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Marty Suart’s 1950s Telcaster, Clarence

The story of Marty Suart’s 1950s Telcaster, Clarence is about a lot of miles and a lot of love.

Marty says it is the greatest Telecaster in the world, but it is so modified by famous hands, maybe “Telecaster” is a little misleading.

Marty Stuart has a long, amazing career that continues to this day, but he has been a collector of country music artifacts to the extent that he is known as "The Keeper Of The Flame."

His guitar belonged to Clarence White, the famous bluegrass player who gained fame with the Kentucky Colonels and The Byrds.

White died in a car wreck in 1973. Stuart was friends with the family and shared so many connections with them. White’s widow sold it to him for less than $1500 because she wanted Stuart to be the one to keep it alive. He has granted her wish with gusto. Stuart has made a few more modifications, but he says the dirt and the decals are all still intact. Watch a short PBS video as Marty demos the guitar and tells a short version of its story.

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