Steel Guitar News

Hello fellow players,

Alright friends, neighbors and customers, this is the first writing we’ve done to you since our big 20 percent off sale. As you all probably know, this is what we called a true 20 percent off sale which was even 20 percent off everything, even the advertised sale price.

And yes, we were hit hard. It’s obvious that many of you folks loved this sale. We sold thousands of dollars of worth of items at discount prices. From the emails I’ve gotten since, this sale was greatly appreciated. Most people have asked when we’ll have another one. I don’t really know how to answer that except that it will probably be at the end of next summer.

Of course we will have many items on sale for Christmas before our next big across the board sale.

Our steel player this week to tell you about from the International Steel Guitar Hall of Fame is Speedy West. Speedy was definitely the player with the greatest personality that ever was. I remember a steel guitar show put on by the boys in Tulsa, Oklahoma several years ago. This was a hard show for me to play because I had just lost one of my dearest friends in steel guitar, the wonderful Gary Hogue, steel player for Marty Stuart.

When I was onstage, I decided to do a commemorative song for Gary. Upon announcing it I hung my head and could not hold back my emotions and how I was missing Gary’s friendship. I started crying rather profusely into the microphone and tears got down on the inside of my glasses where I couldn’t see to play.

Upon apologizing to the crowd that was there, I looked in the front row and there was Speedy West crying his heart out also. After the show Speedy came up to me and put his arms around me still crying he said that was about the nicest thing he’d ever seen. It was right then and there that I realized that Speedy West’s heart was as big as the state of Texas.

This famous player worked for many years in Oklahoma City for Fender. He promoted the Fender 1000 steel guitar. It was during this period that he sold his very famous triple neck Bigsby. It was the Bigsby guitar, a triple neck eight string, that Speedy built his career on in the late forties. This was truly a very gorgeous steel guitar and the one that Speedy used in all the movies that he did in major movie studios in California.

Jimmy Bryant of guitar playing fame put out many instrumentals that he and Speedy wrote together and had great luck in the sales department with these great tunes and arrangements the way they performed them. Tunes like Speedin’ West, Across The Alley From The Alamo and many, many more on the Capitol label. As a matter of fact, I was twelve years old when I saw my first Bryant and West album in a record store and bought it having never heard of them, but only because of the great picture on the cover.

The picture was of Speedy with his great triple neck Bigsby and Jimmy with his newly released Fender Telecaster lead guitar. Upon playing it when I got it home, I was pretty astounded all the way around. Little did I know at that time that Speedy would many years later become a great friend.

If anybody asks you today if you ever heard of Speedy West, just say yes, he was the nicest guy ever in the world of steel guitar. You can get a lot more information on Speedy from google. And go to the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame website and read his plaque.

Speedy West had a son named Gary that was born when Speedy was playing for Lawrence Welk. Speedy Jr. just died in 2011. I might add here that Speedy Sr. was also in the Rockabilly Hall of Fame in Springfield, Missouri. He loved Standel amplifiers and his idols were Billy Robinson and Jerry Byrd. Let’s all remember this great player reverently.

One of you readers of this newsletter has asked me to get into lubricants that are used on steel guitars. I recommend a dry silicone lubricant for the changer. Spray it on heavy with the guitar upside down. A tiny drop of 60 weight motor oil underneath the guitar where cross shafts go through their L-bracket holders will make things much quieter and easier to manipulate.

There are some brands of steel guitars which include GFI and Mullen that may not need lubricant because of roller bearings or delran bearings.

A tiny drop in the end of the legs that screw into the guitar will keep them from rusting. Just don’t use enough that you make a mess. Where the pedals rotate on the pedal bar, it’s a good idea to use this 60 weight oil continuously there. Never get any oil on your strings as it will keep them from vibrating freely and kill your sustain.

Many folks have told me not to recommend using oil in the rollers at the keyhead, but I find that this is one great way to keep the rollers from rattling back and forth when the guitar is being played. Tom Bradshaw has other ideas here.

On my Bigsby guitars, I don’t even use rollers at the keyhead end and have no problem at all with just putting a tiny drop of heavy oil under each string. Naturally with no roller, the strings will not make a funny vibrating noise in the keyhead. I even ordered a new Clinesmith guitar specifically without rollers because this works so well.

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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