George Jones' Lost Guitar Found By East Texan - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

06/04/08 - East Texas

George Jones' Lost Guitar Found By East Texan

This is one story you've just got to hear.

46 years after it was stolen, country music legend George Jones is getting his long-lost guitar back.

It's been in the hands of an East Texas man, Larry Berry of Chandler who bought it years ago.

KLTV 7 News' Danielle Capper tells us how this long overdue reunion has been stringing along for so many years.


Tom Perryman points to a photo. "This is George Jones," he says. "His first number one hit was White Lightning."

It was 46 years ago when George Jones' guitar, bearing the image of his hit song, was stolen during a concert.

"It happened around 1962 when George Jones was playing Panther Hall, a famous venue in Ft. Worth."

At the time 20 year old Larry Berry was living near Ft. Worth when his neighbors approached him one night with a guitar. "They brought the guitar over one night and wanted some beer money. I had 12 dollars, and gave them 10 dollars. I took this guitar thinking my dad would play with it."

Even though he didn't know who George Jones was, his father did, who told him to make sure it was returned to its rightful owner. But after decades of trying, it would be easier said than done.

"I had no luck calling Nashville, but since Tom came on the scene in Tyler, I contacted him."

That would be Tom Perryman, with local radio station The Ranch, who used his connections to get a hold of George Jones and his wife, Nancy.

"He called Nancy. Nancy called me. She didn't believe me. I could hear George saying 'I don't remember losing a guitar'. So we emailed them a picture with the strap."

And George emailed Tom Perryman back. "Yes, George said it is the guitar, and his White Lightening strap. This is way too cool!"

"We're gonna give george the guitar back on stage. That's the way we have it planned right now, and George is going to give [Larry] his ten dollars back.

But, after 4 decades, no amount of money could match Larry's desire for this to end on a such good note.

"I'm glad it's over. I'll be glad to get George his guitar back."

Danielle Capper / dcapper@kltv.com

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