Bulger's Beat: TN family produces generations of quality guitars - WSMV Channel 4

Bulger's Beat: TN family produces generations of quality guitars

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WARTRACE, TN (WSMV) -

An old furniture shop in Bedford County took a musical turn years ago, and now what they make shows up on stages around the world.

A guitar's sound means everything to the musician playing it. If that wasn't the case, the Gallagher Guitar Company in the little town of Wartrace in Bedford County would have closed years ago.

"What matters to us is the quality of work that goes into these instruments," said guitar-maker Don Gallagher.

For the Gallaghers, quality is a family tradition. Their ancestors settled in Wartrace in 1807 and never left, proving even in a remote area, if you're good, you will be found.

"Because more than anything else we've always relied on word of mouth, and on the instruments selling themselves," Gallagher said.

Gallagher's father began working with wood in Wartrace in 1939. Then, furniture-making gave way to top-notch, handmade guitars inside the family shop around 50 years ago.

"If it's in the right hands, it will be get seen by hundreds of thousands of people whether it's on stages or performing," Gallagher said. "People like Elvis Presley and the Beatles were creating a lot of interest in guitars."

These days, the Gallaghers will make about 75 new instruments a year.

Quality cannot be rushed, and for the Gallaghers, their allegiance to Wartrace and Bedford County cannot be lost.

"So it just works out very nice for us to be here in our hometown and do what we do," Gallagher said.

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