Bobby Davis and other great Nashville guitarists

Speaking of weather! It’s been anywhere between zero and 60 degrees here in Nashville. I don’t know where it stands for you, however watching the news, you may be in one of those horrible locations.

I was just thinking the other day about the incredible guitar players I have met in my career and I occasionally get asked about some of these players I’ve worked with. In 1969 the first time I went to work with Ray Price, I drove from Hendersonville down to Nashville to meet the Price bus.

I stepped onto the bus about 10 minutes late and was walking down the aisle since the whole bus was open with no bunk bed or lounge area. A heavy set Indian looking guy looked up at me from the floor of the bus and he asked, “Who are you?”

I said, “I’m Bobbe Seymour, steel guitar player.”

He got a big smile on his face, stuck out his hand and said, “I’m Bobby Davis. I’m the lead guitar player.”

I about fell over because I’d heard about Bobby Davis for many years. When I was in the Air Force in Oklahoma there were musicians on the base where I was stationed that would go to Plainview, Texas on the weekends just to hear Bobby play. He was a legend among guitar players and had a great reputation from working with Jim Reeves and several other Nashville guys.

I liked his playing so much after working with him with Ray Price that I would give him the bridge on Night Life because when Ray would sing “Listen to the blues he’s playing”, Bobby’s version of that great Buddy Emmons solo was much better than mine.

He was the beginning of great guitar players that I would be working with in LA, Vegas, Texas and Nashville. Players just to mention a very few, such as Steve Gibson now with the Opry, Jimmy Capps also with the Opry. And of course, one most of you know named Jimmy Bryant. The great Phil Baugh that did that wonderful intro with George Jones’ He Stopped Loving Her Today and Steve Rodriguez/Davis I was honored to work with.

Unfortunately, some of these players liked booze as much as they liked their guitars.

Thinking about all these players that played several instruments very well. Many lead players and steel players have come to town to become studio engineers or owners. One of the very famous ones in Nashville is Gene Breeden (www.genebreeden.com). One of the great engineers from Texas that came to Nashville for awhile is Steve Palousec. Steve was another great player that joined the club of players with Ray Price for awhile.

Fred Carter, the band leader for Simon & Garfunkel that did part of the intro on the movie Mrs. Robinson starring Ann Bancroft and Dustin Hoffman. Fred was the owner of Nugget Studios in Goodlettsville, Tennessee where I used to get many sessions. One of Nashville’s greatest engineers Snake Reynolds, worked at Nugget Studios for Fred. Nugget Studios clothed and fed me many of my first years in Nashville.

Fred Carter was also the father of famous country singer Deana Carter. It’s so interesting to see how families of great musicians seem to intertwine in the music business. For instance, Doug Seymour, the steel guitarist is my uncle. Doug is in New York.

My father, Bob Seymour had many big bands throughout his career, all pop and jazz. The music world is a wonderful community to be part of no matter where you are. We are all connected by the same melody.

One great things about doing these newsletters is hearing from you players from the past and present. I’m hearing from great players I’ve known all my life and meeting new players everyday that are just starting that I know will be my friends until Gabriel blows his horn. I just hope Gabriel keeps his union dues up.

Bobbe Seymour

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www.youtube.com/bobbeseymour

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2 Responses to Bobby Davis and other great Nashville guitarists

  1. Robby Davis (Herring) says:

    Hi Bobbe,

    Bobby Davis was my real dad, I am his youngest son and currently live in Florida. I have one old Ernest Tubb album he was on. Are you aware of any other albums he played on?

    Thanks,
    Robby (Davis) Herring

  2. Bobby Lee says:

    Sorry to say, Bobbe Seymour passed away less than two months after writing this.

    I’m not aware of your dad’s recording history. Sorry I can’t help.

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