A piece of country music history has gone missing. Country artist Junior Brown had his guit-steel stolen from his rental car in North Attleboro. The guit-steel is one of only two in the world. The double-necked instrument combines a traditional electric guitar with a full-sized lap steel guitar. WGBH Radio’s Henry Santoro spoke with Junior Brown about the instrument and its theft. This transcript has been edited for clarity.

Henry Santoro: Why don't you tell us what happened last Sunday night?

Junior Brown: Well, my wife and I got a little bit careless and left our instruments in the rental vehicle and it was broken into. I have the empty case, but not the guit-steel, and my wife lost her Martin Shenandoah acoustic guitar. So, it was regrettable but, we blame ourselves, because we usually bring them in and we've gotten a little careless lately.

Santoro: And the car was parked at a hotel, right? You weren’t at a gig?

Brown: Right, it was a hotel in North Attleboro.

Santoro: There are only two of these guit-steels in existence, and they have names, correct?

Brown: Yes. The first one was called “Old Yeller” due to its yellow color, which got yellower with age. It was almost white when I got it. And that was made in 1985. And then there was “Big Red,” which was the one that was stolen, and that was made in 1995. And it was a beautiful red color, but through the years it's worn down under the stage lights, for many, many concerts, and faded into a sort of a brownish color.

Santoro: You owned both of them?

Brown: Yes. I gave my first one to my booking agent as a gift and he has graciously been able to get it back to me for a job we're doing in Houston in a couple of days. So I will be covered there with the original guit-steel. It's been on loan to a museum in Atlanta, and they were very kind to send it from there to Houston, so I'm in good shape right now.

Santoro: Of course this theft was reported to the police. Do they think it was a random act or do they think for some reason maybe you were targeted?

Brown: No, I think it was probably random. Of course you never know if it's an inside job, maybe somebody's casing the parking lot or something, you just never know. The security cameras were aimed the wrong way. Apparently they didn't get any footage of a guy driving out. There's only one way in and one way out, and they didn't get a license or anything.

But that’s the way it is. It [the guit-steel] has been on a lot of my records over the years, so it has quite a bit of sentimental value as well as practical value.

Santoro: If this guitar were to show up online somewhere or maybe on stage or at a gig somewhere, what should people do if they see it?

Brown: Just call the North Attleboro police department, or they can contact me through Facebook or my web page. Either way, let somebody know. We appreciate all the help that everyone has already given. I mean, the response has been amazing, it's gotten so many hits, it's gone viral on the Internet. And I really appreciate the public outcry.