The Electric Guitar: Wichita’s Instrument

Wichita has a storied history with the electric guitar, and it is on full display through June 5, 2016 at the Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum http://wichitahistory.org . The first public performance of an electric guitar was arguably right here in Wichita, Ks by Gage Brewer fronting his orchestra on Halloween in 1932! It was manufactured by a company RoPatIn that eventually became the company we now know as Rickenbacker.GRW Gage Brewer RoPatIn Display Case 01

The museum recently hosted a weekend-long Guitar Symposium with presentations by notable historians and collectors Here is noted guitarist and music historian Deke Dickerson playing the original RoPatIn guitar with museum director Eric Cale looking on.

GRW RoPatIn Deke Eric Guitar Symposium 01

On the evening of Friday May 6th, during the Guitar Symposium hosted by the museum, Deke Dickerson hosted a jam at Barleycorn’s and was backed up by Marty Stuart and the Fabulous Superlatives (Kenny Vaughan, Harry Stinson and Chris Scruggs)! What a treat! They were passing through town to see the exhibit at the museum among other things, and made time to stop and jam on some Merle Haggard with Deke as well as treat the crowd to some tracks from their upcoming Hillbilly-Surf album. It was great stuff! In the following picture, Marty Stuart is playing Clarence White’s Tele… 🙂GRW Marty Stuart Band with Deke Guitar Symposium Jam 01

The exhibit is open at the Wichita-Sedwick County Historical Museum through June 5th, 2016. Visit http://wichitahistory.org for more details. Well worth checking out in my opinion!

Here is a link to great article by Denise Neil recently published by the Wichita Eagle that offers some further background. http://www.kansas.com/entertainment/arts-culture/article56139290.html  Wichita Exhibits to show why the guitar rocks

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