THE "UNKNOWN" PLAYERS
Here is a list of players who appeared on records or played with road bands. These are the ones who did a great job playing and supporting the Steel Guitar, but, for what reason ever, they never made it real big. Fellow Steel Guitar Players and those interested in the history of the instrument know most of those names, but in general they don't seem to have their share of memory and appreciation they would surely deserve:
ANDERSON, Les - Played with Bob Wills & The Texas Playboys, Tex Ritter, Tex Williams and Cliffie Stone. He was on the regular member of "Town Hall Party" and "Tex Ritter's Ranch Show.
ANDERSON, Maurice ("Reece") - A legendary player and builder of the famous MSA guitar. Reece is one of the great stylists who is equally at home in Western Swing (he played with Bob Wills!), Jazz and Country
APPLEBY, Wayne - One of the best known players from "Down Under", he has toured or worked with supporting bands for stars like Slim Whitman and Charley Pride. Since 1990 he has worked regularly with Australia's number one female country singer, Jean Stafford.
AYRES, Roy - Member of Pee Wee King & The Golden West Cowboys. He played on the original versions of "Tennessee Waltz", "Slow Poke" and "Bonaparte's Retreat".
BAKER, Jim - Session player inthe 1960's and 70' who recorded with artists like Carl & Pearl Butler and Bobby Barnett.
BIGGAR, James - Steel Player for Ray Price in the mid 1950's.
BLUNT, Paul - Regular member of the "Big D Jamboree" in Dallas, Texas. An accomplished musician on Steel Guitar and Piano, fronted his own groups, also recorded in the studio with Bill and Jim Boyd.
BRIGGS, Billy - One of the early Western Swing players who can be heard on several recordings by the "Hi-Flyers" and the "Sons Of The West".
BURNETTE, Sonny - He started out as member of Webb Pierce's Wondering Boys and became one of the three staff Steel Guitar Players at the Grand Ole Opry during the 1960's (besides Weldon Myrick and Hal Rugg).
CAMPBELL, Cecil - played with Dick Hart & The Tennessee Ramblers in the 1930's and took over the band in 1945. He recorded several sides for major labels of the time incl. Victor, MGM and Starday. He passed away in 1989.
CARROLL, Marvin - Played with Jimmy Dean's "Texas Wildcats" in the 1950's.
CRISP, Terry - is a seasoned road and studio musician. He was a member of the Ricky Skaggs Band in the 1980's and also recorded a duet album with Steel Guitar Hall Of Fame member Shot Jackson. He also worked with well-known artists like Travis Tritt, Connie Smith and Rhonda Vincent.
CROWNOVER, Gene - He was a member of Bob Wills' Texas Playboys in the late 50's and early 60's.
CURTIS, Sonny - For over a decade he was the road player for Country Music Superstars George Jones and Tammy Wynette.
DAVIS, Don - His playing is featured in over 3,000 recordings in the late 40's and 1950's. The list of artists he worked with includes big names like Ernest Tubb, Little Jimmy Dickens, Tex Ritter, Porter Wagoner, George Morgan and Red Foley.
DUGMORE, Dan - He is a veteran studio musician and can be heard on 100's of records by artists like Patty Loveless, Trisha Yearwood, Suzy Bogguss, Martina McBride and Tim McGraw. He played the famous solo on Linda Ronstadt's "Blue Bayou"!
EDWARDS, George - was the road player for the Kitty Wells Show for more than twenty years. He also worked with Faron Young, Hank Williams Jr. and Darrell McCall.
EVINS, Jack - Played Steel Guitar for Ray Price in the late 1950's.
FARMER, James - Played Steel Guitar on all early Marty Robbins recordings in the 1950's. His style was heavily influenced by Little Roy Wiggins.
FOSTER, Bob - He was one of the busiest studio musicians in the 1950's and recorded countless sessions with all major stars like George Morgan, Carl Smith, Jim Eanes, Kenny Roberts and Stonewall Jackson.
GRISHAM, Doyle - Has toured with Roy Drusky, David Houston, Tompall & The Glaser Brothers, Lynn Anderson, Johnny Duncan, and is currently touring with Jimmy Buffett. He has recorded with Lynn Anderson, Tompall & The Glaser Brothers, Jimmy Buffett, Randy Travis, Reba McIntire, Dan Seals, Johnny Duncan, Freddy Weller, George Jones, Dr. Hook, Restless Heart, & Bailley & The Boys.
HALL, Marian - One of the earliest female players, she was a regular on the Town Hall Party in the 1950's.
HAMLET, Norman - Merle Haggard's Steel Guitar Player since 1967 and of of the key musicians in Merle's band, the "Strangers"!
HARRIS, Clyde - Clyde "Boots" Harris wrote the classic "Georgia Steel Guitar". He was the Steel Player for Curly Williams and the Georgia Peach Pickers.
HARRIS, Dickie - Steel Guitar Player for Ernest Tubb's Texas Troubadours in the early 50's.
HEAD, Ray - Ray "Kemo" Head was the first regular Steel Guitar Player who played for the Texas Troubadour, Ernest Tubb (starting in 1946).
HENDRICK, Summie - Played Steel Guitar on the early Don Gibson recordings.
HOGUE, Gary - was the regular steel player for Marty Stuart before his untimely passing a few years ago.
HRABAL, Buddy - Toured with Country Music legend Ray Pride in 1987 and played in the Robert Duvall movie "Tender Mercies" in 1981
HOUSTON, Lew - Steel player with Conway Twitty from 1964 to 1968, before John Hughey joined.
IDAHO, Slim - His real name was Dewey Aderhold. One of the hottest young players in the 1940. He can be heard on records with Cowboy Copas, Paul Howard and Claude Casey. Tragically he was killed in 1948 in a motorcycle accident at age 24.
JACKSON, Leodie - was a prolific West Coast session musician in the 1940's and 50's who recorded with artists like Jimmie Dolan, Johnny Tyler, Jess Willard and Terry Fell. He also worked for Billy Hughes.
JOHNSON, Bill - Steel player for Marty Robbins in the 1960's. He can be heard on most of Marty's recordings from that period, also recorded with Stonewall Jackson.
JURICEK, Frank - Texas-based Steel Player who worked a lot of studio sessions in the Houston area in the early 1950's. he played on the original recording of "I Love You Because" by Leon Payne.
LOHMAN, Dale - Dale "Smokey" Lohman is one of the "unknown" players from the 1940's. He played on Red Foley's "Smoke On The Water" and he also was the first steel player to record with Hank Williams. He can be heard on Hank's Sterling recordings as well as on the first MGM recordings of Hank.
KNIGHT, Junior - He is one of the classic Texas Honkytonk steel players and worked with Leann Rimes in the studio and on the raod before she left country music and turned to a more pop-oriented music.
LUNN, Roy - Steel Player for the Circle A Wranglers, the band fronted by Faron Young between 1952 and 1954 during his army time. Roy never played on commercial records with Faron Young, but can be heard on several of the transcriptions recorded for "Town & Country Time" and " Navy Country Hoedown" during that period.
MAGNESS, Buster - is best known for his affiliation with Johnny Lee Wills, but before joining Johnny Lee's band he already had quite a career including a stint with Merl Lindsay & His Oklahoma Playboys.
MARTIN, Doc - He was the Steel Player of "The Prairie Playboys", featured on several transcribed radio shows, mostly for RadiOzark in Springfield, Missouri.
MARTINEZ, Pete - Agapipo "Pete" Martinez was one of the busy west coast studio musicians in the 1940's. His playing can be heard on recordings by Hank Thompson, Tex Ritter, Jimmy Wakely, Tex Williams and Wesley Tuttle.
McDONALD, Jay - was the steel player for Buck Owens & The Buckaroos before Tom Brumley. He can be heard on some of the early Buck Owens albums ("On The Bandstand").
MILLER, Ronnie - Current road player for Charley Pride.
MIZE, Billy - A fine player and singer who was a member of the famous "Town Hall Party" in California, also one of the musicians who helped to create the famous "Bakersfield Sound".
MORRELL, Tom - Once a member of Bob Wills' Texas Playboys, he also became famous as one of the builders of the MSA guitar. In his later years, he recorded a series of classic Western Swing albums with his band, the Time Warp Top Hands. Member of the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame.
PERKINS, Wilson - Wilson "Lefty" Perkins was a member of several early Western Swing Bands like the Light Crust Doughboys, the Musical Brownies (under Durwood Brown) and Bill Boyd's Cowboy Ramblers. He played left-handed!
REID, Buck - One of the great younger players who worked with artists like John Anderson and Lyle Lovett.
SARGENT, Tommy - He played with a variety of swing bands in the 1930's and early 40's (including Spade Cooley!) before forming his own band "The Range Boys". Interesting detail: In 1938 he met a 14-year old boy who was starting steel guitar and taught him the first features and skills of the instrument: The young boy was Earl "Joaquin" Murphey!
SCHRODER, Andy - Member of several early Western Swing Bands in Texas, like the Hi-Flyers and Bill Boyd's Cowboy Ramblers. Author of "Roadside Rag".
SIEBERT, Johnny - Although he is a member of the Steel Guitar Hall Of Fame, not too many people know that he played Steel Guitar for Carl Smith on most of his big hits in the 1950's.
STEINER, Herb - is a great seasoned player from Texas who worked with swing bands like "Commander Cody & The Lost Planet Airmen" and "Alvin Crow & The Pleasant Valley Boys". In the last years he played on a regular basis with Johnny Bush & The Bandoleros.
TALBOT, Joe - Big Joe Talbot was a member of Hank Snow's Rainbow Ranch Boys and contributed a lot to Hank's sound with his blend of Hawaiian and Country sounds.
TERRY, Vance - He was recommended to Billy Jack Wills in 1951 and stayed with him for a few years, but also recorded some sides with Bob Wills in 1955. He did not really pursue a professional career, but appeared on stage with Jimmy Rivers, Red Murrell and others, showing his amazing skills on non-pedal steel and pedal steel.
TONNESSEN, Billy - Played with Ole Rasmussen & His Nebraska Cornhuskers" as well as Tommy Duncan's "Western All Stars".
VEST, Jim - Big Jim Vest is one of the best kept secrets of the business. A great player who worked with several big names like Boxcar Willie, also a well-known and successful producer.
VINCENT, Joe - Played Steel Guitar for Faron Young, also recorded with him in the studio. He played on the original versions of "Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young" and "I've Got Five Dollars And It's Saturday Night".
WAGNER, Dale - Another one of the great underrated players who was on the road with several major acts like Jim & Jesse, Connie Smith, Susan Raye and The Wilburn Brothers. He also recorded a solo album "Kentucky Style Steel" for the Mid-Land Label in the 1970's. Dale Wagner passed away in 2004.
WARDEN, Don - A long-time musical companion of Grand Ole Opry Legend Porter Wagoner. He played Steel Guitar on many of Porter's early hits, incl. "A Satisfied Mind". He also worked as musical director for the Dolly Parton Show.
WHITE, Howard - A seasoned player who worked for many well-known artists like Don Gibson, Cowboy Copas, Ferlin Husky and Jean Shepard. He also was a member of Hank Snow's Rainbow Ranch Boys from 1960 to 1964.
WINSTON, Winnie - Julian "Winnie" Winston started off in Bluegrass Music. He played Banjo with Frank Wakefield, David Grisman and even Bill Monroe before switching over to steel guitar. As a steel player, he worked with Jerry Jeff Walker and Steve Goodman. Winnie Winston (together with Bill Keith) is the author of "Pedal Steel Guitar", the most informative and comprehensive book ever written about the subject. After a long battle with cancer, Winnie passed away in June 2005.
XANTHOS, George - One of Australia's premier players for years and a huge influence for other steelers from "Down Under", he worked regularly with the Hawking Brothers, the first Australian band to play the famous Grand Ole Opry in the 1970's. He can also be heard on most of their recordings.