From an autographed electric guitar by every member of the Rolling Stones to a pair of jeans autographed by country artist Martina McBride and even a Christmas card from the late Waylon Jennings, Terry Woodward’s collection of musical memorabilia spans the decades and musical genres.
Woodward is the owner of WaxWorks and VideoWorks, and operated a chain of 240 music stores in 37 states between 1978 and 1999. The collection, he said, reflects the expansion of his business.
“I was getting autographed guitars and gold records and everything to put in stores just for the vibe,” he said. “That’s where a lot of it comes from.”
Woodward said record labels have embraced the idea, and it wouldn’t be unusual for him to receive half a dozen autographed guitars to display in his stores.
The walls of downtown Owensboro’s Woodward business are lined with these memorabilia, which he did not include in the sale of his chain of Disc Jockey record stores in 1999.
“The first autograph I ever got was from Charlie McCoy,” Woodward said. “I still have it there on the wall and I just started collecting autographs from artists who would come here, and I would meet them, take a picture with them, ask them to sign a CD or an album or a photo.”
Other highlights from Woodward’s personal collection include an autographed copy of the Eagles’ 1976 album Hotel California – signed by each member of the band – as well as a guitar signed by Loretta Lynn and a banjo autographed by the legend. Bluegrass Earl Scruggs.
Woodward said he was able to meet the majority of the names that line his walls, and he fondly recalls the great experiences of his time operating the retail chain.
He recalls a visit by Trisha Yearwood to his warehouse in 1992 that made a lasting impression, right after the release of his first single.
“We were walking through the warehouse and I said ‘Trisha, why don’t you sing your A Capella single for us, I’m not sure a lot of my employees know what your new single is’.”
After telling Woodward that she had never done this before and some encouragement, Yearwood sang her new song in front of everyone in the warehouse without musical accompaniment. A few years later, in 1996, she decided to pay Woodward another visit to Owensboro.
“His label called and said Terry, Trisha Yearwood called us and she would like to come to your warehouse and organize a concert for your employees,” he said. I arrived that morning, she was sitting there on the bus, she had been there since 4 in the morning, and I went and knocked on her door and she had her guitarists with her and she said Terry, I wanted come back and do it is good.
While the vast majority of Woodward’s autograph collection are from people he knew personally, his two favorite pieces come from two icons he never had the privilege of meeting; Thomas Edison and Walt Disney.
“My two heroes are Thomas Edison and Walt Disney,” Woodward said. “If there were no Edison, there would be no record player.”