Country star Vince Gill realised a life-long dream at the Country Music Hall Of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tennessee on Tuesday night (12JUL05) when he got to play two Johnny Cash classics on his hero's own guitar.

Gill was launching the museum's All For The Hall fundraising effort when he was handed late country legend Cash's favourite 1968 Martin guitar and told to play.

The stunned singer then performed RING OF FIRE and FOLSOM PRISON BLUES to the delight of the exclusive audience.

The Cash guitar was a recent acquisition by the Hall Of Fame and will be displayed alongside other Cash memorabilia.

Gill says, "The biggest disservice you can do to an instrument is to lock it away. Collectors will buy these instruments and put them in glass cases. They never get played and they lose their soul."

The country star, who is president of the museum's board of officers and trustees, agreed to launch the new money-raising initiative because he wants to make sure the museum can be maintained for generations to come.

He adds, "I revere this place more than any other. It's a mecca of so much, of all our histories."

Gill will join artists like newlywed Kenny Chesney, Nanci Griffith and Gretchen Wilson, who have agreed to donate proceeds from upcoming concerts to the museum.

14/07/2005 02:55