Vince Gill shares the backstory of one of Roy Acuff's primary fiddles — how Acuff acquired it, how he treasured it, how the instrument came to Gill, and why he chose to donate it to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum's permanent collection in 2021.
The fiddle—a copy of the highly prized violins constructed in the 1600s by Austrian luthier Jacobus Stainer—was built in Germany around 1890, and found and rescued from a bombed-out Frankfurt music store by American soldiers near the end of World War II. Those soldiers sent the fiddle to their favorite country music performer, Roy Acuff, and the Grand Ole Opry star used it for many years on stage and on screen.
Vince Gill became friends with Acuff at the Opry, and acquired the fiddle in 2021, donating it to the Museum out of fondness and admiration for his fellow Country Music Hall of Fame member. The Museum opened a spotlight exhibit sharing the story of the violin, "Soldier’s Joy: A Fiddle Fit for Roy Acuff," shortly after the donation.
Here, Vince Gill and the Museum's Mick Buck offer insight into the instrument, Acuff’s place in history, the Museum’s collection efforts, and the importance of preservation.
Learn about the Museum's exhibitions: https://countrymusichalloffame.org/current-exhibits/
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