KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A fiddle that Goodwill believes was once owned by country music legend Roy Acuff is expected to generate thousands of dollars for the charitable organization in the Kansas City area.
The Kansas City Star reports that the fiddle was donated anonymously to Goodwill of Western Missouri and Eastern Kansas and is being sold in an online auction at shopgoodwill.com. As of Thursday morning the high bid was $7,780. The auction is open until 11 p.m. Central time Saturday.
Acuff died in 1992 at age 89. He was the first living inductee into the Country Music Hall of Fame, best known for hits such as “Wabash Cannonball and “Tennessee Waltz.”
The fiddle was made by Evart Acuff, Roy Acuff’s uncle, in August 1945 in Maryville, Tennessee. It isn’t clear why it was donated to a Kansas City Goodwill store.
“We recognized right away that it was something special and we now have it up for auction,” Raines said. “We have no information on the owner. They just donated it and moved on.”
The fiddle, made of apple wood apparently from a tree on a family farm, is now in the possession of Gary Raines, who runs Goodwill’s e-commerce program in Kansas City. He said he was confident the fiddle was Acuff’s, even though the certificate of authenticity and other paperwork are copies. The report didn’t explain how Raines reached that conclusion.
Acuff, a native of Maynardville, Tennessee, first became famous as the singer and fiddler for the Crazy Tennesseans, later called the Smoky Mountain Boys. Their hits also included “Wreck on the Highway,” ”Pins and Needles” and “Night Train to Memphis.”
Acuff performed regularly at the Grand Ole Opry and starred in the 1940 film “Grand Ole Opry.” In 1942, he and Fred Rose formed Acuff-Rose Music, which became a powerful country music publishing firm.