The Popcorn Festival now has a Nashville connection, and that means Tennessee's Music Capital.
When an anonymous person contacted President Evelyn Brown about giving a signed Ovation guitar by a well-known artist to the festival, she never expected to get it signed by artist, writer and performer Billy Joel.
Although Joe is known as "The Piano Man," he also plays a guitar.
Many people know that Joel is better known as a singer who has won "Record of the Year," "Song of the Year," several Grammy Awards, "Best Rock Performer," and other titles that are too numerous to list here.
Joel, who did not graduate from high school so he could support his family, loved music at an early age.
He started at the age of 4, learning early classical piano and later tied with the Beatles as the act with the most multi-platinum albums in rock and roll.
"It was more than I expected and when I saw it, I couldn't believe it," Brown said.
Brown said she asked the anonymous donor if it really was his signature. The donor said, sporting a big grin on his face, "I saw him sign it."
"What made it more exciting is that it comes with a letter of authenticity," Brown said.
When the donor asked about the festival, he wanted to know if there was a need in the community that the festival wanted to endorse. That question did not take long to answer when Brown said that there was an interest in purchasing some handicapped equipment for the Forest Park playground.
The donor was glad to help out with an item that the festival can sell raffle tickets to make money for a worthy cause.
With the monies collected, Vice President Janice Cox said that some of the proceeds will go toward the purchase of the equipment for the playground.
When asked about the value of the guitar, the donor said it's a "$1,700 guitar without the case. And with the signature, well, let us just say it could be in the thousands of dollars."
It was learned that what makes the guitar unique is the Joel signature because he is associated more with his piano image.
The guitar is an Ovation Standard Elite LX with light-weighted bowl, advanced neck system, and scalloped LX bracing. It comes with an original patented pickup and an OP Pro Pre-Amp built into the guitar. Ovation guitars are American made in New Hartford, Conn.
The signed guitar is a featured raffle item this year and only 2,000 tickets will be sold. Tickets may be purchased prior to the festival at The Brazil Times or from any festival board member. Tickets may still be purchased at the festival (Oct. 5-7 only). The guitar will be given away on Sunday, Oct. 7, at 5 p.m. in the band shell.
Those who purchase tickets for the raffle do not have to be present to win the guitar.
Tickets are $5 each or three for $10.