Story of a Harmony Guitar that Became a Martin

Story of a Harmony Guitar that Became a Martin

Harmony Guitar That Became A Martin

Guest Post by Calvin Jones
Originally appeared on the website

The very first guitar I ever owned was a Harmony Guitar.  I was only 6 years old and very small when I received it.  The guitar was old and big and made for quite a challenge to play with my little hands and fingers.  So you’re asking, “How does an old Harmony Guitar turn into a new Martin Guitar?”

It all started on a Sunday morning when the Pastor of the church announced that tonight is going to be a special night of giving.  He said, “The Bible says to give and it shall be given unto you pressed down, shaken together, and running over shall men give unto your bosom.  Ask the Lord to lay on your heart what to give to someone here in the church and be ready to give when you come to church tonight.” Well, it just so happened that my friend Jimmy was there.  He was also learning to play guitar.  He loved to play guitar but he didn’t have one to play.  My Dad saw Jimmy and felt that the Lord was prompting him to give Jimmy my guitar.  I don’t really know what was going through Dad’s mind as to how he was going to talk to me about this but I’ll never forget it as long as I live.

I remember Dad driving us home from church.  “Son, the Lord has asked me to give your guitar to Jimmy so that he will have one to play.  Will it be alright with you if I give your guitar to Jimmy?  Dad will keep an eye open for you another one and get you one as soon as I can.” I remember a knot swelled up in my throat.  I swallowed real hard as I thought of giving my guitar to Jimmy. I said, “Yeah.  You’ll get me another one?”  “Just as soon as I can,” Dad said. Okay?”  “Okay, I responded.”

That night the Pastor announced for everyone to present their offerings.  I watched as different ones in the church was going to the individuals whom they had felt to give to.  Then, I saw my Dad up on the platform.  He laid his electric guitar down and reached for the old Harmony Guitar that I had been playing. I watched as Jimmy sat down on the edge of the platform beside the pulpit.  Dad held out the guitar and told Jimmy, “Here, God told me to give you this guitar.  It’s all yours.”  I watched Jimmy intently as held the guitar in his lap and began strumming chords.  What I didn’t see was my Aunt off to the side.  She was watching me with big old tears in her eyes.  I heard her call my name. “Calvin, how would you like a new guitar?”  I remember being so excited.  “YES!”  I responded.  She said, “Okay.  Be ready first thing after school tomorrow afternoon when you get off the bus and I’ll pick you and your Dad up.  We’re going to go to Marler’s Music Store in Flat River and you can pick out a new guitar.”  WOW!  I couldn’t believe it.

The next day my Aunt took me to the store and she bought me a brand new Fender guitar.  Yeah, I know.  That’s not a Martin.  Gradually through the years it became a Martin.  The Fender was traded off for a Yamaha.  The Yamaha was traded off for an Ovation.  The Ovation was traded for a Washburn.  You get the idea.  Finally, the trade became a D-16 Martin that I proudly play still to this day.

Oh yeah.  Dad also received a very special gift that night.  I’ll have to save that story for another post

(NOTE*  Click to learn more about the Harmony Guitar Co. and it’s rich history)


Dean Leslie West Peace Sign Signature Soltero, Dean Leslie West Flame Maple Tobacco Burst Signature Soltero, Gibson Les Paul Studio, Hamer Studio,, Epiphone Les Paul (Korean), Ovation Celebrity, Laney Cub 12R, Blackstar, HT-1R, Jet City JCA20H, Jet City JCA22H, Orange OR15, and a lot of dirt pedals, some store bought some DIY.

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