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Charlie Derrington

Charlie Derrington

Charlie Derrington

Charlie Derrington was a Nashville based musician and luthier best known for piecing back together Bill Monroe's fabled Loar mandolin mandolin that was smashed into pieces by a vandal wielding a fireplace poker on the evening of November 13, 1985.

Employed by Gibson at the time, Charlie was assigned the task of reassembling the instrument, an event that took months and is deservedly one of the most remarkable instrument reconstruction jobs ever undertaken.

In a ceremony at Gibson on February 25, 1986, the damaged mandolin was returned to Monroe in a ceremony where he played it and declared it as good as new. The instrument now resides in the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville on permanent display.

Charlie's tenure at Gibson included a position at the helm of their Original Acoustic Instruments Division from 1999 to 2004 and he is credited with overseeing the finest instruments built by Gibson since Lloyd Loar in the mid 20s.

Born in Paris, Tennessee, Charlie went to college to study vocal performance and jazz bass. It was during his early college days he discovered the mandolin and his life was to take a left turn that would drive him from then on. In 1983 he joined Gibson for a job in the repair department and moved to Nashville.

An avid musician, historian and life-long student of the best of Gibson mandolins, Charlie was a respected member of the musical community and a friend to many.

On August 1, 2006 while driving his motorcycle home from work near Gibson Original Acoustic Instruments, Charlie was tragically killed when a drunk driver in the wrong lane hit him head on.

Charlie Derrington was laid to rest in his home town in Mississipi. He is survived by his wife Susan and their daughter Anna.

Authored by: Mandolin Cafe and Joe Vest

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