Country Legend Reunited with Long-Lost Guitar by Pawnshop Owner (VIDEO)
08/12/2015 AT 04:50 PM EDT
For years of that impressive career, though, he's been missing a guitar. A rare Billy Grammer guitar, to be exact, that Anderson purchased when he was just starting out in Nashville.
In April, the guitar turned up at Bell Road Pawn Shop in Phoenix, Arizona. Bell Road's owner, Mike Grauer, thought it looked familiar, and it turned out he was uniquely positioned to recognize the instrument.
"My dream was to be a country music historian when I was younger," Grauer told Phoenix CBS affiliate KPHO. "I know a lot about the history of country music."
Grauer looked inside the guitar, and sure enough, he saw Anderson's name. He called up Anderson, who eventually recalled that he'd lent the instrument to a music museum that went out of business.
"I wanted him to have it," Grauer, who noted that he'd never had any intention of selling the guitar, said. "It belonged to him. It meant something to him."
Anderson, moved by the gesture, flew Grauer and his wife to Nashville over the weekend and invited them onstage at the Grand Ole Opry to hand over the guitar.
"He did something for me, just a dream come true," Grauer said. "Just to to see the Grand Ole Opry was great. To see the people I was standing next to backstage, and shaking their hands, I'll never forget it."