The Way Of Pickin & Grinnin In The Kitchen
That Silvered Haired Daddy Of Mine

My Daddy's Guitar


The song, My Daddy's Guitar, on the radio player, was written and performed by my brother Paul a few years ago.


Paul and Pap

Pap's first guitar was a Kay-he shared with his brother. Pap thinks it came from a furniture store. The strings were high off the neck and so hard to push down that when you hit a chord you could hear it in the next holler. Jack and Ed Dockery, a couple of local boys from the other side of the mountain in Moccasin Creek, were Pap's first musical influence.

While Pap was in the Marines he bought his first Gibson Guitar from a fellow service man for $7.00. After a furlough home-he drove back a car he had acquired instead of taking the bus. The Gibson was lying in the back floorboard when a buddy accidentally stepped completely through the guitar.


Around the early 60's Pap drove to Asheville to make his next guitar purchase. He settled on a Martin Guitar (the one in the picture above). The salesman tried to persuade him to buy a Gibson Dove-but since it was more expensive Pap resisted and bought the Martin.

After a few months of use the neck of the Martin begin to warp. Seems Gibson held the patent on putting an iron rod in the neck of guitars for many years. When Pap returned the guitar the salesman said "I told you so". Pap made up the difference in cost and returned home with the prize of a Gibson Dove. He paid $399.00 for it. It's well worth over $3,000.00 now.


Out of the three of us kids Paul was the one who showed the greatest interest in following along Pap's musical footsteps. After he had been playing long enough for Pap to see he had a real interest and a real talent, Pap saved up the money for Paul's guitar-a Taylor. The day he bought it I wrecked my car. Lucky for Paul-Pap didn't know until he had already paid for the guitar.


Paul and Pap picking under the dogwood.

Over the years Pap and his brother sang together as The Wilson Brothers. They sang gospel music in the polished high harmonies of the classic brother duet style. They performed at churches, festivals, homecomings, and benefits throughout the south. Over the years they won many awards including the 1998 North Carolina Heritage Award. They were also featured in many publications such as "The Old-Time Herald". (I've added a few of their songs to the radio on this site)


Although the brother duet days are over, Pap still enjoys making music with Paul, and 2 of his grandsons. They even let my girls, Chitter and Chatter, in on the music making when they behave.




Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Tipper, there is such beauty in your words as you speak of your family and your love of tradition. Have you ever thought of writing a book? I could see each post as a chapter and of course you'd include all the pictures.
What do you think?

I love the guitar stories and photographs. Wonderful that you're recording this heritage here for future generations of your family!

Tipper: What a great remembrance of the guitars of your father.

Tipper, I enjoyed scrolling through the selections by your brother, dad, and family. I enjoy strumming and singing. My wife and I sought out local venues when we lived in N.W. Arkansas - So much talent in those mountains.

What lovely memories of your roots you've shared. My husband's grandfather played the banjo and wrote many, many songs. He also did some sort of "stomp and clap" type of beat when he sang without the banjo. All of the great grandkids loved it.

I'm so excited! My silly computer wouldn't load your site for quite awhile now, but I finally fixed the problem and am excited that here I am again!
What a wonderful post. I love that black & white of your Dad. There's so much love in playing music together.
I would absolutely love to buy a Wilson Brothers CD!

What a beautiful story. My family heritage has always been important to me, too. Your father sounds wonderful.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Come back any time!

I wish I had my Dad's guitar. We lost it when our house burnt when I was a teenager. I don't remember the brand.
I love to hear the guys sing. Brings back good memories.

What a beautiful guitar. You help me be able to reach out and touch true Americana. We are a bit removed from that where I live.

I am doing a fun Blog game of tag and have linked to you from my site. Just trying out this fun game of tag. You are tagged! Go check out my site to join the fun!

Tipper I love this! What a great tribute to your Dad and his love of music. This is really special.

Hi Tipper,with school out, it has been a while since I have had full access to the computer to be able to have time to read everyones blogs.I have just finished reading through yours. I so enjoyed it, especially the wedding and the daddy's guitar. What beautiful music and talent! I have my uncle's old Kay guitar. He and my other aunt and uncle used to sing on the local radio. I always wanted to be a song writer and was given my uncle's guitar when I was 14. Won a few contests in my youth, was heading to Nashville, and then.... fell in love, had babies and the rest is history.(with no regrets){: So enjoyed visiting here! Have a good weekend! blessings, Kathleen

What a small world this is. About a month ago, when I was looking at the Penn's Store site and did a search for someone, I remember seeing that someone was asking about The Wilson Brothers and wondering if the group by that name now was the same as the one they remembered. I bet they meant your Wilson Bros.! They were trying to find their music. I'll try to find that again.

your post mentions the John C Campbell Folk School...Gosh, I get their catalog and YEARN to go there. I dream of teaching baking in exchange for taking a class or two. It just sounds dreamy!!
Thanks for your daddy's tunes!

How sweet that they can share their love of music together! Thanks for the back story - it makes pickin n grinin even better.

Thanks so much for visiting my blog and commenting. I am enjoying perusing yours and listening to the music. What a blessing to grow up in such a musical family. I grew up listening to mountain music, but no one in my family played.

That's one beautiful guitar! Thanks for sharing the pics and the music, it makes me feel like I am back home.

I just love your walks down memory lane. It takes me back when the men folk would just pick up a guitar and play the old hymns and songs from the hills. When we were little, they were just like lullabys to us. Pap and Paul have such great voices. xxoo

That Gibson Dove is such a beautiful guitar. It must be treasured.

What a terrific post! Of course it is... I've never found less than perfect here. I love the pictures! A Gibson for $7? Wow! I have a Gibson and a Martin. I love them. Nothing sounds quite the same now. I hear these new guitars and think -- something is missing.


What a beautiful history of your family's musical talents. I enjoyed it very much. That Gibson-Dove is beautiful. I'm sure your father cherishes it.

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment about Brandon. He is doing much better today. A little TLC goes a long way.


Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)