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Legendary bass guitar player Tommy Fortenberry turns 79

Prentiss’ own country music celebrity Tommy Fortenberry will turn 79 on April 22nd.

He has made Prentiss his home since leaving his music career on the road. He is a familiar figure and an icon that adds to our town’s unique characters. Just give him a minute and he will be glad to tell you about playing behind a long list of country Hall of Famers such as Loretta Lynn and others who went on to become household names.

Shirley Burnham / The Prentiss Headlight—Legendary bass guitar player Tommy Fortenberry practices getting ready to record his bass guitar playing to be added to accompaniment music CDs. He turns 79 this month.

Shirley Burnham / The Prentiss Headlight—Legendary bass guitar player Tommy Fortenberry practices getting ready to record his bass guitar playing to be added to accompaniment music CDs. He turns 79 this month.

Fortenberry continues to play his unique 54-year old Fender bass guitar that his mother bought for his 28th birthday. According to Fortenberry, he is credited with being the first in Mississippi to own one.

The instrument is studded with silver dollars and a diamond earring said to belong to Loretta. His guitar case displays many memorable pictorial moments of those with whom he has played including the Singing Brakemen and his feature at the Brandon Opry House in October 2013.

His “ladder of success” in his small apartment displays some of the pictures and CDs that contain his music and a plaque presented to him by the Music Row Breakfast Club in Nashville.

Fortenberry is known as the master of the Fender bass guitar in music circles and his present project is adding his style of music to arrangements on accompaniment CDs to be marketed to Decca, Columbia and RCA by an agent from McComb.

If you see The Legendary Pro Bass Guitar Player Tommy Fortenberry in Prentiss, wish him a happy birthday.