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Author Topic:  The top three pedal steel players of all time.
scott murray


From:
Asheville, NC
Post  Posted 20 Jul 2019 7:47 pm    
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Andy Volk wrote:
Not sure of the point in these all-time lists but surprised not to see Curly Chalker listed.


he was mentioned twice before your post
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Bobby Nelson


From:
North Carolina, USA
Post  Posted 20 Jul 2019 9:35 pm    
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With it being understood that Buddy Emmons is a derivative source, and thus yes, on his own. After that, using the criteria of soulfulness, and being interesting to listen to and musical, my list is:

Jimmy Day (another derivative source)

Buddy Charleton/Lloyd Green (I can't separate them at #2)

John Hughey

In a more commentary sense, I have to put Paul Franklin at the top of the heap.
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Bill Lowe


From:
Connecticut
Post  Posted 20 Jul 2019 10:23 pm    
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Can’t do 3
Buddy Emmons
Mike Johnson
Lots Green
Tommy White
John Hughey
Tom Brumley
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Last edited by Bill Lowe on 1 Aug 2019 4:02 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Stan Paxton


From:
1/2 & 1/2 Florida and Tenn, USA (old Missouri boy gone South)
Post  Posted 21 Jul 2019 4:19 am    
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WOW - All those complexities you guys talk about in the foregoing posts are too much for my simple mind. I have to keep it simple. .. Cool Can only relate to what my ear, heart & soul loves to hear. It's like discerning difference in temperature between 10 below Zero & 40 below Zero - I can't. ..
So with all those many masters afore named, how can I determine who is greatest! ..
#1, Lloyd Green, #1, John Hughey, #1, Jimmy Day. ..
Respectfully, Big E on his own. .. Whoa!
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Jim Cooley


From:
The 'Ville, Texas, USA
Post  Posted 21 Jul 2019 7:00 am    
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All of the above certainly deserve recognition, so I'll just add:

Innovation: Pete Drake
Touch and Tone: Dicky Overbey
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Johnny Cox


From:
Lives in Schulenburg Texas
Post  Posted 21 Jul 2019 11:26 am    
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Impossible to do in three players. Besides at this point it's just opinion. I can tell you some of my favorites though.
In no particular order,
Hal Rugg, Weldon Myrick, Lloyd Green, Buddy Emmons, Pete Drake, Curly Chalker, Maurice Anderson, Tom Morrell, Buddy Charlton, Billy Braddy, Tommy White, Robby Turner, Doug Jernigan. All these guys were/are monsters in their own right.
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 21 Jul 2019 2:14 pm    
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“Most revolutionary” would be a good description for Rusty Young. Maybe not as great a pure player as many of the others mentioned, but no slouch either. Definitely a rebel.
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Donny Hinson


From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 21 Jul 2019 2:17 pm    
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I can't pick three. But I can probably think of two - Jay Harlin and Arthur Harmon (since they practically invented the instrument we call "pedal steel guitar").

Mr. Green
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Johnie King


From:
Tennessee, USA
Post  Posted 24 Jul 2019 7:52 pm    
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1/Julian Tharp
2/Curly Chalker
3/Big Jim Murphy
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post  Posted 25 Jul 2019 12:55 am     Re: The top three pedal steel players of all time.
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Cody Stewart wrote:
I'm interested in everyone's opinion on who they believe the three most revolutionary pedal steel players of all time are? The Criteria is Innovation, Taste, Touch, Tone ect...


It appears the question is not based on actual playing skill ( whos the best player ) but includes many other facets which includes influence, as in most influential.

So for me its 5, not 3 . I can't do 3 ! Very Happy and this certainly does not mean that I don't think that there are a bunch of other great players, I do. But for me, these are the most influential.


Buddy
Loyd
Paul
Mike J
Tommy


I would agree that every Steel player has a favorite "whos the best player" but I also believe the 5 above have touched and influenced EVERY player, every day , everywhere on the planet . And still do.
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Curt Trisko


From:
St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
Post  Posted 25 Jul 2019 6:19 am    
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Ian Rae wrote:
Cody asks for the three most revolutionary.

Bud Isaacs, Speedy West and Ralph Mooney then.

Long live the revolution!


Laughing Looking at this thread, you'd think the steel guitar world was in constant state of upheaval. Laughing
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Floyd Lowery


From:
Deland, Florida, USA
Post  Posted 25 Jul 2019 6:46 am    
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Johnie King wrote:
1/Julian Tharp
2/Curly Chalker
3/Big Jim Murphy

I don't think it possible to pick just 3 and say they are the best all time, but these 3 were certainly in a class of their own.
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Earnest Bovine


From:
Los Angeles CA USA
Post  Posted 25 Jul 2019 7:24 am    
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James Mayer wrote:
1) Johnny Farina


#1 in chutzpah
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James Mayer


From:
back in Portland Oregon, USA (via Arkansas and London, UK)
Post  Posted 25 Jul 2019 7:55 am    
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Earnest Bovine wrote:
James Mayer wrote:
1) Johnny Farina


#1 in chutzpah
Very Happy
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James Mayer


From:
back in Portland Oregon, USA (via Arkansas and London, UK)
Post  Posted 25 Jul 2019 9:15 am    
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Ok, seriously this time. With over 7 billion people on the planet and arguably less than 7% of that interested or even aware of American country music, I don't think the players everyone is mentioning have the exposure to be all that widely influential. If it's about "influential" then we should go with the most widely heard steel parts of all time, right?

1) David Gilmour - steel is all over Dark Side of the Moon, which "everyone" on Earth has heard too many times to count. With that recent auction, his humble Jedson lap steel became, by far, the most valuable steel guitar in the world.
2) Jerry Garcia - if not the wildly and internationally popular Grateful Dead, than "Teach Your Children" by CSN&Y.
3) Santo Farina - Sleepwalk. Not sure how, but everyone seems to have heard it.

If "best" means "technically proficient", "prolific" or "innovative" then those already mentioned elsewhere in the thread apply.
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Sonny Jenkins


From:
New Braunfels, Tx. 78130
Post  Posted 25 Jul 2019 2:05 pm    
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Jeff Newman would have to have a huge consideration,,,not only could he "play" anyone's style,,,but could analyze it in depth,,,then teach it. His contribution to the steel guitar community, while maybe not as innovation as the "worlds foremost steel guitar player",,,has certainly not been equaled by anyone,,,yet.
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scott murray


From:
Asheville, NC
Post  Posted 25 Jul 2019 3:00 pm    
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James Mayer wrote:
Ok, seriously this time. With over 7 billion people on the planet and arguably less than 7% of that interested or even aware of American country music, I don't think the players everyone is mentioning have the exposure to be all that widely influential. If it's about "influential" then we should go with the most widely heard steel parts of all time, right?

1) David Gilmour - steel is all over Dark Side of the Moon, which "everyone" on Earth has heard too many times to count. With that recent auction, his humble Jedson lap steel became, by far, the most valuable steel guitar in the world.
2) Jerry Garcia - if not the wildly and internationally popular Grateful Dead, than "Teach Your Children" by CSN&Y.
3) Santo Farina - Sleepwalk. Not sure how, but everyone seems to have heard it.

If "best" means "technically proficient", "prolific" or "innovative" then those already mentioned elsewhere in the thread apply.


OP did ask for pedal steel players specifically but most people don't know the difference anyway I guess
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James Mayer


From:
back in Portland Oregon, USA (via Arkansas and London, UK)
Post  Posted 25 Jul 2019 3:02 pm    
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scott murray wrote:


OP did ask for pedal steel players specifically but most people don't know the difference anyway I guess


Good point. I saw someone list Jerry Byrd earlier......

I guess that bumps Garcia to the top of the list.
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Johnie King


From:
Tennessee, USA
Post  Posted 25 Jul 2019 6:42 pm    
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Floyd I’m with you there’s
really no way to pick three.
Maybe top 100 steel players
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 25 Jul 2019 9:02 pm     Re: The top three pedal steel players of all time.
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Just thought I’d repost the OP’s request.
Cody Stewart wrote:
I'm interested in everyone's opinion on who they believe the three most revolutionary pedal steel players of all time are? The Criteria is Innovation, Taste, Touch, Tone ect... We all know the impact Buddy Emmons has had on the world of pedal steel. His contribution probably cannot be matched.

The first criterion on the list being “innovation”. Maybe we can assume that it is the OP’s most important qualifier, and also that it refers to revolutionary innovative playing. I don’t know, just guessing there. Nowhere on the list is “popularity” or “influential”, though I would not assume those are disqualifications.

Also there was this little tag at the end -
Quote:
Tell me yours and why...

Okay, carry on. Fun topic.
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Craig A Davidson


From:
Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin USA
Post  Posted 26 Jul 2019 1:02 pm    
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I would say:

Buddy Emmons
Jimmy Day
Lloyd Green

If you had to go for then we would have a big tie. Who would you pick? Hal Rugg, Weldon Myrick, Buddy Charleton, Ralph Mooney,Sonny Garrish, Curly Chalker, Maurice Anderson, Bobby Garrett, Speedy West, Ron Elliot, Tommy White, Johnny Cox, Terry Bethel, oh well you get the point.
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scott murray


From:
Asheville, NC
Post  Posted 26 Jul 2019 1:27 pm    
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if we're ranking players on innovation, we need to acknowledge Jimmie Crawford. he was hugely innovative on both necks and had what Buddy Emmons called "the best right hand in the business"

here's a few good examples:

I Just Came to Get My Baby with Faron Young

a couple on C6

Rhode Island Red etc
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Bob Jennings


From:
Indiana, USA
Post  Posted 26 Jul 2019 2:00 pm     The Top Three Steel Players of all time
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Don't forget Alvino Rey--he played pedal steel and the talking steel, but, Bud Issacs started it with "Slowly". Granted; Buddy Emmons, Jimmy Day and all that have been mentioned developed the pedal steel to what it is today--so, who is the Top Three--better say the Top 10/15/20 or ???

Just my input.

Bob Jennings
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Roger Rettig


From:
Naples, FL
Post  Posted 27 Jul 2019 7:13 am    
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Thanks for those links, Scott. Marvelous!

I was on a tour with Jimmie in the '90s and sound-checks were the best part of my day. I'd ask Jimmie to play me some thumb-style C6th and his library of material seemed endless.

Jimmie helped me so much during those times and he educated me on the real value of 'lowering the 9th' on E9. My old ZB didn't have that pull until JC showed me how invaluable it could be. What a sweetheart of a human being he was and what a monumental player.
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J R Rose


From:
Keota, Oklahoma, USA
Post  Posted 27 Jul 2019 10:52 am    
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Sara Jory

Sara Jory

Sara Jory

She is a great picker, a great performer, a great entertainer, and just all in all a great performer. Wishing you the best Sara, J.R.
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