Virginia Luthiers guitar being raffled for The Carter Fold

The Carter Fold, a living memorial to the legacy of the Carter Family, located on the property where A.P. and Sara Carter raised their family in Poor Valley, VA, is offering a rare and unique guitar at raffle to help support their operation.

Described as a one-of-kind instrument called The Carter Fold Guitar, it was built by Wayne Henderson with the assistance of Gerald Anderson, Spencer Strickland, and Jimmy Edmonds. The wood used for the body is cherry harvested from the Carter Fold grounds, with a sunburst spruce top, mahogany neck, and ebony fingerboard. Those who have waited in line for a chance to get a Wayne Henderson guitar know how seldom they are available, and what sort of price they command.

This particular guitar was built by Wayne, Jimmy, Spencer, and Gerald. Thus, the headstock branding is Virginia Luthiers, the name Henderson has given to his occasional touring group that he, Strickland, and Anderson had. Gerald passed away in June of 2019.

Spencer shared a few details about the process…

“The guitar was built in a joint effort between all of us. The late Gerald Anderson headed up the project. He got the wood from a tree that had fallen on the Carter property, had it sawn up and kiln dried, they he bent the sides, and made the back of the guitar. Wayne Henderson then made the top and put the binding on the body. Jimmy Edmonds made the neck. I put the finish on the guitar and then glued the neck and bridge on and did the final set up.”

Tickets for the raffle are only $10 apiece, or 6 for $50. All proceeds will go directly to support the Carter Fold, founded as a non-profit in 1979 by Janette Carter, daughter of A.P. and Sara. Now deceased, management of the Fold and the adjacent A.P. Carter Museum is now undertaken by Janette’s daughter, Rita. Tickets to the regular live concerts at the Fold and admission to the museum are nearly the sole income for preserving this venue and site. Despite its tremendous cultural significance, there is little enduring funding for its operation.

Without regard to whether you play guitar, the chance to own this significant and singular instrument should appeal to any lover of the Carter Family, and the rich musical inheritance they have left us. Plus you know that by purchasing a ticket, you are supporting the preservation of their homeplace in Hiltons, VA.

The winner of the Virginia Luthiers Carter Fold guitar will be announced during the annual Appalachia Rising event the Fold hosts each year. Typically held in the late spring, the 2020 date has not yet been announced, as they are negotiating to bring a big name in, and availability has not been completely secured. Expect to hear more about that soon.

Raffle tickets can be purchased online.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.