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Who Maybelle Carter
What Hall of Fame benefactor pays $575,000 for Mother Maybelle's guitar
When August 23, 2004
Where Nashville, TN

A Murfreesboro benefactor has put up $575,000 to purchase "Mother Maybelle" Carter's guitar and return it — permanently — to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

The 1928 Gibson L-5 guitar had been on loan to the museum since 1998, but it was put up for sale by its anonymous owner three months ago.

Bob McLean, identified this morning as a Murfreesboro businessman, agreed to buy the guitar and donate it for permanent display at the hall of fame. The agreement was announced this morning at a press conference. Nashville vintage instrument dealer Gruhn Guitars served as middleman on the deal.

McLean presented the guitar to the museum this morning in a ceremony at the museum's Ford Theatre attended by music industry personnel and musicians including Earl Scruggs, Marty Stuart and Vince Gill. Mayor Bill Purcell was also on hand.

The Original Carter Family, country music's first stars, debuted in 1927 when family members Maybelle, Alvin Pleasant (''A.P'') Carter and his wife, Sara, performed in Bristol, Tenn., for Victor producer Ralph Peer, who was scouting for ''hillbilly'' musicians. Throughout Maybelle's long recording career, the Gibson L-5 was virtually the only instrument she used.

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Contact Jeanne Anne Naujeck
The Tennesseean


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