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Post new topic James "JG" O'Rafferty
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Author Topic:  James "JG" O'Rafferty
Scott Rogers


From:
Andalusia, AL
Post Posted 11 May 2007 12:51 pm     Reply with quote

Folks... trying to find out info on this PSG player. I'm finding history on the net about him, played with Chicago, Neil Diamond, James Taylor, etc... sounds like a session ace. Anyhow, strange coincidence here....there's an old fella in the area of Andalusia, AL by the name of James O'Rafferty,, and he's a steel player.. apparently moved here in the recent years to settle down in "small townville". Just got off the phone with him, trying to strike conversation, but he didn't have much time to talk.. was on the way to a gig near Enterprise, AL, so I couldn't find out much about him. Supposed to get back in touch and talk about playing. Anyhow.. who knows about this guy,, and could it possibly be the same one known as "JG" on those other records? Thanks,
Scott
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John Groover McDuffie


From:
LA California, USA
Post Posted 11 May 2007 3:43 pm     Reply with quote

I worked at Red Rhodes' Amp Repair shop around 1978 ~ 1981 and I think JG stopped in a few times. I remember Red saying that JG could sing Ray Price tunes and play all the steel licks at the same time. I think he lived in the Downey area. (a suburb SE of downtown LA.)
But I have no clue as to his whereabouts or anything now.
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Jerry Hayes


From:
Virginia Beach, Va.
Post Posted 11 May 2007 6:24 pm     Reply with quote

Scott, that's probably him. He likes small town life these days and has moved around a lot in the last few years. He's an old friend of mine from my
SoCal years. JG was/is a great vocalist as well as steel player & a top notch bass player as well. He did a couple of stints on bass with Danny Michaels and the Rebel Playboys in Long Beach, Ca. More than once he's been the victim of jealousy from bandleaders and lead vocalists simply because he could sing better than they could. In the seventies when I got my first 12 string I was playing a club in Huntington Beach, Calif and was trying out Bill Keith's 12 string setup. James came in and I got him up to play my guitar and it was as if it was his own and he'd been playing that setup his whole life. For the longest time he played one of those old ShoBuds which had the pedal tuning mechanics on top behind the changer, it was just like the one on Chalker's "Big Hits on Big Steel". JG was a very fast and precise player who could really smoke on that thing. He had a strange setup on E9th as he tuned his 9th string to C# and his A pedal would raise the 5th string to C# and lower his 10th string B to A. When the A & B pedals were depressed he had a nice A6th with a root on the bottom. He could do some nice jazzy single string stuff on E9th this way.

By the way, what did you mean by "old fella". James should be somewhere between 60 and 65 or 66 by now but he's by no means old. He's had grey hair and a grey beard since he was in his early twenties. He was/is a very nice looking guy and used to have to beat the chicks off with a stick. That was another thing a lot of band leaders didn't like, he'd always be the one getting the notes from the ladies in the clubs.........JH in Va.
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Herb Steiner


From:
Spicewood TX 78669
Post Posted 11 May 2007 6:33 pm     Reply with quote

James was one of the hot, hot players in LA when I lived there. Used to go by the name "Jimmy Smith" occasionally. Everything Jerry Hase says is true, especially about the chicks! Wink I remember the old Sho-Bud as well. A few years ago, James contacted me when he moved to Missouri, then I heard he moved to Kentucky, and apparently he's now in Alabama. He'd be in his early 60's now and is probably still a great singer and player.

I remember him working with Don Lee. Remember that guy, Jerry?
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Jim Bob Sedgwick


From:
Clinton, Missouri USA
Post Posted 11 May 2007 7:49 pm     Reply with quote

Scott... That is positively the JG O'rafferty that you are seeking. He and I have been friends ever since he came to the LA, SoCal area.

He is an unbelievable harmony player. You play single string melody on guitar, he will play 2 parts above you and one below, or 2 below and one above. If anyone misses a note, it will probably be you. He can play chords as fast as most guys can play single string. An all around good guy and musician. My 2 cents.

Tell him I said hello and will call him soon.
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Scott Rogers


From:
Andalusia, AL
Post Posted 12 May 2007 6:32 am     Reply with quote

Cool.... I'll be getting back in touch with him soon and I'll tell him all these folks are buzzing about him too. Ha! Didn't mean any disrepect by the "old fella",, thats just a figure of speech around here,, more pronounced as "ole fella".. kinda like my "ole man" even though he's only 47 yrs old, lol! Thanks to everyone for the info!
Scott
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Jason Odd


From:
Stawell, Victoria, Australia
Post Posted 12 May 2007 11:09 am     J.G. Reply with quote

J.G. once told me that he was part of Jimmy Wakely's band in 1967.

Also of interest is that he was a planned solo artist for Mike Nesmith's Countryside label, and for a while in '72, the original steel guitarist for the house band, although Nez did end up going with Red Rhodes. Herb, you're late buddy Robert Hardy was the original guitarist Countryside as well, although he too was replaced.
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Sheila Lampley


From:
Thompsonville, Illinois, USA
Post Posted 12 May 2007 11:40 am     steel player Reply with quote

I played with Billy Grammer a few years back and a guy with the same name stopped by and played several weeks with us he played steel and sang done a great job. Latter he said he was moving south to Florida we were in Benton Illinois when I played with him. He's a real good player and a nice fellow.
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Sheila Lampley


From:
Thompsonville, Illinois, USA
Post Posted 12 May 2007 11:42 am     Reply with quote

I'm Sheila's husband forget the computer was logged on in her name Don Lampley
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Jason Odd


From:
Stawell, Victoria, Australia
Post Posted 12 May 2007 1:13 pm     Reply with quote

Seems to fit, J.G. was originally planned as a solo singer for Countryside as well as part of the session band.

They only thing he seems to change more than his home address is his email address, a few years back, he had about four or more in about a year.
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Scott Rogers


From:
Andalusia, AL
Post Posted 1 Nov 2007 4:41 am     JG O'Rafferty update Reply with quote

Folks.. found Mr JG here in Andalusia last night at a Halloween festival on the town square. He was hired on as the steel man with a band of local musicians. He was of course, playing wonderfully, and playing those over/under harmonies with the guitar player and keyboards. ShoBud I believe.. double neck.. I got a chance to speak with him during the set break and told him of all the folks on here that have sent hello's.. he was flattered to be remembered so well! He mentioned that he'd be moving to Paducah, Kentucky next week. Apparently he'd been down this way to be around his daughter (?) in school.... I'm assuming in college or something.. not too sure about that. But anyhow, it was a pleasure meeting and hearing Mr JG!
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Greg McKenzie


From:
Florida, USA
Post Posted 9 Nov 2011 6:50 am     J.G. O'Rafferty Reply with quote

Folks I have an update on Mr. O'Rafferty ( or Jim as he told us to call him) he met with our band last night (CrossRoads, from DeFuniak Springs, FL) and we played music like you would never believe. When it was all said and done, he said "boys you've got a very unique and great sound, and I would love to play with you if you'll have me". Of course we said "YUP!! Welcome to the band"! He is in the process of relocating to our little town, and a friend of mine (Roger Bennett) is helping him find a house and he told him of our band and now we have the pleasure of playing with "Jim" O'Rafferty.

It was kind of funny Jim is 71 now, and we were worried that some of the newer country might be a challenge for him, but let me tell you, no matter what we threw at him (from Don Gibson to Jamie Johnson) he was right there with us and took a lead turn on almost every one of the tunes. It was a pure pleasure to play with him, and he fit right in with the others in the band (which is as important as the ability to play), no ego issue at all.....just a nice guy, and GREAT musician.

Just thought you might like to have this update.

Thanks
Greg
CrossRoads Band
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Herb Steiner


From:
Spicewood TX 78669
Post Posted 9 Nov 2011 7:20 am     Reply with quote

Please tell him "hey" for me, and send him my best wishes. I'm 64, and I didn't think there was that many years between Jim and me.

And post a photo... I'd like to see how we all have aged. Laughing

Better yet, get him to join the Forum.
_________________
Herb's Steel Guitar Pages
Texas Steel Guitar Association
Allison String Instruments
My rig: Infinity and Telonics.

Son, we live in a world with walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with steel guitars. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinberg?
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Jim Bob Sedgwick


From:
Clinton, Missouri USA
Post Posted 9 Nov 2011 8:01 pm     Reply with quote

I just talked to JG 3 days ago. He's living in Paducah, KY, but is in the process of moving down to the Florida panhandle. Says he can't stand the cold "up North".
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Jerry Hayes


From:
Virginia Beach, Va.
Post Posted 10 Nov 2011 11:53 am     Reply with quote

I have a CD I made off of a cassette tape of a session we did at James' studio for Amil Presson about thirty years ago. It featured James on steel, me on lead and acoustic guitars, Bruce MacLachlan on drums & I can't remember the bass players name. I wish I knew how to post audio on here so I could put a sample of his playing for y'all to here. I also have a gospel LP record that he gave me a long time ago. He is an exceptional player for sure......JH in Va.
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David Barry


From:
Pennsylvania, USA
Post Posted 12 Sep 2017 11:32 am     Jg o'rafferty Reply with quote

I was the keyboard player at Countryside Records and I remember picking with JG. The man smoked. Really had a style. Jazzy, bluesy. I've been wondering where he was. I played on the two singles Nesmith released on JG. I remember Bob Hardy. I was with Nesmith when Hardy was recruited for the Countryside band. Hardy was a heck of a picker but not in the mode of a studio musician back then.

I'm unusual as a survivor of that Lone Star time. Garland Frady, Red Rhodes, Danny Lane, Colin Cameron, Hardy, Michael's then wife Phyllis and Skip Van Leeuwen. All gone. It was a hell of a party. Glad I was there.

David
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Jack Goodson


From:
new brockton,alabama (home of me and don helms
Post Posted 12 Sep 2017 11:48 am     Jog? Reply with quote

As far as I know jg is still living not too far from me and still playing. If you will go on face to my page you can see and hear him, he was at the alabama steel show earlier this year, great guy....thanks jack
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David Barry


From:
Pennsylvania, USA
Post Posted 12 Sep 2017 3:00 pm     More on James O'Rafferty Reply with quote

Thanks, Jack, for the item about JG. I'll have to learn to call him Jim.

Funny, the timeline of this thread spans 10 years, easy. I remember Herb. And I used to go to Red Rhodes's shop on Cahuenga when Jeff Baxter worked there.

Red tipped me off when James Burton was going to,be there. I wanted to meet him and I did. Anybody know a guitar picker named Jerry Swallow?
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David Barry


From:
Pennsylvania, USA
Post Posted 12 Sep 2017 3:28 pm     More on James O'Rafferty Reply with quote

Thanks, Jack, for the item about JG. I'll have to learn to call him Jim.

Funny, the timeline of this thread spans 10 years, easy. I remember Herb. And I used to go to Red Rhodes's shop on Cahuenga when Jeff Baxter worked there.

Red tipped me off when James Burton was going to,be there. I wanted to meet him and I did. Anybody know a guitar picker named Jerry Swallow?
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Herb Steiner


From:
Spicewood TX 78669
Post Posted 12 Sep 2017 3:44 pm     Reply with quote

Dave
I remember Jerry Swallow, great guitarist. We played together in a rehearsal band with Russ Giguere from The Association called the Beachwood Rangers; I say it was a rehearsal band because we never gigged anywhere that I recall. My roommate Michael Ney was the drummer and our bassist was the late/great David Vaught.

We rehearsed in my house on Sierra Bonita just south of H'wood Blvd. and just east of Laurel Canyon, so it had to be 1970-72.
_________________
Herb's Steel Guitar Pages
Texas Steel Guitar Association
Allison String Instruments
My rig: Infinity and Telonics.

Son, we live in a world with walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with steel guitars. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinberg?
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Jim Bob Sedgwick


From:
Clinton, Missouri USA
Post Posted 13 Sep 2017 4:11 am     Reply with quote

JG is living in DeFuniak Florida now. I spoke to him 2 days ago. He lives on the Florida panhandle and escaped damage from The hurricane. I will inform him of your interest.

He's still playing weekend gigs in lower Alabama.
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Jim Bob Sedgwick


From:
Clinton, Missouri USA
Post Posted 13 Sep 2017 5:51 am     Reply with quote

Jerry Hayes wrote:
Scott, that's probably him. He likes small town life these days and has moved around a lot in the last few years. He's an old friend of mine from my
SoCal years. JG was/is a great vocalist as well as steel player & a top notch bass player as well. He did a couple of stints on bass with Danny Michaels and the Rebel Playboys in Long Beach, Ca. More than once he's been the victim of jealousy from bandleaders and lead vocalists simply because he could sing better than they could. In the seventies when I got my first 12 string I was playing a club in Huntington Beach, Calif and was trying out Bill Keith's 12 string setup. James came in and I got him up to play my guitar and it was as if it was his own and he'd been playing that setup his whole life. For the longest time he played one of those old ShoBuds which had the pedal tuning mechanics on top behind the changer, it was just like the one on Chalker's "Big Hits on Big Steel". JG was a very fast and precise player who could really smoke on that thing. He had a strange setup on E9th as he tuned his 9th string to C# and his A pedal would raise the 5th string to C# and lower his 10th string B to A. When the A & B pedals were depressed he had a nice A6th with a root on the bottom. He could do some nice jazzy single string stuff on E9th this way.

By the way, what did you mean by "old fella". James should be somewhere between 60 and 65 or 66 by now but he's by no means old. He's had grey hair and a grey beard since he was in his early twenties. He was/is a very nice looking guy and used to have to beat the chicks off with a stick. That was another thing a lot of band leaders didn't like, he'd always be the one getting the notes from the ladies in the clubs.........JH in Va.


Jerry, JG is 76 Years old now
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Herb Steiner


From:
Spicewood TX 78669
Post Posted 13 Sep 2017 6:17 am     Reply with quote

Ah, memories! I remember O'Rafferty's Sho~Bud, I think it was a Fingertip.

After I moved to TX, I was back in Los Angeles for a MMMurphey gig and the E9 pickup on my Professional was broken by a careless roadie. So I called Red in panic and he told me "O'Rafferty has a spare Sho-Bud pickup." So I drove out to Simi Valley where he was living at the time, which seemed like a long ways from Hollywood. He was living, as I recall, in a really nice house up there. I think he was playing in Don Lee's band in those days.

JG met me at the door with the pickup, and then I realized that it was for a Fingertip or Permanent and wouldn't work in my Professional. But I thanked him for the offer anyway, and then trooped back to Cahuenga Ave. and Red's shop. Red replaced the broken E9 pickup with the C6 and the gig went on as planned.
_________________
Herb's Steel Guitar Pages
Texas Steel Guitar Association
Allison String Instruments
My rig: Infinity and Telonics.

Son, we live in a world with walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with steel guitars. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinberg?
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Peter Freiberger


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 13 Sep 2017 12:37 pm     Reply with quote

I remember Jerry Swallow very fondly. The nicest guy you could ever know, and a stunning talent. He was the perfect blend of rock/blues/country. Back in the '70's we did some club work and a couple rehearsals for a prospective band Jerry was forming for Tanya Tucker back when she was going to cross over to rock. Sadly (or maybe not) that project died a quick death.
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Charlie Hansen


From:
Halifax, NS Canada and Zephyrhills,FL
Post Posted 14 Sep 2017 5:35 am     Reply with quote

James O'Rafferty's vocals are very much like Wynn Stewart, which isn't a bad thing at all.
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Carter S-10 3X5, 1996 Peavey Bandit with 4 ohm Black Widow, plus Regal dobro and too many other instruments to mention.
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