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Songs and Stories from A.P. Carter's Martin Guitar at BCMM

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 Dale Jett & Wayne HendersonBristol, VA/TN -- The Birthplace of Country Music Museum (BCMM) will host Songs and Stories from A. P. Carter’s Martin Guitar with Dale Jett and Wayne Henderson inside the Performance Theater on Friday, February 6, 2015 at 7:00 p.m.

"In the late 1930s, A. P. Carter bought a Martin guitar in a south Texas pawn shop to play on border radio," said BCMM curator of education outreach, Thomas Richardson. "The 1936 OOO-28 was a fancy guitar at the time, but as it was only a few years old, there was no way to know it would later be considered one of the finest examples of craftsmanship from Martin’s golden age. That guitar was later handed down to A. P.’s grandson Dale Jett. When a guitar of this caliber needs repair, Jett trusts friend and renowned luthier Wayne Henderson to do the job."

Songs and Stories is a rare chance to hear A. P. Carter’s guitar played by Dale and Wayne. The guitar is on display as part of the Carter Family: Lives and Legacies special exhibit in the museum through Feburary 28, 2015.

The event will be part interview, part storytelling, and part music as Dale and Wayne share personal memories and technical insight, and showcase what such a fine vintage instrument sounds like. This is a must-see event for musicians, roots music aficionados and historians who are encouraged to ask questions and be part of the discussion.

Songs and Stories from A.P. Carter’s Martin Guitar is part of the “The Carter Family: Lives and Legacies” special exhibit, currently running in the Special Exhibits Gallery at BCMM. Tickets to Songs and Stories are $25 per person and are available at Birthplace of Country Music Museum and online at www.BirthplaceofCountryMusic.org. There will be a cash bar at the event.

Singer and musician, Dale Jett is a native of Southwest Virginia. He is a third generation member of the legendary Carter Family. The son of Janette Carter and the grandson of A. P. and Sara Carter, his roots have been heavily steeped within the heart of his family’s music heritage. Growing up within the Carter family, Dale has been influenced by many musicians and styles of music. He began playing guitar in his late teens when Elizabeth Cotton taught him his first chords—left handed, upside down. Later, he added his own style of authoharp playing to his repertoire. It is ultimately his voice that arrests you. It is powerful and compelling, yet delicate and haunting.

Like his grandfather, Dale is a “collector” of songs. His dedication to the preservation of traditional music, the love of Carter Family songs, and his admiration of other songwriters are evident in his performances.

Wayne Henderson’s top-notch finger picking is a source of great pleasure and pride to his friends, family, and neighbors in Grayson County, Virginia. His guitar playing has also been enjoyed at Carnegie Hall, in three national tours of Masters of the Steel-String Guitar, and in seven nations in Asia.

In addition to his reputation as a guitarist, Henderson is a luthier of great renown. He is a recipient of the 1995 National Heritage Award presented by the National Endowment for the Arts. He produces about 20 instruments a year, mostly guitars though he is almost as well known for the mandolins he has made. Good friend Doc Watson owned a Henderson mandolin. He said, “That Henderson mandolin is as good as any I’ve had my hands on. And that’s saying a lot, because I’ve picked up some good ones.”

Some of Henderson’s instruments are intricately decorated but they are mostly respected for their volume, tone, and resonance. The late blues guitarist John Cephas said that Wayne Henderson “is probably the most masterful guitar maker in this whole United States.” There is a waiting list for Henderson’s guitars, made up of the famous (and not-so-famous).

The Birthplace of Country Music Museum, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, explores the history of the 1927 Bristol Sessions and their lasting impact on our music heritage. The 24,000-square foot museum is located at 520 Birthplace of Country Music Way in Historic Downtown Bristol. Through text and artifacts, multiple theater experiences, film and sound, and interactive, technology-infused displays—along with a variety of educational programs, music programs, and community events—the exciting story of this music and its far-reaching influence comes alive. For more information about the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, visit www.birthplaceofcountrymusic.org or call 423-573-1927.

For further information about Songs and Stories from A.P. Carter’s Martin Guitar, visit www.birthplaceofcountrymusic.org or call 423-573-1927.

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