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Moseley collaborates with Huckabee on book

By Michael Butler

Willie Moseley's 15th book is a work with former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee. Moseley's 16th book is forthcoming - already written - but not yet submitted to the publisher. It will be guitar-themed as well.

The local author's, BASSES AND GUITARS: The Huckabee Collection, looks into - just as the title notes, Huckabee's assortment of stringed instruments. Politics were not discussed.

Huckabee has hyped the book on television and plans are to bring Moseley on his own program, "Huckabee."

With 34 years under his belt as a writer with Vintage Guitar Magazine, the 72-year-old Moseley has seen many guitars, most owned by professional musicians.

"What's impressive are the different types of instruments that he collects," Moseley said of Huckabee's collection. "A lot of his guitars, when he was a lot younger, he had to sell. He was newly married, in divinity school and he had to sell all of his gear just to get by. He's very eclectic. He has no specific thing that he's looking for."

The collection to Huckabee is probably more sentimental like with a lot of collectors. He found matches to some of those instruments that he once owned and repurchased them. Still, over half of his collection was gifted to him.

"(He) has 64. That to a lot of collectors is a low number. It's diverse. Back when I was collecting I topped out at 97."


Moseley's personal collection has been whittled down to just seven guitars.

"If something happened to me, I dont' want my wife and daughter to have to lug around a bunch of guitars. Instead I set up a nice little savings account."

One of the instruments that Moseley has retained is a bass from ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons.

"Billy has several hundered instruments. Rick Nielsen from Cheap Trick has some valuable things. They played at the MPAC. He took me backstage. The total value that he uses on tour was over $2 million. He takes that on the road."

The Beatles drew a lot of baby boomers to the guitar. That was the case for Huckabee.

"He saw the Beatles on Ed Sullivan in 1964. It went from there for him."

Huckabee's first model was a Christmas present in 1966 - direct from the J.C. Penny catalog - a Penncrest 1580 electric with amplifier. Several decades after learning to play it at age 11, Huckabee reacquired the same model. It is part of his collection today.

"I've known Willie for years," Huckabee said. "I knew he would be the perfect author. The focus is on the instruments and the stories behind them, not on the 'box' the stories come in."

BASSES AND GUITARS: The Huckabee Collection is available at: and standard retailers.