Phoenix pawn shop owner reunites country music legend with vintage guitar

Posted: Updated:
(Source: KPHO/KTVK) (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
Pawn Shop owner Mike Grauer returns guitar to country music legend Bill Anderson Pawn Shop owner Mike Grauer returns guitar to country music legend Bill Anderson
Mike Grauer looked inside the guitar and saw the name Bill Anderson. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Mike Grauer looked inside the guitar and saw the name Bill Anderson. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

A country music legend has his prized possession back thanks to the kindness of a Valley pawn shop owner.

Singer-songwriter Bill Anderson had a vintage Billy Grammar guitar when he broke into the music business more than 50 years ago.

Anderson had no idea where the guitar was until he recently heard from Mike Grauer, the owner of Bell Road Pawn Shop in Phoenix.

A customer had pawned the guitar in April, and Grauer had a hunch in belonged to the country music icon. 

"My dream was to be a country music historian when I was younger," Grauer said. "I know a lot about the history of country music."

Grauer looked inside the guitar and saw the name Bill Anderson.

The pawn shop owner reached out to the Nashville icon and soon learned that the vintage guitar belonged to Anderson.

"I sort of forgot about it. I really did," said Anderson. "Out of sight and out of mind. I don't remember what I did with it when I stopped playing it ."

Grauer had no intention of making any money off the guitar, so he offered it back to the music legend.

What happened next was something the pawn shop owner never expected.

The country music star flew Grauer and his wife out to Nashville this past weekend and then invited them on stage at the Grand Ole Opry to present Anderson with his long, lost guitar.

"They're applauding you for your kindness and generosity," Anderson told the audience.

"He did something for me, just a dream come true," Grauer said. "Just to to see the Grand Ole Opry was great. To see the people I was standing next to back stage, and shaking their hands, I'll never forget it." 

Anderson said the guitar was one of his prized possessions when he first made it big more than five decades ago.

Anderson thinks the guitar was loaned to a music museum that went out of business. It has been missing ever since.

"I wanted him to have it," Grauer said. "It belonged to him. It meant something to him."

Copyright 2015 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • Social Connect

  • Contact

    AZ Family

Connect with CBS5AZ

 

Saw it on CBS 5 News