwar period and would eventually be the attraction that prompted Gibson to buy out Epiphone in 1957.In our quest to provide accurate and factual examples of the Epiphone upright bass we have acquired all five of the pre-war models.