Noted reso-guitarist Bev King’s music store and theater in Clarksville, AR will be offered for sale at auction this weekend. Properties include both the Country Heritage Music Store and its contents (instruments, fixtures), and the adjoining Country Music Heritage Barn where she has been offering concerts.
The real estate includes 13,000 square feet of commercial space, with a large parking area, and the two buildings. Bids for the whole package or the structures separately will be considered. The business has operated on this site since 2007, though it had been in existence at other locations since 1998.
King is an important early pioneer in the teaching of the resophonic slide guitar, often described simply by the trade name of its inventor, Dobro. She took up the instrument herself in 1967, after becoming enchanted with the sound she heard from Brother Oswald on a Roy Acuff record. By 1971, she had recorded her first LP of all instrumental Dobro music, with nine more to follow over the intervening years. She was the first female reso-guitarist to do so.
Though her playing was, and remains influential, it was as a teacher and a publisher that her legacy is most powerfully felt. Recognizing the lack of organized instructional material for the instrument, Bev put together a beginner’s manual in 1974, Country and Bluegrass Dobro, which served as the introduction to reso slide playing for a generation of players.
This book was followed by two Dobro song books, with all lessons written in tablature, and the launch of a slide player’s newsletter called The Dobro Nut. The name was changed to Resophonic Echoes in 1976, and again to Country Heritage in ’82. When the print edition folded, King assembled some of the best of the magazine into a book called Dobroist’s Scrapbook.
All of her books, along with recordings and videos, are still available from her web site.
When a number of recent attempts to sell the business fell through, King decided to liquidate the assets, with an on-site auction scheduled for Saturday, September 7 at 10:00 a.m. (CDT). Arrangements and final sales are being handled by Looper Auction, whose web site offers more details about the items offered, including dozens of new and used instruments.
It’s the end of an era, sadly.