Gibson, operator of Memphis guitar factory, files for bankruptcy protection

The Gibson Guitar factory in Memphis.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Storied guitar maker Gibson Brands has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

The Nashville-based brand operates a manufacturing plant in downtown Memphis, where it makes its hollow-body and semi-hollow guitars.

Gibson guitars were long favored by Memphis blues legend B.B. King, who had a long succession of “Lucille” guitars.

The company also owns brands including Epiphone, Wurlitzer and Slingerland. Gibson plans to continue manufacturing instruments.

The company’s Memphis plant is moving from its current location. The company has said it will find another location downtown.