Steel Guitar News

Hello fellow players,

Well there it was, the weekend when all the steel players converged on St. Louis. The wonderful happening that was sponsored by DeWitt Scott Music and all the steel players that brought their talents.

I remember fifteen years ago talking to Scotty in the middle of the auditorium floor and he looked around and said, “Here it is, the entire history of steel guitar right here in front of us. The most famous players in the world. They’re right here and we are so lucky to all be under one roof.”

He said, “Someday we’ll look around during one of these shows and we may be all alone.” Well it’s getting closer and closer to that as we have lost most of the very greatest steel players in the entire world since that early September fifteen years ago. However, we do have some great players coming up through the ranks and by great, I mean totally astounding. The world of steel guitar is changing and there are some wonderful changes that are coming.

I try to keep you posted on the development of new steel guitars and steel guitar shows and players that may be happening in Nashville, in the USA and in your area. I find it fun to review new products and try to only review the best of this merchandise. You know, the ones that I can be positive about, not negative.

Most of you can take my criticism of products in the vein that it is intended. Then of course, some can’t. But even the negative things have a certain amount of humor and may open your mind to the fact that there may possibly be something amiss and most always opens a subject for discussion.

My ultimate goal is to have you all enjoy the many aspects of steel guitar and many aspects there are. Steel guitar is a beautiful looking, sounding, feeling mechanical object that has a sound like nothing else in the world. It expresses what is happening in the inner soul of the player that is operating it.

I’m reminded of the time when I was playing the role of steel guitar player in the movie Nashville Girl. This was a pretty exotic production by Pierre Oppenheimer. This movie reminds me very much of the latest movie done in Nashville starring the questionable talents of Gwyneth Paltrow and Tim McGraw. I will brag and say that Nashville Girl was a many times better movie than this new one which is called Country Strong.

In Nashville this movie has been nick-named Country Wrong by several reviewers. The only good thing about it is the fact that steel guitarist Chris Scruggs actually gets quite a bit of camera time.

Anyway, as you probably know, all of these Hollywood done country music movies from WW and the Dixie Dance Kings through Urban Cowboy, Nashville Girl and many in between all have the same plot. Young girl moves to Nashville to make it big in the country music business and through all her exploits always seems to accomplish this the last five minutes of the film. Oh if real life could be that rewarding!

While surfing my television channels yesterday evening I lucked upon HD TV concert where I saw tremendous talent and rock musicians from bands I didn’t even realize were there. David Gilmour, formerly of Pink Floyd, did an hour and a half show with some very big and accomplished musicians.

I assumed this was going to be another big rock concert but was shocked to count four steel guitars on stage, three Fender non-pedal guitars and a Rickenbacker non-pedal lapsteel. Wonderful music and arrangements, very little if any jump-around show biz antics, just really great music in front of a crowd of at least 30,000.

Steel guitar got as much air time as any other instrument on stage. Saying that the future of steel guitar is not bright would be a stupid thing to assume.

Then next on the program was Paul McCartney. Paul’s show was very beautifully laid out musically. Theatrics were held to a bare minimum and players were very well adept at what they did. No steel guitar, but there could’ve been and it wouldn’t have been out of place.

About all I can say is, hey everybody, if you think steel guitar is dead, just open your eyes and turn your TV on. Things seems to be getting brighter everyday.

I was invited to attend the Sho-Pro steel guitar show this weekend, but physical limitations prevented me from attending. I have already heard about the great job that all the players did on this wonderful show in Mount Juliet, Tennessee. Robbie Turner played some of the bulk of this show before the incomparable Tommy White came on stage and demonstrated his awe inspiring talent.

To say that I wish I could have been there is an understatement and I can only hope that Jeff Surratt and his lovely wife Gloria will see fit to invite me again next year. I also was not able to play the steel guitar show in St. Louis, but I would like to deeply thank all concerned that my nomination and induction into the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame was not something that I took lightly.

I even think they did a good job with the artwork putting my face on the bronze plaque. At least it doesn’t look like a cartoon caricature, but I may have looked better if it had been. The reason I’m writing this now is I wish to thank everyone of you that expressed your cares for having me there. I take it as a personal compliment in its sincerest form that you thought I should be there.

Some of the folks that made the final push on my behalf were Tom Bradshaw, Ron Kirby, Jim Wilkie, Fred Shannon, Lynn Owsley, Bob Mackel and Jody Carver. I thank you so much for believing in me and your efforts at getting me inducted into the Hall of Fame.
We have many military service personnel reading this newsletter every week, most of which are steel players or play related instruments. I’m very thankful for these readers. I have frustrating memories myself of trying to find anything musical at all to read when I was in the service. Trying to find anything about steel guitar was near impossible.

Just knowing that I could be of any help, service or give pleasure with my writings to these exceptional people that are working so hard to fight for all of us who want a better world. God love all of you.

Since we are coming into steel guitar month, we would like to kick it off by offering a big sale on many items that you all seem to have taken to your hearts, like the Bobro, the Nashville 112 amplifier and GFI guitars. We also offer bars, picks and strings at great savings. Teaching DVDs and CDs, some of these things will be up to fifty percent off.

When you order what you want, just let us know that you are a subscriber to this steel guitar newsletter and the discounts will apply to you. Get ready for a big Sho-Bud sale to celebrate steel guitar month.

Check out our monthly specials at and we’ll try to save you a lot of money.

Your buddy,

Steel Guitar Nashville
123 Mid Town Court
Hendersonville, TN. 37075
(615) 822-5555
Open 9AM – 4PM Monday – Friday
Closed Saturday and Sunday

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