NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- "Everyone has a Story," and this time THV's Liz Massey takes us to a place where music comes alive.
It's the sound of the south that comes to life inside a North Little Rock home. Bill Jagitsch always knew he'd be doing making music.
He says, "I remember when I had the typical discussion with my parents, 'what are you going to do with your life.' Back when I was in high school and I said 'I don't know, something in music.'"
But Jagitsch doesn't just play the blues, he creates the blues.
"I get a lot of people coming up asking me about them, they'll walk in, see me playing, and then do a double-take and then turn around and come back," say Jagitsch.
You may not notice at first, but Jagitsch is working to bring back a piece of the past.
Jagitsch says, "Well these are old-school guitars made out of cigar boxes, and it's what people used to make when they couldn't afford to buy one."
For the past several years, Jagitsch has been making cigar box guitars in his laundry room. He explains, "I had no woodworking experience whatsoever so I didn't have a clue what tools I would need, I just thought 'there's a box, there's a neck, I can put the two together and maybe sound decent.'"
At first he made them just for himself, incorporating them into his live performances. "And eventually I had a lot of people that were interested in them at my shows, so I thought I might as well just start selling these on the internet and see what happens," says Jagitsch.
What happened is that Bluesboy Jag Cigar Box Guitars took off. So far, he's cranked out at least a thousand. He's shipping them around the world, as most of his customers are from Europe.
He makes several different models. From acoustic to electric, to a new bass guitar combination. Jagitsch says it takes four to five hours to build a cigar box guitar. He orders the boxes online from cigar shops. The small ones he uses for amps. But there's more. Jagitsch also makes the diddley bow.
When he's not busy making instruments or music, Jagitsch is passing on his passion.
"To me music is everything, it's important to have music in society, and a lot of people are a little intimidated about attempting to play an instrument, so I like to help get them started," says Jagitsch.
As for the future he says, "I'm just going to keep on making them as long as there's a demand for them."
Bill Jagitsch, literally a one-man-band is keeping history alive.
Along with the blues, Jagitsch says you can play rock, metal, country, or just about anything on a cigar box guitar. He also makes other instruments. He says there are different prices for different models, but generally his cigar box guitars cost about $200.
And in case you're wondering, Jagitsch does not smoke cigars.
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