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John Hughey, steel player for Gill, Twitty, dies

Monday, November 19, 2007 – Long-time steel guitar player for Vince Gill and Conway Twitty, John Hughey, died Sunday night, Nov. 18 in Nashville at 73.

Hughey, a native of Elaine, Ark., got his first guitar - a Gene Autry model from Sears - when he was nine. In the seventh grade, he became friends with classmate Harold Jenkins, who would later adopt the name Conway Twitty.

Hughey persuaded his father to buy him a lap steel after hearing Little Roy Wiggins, Eddy Arnold's steel player. While still in high school, he and Jenkins formed the Phillips County Ramblers and briefly starred in their own radio show on a small local station.

In 1953, Hughey joined Slim Rhodes & The Mother's Best Mountaineers of Memphis. For the next several years, Hughey alternated between playing in Rhodes's band and performing in nightclubs.

In 1968, Hughey joined Twitty's band. Hughey toured and recorded with Twitty for the next 20 years. After that, he worked with Loretta Lynn for nearly 2 years before joining Gill's band, where he remained for 12 years.

He was inducted into the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame in 1996. In recent years, he was a member of the Time Jumpers, a band of studio and touring musicians that plays each Monday night at Nashville's Station Inn bluegrass club.

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Guitar Slinger CD review - Guitar Slinger
It's hard to believe, considering what Vince Gill has accomplished over the past three decades, but the triple threat singer-songwriter-guitar picker may be in the most creative, productive stretch of his lengthy, remarkable career. Five years after Gill's Grammy-winning 4-album 43-song box set "These Days," his latest 12-song release again finds Gill tapping every ounce of his immense talents. The title song sums up his reputation as an ax man worthy of playing Eric »»»
These Days CD review - These Days
To put this release into perspective, it would take Axl Rose the better half of a century to issue the same amount of material. Fortunately, Vince Gill is about as prolific as they come these days, and this daring four-disc release only is further proof of that. Each disc is divvied up depending on his mood, with the opening "Working On A Big Chill" album being "The Rockin' Record." And this album sets things off right with the lovely mid-tempo and groovy title track. »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Kristofferson gives insight, but no easy answers – When they say music gets better with age, they're not always just talking about songs alone; sometimes they're also referring to the listener. When Kris Kristofferson sings, "Well, I woke up Sunday morning/With no way to hold my head that didn't hurt," to smartly open "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down," he... »»»
Concert Review: No sugarcoating, Welch dishes out an experience – Gillian Welch (accompanied, as always, by master guitarist David Rawlings), celebrated her "The Harrow & The Harvest" album with a powerful night of music. She apologized many times for the utter unhappiness expressed through this album's songs, admitting it's "not the most chipper album" at one point.... »»»
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