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Sweet Guitars Strummed by the Legends. (They’re Closer Than You Think)

Bryan Bjerke
Over the weekend I visited the National Music Museum, one of the most unique and interesting museums in the world. No, I didn’t fly to New York or Washington DC, I drove about 60 miles south to Vermillion.
That’s right, this remarkable museum is on the campus of the University of South Dakota, and it houses more than 15,000 instruments from all over the world, including rare, priceless violins from the 1500s and 1600s made by Stradavari and Amati.
But it’s not all classical instruments. There are also a lot of current items that are fascinating, especially to country music fans. For example, this guitar belonged to country legend Johnny Cash. He kept it in his home outside of Nashville, Bon Aqua, and used it to compose many of his songs.
And this guitar was autographed for a charity auction by country legends such as George Strait, Garth Brooks, Roy Acuff, Bill Monroe, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson, among others. And in that same case are guitars used by Bill Anderson and Roy Acuff.
There is also a guitar used by Bob Dylan in the early 1960s, and a trumpet that was a prop for the Beatles’ movie Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band.
So the next time you’re looking for something to do that is a bit out of the ordinary and with some extraordinary history, you might want to take a drive to Vermillion!
Bryan Bjerke

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