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The Mountain Music Museum in Kingsport, Tennessee, is pleased to announce that it will display a rare fiddle once owned by Grand Ole Opry legend Roy Acuff, beginning May 1, 2018.
The fiddle, which was made in 1945 by the singer’s uncle, Evart Acuff in Marysville, Tennessee, attracted national attention recently, when it was mistakenly donated to a Goodwill store in Kansas City, Missouri, by a relative of the current owner, Lamar Peek. Goodwill initially decided to sell it through an online auction. Bidding reached $8200.
However, when Mr. Peek learned what happened, he contacted Goodwill and the organization returned the instrument. Grateful to have the fiddle back in his possession, Mr. Peek donated $1000 to Goodwill. Another donor gave $8000, anonymously.
“We weren’t looking to make money by returning the fiddle; we just wanted to do the right thing as an organization,” said Kevin Bentley, interim president and CEO of Goodwill of Western Missouri and Eastern Kansas. “It just shows that when you do the right thing without expectation, great things can happen. The donations will go to our GoodWORKS Career Resource Centers, which help people find jobs.”
The Mountain Music Museum learned about the fiddle, through news reports.
“Roy Acuff is one of the great musical artists from East Tennessee, so we thought it would be great to include the fiddle as part of an exhibit,” said Rick Dollar, the museum’s executive director. “We reached out to Goodwill, and they forwarded a message to the owner. We are grateful to Mr. Peek for his generosity.”
The museum plans to display the fiddle for one year, beginning in early May.
Mr. Peek will share his fiddle story on national television when he appears on “Huckabee” on the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) on Saturday, April 14, and Sunday, April 15, at 8/7c. Grammy-winning fiddle player Jim VanCleve, a member of country star Josh Turner’s band, will play the fiddle on the show.
"The night before taping Huckabee, I was in the 'Roy Acuff' dressing room backstage at the Grand Ole Opry, where there are multiple pictures prominently displaying this instrument,” VanCleve said. “To have the opportunity to simply play the instrument would be a great honor. But, to be asked to be the last person to play it, in that setting, before it goes into a display case at the Mountain Music Museum is certainly something I'll never forget! It was a great thrill and an honor to play one last tune on Roy's fiddle!"
Mr. Peek inherited the fiddle from his late brother, Bobby, who purchased it at a pawn shop in Alabama.
“My brother had a passion for violins and fiddles his whole life,” Peek said. “I feel like he would be happy to see this fiddle displayed for people who have an interest in country music. This is my way of honoring him.”
Known as the “King of Country Music,” Roy Acuff was born in 1903 in Maynardville, Tennessee, and became famous for such songs as “Wabash Cannon Ball,” “Great Speckled Bird,” “Wreck On The Highway” and “Fireball Mail.” In 1948, he ran for governor, after incumbent Gov. Prentice Cooper accused him of making Tennessee the “hillbilly capital of the United States.” Acuff lost the election but continued playing music until his death in 1992.
Roy Acuff was named the first living inductee of the Grand Ole Opry Hall of Fame and was also the first country artist to receive the lifetime achievement award by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, among other achievements.
Lamar Peek and his Roy Acuff fiddle will appear on “Huckabee” on the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) on Saturday, April 14, and Sunday, April 15 at 8/7c. For information about the show, visit www.tbn.org/huckabee. Information about the Mountain Music Museum is available at www.MountainMusicMuseum.org.
Photos courtesy of Trinity Broadcasting Network
Mountain Music Museum opens in Kingsport with Stanley event
Bristol Herald-Courier, 1/27/18
Like a line from a Carter Family classic, officials from the Mountain Music Museum and The Pickin’ Porch apparently found a better home awaiting in Kingsport. “This is the time and this is the place for this to happen,” said Rick Dollar, 49, executive director of the Mountain Music Museum and host of The Pickin’ Porch.
Edna M Riddick 5 stars
Don't miss an opportunity to go back in time! -- An amazing display of music history sets the perfect listening room for The Pickin' Porch Stage. No doubt The Mountain Music Museum in Kingsport TN reflects the passion felt by so many songwriters, performers, and lovers of great music. Thanks to all who made this possible. // Jim & Edna Riddick
Violet Viars 5 stars
A wonderful music venue to attend...also a lovely museum.
Marie Bridgeforth 5 stars
The perfect place to visit if you love country music and history! The museum is interesting and beautifully executed. Well worth the visit!
Kathy Broce 5 stars
Great place for new artist and artists that have been around awhile to come. We all should continue to support these folks!!!
DougandKrystal Smith 5 stars
Nice museum with some wonderful pieces of Bristol and country/bluegrass/old-time music history. Friendly, helpful volunteers. Great location on State Street.