NASHVILLE, Tenn. (August 10, 2015) – It’s commonplace for any songwriter to write a song about their past. But when Bill Anderson, Vicky McGehee and Jamey Johnson co-wrote“The Guitar Song,” eight years ago, they had no idea they were actually writing it about their future. The pensive story-song about a fictional guitar that hung unwanted and tattered in an old pawn shop, yet held so many stories of its past to tell, went on to become the title track of Johnson’s critically acclaimed fourth album and starts out with the words:
I’m just a guitar in the pawn shop on the corner
And I’m waiting for someone to play me now and then
My strings are kinda rusty and I’m a little dusty
Oh, but you’d be too if you’ve been where I’ve been
In an eerie and remarkable twist of fate, those lyrics now reflect the true story of a guitar Bill Anderson played when he was first getting started in country music – and on Saturday night, August 8, on the stage of the legendary Grand Ole Opry, the authentic Grammer guitar, given to Anderson personally by Billy Grammer fifty years ago, made its way back into the hands of its original owner.
The story all began four weeks ago when Anderson’s secretary received an email from Mike Grauer, the owner of Bell Road Pawn in Phoenix, Arizona, which read that one of the shop’s customers had pawned an old guitar which had the words, “This guitar belongs to Bill Anderson,” in the sound hole.
Familiar with the 50-year Grand Ole Opry member and his long list of self-penned top country hits like “Whiskey Lullaby,” (Brad Paisley, Alison Krauss) “A Lot Of Things Different” (Kenny Chesney), “Give It Away” (George Strait), among others, Grauer searched the Internet and was shocked when he found an old video on YouTube of Anderson playing an identical Grammer guitar on The Johnny Cash Show. Grauer sent pictures of the relic, and upon investigation, Anderson and his team were able to confirm its authenticity.
“I thought, okay, here it comes, he’s going to want $25,000 for me to get it back,” Anderson joked. But to the contrary, when the country star asked Grauer what he would take for the special timepiece, he replied that he and his wife had always wanted to witness the Grand Ole Opry, but they’d never had the chance.
Without hesitation and, “before he changed his mind,” Anderson recalled, he booked two tickets to Nashville and arranged for them to experience The Grand Ole Opry in a special way — backstage. As Mike and his wife, Wendie, celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary, Anderson introduced them on-stage to a captive audience, wistfully telling the story of his long-lost guitar that had now found its way home.
Anderson said, his voice breaking, “Mike, you and Wendie just have no idea… you have no idea, what this means to me. I don’t think I ever played this guitar in the Opry House because we didn’t come here until 1972, but I played it many times at the Ryman. It’s so special to have it back. Thank you so much. I wish you a wonderful anniversary.” Laughing, he added, “It may be your anniversary, but I got the present!”
The long-lost guitar hit Anderson’s hands for the first time in 50 years, and he gave its strings a strum as he held back tears of sentiment. Today, the BMI Icon Award winner and the only songwriter in the history of the country music genre to have achieved a song on the charts for seven consecutive decades, Anderson surprised the audience with a surprise appearance by co-writer and friend, Jamey Johnson, and the two performed a chill-bump inducing rendition of the now non-fictional fan-favorite hit, “The Guitar Song.”
Anderson closed the special performance saying, “Thank you to Mike, Wendie and Jamey, and thank you to Billy Grammer. May you rest in peace, my friend.”
“Your old guitar will be well taken care of… I promise I’ll never lose it again.”
Bill Anderson is currently on tour across the country, performing in venues from state to state. For a full list of dates and additional information on the country legend, please visit www.billanderson.com.
This Week Laura Dodd’s Video Jukebox Ft Lynn Anderson A Re-Run of Video Jukebox #001 WETv
WET TV is proud to announce that we will be featuring the very popular Nashville Broadcasting Networks, “Video Jukebox” hosted by Laura Dodd from NASHVILLE. This show features Lynn Anderson and Casey Anderson. It was taped at Casey’s home just outside of Nashville, TN. Casey Anderson is Lynn’s father and was married to singer song writer Liz Anderson. Liz wrote, “From Now On All My Friends Are Gonna Be Strangers,” which Merle Haggard recorded. Merle named his band The Strangers as a result of his hit with that song. Video’s shown include the late Lynn Anderson classic, “Rose Garden.” and one of “Merle Haggard and the Strangers” huge international #1 hits, called “The fugitive”. Hope you enjoy watching this show now that Lynn has passed on. WET TV is family TV.
It is official. The United States Supreme Court has declared it is now legal in the United States to marry the same sex. I don’t suppose this had to be done for us to see 2 males or 2 females kissing on the Grand Ole Opry but now it somehow seems to be OK. Kissing is not new on the Grand Ole Opry. We all loved it each time Tim and Faith smooched at the end of their duet performance. It actually can be traced all the way back to Hank Williams and his wife Audrey. Somehow now under the dome of the new laws concerning gay marriage, I am expecting some radical changes on the Opry Stage in the very near future. In the past when men grew beards and sported long length hairdos, they became known as part of the Outlaw Movement. Some hated it and tried to get it stopped but it marched onward and now a lot of that music is considered Classic Country. It makes me wonder what the Gay couples music will be nicknamed. Gay is a term that primarily refers to a homosexual person or the trait of being homosexual. The term was originally used to refer to feelings of being “carefree”, “happy”, or “bright and showy”. So maybe the music coming out in the future by Gay couples will be called Happy music. My only concern is how many people are going to be Happy to hear it?
– The Music City Ghost [File #22] 2015
Do not be afraid to face yourself honestly-in My Presence. In this brilliant Light you can see many things that miss the mark of My perfect standard. Though this is uncomfortable, do not try to run away or shift blame. Instead, agree with Me about these matters, and leave them with Me. Rejoice because I have already paid the penalty-taken the whole punishment-for all your sins. Joyfully receive the forgiveness I bought for you with My own blood.
When I forgive you, I also cleanse you from all unrighteousness. I even clothe you in My own perfect righteousness. As you walk in the Light with Me, there is a continual cleansing work going on within you. This purifying work of My blood helps you stay close to Me and to others who walk in My Light.
Blessed are those who walk in the Light of My Presence. They rejoice in My Name all day long, exulting in My righteousness.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. -1 John 1:9 nkjv
I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. -Isaiah 61:10
If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. -1 John 1:7
Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O Lord. They rejoice in your name all day long; they exult in your righteousness. -Psalm 89:15-16