In 1998 I became acquainted with Joe D. Carter, the son of A.P. and Sara Carter of the Original Carter Family. In the coming months Joe and I became good friends and bonded like two high school buddies. As our friendship began to grow I heard stories about Joe’s childhood and his well known father A.P. Carter.
Joe’s stories inspired me to appreciate the hard work of A.P. Carter and his invaluable contributions to American music. I began to research more about The Carter Family, but more specifically Alvin Pleasant Carter. My research led me to an article in the December 1991 issue of “LIFE” magazine entitled “The Ballad of A.P. Carter.” This article appropriately referred to A.P. as the “Father of Country Music.” I knew this to be true, not from the article, but from my experience and conversations with Joe.
In the year 2000 I began collaborating with Joe to build a limited number of guitars in honor of A.P. Carter the Father of Country Music.
These guitars would be built in the style of A.P.’s personal guitar from the Martin Guitar Company, complete with a certificate of authenticity and interior label personally signed by Joe.
Joe had this uncanny ability to spot specific species of trees from great distances, a gift his father had as well. After several months of planning, Joe came by the guitar shop with great news: he found the perfect tree. It was a huge walnut tree right out of Maces Springs, Virginia. Not only was this guitar going to be special because it honored the Father of Country Music, the wood was also from a special place called “Little Valley,” the very birthplace community of A.P. Carter. Maces Springs is the home of the famous A.P. Carter Store, A.P. Carter’s Birthplace Cabin and the Carter Family Fold, a musical refuge for thousands of people each year.
Joe and I began our plan to harvest this beautiful walnut tree that would sweetly sing in its next life as the back and sides of this special one-of-a-kind guitar. We cut, we hauled; off to the saw mill we went. It was September 11, 2001 a day I will always remember, and a date that none of us will ever forget. We cut the log into several one inch thick boards, then stickered and stacked them for air drying.
Fourteen years later, the wood is seasoned and ready. A must for any guitar collection, only 30 of these rare guitars will be made.
The A.P. Carter Commemorative Guitar Specifications
Traditional 1929 “00” body shape
“Little Valley” Eastern Black Walnut Back and Sides
Adirondack Spruce Top
Mahogany Neck with 24.9 Scale
12 Fret to Body
Traditional Slotted Headstock
Ebony Fingerboard and Bridge
Two Way Adjustable Truss Rod
Traditional Appointments in the Style Of A.P. Carter’s 1929 Martin Guitar
Golden Age Replica Tuning Machines
Ameritage Hardshell Case
Optional Hand Engraved Portrait Pickguard Available Offered at $12,000
(click on photos to enlarge)
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