Home > Early Memorabilia > Country Music Memorabilia

Country Music Memorabilia

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 3 Nov 2010 | comments*Discuss
 
Rock Memorabilia Country Memorabilia

Country music might not be tremendously popular in Britain – it certainly doesn’t have the fan base it enjoys in the United States – and it doesn’t generate the memorabilia prices rock does but it remains a large collectable area for those who love it.

Essentially, country music can be divided into three eras. There’s early country, going from the first 1927 recordings of the Carter Family up until the death of Hank Williams Sr. in 1953, a middle period, running until the 1980s, then New Country, going from around 1984 to the present day.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s the early period that commands the highest prices, because it covers the true iconic figures that moulded the form – Williams, Jimmie Rogers, Bill Monroe and others. The problem, of course, is that not much has survived, and what has tends to be in museums (one exception is the collection of Williams memorabilia owned by singer Marty Stuart, although he’s unlikely to sell any of it).

Collections

The Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville has an excellent memorabilia collection, whilst the Hank Williams Museum in Montgomery, Alabama has plenty of material relating to country’s most revered songwriter. The Carter Family Memorial Music Centre in Hiltons, Virginia, and the Birthplace of Country Music Alliance Museum in Bristol, Tennessee, contain Carter Family memorabilia. Dolly Parton, probably the best-known living country star, has her own museum, Chasing Rainbows, located, unsurprisingly, in her Dollywood amusement park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

What to Collect

A good way to start a country music collection is with head shots, those publicity photographs that were (and still are) sent out with promotional records. They’re relatively cheap and fairly easily available, some signed. They’re something you can find on EBay, simple to post, and amassing a collection won’t take up a lot of space! Signed LPs or CDs can still be obtained without breaking the bank, certainly for the second and third periods of country music.

Clothing and instruments become more problematic. Both are there, although the prices can be high, especially for stage outfits, and they’ve often been snapped up by various collections. Very little comes up at auction – indeed, the auction houses have done few sales of country memorabilia, which can work in favour of a collector.

Gold and platinum records come up for sale periodically, but often they’re in museums – it seems as if every major country figure has his or her own museum these days! Obviously, that restricts the amount of memorabilia on the market, and as a general rule means it’s of lesser quality.

Cars

Going back several decades, country stars (and rock stars, for that matter) have had a love affair with automobiles. Periodically a few will come up for auction (it’s been known to happen to pay tax bills). Again, these are really for American buyers, but there has been at least one instance of an Elvis vehicle in Britain, which was owned by the Yorkshire Car Collection and auctioned in December 2006 for £21,000.

That’s perhaps a surprisingly low figure, especially for a 1960 Cadillac, but actually quite typical of prices in the field. Another 1965 Cadillac belonging to the King sold for the same price in Las Vegas in February 2006. However, the prices obtained leave one wondering just how good an investment these vehicles might be.

It’s unlikely prices in country music memorabilia will reach the same dizzying height as rock – there’s simply not the same fanbase, and the prevalence of artist museums means their collector market is limited. For the most part, the market is with fans, not investors.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Jo-Jo
    Re: Take That Memorabilia
    I have a signed tshirt, all 5 members from the 1992 tour at Bradford St George's hall. The shirts were signed & thrown off stage, also…
    15 April 2019
  • Jenjen
    Re: Take That Memorabilia
    Hi I have a authenticated signed print from Take Thats Pray video on the beach in immaculate condition.... anyone habe an idea of value…
    17 September 2018
  • jan
    Re: Take That Memorabilia
    i have all 5 signatures on their stage lighting plan for a concert i went to at Hammersmith Apollo. i think early 90s. i was also given a…
    22 July 2018
  • Jon Limbret
    Re: 1960s Magazines
    You can try asking beatchapter. They buy and sell all sorts of music magazines including nme melody maker disc sounds etc. But they do not list…
    30 May 2018
  • Mary Hagood
    Re: 1960s Tickets and Passes
    I have 1 Suffolk downs Beatles ticket unused white and 1 blue..i would like to sell them ASAPl
    20 May 2018
  • Jemma Bee
    Re: 1970s Clothing
    Hi there, I work in a charity shops and we have been donated a signed George Melly tie. Please could you advise on the value of this and where it…
    9 May 2018
  • Rach
    Re: Take That Memorabilia
    Hi, I’ve came across an old take that locket necklace in a black pouch and a watch (without the strap) they are both in excellent…
    5 January 2018
  • Stacey
    Re: Kendo Nagasaki's Mask, Could it be Valuable?
    I'd like to inquire as to the value of a genuine wrestling belt given to me personally by Big Daddy's wife,…
    8 August 2017