Solidbody / Production 1967 – Current Day.
Walt Smith of Idaho, USA, invented the Melobar in the 1960’s for the purpose of steel guitarists, who were normally confined to chair, could look cool on stage as the fellow lead, rhythm and bass guitarists etc… The Melobar gave the an instrument that could be played standing up.
Smith took a steel guitar and rotated it 45 degrees along the axis of its strings providing a more comfortable playing position than that of a steel guitar played in the lap or on a stand. The rest of the changes to the instrument were cosmetic, but no less important. The steel part of the guitar was attached to guitar body that came in many shapes from this double cutaway Skreemr model to the angluar line of a Gibson Explorer.
Although the Melobar has been played on stage by many famous steel guitarists such as, David Lindley, Rusty Young, Cindy Cashdollar, Arlen Roth, Steve Fishel, Roy Clark, Troy Klontz, Jeff Peterson, Howard Leesea, Brian Jones, Patrick Arbuthnot and Jimmy Page. The Melobars never really gained widespread acceptance.Ted Smith carried on his fathers company after Walts death in 1990, but they have struggled to stay in business over the later years.