Bristol, Va.-Tenn. (May 1, 2023) – Learn more about the life and shocking murder of country music legend Stringbean as part of the next Speaker Session with author Taylor Hagood at 7 p.m., May 9. Presented by the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, the event will be held virtually via Zoom and is free and open to the public.
“This true crime story is one of the most shocking and tragic events in the history of country music,” said museum Head Curator Dr. Rene Rodgers. “It may not be suitable for younger viewers due to the nature of the content.”
November 10, 2023, marks the 50th anniversary of the death of country music legend David “Stringbean” Akeman and his wife, Estelle. The brutal murder of the beloved couple shook Nashville and the country music industry to its foundations, changing it in fundamental ways.
Stringbean’s death ended a life that had spanned country music from its beginnings to the outlaw country era. Along the way, Stringbean played a foundational role in developing bluegrass music, continued through the honky tonk era, and survived the onslaught of rock ‘n’ roll. He made his mark as a banjo player, singer, and comedian on the Grand Ole Opry and Hee Haw, forging a persona at once hilariously retro and strikingly ahead of its time.
Taylor Hagood’s book, “Stringbean: The Life and Death of a Country Music Legend,” explores both the myths and facts of the enigmatic performer and his death. Hagood will offer fresh perspectives on Stringbean’s life and career while revisiting the intrigues of the murder, investigation, trial, and parole that altogether form one of country music’s most tragic stories.
Taylor Hagood is a writer, speaker, literary critic, musician, artist, and educator. An internationally-renowned scholar of the writing of William Faulkner, Hagood is the author of multiple books, including “Faulkner, Writer of Disability,” which won the C. Hugh Holman Award for Best Book in Southern Studies. His many articles range from literary criticism to a series of travel essays for the online journal Throomers. He has lectured throughout the United States and Europe at universities, institutes, and private clubs. His interest in country music is deep and lifelong, and he has had particular fascination with banjo playing, construction, and history. A native of Ripley, Mississippi, Hagood is currently a professor at Florida Atlantic University.