The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum


Spotlight Artifacts8/32

Lead Belly Acoustic Guitar, c. 1937

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Main Exhibit Hall - Roots of Rock, Guitar Case Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter first heard the 12-srting guitar played by a musician on a traveling medicine show. He was impressed by the sheer volume the instrument made, compared to a standard 6-string model. It also offered the feature of having a built-in back up should a string break. This particular instrument became inexorably associated with Lead Belly when he used it to record and perform. Lead Belly was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.