81 Guitars: Steve Livingston guitar collection exhibit opening at museum with Dukes performance

June 4th, 2021     Community Featured News


The exhibit 81 Guitars – Hot Licks, Cool Memories, will open at the Union County Heritage Museum with a reception Saturday, June 12, 6 – 9 p.m. featuring live music, food and good memories.

The large guitar collection was created by the late Steve Livingston, who was passionate about music, and has a long history of performance in many area bands.

Livingston, who grew up in New Albany, was part of the teenage garage band movement, and along with other New Albany and Union County friends formed the band The Dukes who won a local talent show to go to compete in the Mid-South Talent show.  They ended up in New York on the Ted Mack Amateur Hour – a very popular television show in the 1960s.  They did not win, but they made many lasting memories for themselves and the community. Steve played bass and electric organ, said Jill Smith, Museum Director.

After going their separate ways after graduation in the 1960s, The Dukes had a reunion concert about a decade ago.  After the band reunited, the original members began playing gigs again.  The Dukes will be in concert for the opening of the exhibit of Steve’s extensive guitar collection and to share memories.

Steve also was one of the founding members of The Paul Rainey Ballroom Band, which played throughout the Mid-South for decades.  Based in New Albany, the band took the name from the Paul Rainey Ballroom at the hotel once located in downtown New Albany where they practiced. The band has had several members pass through the ranks, and Steve Livingston remained a constant until his death almost a year ago June 19, 2020.

The exhibit, 81 Guitars, represents a man who had a passion for music.  He was also an attorney and a judge for many years as well as a Boy Scout leader.  Due to his death during the COVID pandemic, the Livingston family did not have the chance to celebrate his life as they wished.  So this exhibit is an opportunity for them to do this as well as to allow the public to see a fabulous collection of guitars, said Jill Smith, Museum Director.

The public is invited to come enjoy the food, music and to share memories of this musical era.

The museum is located at 114 Cleveland Street, New Albany.  For more information call 662-538-0014.

The Dukes at the time of their Ted Mack appearance


The Dukes at the time of their 2016 reunion.

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