Hello fans and fellow players,
While watching the news last night, I couldn’t help but notice a new very young basketball player that was making hoops from anywhere on the floor. It seems like his name was Jeremy Lin or something like that. A child prodigy that none could believe.
Very interesting to watch this guy. No matter where he was, they’d get the basketball to him and he’d sink it from anywhere on the court. Shooting about five times better than any of the famous old pros which reminds me of something I read on the forum three years ago about steel players.
Someone made the statement that Buddy Emmons is the greatest steel guitar player in the world, always will be and nobody will ever surpass his ability. Very unfortunately, this is just not true even though Buddy Emmons is an astounding steel guitarist and has been throughout his whole career, there are new kids exploding all around us.
If you could take some of these kids and put them back in the time when Buddy Emmons was first starting out and building his dream on the Opry and on the road, you’d see what I mean. When Tommy White was eighteen, he was astounding. As a matter of fact, he was much more astounding than most players had ever been before him.
Paul Franklin is another one that was a stone killer when he started his career in Nashville. This is just Nashville I’m talking about. Think about other towns in the world. I idolized Buddy Emmons back in the old days, but if I’d have heard Randall Curry, Doug Jernigan and Travis Toy back in those days, I would have been equally as impressed I’m sure.
There are child prodigies in every form of endeavor. Believe me, I’m taking nothing away from the great Buddy Emmons, but to over-inflate Buddy, Curly or any of these great old legendary players would be a disservice to some of the incredible players that are coming out today.
The world is full of great and talented people. To sell any of them short that are on the way would be a very foolish thing to do. Buddy Emmons is not only an incredible player, but he is a very smart man that knows what taste is in music and he knows how life works and how to sell his craft. All of us in this day and time can feel greatly blessed that he has shared his talent with us.
To all of my readers reading this now, Howard White’s widow Ruth White sent me the following email about the death of a fine guitar player that worked the Opry and the road with the biggest stars of the time. See how many of you out there remember Luke.
Bobbe…..from Mom…..I thought that you might like to know that a great guitar player, Luke Brandon, in Knoxville died on Thursday night. Luke came to Nashville with Howard from Knoxville to play with Cowboy Copas in l952. Howard stayed here but Luke kept going home to Rockwood. He was a great guitar picker. Howard and Ray Edenton said Luke knew more chords than anyone. Ray, Luke and Howard all lived at Mom Church’s. Don Davis was there at that time too.
Chet used Luke on a lot of sessions, but if you knew Luke, you knew that he wouldn’t stay in Nashville for a little thing like a session. Ha! Did you ever have the opportunity to play a session with Luke? Maybe you didn’t get here early enough. Howard’s last performance was at the St. Louis steel guitar convention and Luke played guitar with him. Just thought the old folks might want to know.
By the way, my book about Don Davis will be out in the Fall. It is going in the publisher’s catalog in June. A funnier book you will not have read.
Warmest regards, Ruth White
To all my readers I want to say that when I do these newsletters for you all, I’m really doing them for all of you. You younger players will not understand who a lot of the older players are and vice versa. What I’m doing is trying to cover the entire scope of our steel guitar playing world. It’s a big one and even bigger if you cover the whole thing from the beginning up until now.
Think about what I’ve just said. We have incredible players in their eighties and we have some really incredible players that are in their mid-teens. Everyone of these folks are steel guitar players and it wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t cover them all. There has already been an incredible era of steel guitar built. We have new players that are continuing this craft in an amazing way.
I’ve seen some of the oldest players talk about the young players in a very admiring manner and of course, the younger guys talk very reverently about the older players. What a wonderful world where we all love each other, the world of steel guitar.
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Steel Guitar Nashville
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Hendersonville, TN. 37075
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