Hello fans and fellow players,
I would like to acknowledge the effort of Bob Quasar1, creator of the Steel Guitar Forum, for putting my newsletters on his website at PedalSteelMusic.com.
Bob is a gigantic power in the world of steel guitar. This steel guitar forum is a gigantic help to steel players everywhere. He has made the entire globe much smaller by making it possible for every steel player to be in direct contact with other steel players, teachers, builders and designers.
What he is really doing for the world of steel guitar is a truly wonderful contribution. If you can send him just a quick thank you once in a while it may be highly appreciated and I know that any financial aid that you can spare to send him will be used to further the success of this great medium.
I know whenever I have a few hundred thousand laying around, he’s the first one that I send it to. LOL. Bob has proven how much good he and the forum can be to us all. Every once in a while, he has to shut down for maintenance and myself along with millions of others go through a period of DTs. Some form of withdrawal symptoms are what we all go through when the forum isn’t there. Thank goodness it’s there most of the time. I just want to thank bee-zero-bee (b0b). You are greatly appreciated.
I’d like to talk now about you steel players that think you’re obscure. There are thousands of little steel guitar jobs in small out of the way places all over this country, Canada and many other countries. You may only play one night a week. The band you’re working with may not be packed with highly trained musicians, but this doesn’t matter because there you are, playing, having fun and making money.
The people that come to see you and the band are appreciating you very much for being there and have that admiration that they probably have for the great big bands also. When you get in your car on Saturday night and have to drive a long way to play, not only are you probably having a great time, learning and making money, but those folks that may seem to not pay attention to you, are secretly admiring you for your craft.
I saw on the forum about a gentleman trying to form a steel guitar club in southern Oklahoma and northern Texas for you guys around Altus, Duncan, Lawton, Burkburnett and Wichita Falls will have a place to get together and enjoy camaraderie with others of similar interests. It used to be the stomping grounds for the great western swing bands of yesteryear. The Miller Brothers, The Western Starlighters, Leon Thompson, Hank Thompson, Bob Wills, Johnny Lee Wills, Leon McAuliffe and many more.
I remember driving through this area and working here in the 50s and 60s and seeing some of these great western swing bands playing at some obscure clubs and barn dances. I stopped and walked into a big barn one night only to hear incredible western swing music and looking at the stage and seeing the great Billy Gray western swing band.
You just never know what you’ll find in that area. You may think you’re little, obscure and out of the way, but you’re not. This goes for many other areas in the United States. Get out there on Saturday night and have some jam sessions if nothing else.
I am still in awe learning of so many non-pedal steel guitar players shifting over from pedal to non-pedal after having a full career of pedal playing. This tickles me because a good player in a band can pull it off to where no one in the club and probably no one in the band will know if he’s playing pedals or not and they probably won’t care.
As long as you play the right note in the right chord with enough fancy pizzazz and play nice harmonies with the lead guitar or violin section, why should it matter which of the two you’re playing? Of course, the type job you’re on may make a little difference. You wouldn’t want to hear Ralph Mooney playing with Buck Owens without pedals. However, most of the dancers wouldn’t know the difference.
The origins of the International Steel Guitar Hall of Fame? It started like this folks, many of the Nashville steel players were contacted and asked to come to a meeting in a banquet room at a restaurant at the corner of Gallatin Road and Due West Avenue in Madison, Tennessee one evening in the early 70s.
This was a fairly good place to eat. I figured what the heck? Stu Basore and I drove over to the meeting. When we got there I was shocked to find some of the greatest steel players in the world. Buddy Emmons, Lloyd Green, Jimmy Day, Jim Vest, Gene O’Neal, Big Ben Keith, Howard White, Billy Robinson and many others.
Of course, we were all yelling and having such a good time that it was awhile before we got any business done. Finally, Jim Vest and Dewitt Scott called this meeting to order. It’s subject matter was to start a new International Steel Guitar Club. Things went on for awhile, we went through the typical questions of what a club should do, when we would have meetings, we even decided to have a convention once a year, preferably around Labor Day for obvious reasons.
About this time Jim Vest and Scotty made the statement that we could also have a Hall of Fame. Everybody went along with it and we elected officers, president, vice-president, treasurer, sergeant at arms along with the typical things. We all dug into our pockets and made our contribution to get this new club on the way.
Everything was going and doing well until tragedy struck. I have been told not to be too specific about what happened, however I can say that the treasurer that we elected bought a Lincoln Continental with the money that he absconded from the treasury, moved to Florida and pretty well ripped the heart out of this new steel guitar club.
Most of you know who this was and he is actually a Hall of Fame member now. He was a great player, but throughout his career he really didn’t do much good for other players in the service of their craft.
Dewitt Scott of St. Louis thought that this club and Hall of Fame idea was way too good to let die. So he appointed himself the guy that restarted it in St. Louis with most of the same members. So he ended up saying the world’s biggest steel guitar club and has done a wonderful job with the club and Hall of Fame, bringing the world of players from all countries together once a year to St. Louis for the greatest of all steel guitar shows.
Check out all the nooks and crannies on b0b’s site : b0b.com
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