George Jones' First Guitar, A Hammond "Gene Autry" Cowboy ...
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DescriptionGeorge Jones' First Guitar, A Hammond "Gene Autry" Cowboy Acoustic.
Long before the legendary hits like "The Grand Tour" and "He Stopped Loving Her Today," George Jones was a kid who loved his guitar. Per our consignor and family members, this is known to be Jones' first guitar, an acoustic Gene Autry model made by Hammond. And the bottom portion has a faded etching of "George Jones / Beaumont TX 11" done by George on it with a lead pencil.
As a gift from his father (who purchased the guitar from Sears), the 11-year-old future "King of Broken Hearts" would hide it in leaves before he'd go to school and later skip class to play it. He loved the guitar so much that he occasionally slept with it. He would play for tips on the streets of Beaumont as he honed his playing. And there is water damage on the interior, as when it was left out amongst the leaves and it rained. Jones would empty the water from the sound hole.
Jones would later move to Jasper and start his singing career, which would make him into one of the biggest country singers of all time. With hit singles as a solo artist and a lengthy list of duets (including his one-time wife and frequent collaborator, Tammy Wynette) over a handful of decades, he left this earth at age 81 in 2013. The Hammond guitar had gone missing for some 70 years until it was found on an artist's wall in Kentucky while filming a TV show for the Learning Channel.
The case comes with a zip drive, featuring various digital pictures, pdfs, and Word files about the guitar, including a shot of young Jones holding the guitar. Also comes with a signed affidavit about how the consignor showed the guitar to Jones' sister Helen Scroggins and her daughter Carolyn Scroggins in 2013, where they both confirmed the guitar belonged to George. Getting the authenticity of the guitar is detailed by the consignor's book, I Was Lost! Now I'm Found: The Real Discovery Story of George Jones' First Guitar, in which a copy comes with the lot. COA from Heritage Auctions.
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