Songwriting legend’s guitar on loan to Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in Carthage

Cindy Walker’s guitar will soon be on display
When Walker passed away in 2006, her songwriting friend Jacky Jack White was given a 1946 Martin guitar, once used by the songwriter whose songs made the Top 40
Published: Sep. 8, 2022 at 6:41 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 8, 2022 at 6:54 PM CDT
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CARTHAGE, Texas (KLTV) - A guitar that once belonged to a country music legend will soon be on display at the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in Carthage.

The song “You Don’t Know Me” is considered one of Cindy Walker’s biggest songwriting hits. It was covered by artists like Ray Charles, Elvis Presley, and Mickey Gilley.

“Just about every important country music star in the business has covered that song,” said Tommie Ritter-Smith with the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame, to which Walker was an inaugural inductee.

“She started coming to our show after we inducted her in 1998,” Ritter-Smith said. “And she came every year that she was able to come and was the highlight of the show.”

When Walker passed away in 2006, her songwriting friend Jacky Jack White was given a 1946 Martin guitar, once used by the songwriter whose songs made the Top 40 charts more than 400 times.

“That guitar is a special, special, special guitar,” said White. “Just think about all the songs that lady wrote. It’s unbelievable.”

And while White could have loaned the guitar to other museums, like the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, he said he felt the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in Carthage is where it belonged for now.

“We were thrilled to death,” Ritter-Smith said. “We knew he had it. He’d been toying with the idea for years. And we were very excited to hear that he made that decision.”

And it’s White’s hope that this guitar may inspire the next Cindy Walker to share their gift with the world.

“If some young person looks upon that guitar, like all my children have, and thinks, ‘you know, I’d like to learn how to play something like that, and maybe I can tell my story in songs.’”

White plans to lend the guitar to the TCMHOF for at least two years.

Jacky Jack White and Tommie Ritter-Smith
Jacky Jack White and Tommie Ritter-Smith(Mark Bownds)