Stringbean Akeman

Birth Name:
David Akeman
Birth Date:
June 17, 1915
Birth Place:
Annville, Kentucky
Death Date:
November 10, 1973
Place of Death:
2308 Baker Road, Goodlettsville, Tennessee
Cause of Death:
Homicide - gunshot wounds
Cemetery Name:
Forest Lawn Memorial Garden
Claim to Fame:
Crime and their Victims
David "Stringbean" Akeman was an American singer-songwriter, musician, comedian, actor and semiprofessional baseball player best known for his role as a featured original cast member on the hit television show Hee Haw and as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Akeman was well-known for his "old-fashioned" banjo-picking style, careful mix of comedy and music, and his memorable stage wardrobe (which consisted of a long nightshirt tucked into a pair of short blue jeans belted around his knees — giving him the comical appearance of a very tall man with stubby legs). Akeman and his wife were shot and murdered by burglars in their rural Tennessee home near Ridgetop in 1973.

Not-So-Fun Facts

In 1975 David “Stringbean” Akeman and his wife Estell were returning from the Grand Ole Opry where Stringbean had performed songs such as “Y’all Come” and “Hillbilly Fever” earlier in the night. As Estelle parked their signature automobile, a Cadillac, Akemen apparently noticed that something seemed off on the porch and grabbed his .22 rifle. As he entered his modest home Stringbean encountered two robbers, John A. Brown and his cousin, Marvin Douglas Brown. John shot Stringbean and as Estelle started running away from house was also shot dead after  begging for her life. The Browns got away with $250 (found in Stringbean’s overalls pocket), some bags and guns, and the couple’s station wagon.

The Browns heard that Stringbean and Estelle were known not to trust banks and were known to flash large sums of money that they carried on their persons. Sure enough, when they were robbed and murdered the Browns missed $4,000 in Stringbean’s overalls and $2,000 in Estelle’s undergarments. Interestingly enough over $20,000 in rodent-damaged paper money was discovered decades after their murder just above the fireplace in their modest home.

The haybales on Hee Haw were made out of fiberglass.

Cemetery Information:

Final Resting Place:

Forest Lawn Memorial Garden

1150 Dickerson Pike

Goodlettsville, Tennessee, 37072


North America

Grave Location:

Music Row, Plot 10-D-3

Grave Location Description

As you enter the cemetery the office will be on your right and you will take the first left and drive 100 feet to the sign for “Music Row.” Walk 20 feet past the Music Row sign and turn right and walk to the other side of this very narrow section for the graves of David “Stringbean” Akeman and his wife Estell.

Grave Location GPS

36.295487563128425, -86.7256271868377

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