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Post new topic Telecaster and pedal steel ?
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Author Topic:  Telecaster and pedal steel ?
Roger Rettig


From:
Naples, FL
Post  Posted 31 Jul 2021 6:40 am    
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James Burton. In my view, James' influence in establishing the Telecaster in the genre can't be overstated.

Growing up in Britain and digesting all the great American music that we heard in the 1950s was fascinating for me. Big-bodied Gibsons seemed to hold sway. Scotty Moore, George Barnes, Johnny Smith, Hank Garland were the guys we knew by name from their diverse output, from rock-and-roll to more crossover music to Connie Francis and Tennessee Ernie (Bobby Gibbons' amazing playing on the B-side of 'Sixteen Tons' just blew me away!!)

Chet, with his 6120, also turned our heads back then, even if we only knew who he was from Everly Brothers sleeve-notes. The rise of the Gretsch arch-top, at least in Britain, was due to Chet, Duane and Eddie Cochran. Hank Garland seemed to us to be the ultimate sideman who ran the gamut from edgy rock fills (Elvis) to warm jazz-voicings on some Everly Brothers LP tracks.

Me? I soaked it all up and loved every moment but the guy who 'took the biscuit' was James Burton. His early work on countless Ricky Nelson sides stands scrutiny today. Biting fills, dry-sounding but with that perfect right-hand of his and those super-slinky strings, he could raise the hair on the back of my neck. Such control, such great tempo! What wondrous instrument was it that made such sounds?? It took us a while to find out (no 'Ozzie & Harriet Show' on our TV screens) that it was a basic Telecaster.

James' subsequent career saw him at the forefront of country-rock (Elvis, Emmylou, as well as his guest appearances on Owens' and Haggard's records) so I suppose the lesson I took from his output was: 'A Tele is all I need....' IF there's a single candidate for having exerted influence, in my view it's Burton. Perhaps he was inspired by Jimmy Bryant - I don't know - but none of us knew of Bryant until much later.

This is not to suggest that James was or is one of the most accomplished players in history but he has always been high-profile because of the jobs he held down which, of course, added to his impact. We should also remember that Leo Fender deliberately targeted country players when he first pushed his revolutionary solid-body guitars.

I agree with Chris. There was a tonal variety in the '50s because the prominent players mostly played their first-choice (or sponsored) guitars ('though that didn't stop Hank Garland from borrowing Harold Bradley's Jazzmaster for Elvis' 'Little Sister'). Even though I'd aspired to, and finally purchased, a Gibson Super 400 by 1961, by the mid-'60s I'd jumped ship and got my first Tele. There have been a bunch since!
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RR
(Real men play 'Day'!)


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Dirk Edwards


From:
Idaho, USA
Post  Posted 31 Jul 2021 2:23 pm    
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Don't forget Ted Greene

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_nkUSKPJeU
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Roger Rettig


From:
Naples, FL
Post  Posted 1 Aug 2021 5:09 am    
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Ted Greene, at the far end of the musical spectrum, went a long way in establishing the Telecaster as 'The Perfect Electric Guitar'.

How sad it is that we lost him when he was still a young man.
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RR
(Real men play 'Day'!)


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