Jethro Burns was a great mandolin player. Guitarist Chet Atkins once called him, “The greatest mandolin player in captivity.”
Back in his Homer and Jethro days, Jethro usually played a Gibson A5 Mandolin—a beautiful instrument that was custom made for him. He named his red mandolin, well, “Red.”
Other versions of this mandolin were made. They weren’t red, but were and are expensive. I found one on E-Bay the other day that cost $3,250.
I got curious about Jethro’s “Red,” so I tracked him (or her) down. This A5 Gibson is now part of the Country Music Foundation in Nashville. I’m thinking Red is now on display.
I’m hoping Red is played now and then. I’ve got definite opinions on musical instruments and I don’t think it’s odd for me to say that they come alive when they are played and should be played. I’m thinking Jethro would think and want that too.
I wanted to share a clip of Jethro playing Red and I came across this one with him and Homer on “The Johnny Cash Show” from back in the 1970’s. Some of you will like it, some of you won’t. You know, it’s my blog.
(Image from mandozine.com)
P.S. I’ll be back on Wednesday.