- Chris Goertzen
(b Rugby, Grayson County, VA, 13March 1943). American Guitar maker and player. He is a noted luthier and player of fingerstyle steel-string guitar (in the manner of his relative Estil Ball) and a 1995 NEA National Heritage Fellow. Both his family and his immediate neighborhood were rich in players of traditional Appalachian music. He built his first guitar because he could not afford the instrument he wanted. After a few initial attempts that he has recalled with rueful humor, he has made and sold several hundred finely crafted guitars. The models he makes and the qualities he seeks recall the best of steel-string guitars made by C.F. Martin and Company before World War II. His principal teacher in the art of lutherie was Albert Hash, who is better known as a seminal figure in the White Top (Virginia) style of old-time Appalachian fiddling. Henderson now makes about 20 guitars per year—entirely by hand—plus a handful of mandolins. His craftsmanship has inspired many American luthiers, and his mandolin is played by Doc Watson. He spearheads the annual Wayne C. Henderson Music Festival and Guitar Competition, through which he raises funds to support students of Appalachian traditional music. He has toured Asia under the auspices of the United States Information Agency....