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Author Topic:  Terry Bethel R.I.P.
Nick Reed


From:
Russellville, KY USA
Post  Posted 17 Jun 2019 7:44 am    
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Legendary Steel Guitarist "Terry Bethel" age 80 passed away Monday morning (6-17-19) at 7:45am central time in Nashville, TN. This after suffering with a long bout of Pancreatitis and with his overall health declining over the past few months.
Terry was inducted into the International Steel Guitar Hall of Fame in 2012 and received the NTSGA Legends Award in 2017. He started learning to play Steel Guitar at a very young age at the Honolulu School of Music in Flint Michigan. He worked almost 40 years in Mel Tillis's "Statesiders Band", both on the road and at Mel's theater show in Branson, Missouri. Back in the 90's Terry & Dick Miller partnered up to manufacture and produce the well known "Bethel Pedal Steel Guitars" for several years. Terry was once married to female country artist "Billie Jo Spears" who recorded the big hit "Blanket On The Ground". His contributions to the country music industry include session recordings (on the majority of Mel's number one hits), and backing up other well-known artists. He consistently supported the steel guitar industry by founding the Ozark Steel Guitar Association, which hosts an annual steel guitar jam every July. Terry utilized his expertise and talents to expose and enhance the steel guitar worldwide. He spent some of his time as a Internet DJ on SteelRadio.com. Terry had an impeccable reputation as both an innovator of style, and a leader of perfection. He dedicated his life to music, as one of the most worldly renowned steel guitarist' of our time . . .


Terry's Obituary:

Terry Medwick Bethel, age 80, of Hendersonville, TN passed away Monday, June 17, 2019 at NHC Springfield. A Memorial Service will be held at a later date.
Terry was born July 14, 1938 in Monette, Arkansas to the late James Elvis and Ethelyn Hancock Bethel. He was a musician. In addition to his parents, Terry was preceded in death by two wives, Patricia Wainscott Bethel and Billie Jo Spears Bethel, also his sister Sherry Gold.
Terry is survived by his children, Valerie (Jeff) Rogers, Michelle Sterling, and Mike Bethel, all 3 of Hendersonville, Sisters, Barbara (Terry) Morris of Ashland City and Stephen (Linda) Bethel of Greenbrier, brother, Bill (Margie) Bethel of Hot Springs, AR, 10 grandchildren, and 15 great-grandchildren.

Austin & Bell Funeral Home of Springfield is in charge of arrangements.




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Last edited by Nick Reed on 18 Jun 2019 10:03 am; edited 21 times in total
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Jerry Lee Newberry


From:
Prim, AR USA
Post  Posted 17 Jun 2019 8:04 am    
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Sorry to hear this. He was a mentor to several young steel players. He helped Austin a lot. He will be missed.
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Mickey Adams


From:
Bandera Texas
Post  Posted 17 Jun 2019 8:04 am    
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Goodbye for now my dear friend..
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Richard Sinkler


From:
aka: Rusty Strings -- Oakdale, California
Post  Posted 17 Jun 2019 8:21 am    
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Truly a sad day for the steel guitar world. My prayers are with Terry, his family and friends.

I remember having lunch with him, and hanging out for a couple of hours with him in Reno when Tillis was there. What a nice guy and incredible player. He will be missed.
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Mike Brown


From:
Meridian, Mississippi USA
Post  Posted 17 Jun 2019 8:28 am     Terry Bethel
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Terry was a longtime Peavey endorser and friend. Sa to hear this news. RIP Terry my friend.
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Ron Sodos


From:
San Antonio, Texas USA
Post  Posted 17 Jun 2019 8:36 am     Very sad day.
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For steel guitar as well as me personally.
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C.D. Richards


From:
Owasso,OK
Post  Posted 17 Jun 2019 9:09 am     Terry Bethel
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Sorry to hear that Terry passed away. The steel guitar world lost another one of the greats and I lost a very dear friend. Rest in peace Terry you will be missed by a lot of people.
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Jack Stoner


From:
Inverness, Fl
Post  Posted 17 Jun 2019 9:15 am    
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Sad loss. I've been friends with Terry since 1971 and his days with Mel Tillis.
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Jerry Overstreet


From:
Louisville Ky
Post  Posted 17 Jun 2019 9:18 am    
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Sad news. Condolences to Terry's family.
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Larry Garrett


From:
Siloam Springs, Arkansas, USA
Post  Posted 17 Jun 2019 9:21 am    
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I'm saddened to hear of the passing of Terry. Sad I'll miss his "Hello my friend" That's how he would start our conversation at every event or jam. He was always approachable and friendly, and a great cheerleader for beginning and intermediate players. At the Ozark Steel Guitar meetings/jams in Branson he always encouraged me and so many others to not pass on a song but play "something" even the song wasn't familiar. He leaves a huge vacancy in the steel guitar world. RIP my friend....
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Jim Park


From:
Carson City, Nv
Post  Posted 17 Jun 2019 9:57 am     Terry Bethel
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I too like Richard Sinkler, got to spend time with Terry while he was in Reno with Mel Tillis. In fact it was at Mels last show in Reno that Duane Brown and I saw him. Godspeed Terry, thank you for your contribution to the Steel guitar world.😢
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Fred Justice


From:
Mesa, Arizona
Post  Posted 17 Jun 2019 10:19 am    
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I knew it was close, but you just can't prepare for this at all.
Terry and I became friends some 25 years ago.
I sure learned a lot from Terry. what a smooth player he was.
Terry was a close friend, I've camped at his house many times.
Its not good by for me, its see you later buddy.
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Sandra Scott-Wall


From:
St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Post  Posted 17 Jun 2019 10:24 am    
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Terry was the 71st inductee into the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame in 2012. He was a favorite player on the stage of the ISGC for many, many years and he was friends with all who knew him. Our condolences to his family. RIP Terry.
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Chuck Rich


From:
Kentucky, USA
Post  Posted 17 Jun 2019 11:30 am     Terry Bethel
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Very sad day at our house. Terry and I have been friends for 70 years. We took Steel lessons together in Flint Michigan, had a little trio when we were kids, stayed at each others house, and stayed in touch all these years. It hurts to know he's gone. Chuck Rich
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john buffington


From:
Owasso OK - USA
Post  Posted 17 Jun 2019 12:55 pm    
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We've lost yet another legend in the steel guitar world. Condolences to the Bethel family.
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Jerry Sherbahn


From:
Georgetown, Tx
Post  Posted 17 Jun 2019 1:14 pm     Terry
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Sad to hear this. I seen Terry many times with Mel. One time in Alaska, his Emmons pedal went down, I loaned him mine and put a new pot in his.
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Archie Nicol


From:
Ayrshire, Scotland
Post  Posted 17 Jun 2019 1:15 pm    
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Sad News.
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Adair Torres


From:
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Post  Posted 17 Jun 2019 1:30 pm    
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Sad news. Condolences to Terry's family.
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Eddie Lane


From:
Branson, Missouri, USA
Post  Posted 17 Jun 2019 1:45 pm    
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I first met Terry when Mel Tillis put his show in Branson. I don't even remember the year but I was playing another show in town and also working on everyone's steel guitars. I went to the Statesiders afternoon show and didn't talk to Terry but did talk to Billy Jo Spears, his wife. I gave her my phone number and told her to tell Terry if he needed any repair work done on his guitar call me. He called the next day and brought his guitar over. We became friends almost instantly and stayed good friends all through the years.
I will miss him. RIP Terry!
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Lee Johnson


From:
Illinois, USA
Post  Posted 17 Jun 2019 4:24 pm     sad to hear he was my friend
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Sad Sorry to hear about my friend, May God Bless bless and help his friends and family. Lee johnson of B J S steel guitar bars Sad
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Keith Hilton


From:
248 Laurel Road Ozark, Missouri 65721
Post  Posted 17 Jun 2019 6:18 pm    
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Very sad news. A real friend and a good guy.
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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA
Post  Posted 17 Jun 2019 7:18 pm    
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An inspiration to every steel player who ever heard him play. So sorry to lose him. Sad
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Danny Sneed


From:
Morristown,Az.U.S.A.
Post  Posted 17 Jun 2019 7:32 pm    
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Terry and I became friends in 1962 and been friends ever since. Great loss! See ya on the other side.
Danny
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Roy Rosetta


From:
Nederland, Texas.. On the Texas Gulf Coast
Post  Posted 17 Jun 2019 7:45 pm    
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This is such sad news. Terry was a long time friend of ours. We were introduced to Terry by Billie Jo Spears shortly after they were married. Billie Jo, whom I grew up with, was like a family member to me and my family. Rest in peace dear friend you will be missed and will remain in our prayers.
...Roy and Barbara
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Duane Brown


From:
Reno,Nevada USA
Post  Posted 17 Jun 2019 8:04 pm    
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I first met Terry when he played Lubbock Texas with Mel Tillis in the 1970's We became friends when he lived in Vegas and played Standard Guitar with John Wills. Terry was a Great guitarist and Dick Miller played steel. They were really good, but treated me with respect always. I learned so much just hanging with them and listening a lot.
I will sure miss him. So long my friend.
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