A fiddle found in a bombed music store in Frankfurt, Germany, during World War II has made its way to Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. When soldiers found the fiddle, they sent it to country music star Roy Acuff, whose music they listened to during their service.
“You (were) our favorite country singer so I use to sing all your songs,” soldier John E. Johnson Sr. wrote to Acuff in a 1970 letter. “When we got to ‘Frankfurt, Germany’ we found this fiddle in an old bombed out music store. We thought of you right away and sent it to you.”
Acuff subsequently played the fiddle on stages around the world, including at the Grand Ole Opry.
“It has been seen by millions who have watched me perform on stages,” Acuff wrote of the instrument.
Country Music Hall of Famer Vince Gill came into possession of the famous fiddle and donated it to the museum’s collection.
“This fiddle really does have history,” Vince Gill says. “It’s an actual tool that he used out there a lot on television and on different things. You know, it meant something to him. It’s home. It’s where it belongs.”
The fiddle, a letter from the soldiers and a note from Acuff himself are all now on display at the museum.
Curators say that, in addition to the instrument’s storied history, it is also significant because it is was authenticated by Acuff.