Jerry Kennedy, a music legend renowned for his contributions as a studio musician and head of Mercury Records, has left an indelible mark on the music industry.
Collaborating with iconic artists like Roger Miller, Tom T. Hall, Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, and Reba McEntire, his talent and expertise have shaped the sound of countless hits. However, amidst his illustrious career, there is a fascinating tale that revolves around a guitar. A guitar that holds sentimental value and a story of unexpected reunification.
The Early Years
Kennedy’s musical journey began at a young age when his mother gifted him a 1950 Martin 00-18. An exceptional acoustic guitar. However, fate intervened when, just a few months later, the guitar suffered severe damage after falling off a car roof.
As a replacement, Jerry received a Gibson J-50, and life went on. Little did he know that the story of his beloved Martin was far from over.
A Surprise Reunion
In 2021, after an astonishing span of 70 years, Jerry Kennedy received an unexpected phone call from a family friend. The call carried the news that seemed too incredible to be true. They had found his “old guitar.” Filled with both disbelief and anticipation, Jerry embarked on a journey to reclaim a piece of his musical history.
In the video below, Jerry’s song, Gordon Kennedy, takes us on an enchanting journey of how C. F. Martin & Company meticulously restored the guitar, bringing it back to life. Every detail was meticulously attended to. Ensuring that the guitar not only regained its former glory but became playable once again.
Now reunited with its rightful owner, the Martin guitar holds a special place in the Kennedy family’s musical heritage. Gordon Kennedy proudly performs with the guitar, sharing its timeless sound with audiences around the world.
Enhancing the guitar’s capabilities further, the LR Baggs HiFi Bridge Plate Pickup System adds a touch of modernity to this treasured instrument.
The revival of Jerry Kennedy’s Martin guitar represents more than just the restoration of a cherished musical instrument. It exemplifies the power of music and the connections it forms across generations.
LR Baggs is honored to have played a part in reviving this guitar and delighted to share its remarkable story with our audience.
Jerry Kennedy’s Martin guitar serves as a testament to the enduring power of music. At the same time is a testament that we form a deep emotional bond with our instruments.
Through the dedication of C. F. Martin & Company and the innovative additions from LR Baggs, this guitar has regained its rightful place in the hands of its owner and continues to captivate audiences with its timeless sound.
The story of Jerry Kennedy’s Martin guitar is a reminder that music transcends time, and the melodies we create become a part of our personal narrative, forever etched in our hearts.