• Famed Monroe Video from the Scott Wright Collection Goes to Country Music Hall of Fame

    The historic tape of Bill Monroe receiving his mandolin post-repair from Gibson, a video interview with Charlie Derrington about the repairs and more from the Scott Wright collection now housed at the Country Music Hall of Fame.
    Bill Monroe tapes from the Scott Wright Collection
    NASHVILLE, TENN. — The only known video of Bill Monroe at the Gibson factory to reclaim his cherished mandolin more than three months after a vandal smashed it to pieces with a fireplace poker is now in the possession of the Country Music Hall of Fame for long-term preservation, historical research and possible display.

    Stating the tapes had "historic significance," Museum Curatorial Director Mick Buck said they would be a welcome addition. A more formal statement from the museum is anticipated later this week.

    In addition to "Tape #7" shown below in its entirety from February 25, 1986 at the Gibson factory, the collection includes the only known video interview with Charlie Derrington about the repair process.

    Also of note is a two-part video interview with Monroe on his farm with long-time bluegrass personality Dave Higgs handling the questions, and several others that include live Monroe performances in and around Denver from early February, 1986.

    The original tapes, entrusted to the Mandolin Cafe in 2016 by Denver based photojournalist Scott Wright, were sent with the stipulation they be converted to digital for web viewing and ultimately forwarded to the right museum for permanent long-term care. That process has now been completed.

    Wright, while shooting video for an interview with Monroe in Denver in early 1986, learned the bluegrass founder was to be reunited with his mandolin the following week. He asked for and was granted permission to make the trip to Nashville with three goals: to document the presentation of the mandolin at Gibson; to film an interview with Monroe at his farm; and film an interview with Charlie Derrington (now deceased) about the process of putting Monroe's mandolins back together. Along with him to handle the interviewing was Dave Higgs.

    The Video

    Other Tapes from the Scott Wright Collection

    Comments 5 Comments
    1. Mandolin Cafe's Avatar
      Mandolin Cafe -
      The museum's formal statement regarding the acquisition of the tapes:

      “Bill Monroe’s prized Gibson F-5 Lloyd Loar mandolin is one of the crown jewels in the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s permanent collection,” said Mick Buck, the museum’s curatorial director. “A critical moment in the history of the mandolin occurred in 1985, when it was vandalized with a fireplace poker at Monroe’s home. Luthier Charlie Derrington painstakingly restored and returned the instrument to service for Monroe in 1986. Journalist Scott Wright recorded the moment when ‘the father of bluegrass’ was reunited with his treasured 1923 Gibson mandolin. Thanks to Scott Tichenor’s generous donation, we are pleased to now hold the video recording of the return—featuring Monroe and Derrington—along with additional interviews Wright conducted with Monroe, in the museum’s archive.”
    1. Mandolin Cafe's Avatar
      Mandolin Cafe -
      And I'll simply add that I was just the bus driver here. All the credit should go to Scott Wright who was the man that really made this all happen and was present with a camera when history was being made. And my thanks to the guy with a little video business that included an old machine from the 1980s he hadn't turned on for years made to process those tapes. Found him in the far reaches of southern greater Kansas City, MO and he was willing to get it running again and managed to figure out a way those tapes could be digitized.
    1. Mark Gunter's Avatar
      Mark Gunter -
      "Bravo," with gratitude, for everyone involved in preserving this history.
    1. MandoMan1's Avatar
      MandoMan1 -
      Love watching Bill Monroe get his Loar F-5 back after Charlie worked his magic on getting it back together! I bet these two fine gentlemen are playing some mighty good mandolin tunes in heaven!
    1. withfoam's Avatar
      withfoam -
      Really neat footage!