FAIRMONT, W.Va. — The Sagebrush Round-Up, a Fairmont staple since starting as a radio show in the 1930s, has recently received a 14-foot, 3-inch guitar as a donation.
Sagebrush Round-Up is currently trying to confirm that it is the largest guitar in West Virginia.
It took Sharon Wright, of Fairmont, along with her family and friends seven months to build the guitar. Saturday she donated it to the Sagebrush Round-Up in memory of her dad, Ralph Taylor, and one of her favorite Sagebrush singers, Rickey Whipple.
Community involvement was a huge part in this project with building help and part donations from friends, family and the public.
“Once it got so big, because it weighs in between 4 and 500 pounds, we had to turn it over and everything so neighbors would come and help me. My nephew would come and help me, a few people down the road came and helped me,” Wright said. “We just had a lot of people involved.”
Wright had also received advice from a guitar builder, Roy Rolston, and Harry Vaughn from Mannington made a wooden cutout of the pick guard.
“It is a pick guard that is on a Sunburst Hummingbird guitar, which is what my dad played,” Wright said.
Others involved in helping included Fairmont Kitchen Center, Lowes and Aircraft Heating and Cooling.
“Fairmont Kitchen Center and Lowes donated wood and other items,” Wright said. “Aircraft Heating and Cooling in Baltimore made the aluminum keys, donated and delivered them to me.”
Wright said her favorite part of the process was seeing it all come together and be a successful project.
The Sagebrush Round-Up is a weekly country music show and also houses the Country Music Hall of Fame for West Virginia. It showcases a variety of country and bluegrass acts throughout the year.
“It is a great family place to go,” Wright said.
The stage is located in Bunner Ridge, exit 139 off Interstate 79. The Sagebrush Round-Up brings several visitors to the Fairmont area.
Elliott thinks the guitar will bring more visitors to the Sagebrush Round-Up.
“Sagebrush Round-Up has a loyal following,” Elliott said. “In addition to their regular Saturday concerts, they often have several special concerts throughout the year which really bring in music fans from across the region. I think the guitar will be that little extra something to get those who have been ‘meaning’ to come but just never quite found the time.”
Elliott said the Sagebrush Round-Up is a must-see in Marion County.
“Sagebrush Round-Up is not only a great venue to hear very talented musicians, they are also a great group of people to work with,” she said.
Email Kelsie LeRose at [email protected].